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How to Make Homemade French Fries

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Homemade French Fries

Homemade French Fries

Photo © Molly Watson

Homemade French fries are crazy delicious. You can eat them right as they're done - warm and crispy. The best fries are double-fried, first at a lower temperature to cook them through, then drained and allowed to cool before being dipped into hotter oil to crisp them up to golden perfection.

This recipe is very flexible - you can make as many or as few French fries as you like. I plan on at least one large potato worth of French fries per person, but I've certainly made do with less and I've often seen people eat many, many more. I try to balance the inconvenience of doing several batches (and the counter space and time it demands) with doing enough to make the hassle of frying (what with the hot oil and the draining and whatnot) worthwhile. I find doing 4 to 6 potatoes for 4 to 8 people do-able and worthwhile. Homemade fries are both the traditional accompaniment and a particular treat with perfect hamburgers, juicy seared steak, or steamed mussels.

Besides potatoes, you'll need a large pot and enough vegetable oil, canola oil, or lard so you have about 2 inches deep in that pot. You'll want plenty of paper towels for draining. I like to drain the fries on a cooling rack over a baking sheet (in lieu of paper towels for a single batch, as an initial draining spot before transferring them to paper towels for multiple batches). You'll also need a slotted spoon or other utensil for fetching the fries out of the hot oil. A thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil is a nice but not necessary tool to have. When it comes time to serve them, I imagine you'll also want to have some salt on hand.

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