I recently found myself in the drive-thru line at McDonalds ordering up nothing but an order of their classic French fries. Sometimes I can’t resist this tasty, salty treat and my car involuntarily lines up under the golden arches. Everyone has their favorite place for fries, of course, but over the years, according to Delish.com, the McDonald’s restaurant chain has held the top spot as consumers’ #1 choice.
We all know that fries are best eaten hot and straight out of the frying basket and are usually devoured long before the burger. But, alas, this isn’t an urge I can give into often because of the high fat and salt content, so these homemade french fries recipe you can make right at home are the perfect alternative. They make the perfect side dish to burgers off the grill, a BLT or even a classic grilled cheese sandwich. Serve them up with your favorite ketchup or fry sauce to satisfy that craving.
There are a few easy tips for making these homemade french fries recipe crisp and not soggy.
First: use high starch potatoes like russets. They are denser and have less moisture in them. Avoid red skinned, fingerlings, Yukon Golds, or new potatoes, they contain too much water.
Second: Prepare a large bowl with ice water. After you cut your potatoes into wedges, you will place them in this water to stand for 15 minutes.
Third: You may peel the potatoes or opt to leave the skins on. Be sure to wash them if you aren’t peeling them. Cut out any bad spots or eyes. Eyes are where potatoes start to sprout. Old potatoes may begin to send out tiny roots through the eyes. These must be removed.
Fourth: Cut each potato into wedges and drop them immediately into the icy water. This will help remove some of the starch.
Fifth: Cook at a high heat. Set the oven for 425 degrees.
Sixth: Flip the potatoes over halfway through the baking process for even browning.
The Best Homemade French Fries Recipe
- 4 russet potatoes cut into large wedges
- 1 T canola oil
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced (optional)
- Place potatoes in a large bowl, add cold water and ice cubes to cover. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander. Spread on a double layer of paper towels. Cover with a second layer of paper towels. Press down on the towels to dry the potatoes. Transfer the wedges to a clean large bowl. Sprinkle with oil, pepper, and salt, toss gently to combine. Arrange seasoned potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the potatoes and sprinkle with minced garlic. Bake another 20 minutes until the potatoes are golden. You may want to turn your baking sheet once in the oven for more even browning about 30 minutes into the roasting process.
- Serve immediately with ketchup, barbeque or fry sauce.
Got leftover homemade french fries? You don’t have to throw them out, they can be reheated. But don’t try it in the microwave! A microwave cooks from the inside out and this will not make for crispy wedges. They will be soggy and soft—nothing like your original tidbits.
There are two good options for returning them to that original crisp state.
My favorite choice is using a countertop convection oven. A convection oven works by blowing hot air over the food. This is extremely effective at making foods crispy and also speeds up the reheating or cooking time. It’s also my preferred way to reheat leftover pizza.
With the oven set to 400 F, spread the potato wedges on a flat sheet pan and heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until hot and crispy. Watch carefully and flip the fries once during reheating.
If you don’t have access to a convection oven, you can also use a regular oven. Heat the standard oven hotter to 450 F. Place the fries in a single layer on a cookie sheet or flat pan. You may want to spritz them with a light coat of cooking spray for added flavor and crisping. These should also be cooked for about 5 to 10 minutes and flipped about halfway through the heating process.