french fries

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Classic French Fries

By , from the Matthew Amster-Burton collection
Serves 4 to 6
Total Time 5 hours


Yes, it takes time and two rounds in the fryer, but twice-cooking your fries is the best way to get them both cooked through and browned/crispy.

The rest between fryings is not essential, but it helps the potatoes lose moisture. Raw potatoes have a ton of water; fries don’t. It’s hard to get all that water out in the fryer without overcooking the fries.

This recipe is adapted from One Potato, Two Potato, by Roy Finamore and Molly Stevens.


2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch batons with a mandoline or sharp knife
2 qt. lard, shortening, or oil
~ Salt


  1. As you cut the potatoes, transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Refrigerate the bowl of soaking potatoes for at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat the lard, shortening, or oil in an electric deep fryer to 325 degrees.
  3. Drain the potatoes and dry scrupulously. Add about ¼ of the potatoes and fry 3 to 4 minutes, until barely browned and starting to go limp. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Spread the parcooked potatoes on a large baking sheet and refrigerate 2 hours.
  4. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Working in batches again, fry the potatoes 3 to 4 minutes, until deep golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels, season with salt, and serve immediately.

Related article: Fry guy

This content is from the Matthew Amster-Burton collection.

There is 1 comment on this item
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Average Rating 5
0% recommend this recipe
1. by Shoe on Dec 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM PST
Rating: five

Is there any way to do this without using a bunch of paper products? There may not be...just wondering.

I knew about twice-frying to get the best fries, but I has assumed it was hot fry first, to seal the surface. Been wrong before. :)

Makes me wonder if the cut raw potatoes could be par-baked first to cook them to a bit limp (instead of the low-tem fry), and dehydrate them a bit. Then do the high-temp fry. Occurs to me this would cut down on paper, too.

But I don’t have any experience...this is all a thought experiment. You’re the expert, what do you think, Matthew?

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