How to Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer

French fries are one of those foods that everyone can agree on, no matter how picky an eater they are. Most people get their fries at restaurants or in the frozen section at the grocery store, but the best way to enjoy them is to prepare them yourself at home. All you need is a deep fryer, lots of clean oil, and enough potatoes to satisfy your hunger. Be sure to make enough to share, ‘cause these puppies are guaranteed to go fast!


  • 5-6 large Russet or Kennebec potatoes
  • Oil for frying (peanut, canola, vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
  • Sea salt
  • Ketchup
  • Additional spices and seasonings (optional)
  • Miscellaneous condiments (optional)

Makes 4-6 servings


[Edit]Cleaning and Slicing the Potatoes

  1. Wash your potatoes with cool, clean water. Place your potatoes in a colander or wire strainer and give them a good dousing, or hold them under the faucet and rinse them off one-by-one. Use the pads of your fingers or a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away clinging dirt and debris. When you’re done, shake off the excess water.[1]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    • If you’re a stickler for food safety, you can also soak your potatoes for 2-5 minutes in your own all-natural vegetable wash made from water, white vinegar, and lemon juice.[2]
    • Remember, potatoes grow in the ground, so it’s always a good idea to make sure they’re nice and clean before cooking with them.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half down the middle. Lay out your potatoes on a cutting board or scratch-resistant surface and run a sharp knife through the center of each. Be sure to cut them lengthwise rather than widthwise to ensure that your fries don’t come out short and stubby.[3]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 2 Version 3.jpg
    • There’s no need to peel your potatoes unless they’re particularly dirty, or you prefer them without the skins. If you do decide to peel them, use a veggie peeler with a wide blade to save time.[4]
    • Longer potatoes tend to make for better French fries.
  3. Cut the halves into slices. Rest each bisected potato against your cutting board flat-side-down and slice it longways 3-4 times. Doing so will reduce it to more manageable sections that you can then easily cut into individual fries of your preferred thickness.[5]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    • For especially large potatoes, you may need to make 1 or 2 extra cuts to simplify the task of slicing.
  4. Slice the sections into strips. Work your way down the line turning each piece into 6-8 fries. Try to keep your cuts as consistent as you can. Once you’ve sliced your last potato, gather up the fries and transfer them to an empty, spacious serving or mixing bowl.[6]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    • You can also cut your fries smaller, if you like. This will require making finer, more precise cuts, though, so watch your fingers.
    • It’s okay if not all of your fries are exactly the same thickness. Just make sure there’s not such a size difference that they cook unevenly.[7]
  5. Soak your sliced potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour. Fill the bowl with fresh water until the potatoes are completely immersed. Keep an eye on the clock as they soak. Once they’ve sat for half an hour or so, it will be time to drain them and get cooking.[8]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • Alternatively, you can soak your potatoes for 2-3 hours or even overnight the day before you fry them, though this isn’t a necessity.
    • Giving your potatoes a good soak is optional, but it will reduce the amount of starch in the potatoes, preventing them from browning prematurely in the deep fryer.[9]

[Edit]Frying Initially to Cook the Fries Through

  1. Fill your deep fryer up about 1/3 of the way with your preferred frying oil. Pour in the oil until it reaches the indicated fill line. Deep fryers are designed to get real hot real fast, so it’s important to use an oil with a high smoke point. Peanut, canola, vegetable, and sunflower oil are all good choices.[10]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 6 Version 3.jpg
    • If you use an oil with a low smoke point, such as extra virgin olive or avocado, there’s a chance that it could burn before you cook time is up, ruining your fries in the process.
  2. Heat your oil to . Turn on your deep fryer and let it begin warming up. If your machine has a lid, make sure it’s on and secure at this point to help lock in heat. Most electric deep fryers will get to their target temperature within 10-20 minutes.[11]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 7 Version 3.jpg
    • Different deep fryers have different designs, settings, and functions. Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual that came with your fryer to make sure you’re using the device safely and correctly.[12]
  3. Dry your potatoes thoroughly. While you’re waiting for your oil to heat up, drain the water from your sliced potatoes and dump them out onto a layer of folded paper towels. Use a separate towel to pat them dry on all sides, making sure that there’s as little lingering moisture left behind as possible.[13]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 8 Version 3.jpg
    • It’s a well-known fact that oil and water don’t mix. For this reason, adding wet food to hot frying oil a recipe for disaster.[14]
  4. Place your potatoes in a fry basket, if your fryer came with one. Arrange the potatoes so that they’re sitting level inside the basket. This will help ensure that they cook more evenly. Avoid filling the basket more than 2/3 of the way full, as this is likely to result in inconsistent heating and could even be a potential fire hazard.[15]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • If you plan on preparing a large quantity of French fries, you may may need to do it in multiple batches, depending on the size of your deep fryer or fry basket.
    • If you don’t have a fry basket, you have the option of either buying one (it’s sure to come in handy if you do a lot of deep frying) or using a metal skimmer or pair of metal tongs to move them in and out of the oil.[16]
  5. Blanch the potatoes for 4-5 minutes at . If you’re using a fry basket, attach it to the edge of the fryer so that the potatoes are completely immersed in the oil. Otherwise, use your skimmer or tongs to lower the potatoes in carefully and avoid splashing.[17]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Remember to set a timer so you’ll know exactly how long your fries have been cooking.
    • In order to achieve the optimum flavor and texture, you’ll be cooking your French fries twice. The point of this first round is just to heat them through.
    • Your fries should still be relatively soft by the time you take them out. If they begin to brown or crisp during the initial phase of frying, either your oil is too hot or you’ve left them in for too long.[18]
  6. Take the fries out and increase the heat of the oil to . Once the first 5 minutes are up, remove the basket by taking hold of the insulated handle or carefully retrieve the loose fries using your skimmer or tongs. Set the partially cooked fries on a large plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels and allow them to cool off slightly as your oil climbs to its new target temperature.[19]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Cooling your potatoes briefly will prevent them from becoming overdone. Some chefs even chill par-cooked French fries before frying them a second time.[20]

[Edit]Frying a Second Time for the Perfect Finish

  1. Cook your fries for 3-6 more minutes, or until crisp and golden. Put your fries back into the fryer for their second and final round of frying. Monitor them closely this time so you can pull them as soon as they’re done. You’ll know they’re ready to come out when they just start to brown around the edges.[21]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • Plan on removing your fries out shortly before they reach the desired doneness. They’ll continue to cook for a few moments after you take them out of the fryer.
  2. Remove the fries and allow them to cool to a safe temperature. Let your fries rest on a fresh layer of paper towels to absorb the excess oil on the outside. Needless to say, they’ll be blistering hot when they first come out of the deep fryer, so hold off on eating them for at least 5 minutes while they cool off.[22]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 13 Version 2.jpg
    • If you’re too eager to get a nibble, you could end up burning your fingers, your mouth, or both, which would certainly make the whole experience less enjoyable.
    • Consider keeping some absorbent fiber food trays on hand if you’re trying to cut down on your paper towel consumption.
  3. Season your fries to taste. Keep things simple by sprinkling a generous amount of sea salt over your freshly-cooked fries and calling it a day. You can also dress them up a bit by hitting them with a dash of cracked black pepper or other choice spices, such as seasoned salt, ground garlic, or onion powder.[23]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • For new take on classic French fries, try combining 1/2-1 teaspoon each of black pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, paprika, and dried parsley, oregano, thyme, and basil and shaking it onto your fries.[24]
  4. Serve your fries with your favorite condiments and enjoy. Ketchup is a traditional crowd-pleaser, but you could also use mayo, ranch dressing, honey mustard, malt vinegar, sriracha, chili, queso, brown gravy, or whatever tickles your fancy. Dip, dab, slather, or cover them and savor every bite![25]
    Make French Fries Using a Deep Fryer Step 15 Version 2.jpg



  • Deep frying calls for a lot of oil, which can get expensive over time. Fortunately, it’s perfectly alright to save and reuse your spent frying oil, at least until it takes on an unpleasant odor or begins to discolor.
  • Take a moment to make sure your deep fryer is off and unplugged before you dig in.
  • If potatoes aren’t your thing, you can use this same method to make scrumptious homemade sweet potato, turnip, parsnip, beet, carrot, green bean, or asparagus fries, or any number of other low-carb French fry variations.[26]

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

[Edit]Cleaning and Slicing the Potatoes

  • Water
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large mixing or serving bowl
  • Vegetable slicer (optional)

[Edit]Frying Initially to Cook the Fries Through

  • Deep fryer
  • Skimmer spoon or metal tongs
  • Large plate or baking sheet
  • Paper towels
  • Deep fry thermometer

[Edit]Frying a Second Time for the Perfect Finish

  • Deep fryer
  • Skimmer spoon or metal tongs
  • Large serving dish
  • Paper towels
  • Absorbent fiber food trays (optional)

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