Have you tried to make homemade french fries before, but had them turn out limp, floppy, undercooked, or just WRONG? Me too. That’s why I haven’t tried it much… but I recently read about twice-fried fries, and well… it made so much durned sense I just had to try the thing out! Plus, my new mandoline slicer would assist me in making perfect-cut shoestrings, so it seemed like the perfect time.
- Wash and dry your potato, then cut into fries. You can use a knife if you’re good like that, or use a mandoline. My fries are 1/4″ by 1/4″. Skinny, just the way I like ‘em.
- Sprinkle the fries with salt and roll them up in an absorbent towel. I don’t know if this is necessary but it seemed like a good idea at the time, to try to get out some extra moisture. Because you see, moisture + hot fat = spatters. And I’m already terrified of hot fat/oil/etc as it is, so I didn’t need to add unnecessary moisture into the mix.
- Meanwhile, heat up some fat in a pan. I used a relatively small pan because I didn’t have a lot of bacon grease (my fat of choice for this project). This meant I had to do several batches because you can’t overcrowd the pan or the fat’s temperature will drop too much and not fry the potatoes. Next time I will have more bacon grease saved up and I will use a bigger pan. Please use good fats that can tolerate a high temperature safely. Bacon grease is one, tallow is another, and rendered duck fat is a third choice. (Canola oil, corn oil, and other vegetable oils are not a good choice.) They’ll all result in slightly differently-flavored fries, so use what you are in the mood for. You’ll know the fat is hot enough when you put a potato stick into the oil and it immediately sizzles all over. If it doesn’t and it just sits there, let the fat heat up a bit more first.
- Throw in some potato sticks. But don’t actually throw them. Grease spatters and all. Gently lower them into the fat. And like I said before, do NOT overcrowd the pan! Let them cook for a few minutes, turning them occasionally. They will not get crispy at this point.
- Now transfer them to a colander over a bowl, just for now. Continue in batches (let the fat heat up again in between each batch before you put in the next ones) until all of your fries have been once-fried and are resting in the colander. While they’re just sitting there, they are still cooking internally. how cool is that?
- Toss the fries around in the colander so you don’t grab the ones that just came out of the pan, and then start again with frying in batches. This time, you are looking for the fries to actually brown and get a bit more “done” on the outside.
- And when they do look “done,” take them out and throw them in a paper sack. When all the fries are in there, add seasonings as you’d like – sea salt, or chili powder, or whatever… I used Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Not the “cleanest” ingredients ever but darn it tastes good. Close the sack and shake the fries around. This gets the extra oils off of the outside and evenly distributes the seasonings.
- Then transfer your fries to a serving dish / plates / your mouth / whatever. The guy and I actually ate these with me sitting on the counter, him standing in the kitchen, both of us moaning in delight at how amazing they are…. he was fantasizing about cheese fries out loud, and I was imagining a sweet potato version. Bliss, I tell you! (All these fries came from just one potato by the way.)
The twice-fried method worked out superbly for me, and I think it’ll make you happy too if you’ve struggled with how to make homemade french fries in the past.
And now my husband has some motivation not to use up ALL the bacon grease when he cooks his eggs in the morning. I think he’ll be saving a bit here and there (we have a container for bacon grease in our fridge at all times), of course still frying his eggs in whatever is left in the pan. hehe.