French fries are one of the most beloved sides in America. Sometimes, entire meals center around these petite golden potato delicacies.
If you’ve just purchased a deep fryer, one of the first things you may want to cook are french fries. You may be wondering where to begin when making french fries and how long they need to be deep fried.
It may be comforting to know that deep frying french fries is relatively easy and painless! There is a small amount of preparation required, but that should only take around 20 minutes.
In fact, it doesn’t take long at all to fry up fries in a deep fryer. After you prepare your potatoes, put them in the deep fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry them for about six to eight minutes until they float up to the top, and are golden brown and crispy. You may want to blanche them first ahead of time to add extra texture.
A Quick Guide to Deep Frying Times
The reason why it doesn’t take much time to deep fry is because the oil is at very high temperatures.
Below is a quick chart to see different kinds of oils and how long it would take for those to deep fry french fries.
Oil Frying Times
Type of Oil
Smoking Point (approximate temp.)
Duration to Deep Fry French Fries
450 degrees Fahrenheit
Six to eight minutes
374 degrees Fahrenheit
Six to eight minutes
450 degrees Fahrenheit
Five to seven minutes
400 degrees Fahrenheit
Three to four minutes
350 degrees Fahrenheit
Around nine minutes - fried in three minute intervals
You can see from the chart above that different oils take different amounts of time to cook french fries.
The trickiest (but also a unique and healthy) way to deep fry french fries is with coconut oil. It's slightly more work because you need to fry them at three minute intervals about three times to get the desired effect and taste.
Want an even healthier way to fry? Check out: Philips Air Fryer VS Tefal Actifry [Which Air Fryer You Should Buy]
How to Deep Fry French Fries (and Get Them Deliciously Crispy!)
Now that you understand a few technical elements of deep frying, we will now go into how to actually create these golden wonders.
Step 1: Gather the Ingredients Together
The following ingredients and materials are essential to cook delicious fries.
You will need on-hand:
- A deep fryer, or something similar to use (a large dutch oven also works well)
- Potatoes (plain white russet potatoes or sweet potatoes will do the trick)
- A generous amount of salt to sprinkle on at the end of frying
- A french fry cutter (this is completely optional). Check out this professional french fry cutter on Amazon
- A vegetable scrub for cleaning the potatoes (the idea is to eat the skin on the outside)
Once you have the following ingredients and materials ready, you are now able to prepare and then deep fry your fries.
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Step 2: Preparing Your Potatoes
You can make fries out of a variety of different foods, but the most traditional vegetables to use are potatoes. I have had friends use sweet potatoes and even zucchini before, the options are endless.
It is important to soak potatoes before using them. Soaking draws the starch out and makes them (the fries) less likely to stick together.
Experienced fryers cook the fries twice. First, in hot oil (around 325 degrees Fahrenheit) and then cooking again (at about 375 degrees) to get them super crispy.
Step 3: Cut the Potatoes
Once you have done the washing, it is time to cut the potatoes into slivers. First cut the ends of the potato so that the sides are flat.
Cut the potatoes into ¼ inch sized slices, and then cut those slices into fry shapes. It will take a little bit of time, but it’s not too difficult.
Step 4: Get the Oil to the Right Temperature
Once your potatoes are ready to go, it’s time to heat up the oil! As a general note, vegetable oil is cheap and has a neutral flavor which makes it the best for deep frying.
Fill up the deep fryer with vegetable oil (or whichever other oil you choose) and start to heat up the appliance. You will want the oil to reach about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when you will blanch the potatoes first before deep frying at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 5: Begin Deep Frying
Put your potato strips into the deep fryer and watch the magic happen. Let them fry for about six to eight minutes or until you see them change to a golden brown shade.
Step 6: Remove the Fries and Enjoy!
Take out the fries using tongs. Place them on a napkin and let them sit for a few minutes. Plate the fries up, sprinkle a dash of salt, serve, and enjoy!For more tips regarding using vegetable oil for deep frying, check out our article, Can You Use Vegetable Oil In A Deep Fryer? [Quick Answer & FAQ].
Top Cooking Tips When Deep Frying French Fries
There are some tidbits to keep in mind when you are deep frying anything, but especially french fries.
Tip 1: Check the Oil Temperature
You will need to ensure that the oil has reached the correct temperature before you attempt to deep fry anything.
An easy way to check this is with a digital temperature gun. You can look at this Amazon’s Choice temperature gun on Amazon now.
Once the oil reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit, you may begin to deep fry.
Tip 2: Do Not Overpopulate the Basket
The same principle applies across all kitchen tools. Overpopulating anything, a baking tray, an air fryer basket, and a deep frying basket will only cause the food to cook unevenly.
Tip 3: Reuse the Oil
After you have deep fried your fries, you may have a lot of leftover oil. You can strain what remains and reuse, but be mindful that the oil will now smoke at a much lower temperature.
After straining, pour the oil through a funnel in its original container and store in a cool, dry area. To extend its shelf life, add new oil each time you deep fry.
How to Tell When the Fries Are Done
The key way to tell if the fries are ready is if they float up to the surface. Let them sit there for one minute, and then gently scoop them out and place them on a paper towel.
Next, you will want to assess their color and overall crispiness. If the fries meet your standard, then voila — you’re done!
Why not add more flavor to french fries by sprinkling on some yummy garlic salt?
How Long Does it Take to Deep Fry Frozen French Fries?
Remember that if you are looking to fry frozen french fries, they most likely have already been fried one or more times.
In the production factory, the fries were already blanched in hot oil before they even got to the grocery store and subsequently your fridge!
If you decide to deep fry again, then you will definitely achieve that oh-so-decadent crispy and nutty flavor. However, be mindful that a sometimes strong chemical reaction may arise when putting anything ice or frozen in a deep fryer.
The actual frying part of deep frying french fries doesn’t take too much time, only about six to eight minutes total. You'll spend most of the time preparing the potatoes for the deep frying process. This will take you around 20 minutes.
You will want to keep an eye on the french fries while deep frying for safety reasons. Once the fries float up to the top of the basket, then you know they're ready.
French fries are a wonderful addition to any meal, and probably one of my favorite things to eat!
What are some of your favorite meals to have with french fries? Leave your ideas in the comments below.
Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API