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Homemade French fries on a teal plate with ketchup.

Homemade French Fries

Steer past the fast food drive-through and whip up three-ingredient Homemade French Fries in a pot, an air fryer, or oven-fry. This two-step technique results in the crispiest DIY French fries.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 373kcal


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes cut lengthwise into evenly sized 1/4- inch matchsticks
  • 5 cups vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste


To soak the potatoes:

  • Place the cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes. Place the potatoes on a layer of paper towels and pat dry.

To fry the french fries:

  • In a large Dutch oven or deep pot over medium-high heat, bring oil to 300 degrees.
  • Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the oil, taking care to not overcrowd, and cook until tender about 3-4 minutes. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
  • Increase the temperature of the oil to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 of the potatoes back in the pot, frying until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and place fries on paper towels. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

To bake the french fries:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Place potatoes in a single layer on wire rack. Bake until fries begin to crisp, about 20 minutes.
  • Toss fries and return to oven. Bake until fries are golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes more. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

To fry in air fryer:

  • Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees. Stack potatoes in a double layer in the fryer basket. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove basket and flip fries. Continue to fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Place fries into bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.


  • Potatoes: Starchy Russet and Idaho potatoes are best for homemade fries. Since starches potatoes break down and darken when cooked, the fresher the potato, the better.
  • Vegetable oil: Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like canola, peanut, or grapeseed.
  • Yield: 2 pounds of potatoes yields roughly 14 ounces of homemade fries; four 3 1/2-ounce servings.
  • Storage: Homemade French Fries are best enjoyed hot, as soon as possible after cooking.
  • Leftovers:  Reheat leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees.
  • Different oil temperatures: This recipe works because the lower temperature (300 degrees) cooks the inside of the potato, and the second, higher temperature (400 degrees) crisps up the outside.
  • Freezing: Freeze par-cooked potato shoestrings on a baking sheet that fits in your freezer. Arrange them in a single layer, without touching. When frozen, place them in a zip-top bag, then label with the recipe name and date. Cook within 1 month.
  • Make-ahead: If desired, par-cook the fries in oil a few hours before you plan to eat, then complete the final fry right before mealtime.
  • Frying safety: Use a pot that is large enough for the potatoes and allows and that space on top of the pot for oil to bubble up.
  • Thermometer: Safely monitor the oil as you cook with a digital thermometer.
  • Thick fries/thin fries: Slice with a knife or a French fry cutters out there. To keep the cooking time short, aim for 1/4-inch thick pieces of potato. Cut thicker if desired, just adjust the cooking time as needed to cook through.
  • Oven: Place a wire rack inside a baking sheet and place in the oven set to 200 degrees. This will act as a warm holding area for early batches of fries.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 709mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg