How-to Make Perfect French Fries

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Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

How-to Make Perfect French Fries

I have a dirty little secret that I have been keeping from you guys. I am not proud of it. But… I have a love for french fries that cannot be tamed. There, it is finally out and in the open.

I know, I know – I eat so healthy, I carry on about how important it is to eat your greens, blah blah. I don’t care, we all have our vices and I love fries!! No one can ever take that away from me. Everything in moderation, right?

That said, having a gluten intolerance means that many times eating fries at a restaurant is out of the question, whether because the fries are coated in some sort of flour starch or because they are cooked in a shared frier, doused in denatured, hydrogenated vegetable oils. Regardless of the gluten intolerance, I also prefer to not eat foods that have been cooked in poisonous oils that also cooked battered or breaded foods. Most fries are. It sucks.

Besides that fact, we all know what makes the fries so darn tasty and addicting, it’s the fact that they take a nice long, deep swim in a huge vat of oil. Fat makes us happy. But it’s important that we are eating the right fats and oils.

How-to Make Perfect French Fries

OK, so the honest truth is that I generally try to keep this addiction in check, I don’t eat fries nearly as often as I would like to. But, if you have been reading this blog for sometime, you know that I truly believe in moderation. With the exception of the foods that are just not good even in moderation, the make me physically ill or that I know are really, really bad for me – I do like to indulge on occasion and eat those certain special foods that are reserved for very special rare occasions. I think this is important part of allowing myself to eat this way.

Recently, I decided that there had to be a way for me to make my coveted fries at home, to fulfill that craving when it pops up, but making them in the oven instead – in hopes of making them just a wee bit healthier. I also like the idea that by making them at home, I had the option of selecting organic potatoes, which is something I always buy for cooking at home, since potatoes are always at the top of the list for the Dirty Dozen (the most contaminated fruits and vegetables).

These baked fries are super simple to make and I promise you, they will outshine any fries you can get anywhere else, even your favorite local hangout. They have the crispy outside and soft inside of their deep fried pals, but without the excessing grease. My favorite part is, since they aren’t deep fried, they don’t start to get soft and soggy as they cool off. They stay nice and crunchy, even when they are totally cooled.

How-to Make Perfect French Fries
The secrets to these incredible fries are a couple of things, the main one being soaking the raw potatoes before you bake them to remove some of the excess starch. I have also found that parchment paper is key in keeping the fries from sticking and getting the best crisp on the outside while keeping a soft inside. Foil won’t do it, I tried.

Give this simple tutorial a try and keep in mind you can play around with herbs and spices, add garlic powder or minced garlic, creole seasoning, chile powder, cayenne and so on. You could go really crazy and add some homemade chili and maybe some cheese or your favorite vegan cheese and really indulge. If you are wanting something really special and super simple to make while these are baking, rather than the usual ketchup, check out the recipe at the bottom of this post for my homemade Spicy Garlic Aioli, that is perfect for dipping.

How-to Make Perfect French Fries
**Baked not Fried**

How-to Make Perfect French Fries

1) Scrub your organic potatoes really well, especially if you are leaving the skins on. Cut the potatoes into even sticks, whatever size you prefer. Do so by hand, with the julienne setting on a mandoline slicer (which is what I do) or one of these fancy things.

How-to Make Perfect French Fries

2) Add the fries to a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for at least 30 minutes but as long as overnight. Drain and rinse the fries and lay them on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to grab any excess moisture.

How-to Make Perfect French Fries

3) Line a baking pan with parchment paper and evenly coat that with 2 tablespoons of oil (see my notes below on how to select an appropriate oil). Add the potatoes to large bowl, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of oil and a little sea salt and pepper. Toss around to mix. Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake at 475ºF for approximately 35 minutes, tossing around once or twice at around 15 minutes of cooking. Remove from the oven when they are brown and crispy to your liking.

How-to Make Perfect French Fries

[print_this]The Perfect French Fries (gluten-free and vegan)
serves 2 to 4

  • 2 lbs organic russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries)
  • 3-4 tablespoons stable high-heat appropriate oil*
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Optional seasonings:
Garlic or onion powder, fresh garlic, chile powder, cajun seasonings, smoked paprika, cumin, Italian seasonings and more.

1) Wash and scrub the potatoes, especially if you are leaving the skins on. Which I recommend. Cut the potatoes into even sticks. Do so by hand, with the julienne setting on a mandoline slicer (which is what I do) or one of these fancy things.

2) Add the fries to a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour). After they have soaked, drain and rinse the fries and lay them on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 475ºF. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to grab any excess moisture.

3) Line a baking pan with parchment paper and evenly coat that with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the potatoes to a dry bowl, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of oil and a little sea salt and pepper. Toss around to mix. Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake at 475 for approximately 35 minutes, tossing around once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Remove from the oven when they are brown and crispy to your liking.

Serve immediately with your favorite seasonings and your favorite dipping sauce(s). Try my Spicy Garlic Aioli below.

Notes: You want to select an oil that is meant for high heat cooking. Oils that are dominated by saturated fat are the most stable for high heat cooking, monounsaturated oils suited for high heat cooking are moderately stable and polyunsaturated dominant fats are highly unstable and should be avoided when cooking at all. I suggest ghee, lard, tallow, coconut oil or duck fat, etc. Avocado oil is OK, but not as good of an option and vegetable oils like canola, soybean, grapeseed oil, etc – these should be avoided.

BONUS: You can also also make sweet potato fries this way, too. They also turn out crispy and delicious.



How-to Make Perfect French Fries

[print_this]Spicy Garlic Aioli (gluten-free and dairy-free)
makes about 2 cups

  • 1 large egg* (I used fresh brown eggs from our CSA farmer)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil
  • pinch or two of ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon each, sea salt and cracked black pepper

Place the egg, egg yolk, garlic and lemon juice in the food processor. (You can make it by hand, but it is much easier and more fail-safe in the food processor.) While it is blending, slowly drizzle in the oil, until it is thick and creamy. Add the cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper.

Did you add the oil too fast? If you add the oil too fast, the aioli will separate, so go very slowly. If it does separate, take the mixture out of the food processor, saving the separated aioli, and start over. Put another egg and egg yolk into the food processor and blend them. Slowly, slowly add the separated aioli. That should do the trick.

This more than what you need for these fries but great for sandwiches and such, too

**If you don’t want to eat raw eggs – skip the eggs and the oil and 1 cup of your favorite mayo instead. Yours will not have this bright yellow color, which comes from the yolks on our beautiful farm fresh eggs. If you are vegan, substitute your favorite vegan mayo instead. [/print_this]



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31 Responses

  1. Brittany says:

    You’re a girl after my own heart. I love eating healthy but I also like fries. I grew up eating them — we had a deep fryer at home (bad idea!) and my mom used to make fries (or just fried potatoes) in that bad boy. So much grease. haha

    I rarely order fries out unless the restaurant has sweet potato fries (which I can’t resist) but if I know the restaurant has good fries, I always secretly hope that Isaac orders fries with his meal so that I can have some. Is that bad?

    Love your tips for how to make baked fries that are crispy and delicious. I want to try your tricks with sweet potatoes.

  2. Carol says:

    Great tips – I bet the sweet potato fries taste wonderful with that aioli too. Yum!

  3. I LURV french fries!!

  4. Yet another recipe I cannot wait to try!!!! Your cookbook comes out when?????

  5. yummity yumyumyum…baked fries are just the kind of munchy food I want today! I’ve heard of this two step process but never seen it explained so well and with so many helpful visuals…it will be fun to try with purple potatoes too! Many thanks for sharing all your hard work…Cheers! 🙂

  6. Jenny says:

    Yum! I’m absolutely craving french fries now. I like to ferment mine before baking, though as it makes them super crisp.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Woah no way I have to try this Jenny. That’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing. How long do you let them ferment?

  7. T.Scholtz says:

    Everything in moderation – I agree with that 100%! These I will definitely be trying, I think the main thing I’ve been missing is the parchment…who knew! Well, YOU did, apparently, so thanks for sharing that. I made fries out of carrots the other day, tasted a lot like sweet potato fries but weren’t as crispy as I would have liked. Next time I’ll try the parchment on those too and see if that helps.

    Um…did someone say cookbook?? I saw someone say cookbook!! Is that for real or is she (and now I) just having a pleasant dream?? 😀

  8. Sherri says:

    LOVE fries!! Thanks for sharing your how-to especially the soaking in cold water. I grow my own potatoes so this is recipe is perfect!

  9. Nana Pfahlert says:

    I love fries too! These sound great and I will have to try soaking the ‘taters first. Thanks

  10. Kristin says:

    I’ve been on a search for the best oven baked fries, and these look like the winner! I can’t wait to try it!

  11. Udit says:

    Thank you for such an elaborate article on French Fries and for such a simple yet “perfect to the t” recipe.

    I am sharing the link to this article on my WordPress blog.

  12. This post Beth, seriously, amaze. Besides the fact I’m a fellow fry-addict, the photograph and styling, perfection. You’re amazing. Really diggin’ this tutorial series. XO

  13. Oh, fries. The only “bad for you” food I can’t seem to part with! I am so happy that you can bake them and still have crispiness because soggy fries are the worst!

  14. I Love these tips and the pictures are beautiful, I will definitely need to try these asap!

  15. Wonderful post.. great photography!!

  16. These look amazing! I cannot wait to try these…my family will love them! Just pinned them…I’m hoping you will link them up with us at Tasty Tuesdays!

  17. […] bees knees and her bi-weekly series has produced tutorials like How-to Make Whipped Coconut Cream, How-to Make the Perfect French Fries, How-to Make Nut Butters and Nut Milks, How-to Sprout and so much more. I feel SO lucky that […]

  18. […] 2. Perfect French Fries by Tasty Yummies […]

  19. Natasha says:

    Just made these for the kids for lunch – delicious! I had paleo homemade mayo to dip, but next time I am making the aioli!

  20. Woah… These look fantastic. I live in a gluten-free household, and the potato addiction is on max at all times. I’m going to make a sweet potato version right now. Thanks for a great-looking recipe!

  21. Been pulling my hair out for perfect baked fries…. I NEED them, but can’t seem to get them to behave! Looks like you’ve whipped em’ into shape and I’m soooo looking forward to trying your soak method! I think that’ll do it! That’s what I’m missing!! Thanks so much Beth!!

    • Made these last night Beth and I gotta say, you method produces the best result by far! I can stop looking for how to make the best, crispiest oven fries now, thank you very much! I made these using the largest setting on my mandolin, with coconut oil and they were soooo good. Well worth the extra care and attention. Thank you again for this, Beth!

  22. Maria says:

    I was bored and hungry when I made these, and they tasted great. It’s such a good recipe, thank you so much 🙂

    Your website is great btw!

  23. Margaret says:

    My parchment paper said it was tested safe up to 420 degrees. Is it really ok to bake at that high of a temp with the parchment paper?

  24. Ross says:

    Is the green garnish on top chives or green onion? Thanks for the recipe – I’m excited to try it out!

  25. Alex says:

    I’m a Chinese student who has a homework to search for how to cook French Fries. And I see your website. Your web is on top on the searching web-Baidu in China. And your skills of cooking must be very well,aren’t you! I wish you could forgive my bad English because I’m just in Grade 8.

  26. Karim says:

    Okay i have a question , how do i make the 2 oil spoons reach all the fries ?

  27. Donna says:

    Hon, you need to hang out and eat with my sweet little 12-year-old daughter. all the time! I’ve never seen anything like it when it comes to French fries. So when I came upon your article, I couldn’t stop laughing at how you wrote about your passion from French fries and how you try to hide it. That was hilarious! I doubt there’s two days a week that I don’t deal with my girl begging for fries. I think, in fact, you two might be of the same gene pool from somewhere out there. Ha. 🙂

    I personally don’t make her fries often very often (she loves McDonald’s fries…who doesn’t?), but this evening I was going to surprise her when she came home from school with homemade ones; however, I was going to use my 3-piece frying pan contraption instead for the first time since I’ve never used it, which I discovered requires remarkably much more oil. So obviously I ran out of vegetable oil and wanted to add a mixture of coconut oil. I was wondering if this mixture sounds like a disaster before I even start. I have no idea at all. However, adding coconut oil to my cooking sounds like a great idea anyway.

    Also, as MUCH as I do admit I love fries, I do have the ability to refrain from them…but for my little girl, she’s as good as gone when she smells one. 🙂

    Well, I hope I can surprise her; I would love to use my pan tonight for the first time, but maybe some pointers will help me the next time since I’ve never friend using coconut oil. Until then, I may do my old-time single pan. I do like baking them, too, IF I do cook them rarely, but I wanted to go all out on these for her.

    Loved your article. 🙂 Any suggestions, please add. Thank you!

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