Perfect French Fries

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
15 min
30 min
40 min

4 servings

  • 4 large russet or kinnebec potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 by 1/4-inch thick batons
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

In a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven fitted with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, (or in an electric deep fryer), heat oil over medium-low heat until the thermometer registers 325 degrees F. Make sure that you have at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan, as fries will bubble up when they are added.

Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. Increase the heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.

When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

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    31 Reviews
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    This is pretty much the exact same way McDonald's made their original fries famous. McDonald's use to buy their own potatoes from Idaho and store them in bags in the basement of their individual stores at cool temperatures. The results were some of the best fries you can buy. Thank you for this recipe!
    question if u cant afford penut oil is canola oil or vegatable oil a suitable substitute i really want to make fries but i cant afford penut oil at the current moment 
    The person who tried to make french fries in olive oil then blames the recipe is hilarious. Emiril Lagasse is a world-class chef, pretty sure he knows how to make french fries, lol. 
    Fries turned out perfect with this recipe. Frying twice is key for good fries. I do like to substitute a little Tony Chachere's or Gold Medal Soul Seasoning for plain salt and pepper, but either way they're great.
    Lol, you don't fry with olive oil. These came out great. Followed recipe as read and yes came out awesome.
    This was a super easy recipe to make and turned out great. IMPORTANT NOTE: I saw a review where the reviewer changed the oil and that may have been the fatal flaw. There are certain criteria that an oil must meet to be properly used for frying. While olive oil is healthier, it is not a recommended substitute for an oil with a higher smoking point such as peanut oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil. If you don't have peanut oil at home, you may like to refer to the chart on this website - fitfrying dot com forward slash select-the-right-oil dot html -to get an idea of acceptable oils for frying.
    I am always looking for a recipe to improve on my mistakes. I actually followed this recipe to a "T". It was very disappointing that I had my whole dinner based on the fries. This recipe does not work. I did not have peanut oil, substituted with olive oil. I dont think the oil "type" will drastically change the results. And I say it because I have tried to "Fry" in all kinds of oils. By that I mean the healthiest wise and even to the way we do in the south. So tonight for my dinner it was time consuming and not meeting to the results expected. Like I have done before, just with one time frying then to the oven will be easier, faster and healthier. Emerill let me down on this one. They will be crunchy in the oven with less time and easier to get the dinner ready.
    you obviously did not follow the recipe to a "T" if you changed the oil (which does matter when following someones recipe). Also, I don't remember Emerill saying to fry one time and then finish in the oven.... Maybe this recipe isn't for you. Ellie Krieger does an "oven fries" recipe that is suppose to be "healthier", but lets face it, they are potatoes...potatoes saturate anything they are in...hints the term saturated fat.
    I made these french fries today and they were PERFECT!!!
    These are the best home made fries I've ever had/. 1/4 inch batons is important. Thicker fries won't be as crispy, and they do need to be served immediately.
    These french fries came out crispy but turned soggy in our plate. Good thing my family don't mind soggy fries. Will not make these again.
    Far and away the best homemade fries recipe on FN.
    This is the best recipe for homemade fries.
    Used canola oil in my deep fryer. Followed directions as given and then used a light sprinkling of seasoning blend. I prefer Mortons but your favorite will probably work as well. BEST HOMEMADE FRENCH FRIES I EVER MADE. Guests RAVED About them. Thank you Emeril.
    I used red potatoes. Not as crispy as I would have liked but still good if seasoned correctly.
    These fries were really great. I now know the secret to crispy fries. Look out Orida.... I will make these again especially when company is coming over. Thanks Emeril!
    Sorry to give such a bad revisew based on other observations. Followed the directions exactly, but these were greasy and limp. My teenagers only ate a couple.
    Fantastic done in olive oil too. Used a large cast iron skillet.
    liked it
    These are great, but JONI--"home made McDonald's......??????"
    If you are a lover of the golden french fry, then this is the last stop for you! I am one of those picky french fry eaters that orders her fries "hot..right from the fryer to the table", and I am hard pressed to find a fry that meets my standards! WELL, THE BUCK STOPS HERE!!!! These are OUTSTANDING IN EVERY SINGLE WAY! We had company over and they went nuts! A++++++++++++++++++
    OMG ! This is THE BEST recipe in the world !! Thank you Emril!
    Once again Emeril hits the nail on the head again. This is the recipe for fries I'll do again and again. Only thing I did not do was to peel the potatoes - Still tasted great and the guys LOVED them. 5+ rating.
    super easy and tasted great
    These French fries are awesome! They are crispy, taste great and the best part is the fact that they can be prepped and par-cooked ahead of time. When I want a lower fat version of French Fries, I use this same prep technique to make oven baked fries. I rinse the cut potatoes with cold water and place in the ice water per the recipe. After patting the potatoes dry, I place in a dry bowl and toss with a tablespoon or two of canola oil depending on the amount of potatoes, then bake in the oven in a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray at 475 degrees until crispy, turning once.
    ... These really are the perfect french fries, or at least as close as I've been able to get at home. Nice and crispy. Be sure to follow all the steps as listed, it's the key to getting the best results.
    Amazing fries. Quite time-consuming, but when I get a craving for homemade french fries, I now have "the" recipe to use.
    Chilling and double frying the potatoes really does help. My family loves these.
    The best home french fries I've ever made.
    I dredged mine in flour and shook most of the flour off. Then fry for an added texture.
    Cooking french fries twice truly makes a difference in the taste and crunchiness. YUMMMMMM!
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    Emeril's Perfect French Fries

    Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse