These homemade french fries are incredibly simple, and they taste better than restaurant fries, especially paired with lacto-fermented homemade ketchup! Name your favourite fast-food french fry. These are better.
I know, lofty goal for those of us who have secret loves for fast food fries. I mean, um, did I just say that out loud??
These homemade french fries have only 2 ingredients. Well three if you count the salt, which technically is optional, but unsalted fries are totally lame-o. So use the salt, and for pete’s sake use REAL sea salt. I like Redmond’s Salt and have been using it for nearly a decade now. (Side note: I even got to go to the facility in Utah, and went into the actual underground mine – one of the coolest experiences of my life. )
Yes, I do take my homemade french fries extremely seriously. Doesn’t everyone?
How Do You Make Homemade French Fries From Scratch?
Buckle up, kids. This is going to be one of the most important life skills you’ll ever learn.
In a nutshell: you cut ’em up and fry ’em in oil, then douse with salt.
But! If you want PERFECT homemade fries (as opposed to just good homemade fries), you’ll want to pull up a chair and take notes. Or, like, pin this post, or whatever other 21st century equivalent you’re digging these days.
We’re going to get nerdy and talk best homemade french fry strategy. Preparation methods, cooking methods, and flavoring options – which are best?
Are They Healthy?
You bet your bottom dollar they are… or can be, if you play your cards right. French fries can either contribute to health and a happy gut, or they can contribute to sickness and inflammation. 99% of restaurant fries use industrial oils (like canola, soy, and others – source) that contribute to inflammation in the body, but when you make them at home you get to choose your ingredients.
These homemade fries are actually healthy, because they are slathered in coconut oil, which is full of health benefits. On top of that – the salt I use and love is natural, straight-from-the-earth, unbleached, with zero additives. One of the big perks is that it has all of its natural minerals – an important part of a healthy diet.
How Do You Make Homemade Fries Crispy?
Over the years we’ve made homemade french fries hundreds of times, and one of the methods that I’ve added in lately is to soak the potatoes ahead of time. Without soaking them the fries still turn out amazingly well, but soaking in a bowl of salt water (a brine) for 4-12 hours actually elevates their taste even more! Soaking helps prevent them from sticking together (by removing some of the starch) while cooking, and the salt water brine helps boost the flavor.
Directions for this are included in the recipe below.
Which cooking method is best?
Honestly, we lean on our air fryer for a lot of things lately, but I admit that I’m partial to fries in oil in my cast-iron pan.
The stovetop method is the winner for these fries, with the air fryer in second. The oven fries are in third place for me, and taste the least like restaurant fries of the three methods. (But still delicious in their own right.)
How Do You Make Homemade Fries on the Stovetop?
This method was the one we originally developed this recipe with, and the one we used for years.
- Preheat a cast-iron pan on medium heat with half an inch of oil (coconut oil or avocado oil).
- While the pan is heating, peel and cut your potatoes.
- Gently add the potatoes to the oil when it’s heated. (If they sizzle, it’s ready.)
- Be careful and watch out for splattering of hot oil – add them GENTLY.
- Stir and flip every minute or so as they cook. When golden brown remove them from the pan onto a plate.
- Salt them liberally while they’re hot, and enjoy!
How Do You Make Homemade French Fries in the Oven?
This method is very straightforward.
- Peel and cut the potatoes in long strips (like fries)
- Toss them in oil in a bowl
- Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 450F for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. (Cook time will depend on how thick you cut your fries.)
How Do You Make Homemade Fries in an Air Fryer?
If you have an air fryer, you probably already know just how crispy and perfect things can taste from it. Here’s how we do it.
- Peel and cut potatoes in long strips (like fries)
- Toss in a bowl with oil
- Spread evenly on the air fryer tray (not too close together, or they won’t crisp)
- Cook on “air fry” setting for 5 minutes, flip them, and continue cooking until golden brown.
You should also know that I am the blogger of the family, and generally I’m the cook too. But not in this case. These are all Chris. I got him a french-fry cutter for Christmas, and he is all “let’s make fries!” at random times, and I’m just an innocent bystander. And fry-eater.
By the way, there are lots of seasoning options for homemade french fries out there on the web, but we haven’t tried many because we’re too busy scarfing these down as soon as they’re cool enough to eat. They. Are. Amazing. For the record, though, I enjoy them with a little chili powder and garlic powder – sprinkled on before cooking.
If you want to get fancy, make a batch of this lacto-fermented (probiotic!) ketchup, and enjoy health benefits along with your (healthy) comfort food.
These homemade fries are excellent served with pretty much anything, but I especially recommend my homemade burger patties – they’re bursting with flavour and practically beg you to make them.
A quality fry cutter makes the job faster and easier.
I love my cast-iron pans for french fries and a million other things!
Homemade French Fries Recipe
- 6 Potatoes peeled and chopped (we use a fry cutter but you could just cut them)
- 1/2 cup Organic unrefined coconut oil
- 1 tbsp Real sea salt optional, but if you don’t add the salt then we can’t be friends
- Heat cast-iron frying pan with a good amount of coconut oil to medium-high (depending on stove). About a 1/4 – 1/2 inch coating the bottom of the pan. (We use two pans at once for more fries).
- Once it's hot, add fries evenly in one layer in the pan. There should be enough oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan and cook all of the fries at the same time. If there isn't enough oil add some more, but not enough to cover the fries – we aren't deep frying them.
- Let them cook for a while, and then flip the fries over – the goal is to have let the fries cook enough to have browned them on one side.
- Let the fries cook again on the other side for a while, and then continue to flip them every 30 seconds or so as they cook. They should be a golden brown when there done. This process should take around 15-20 minutes or so.
- Take the fries out and filter through a metal strainer to let all of the excess oil drip off. Save the oil in a mason jar in the fridge to reuse next time.
- Sprinkle with real sea salt and enjoy!