Basic French Fries

For successful fries, cut accurately (do not make them too thick) and have the oil at the correct temperature.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 6 medium potatoes (2 lbs.)
  • 6 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch strips. As the strips are cut, place them in a bowl of ice water to crisp and prevent browning. When ready to fry, drain and dry well, using paper towels. (If potatoes are not dry they will not brown properly, and the hot oil will spatter.)
  • In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 inches of oil to 375°F (if you do not have a deep enough skillet, use a Dutch oven). For best results, measure the temperature with a meat thermometer. As an alternative, test by dropping a 1-inch cube of bread into the oil; it should brown evenly in about 45 seconds. Cook the potatoes in batches; do not crowd. Fry for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula, drain well on paper towels and salt immediately.
  • Between batches, add more oil if necessary, and allow oil to return to the proper temperature. Cooked fries can be kept warm in a 300°F oven.