Deep Fried/Chips: French Fries

Subject: French Fries
From: sjohnm at (S John M)
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 06:42:32 GMT
I got a dense question:

How do I start with potatoes, oil, and whatever else that's necessary and end up with french fries? If anyone is patient enough to explain in detail-- or direct me to a "cooking french fries for idiots" FAQ-- I'd be way grateful. Thanks in advance. :-)
From: Bob Y. (rdyoung at
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 06:00:05 -0500
I'll give it a try. You will need: (1) oil for cooking, (2) heavy pot or electric deep frier, (3) a deep frying thermometer, (4) a sharp knife and cutting board or a French fry cutter (cheap and handy), and (5) nice, unblemished Idaho or similar potato (do not use new potatoes).

Pour oil in pot or deep frier and heat to 325°F. While oil is heating, peel the potato and trim to fit French fry cutter or cut them into fries with a 1/4 x 1/4 or 1/2 x 1/2 inch cross section. If using a frier with a basket, lower it into the oil for a minute to heat it. Put fries in basket and lower or *carefully* drop them into the hot oil. Do not try to cook too many at a time as it lowers the oil temp, about 1 1/2 cups is right. Cook for 3 minutes. This will seal the potatoes. Drain on paper towels and let sit for 20 minutes.

Bring oil temp up to 375°F. Cook potatoes a second time for 4 minutes, or until browned as desired. Immediately drain well on paper towels and salt lightly. Serve warm.

Potatoes my be held up to 3 hours between first and second fryings. This method is called, strangely enough double frying.
From: Art Simon (aasimon at
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 19:39:57 -0500
[good stuff about ff's snipped]

Which, of course, calls to mind the cannibal who could get his missionaries tender.... <G>

Right, Bob?
From: Chris Kotchey (ckotchey at
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 11:57:35 -0400
I just found the following site for ya: []

A link within their site I found rather interesting (and made my stomach growl) was: [dead link]
From: sjohnm at (S John M)
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 17:07:12 GMT
Sincerest thanks... I'm sure I'll be posting a question about left over cooking oil tomorrow at about this same time. Anyhow, has any other not-a-bachelor-but-still-lives-alone guy noticed that it's actually a bigger grocery store expenditure to make Burgers and Fries at home than it is to make thick juicy steaks? I mean, my god, Burgers have so many components (cheese, condiments, yadda) you might as well just have a steak. Anyhow, my better half is here tonight so I decided I'd get experimental (in the *kitchen* for a change) and see what I could accomplish.

Thanks again for all the help :-)
From: Art Simon (aasimon at
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 19:45:01 -0500
S John M wrote:
> I mean, my god, Burgers have so many components (cheese,
> condiments, yadda) you might as well just have a steak.

You have experienced *enlightenment*, Grasshopper. <G>

Omaha Steaks sells not only to the rich....

However, that steak should have brown butter with capers, I think. And the mashed potatoes should be made with roasted garlic, roasted onion and a bit of basil, I should say. Thn, the perfect side is steamed brocolli (Down, George!), topped with a bit of Hollandaise or (Escoffier, forgive me..) some Welsh Rarebit.

Art <-who knows what he likes.
Subject: Re: French Fries (Re: days of slack)
From: sjohnm at (S John M)
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 13:46:32 GMT
Pam wrote:
> manekineko wrote:
> > Heat about 2" of oil/shortening in a pan (or, if you have a deep fryer,
> > use that). Take two baking potatoes, peel them, and cut them into thin
> > strips. When the oil is hot, start frying the potato strips.
> If you put the potato strips in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes
> before frying it makes the outsides crispier (for those into crispy fries.)
> When I was pregnant with Simon I got in a VERY BAD habit of making homemade
> potato chips by putting potatoes through the salad shooter and then deepfried
> frying them and eating them hot with lots of salt and catsup. Yes I am a
> health nut ;-)

Many thanks to all who contributed to my experimental French Fry thingy.
So here's what happened: well, first of all, the reason for wanting to do this was because Al is a hamburger kind of guy... and I never make them because they require so many damn components (you gotta buy buns and cheese and so on not to mention actually fashioning hamburger patties... it's actually more cost-effective and less complicated to just do steaks). Anyhow, Al was here mid-week and I had a the day at home and was feeling all "spousal" so I figured I'd go to the trouble and do the "All American Cook Out" type thing... now being anti-potato chips, not wanting to fall back on the baked potato deal (we seem to have them with EVERY meal) and wanting to express my adoration in the KITCHEN for a change-- thus eliminating frozen fries in the oven which frankly I do not like-- I decided I'd make the visible effort of starting with potatoes and ending with fries... mmmmm. So basically, I ended up with 3 follow-ups in, 5 e-mails from there and two from here and elected to follow the instructions of the second follow-up from Now, the burgers I did with ground sirloin (which actually, I do everything that requires burger with) and made them with some chopped-onion, some bread crumbs, and a little garlic powder... they came off the grill fine. Ok, the fries...

Well, the trick with them is apparently the "fry them twice" thing... which I did. Now, I don't have deep fryer so I went and got a thermometer for hot oil and half filled the "big pot" from my "T-Fag" collection (which I've come to discover is called a dutch oven) with Wesson. I peeled cut with great precision five average sized Idaho potatoes into friable sticks. I let them soak in water for a couple hours I guess, the last 30 minutes of which I let them soak in powdered sugar water. now it took me nearly an hour to get the oil to be 325 degrees (this proved to be delicate procedure, but FINALLY got it there). Then, much to my dismay adding the fries to the oil for the first round of frying made the oil temp plummet (which I was told to expect) but doing the fries in "batches" kind of goofed up the next batch. Anyway, I got them all fried for 3 minutes at 325 (or as close as I was getting it then let them sit for what turned out to be an hour attempting to get the oil to be 375. Then I fried them again for 4 minutes in 2 batches-- the first of which came out too brown the second too yellow... but they were edible (or course at Wendy's I'd've took them back to the counter and had them to try again). So basically, I suppose the project met completion if not success. Oh well... I can say I've "done it" now... though it occurred to me after about 3 hours of work that Hardee's is less than a mile from my house and Fries are a buck there. The greater purpose of Al observing me investing so much time in creating (or attempting to, anyhow) culinary delight was achieved though... so I guess it was a success. Well... except now that my apartment now smells all "deep fried" :-o
From: Sara (nospam at
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 11:48:00 -0500
S John M wrote:
>Many thanks to all who contributed to my experimental French Fry thingy.
> So here's what happened: <snip>

Anyone who goes to this much trouble to make french fries for her sweetie is a a damn fine woman. I bet that fella felt loved, which is our job as spouses (to make each other feel that way). Good for you.

<You don't have to do it again, do you? <g>>
From: manekineko (johannah at
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 13:30:33 -0400
Sara wrote:
> Anyone who goes to this much trouble to make french fries for her
> sweetie is a a damn fine woman.

Yer a damn fine woman, S. John!


From: rashid1116 at (Rashid1116)
Date: 21 May 1998 18:18:54 GMT
I like to make homemade french fries myself, but heres how I do it. I don't have a deep fryer, so I use a wok, filled with about 2-3 inches of oil. I heat it up on the medium-high setting, for about 5 min. I don't go through the trouble of taking the temperature. Then I cut up a few potatoes (with skins still on) into fries.I don't soak them or anything. Then I just drop them into the oil, let them fry until they are brown (under 10 min). And that's it.

The whole process takes about 20 min. and they aren't half bad.

But I do sympathize with you. I have gone through hell a couple of times, too, trying to make my husband a damn good meal!
From: Anna (annah at
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 07:20:15 +0200
S John M wrote:
<snipped French Fry story>

For the next time, I'd recommend sliced (wedge shaped) potatoes. Peel them, slice them and put them in the oven (250 degrees C) with some pieces of butter, and fry them until they are soft inside and has a nice color outside. Add salt and herbs according to preference (thyme and oregano for example). With enough fat in they're quite like French Fries, with less fat they're helthier, and once they're in the oven you can do other things, they'll take care of themselves.

My first recipe in English!
From: michel at (Michel Mes)
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 20:16:01 GMT
French Fries? is the answer