French fries are a staple of good celebration food in America. Most people buy their french fries, but let’s be real: they can be expensive and a bit over-flavored or flavorless. What if I told there there was a cheaper way of getting all the french fries your heart could desire at a low cost while having them seasoned to perfection. It’s rather simple: make your own.
Making your own french fries can seem really intimidating, but even the worst cooks can make this awesome snack in bulk. All it takes is about 10-40 minutes of cutting (depending on the cutting style and the amount your making. I can cut a whole 20 pound bag of potatoes in about 40 minutes) and about 20 minutes of baking time. So let’s get started!
What You’ll Need:
- A bag of potatoes (I suggest at least 5 pounds. In this post, I’ll be using Russet potatoes)
- An oven
- 2+ Pans
- Cutting board
- You’re favorite spices (at minimum salt and pepper)
- A large bowl
- Large spoon (optional)
- Peeler (optional)
Step 1: Decide How Many Potatoes You Need
When I’m making these for just my husband and I, I usually use between 4-5 russet potatoes. If I’m cooking for a larger group, I’ll use 10-15 (this fed about 6 people with some left overs). If you’re cooking for a large group, its best to go for more than less, just know that you’ll have to cook them in several batches.
Step 2: Wash Your Potatoes
Obviously, a plant that grows in the ground is going to have some dirt on it. So get those potatoes under some running water and either use your hands or a scrub brush to scrub off the extra dirt. Do this for all the potatoes you plan to cook.
Step 3: Optional – Peel Your Potatoes
If you really hate potato skin, then you may want to peel your potatoes. If you’re not sure, then know that after you cook them, the skins will be mushy like the potatoes. I’ve never noticed the skins, and the skins add some extra flavor to your potato. If you’re still unsure, do half with skin and half without and see if there’s a difference.
Step 4: Preheat Your Oven and Start Cutting
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
There are several ways to cut potatoes. Each has a different cooking time and will give you different results as far as amount and taste.
Circles or Slices:
These will look more like potato chips than french fries, but they cook the fastest at about 10 minutes. This cut can get you anywhere from 15-20 thin slices or 10 thicker slices, so you “get more” out of each potato. The hardest part about cutting it this way is making sure the slices are even. If some are thicker than others, the thick ones will be under cooked and the thin ones will be crispy. If you’re a fan of crispy french fries (like my husband) then cut the slices thinner and let them cook for the full ten minutes. If you don’t like crispy (me) then cut your slices a little thicker.
This is the style that most cooks show when making french fries. These longer wedges are nice and thick, and take about 20-25 minutes to cook. These can be really fun, but be aware that one potato will make about 6-8 of these, so you’ll need to use more potatoes in order to have enough.
These look like McDonald fries – long and thin (or long and thick if that’s what you want). You get about 15-20 of these sticks per potato and they take between 10-15 minutes to cook. These tend to hold the most seasoning, so if you want some seriously seasoned fries with less potato, I’d suggest this cut.
Step 5: Oil and Season
Toss all your cut fries into a large bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil (any kind, I usually use vegetable oil). Then add your spices. If you don’t have a lot, I’d add at least a tablespoon of both salt and pepper.
My favorite combination: Tony’s Seasoning Salt, Dill Weed, Pepper, Salt, Parley.
Step 6: Lay Your French Fries on a Pan
Now lay your french fries on your cooking pan. I like to have them neatly ordered in a row so they cook evenly, but you can do whatever you want.
Step 7: Cook
Cook for the allotted times as listed under Step 4. Always check your potatoes before pulling them out. I do this by getting a metal fork and sticking it into the thickest fry. If you get resistance, then it needs more time. If your fork goes straight through it, then you’re good to go!
Tip 1: If you can hear them whistling, then you know they’re done.
Tip 2: Pans on the bottom rack (closest to the heat source) are more likely to stick to the pan and be harder to get off, while pans on the top rack come off with ease.
Step 8: Eat and Enjoy!
How did you customize your fries? Comment below or post a picture and let us know what spice combination you used! If you have any post requests or ideas, comment below or send me a message through Contact Me!