French fries are a great side dish or treat to have once in a while, and you can easily make them at home with several different cooking methods.
If you get it right, they’ll get crispy and golden on the outside and soft on the inside. It does take a little practice, but it’s relatively easy to get it right.
How Long to Fry Frozen French Fries
- Preheat your oil in your fryer to 350-degrees Fahrenheit
- Put your frozen French fries into the fryer basket without filling it more than half full
- Slowly lower the basket down into the hot oil
- Fry for three to four minutes until the fries turn a light golden color
- Carefully remove them from the oil and drain them away from the excess
There are several factors that go into how well your fries turn out when you finish cooking them, and it’s relatively easy to burn them or have them turn out soggy. This quick guide is going to outline everything you need to know to get the perfect fries each time you cook them.
How to Cook French Fries in the Oven
Start by putting your fries in a plastic bag and spraying them thoroughly with cooking spray. Shake the bag for a minute or two to distribute the oil and lay the coated fries on a baking sheet or baking stone.
Sprinkle them with your seasonings of choice and bake at 400-degrees Fahrenheit until they sizzle and are slightly brown.
Why You Shouldn’t Defrost French Fries Before You Fry Them
Don’t let your fries thaw out before you fry or cook them. You should keep them as frozen as possible before you drop them into the oil to ensure that the potato’s surface is completely sealed before the frying process. This results in a very crispy fry that doesn’t absorb a lot of oil and turns out soggy.
How to Fry Frozen French Fries
You can fry frozen fries relatively easily, and you usually get a much tastier product by cooking it this way than you will by baking them in the oven.
Before you fry them, you want to ensure that your fries don’t have big clumps of ice or freezer burn on them because this will cause the oil to splatter when you drop your fries in. With this in mind, don’t allow your fries to thaw out before you drop them into the hot oil.
Keeping the fries frozen until you drop them in the oil will help prevent them from getting soggy, and they’ll turn out much crispier.
Thawing them, even for 5 to 10 minutes before you cook them, can result in a soggy fry that gets even soggier as it sits. If you cook frozen fries, you want to heat your oil up to 350-degrees.
Once the oil reaches this point, carefully drop your fries down into the oil and cook for three to five minutes until they get crispy and golden brown.
Make sure that you don’t overcook the fries as they can get hard. Get a slotted metal spoon and carefully remove the fries from the oil.
Put your hot fries onto a plate covered with paper towels, shake them to remove the excess oil, and add your seasonings before serving them immediately.
Salting your fries right when you pull them out of the oven or oil can help your seasoning stick better. So, you won’t have to use as much with each batch for the flavor to come through.
How to Cook Fries in a Skillet
Pour oil into the skillet until it’s a ¼-inch deep and heats it over medium-high heat until a drop of water splatters loudly when you introduce it to the oil. Add a handful of fries to the oil and cook them until they reach the crispiness level you prefer.
If you don’t cook your fries properly in the oven, skillet, or fryer, they’ll turn out over-browned, soggy, greasy, and limp.
All of these problems trace back to the fact that the sugar and starch weren’t handled correctly before you exposed it to the high heat of your preferred cooking method.
Are Frozen Fries Healthy to Eat?
Even if you start from scratch, you’re still going to be frying your potatoes in oil. Many oil brands use palm oil and have trans fats mixed in that aren’t good for your heart health.
Fries also need a sprinkle of salt to taste good, but many manufacturers put as much as 15% of your daily recommended dose of sodium in each serving. So, frozen fries aren’t the healthiest thing you can eat. This is why you should eat them sparingly.
Why Should You Double Fry Your French Fries?
Moisture in the center of your fries will end up at the surface level after hot food cools, and this is why fries get soggy when they set out.
During the second frying, you’ll boil off this new surface moisture. This removes excess water from the fry, and you’ll get a stiffer, less-greasy product at the end of the second frying process.
Which Potatoes Make the Best French Fries?
Russets tend to make the best potatoes for frying. This is a mealy type of potato that has a higher starch content in it with lower moisture, and this helps them crisp up nicely when you cook them.
The higher starch content also makes the interior fluffier, so it works well for baked potatoes too.
What is the Best Temperature for Frying French Fries?
Pour your oil into a heavy saucepan, skillet, or deep fryer until it reaches halfway up the side of your chosen pan.
Heat the oil to between 325 to 350-degrees Fahrenheit, and keep a thermometer on hand to ensure you get the correct temperature.
Keep an eye on the oil as it heats so you don’t accidentally overheat it and cause it to smoke or burn.
The Best Oil Available for Cooking French Fries
The best oil you can use is one that won’t change the flavor of your fries while having a higher smoke point.
It also doesn’t hurt to pick out an oil that isn’t wildly expensive because frying things can take up a decent amount of oil for one batch.
Corn oil, refined peanut oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil all fall into the category of being a good frying oil.
The goal is to ensure that whichever oil you choose has a high smoke or flashpoint. This will ensure that your oil won’t break down when it reaches the higher temperatures you need to fry things.
It also shouldn’t smoke, and you don’t want it to add flavor to the fries. This rules out olive oil straight away.
You’ll also want to avoid coconut oil because it has a higher price tag and a strong flavor. Try going with refined corn oil, refined sunflower oil, refined peanut oil, or canola oil to fry your fries.
All of these oils come with a smoke point of over 400-degrees Fahrenheit, so they shouldn’t start breaking down as you cook, and they have a milder flavor profile to them that ensures you can use it on other foods without the flavor coming through.
Now that you know how long to fry frozen French fries, you can make this tasty dish in the comfort of your own home.
We do recommend trying different frying and cooking methods to see which one turns out the best for you.