Homemade French fries have never been so easy. Make crispy fries on your stovetop with one-step frying, no soaking raw fries, no checking oil temp, and no double frying.
This is the ultimate easy French fry recipe. It just works. Cut the potatoes into fries with no soaking or rinsing needed. Then starts with cold oil—no need to monitor the oil temperature and no double frying the fries.
It has about ⅓ less oil absorption than traditional fries so is healthier, and you can reuse the oil multiple times.
The perfect side dish for Grilled Hamburgers, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, or Grilled Chicken Breasts. Or try some other potato recipes like Crispy Baked French Fries, Grilled French Fries, Bacon American Fries Roasted Baby Potatoes. or Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
👨🍳How to make French fries on the stovetop
- Trim the potatoes into ⅜ inch fries—Yukon Gold preferred. Do not soak in water or rinse.
- Place in cold oil. Cover the fries entirely with oil.
- Turn the heat to high, and do not cover the pan.
- When the oil reaches a hard boil, cook on high for 15 more minutes without touching.
- Stir well, scraping the bottom for any stuck material or fries.
- Continue to cook, occasionally stirring until golden brown—about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and salt to taste.
📋About the recipe technique
The original idea came from famed chef Joël Robuchon so credit where credit is due. When I first saw Christopher Kimball present this on a morning show, it was obviously a "me" type recipe. It was simple and logical. American Test Kitchen-Easier French Fries (subscription required.)
Lower starch potatoes like Yukon Gold are suggested.
Why does this recipe work?
By starting in cold oil, the potato's interior has time to cook and get to the temperature before the outside begins to crisp. It is like a one-step-only double frying of French fries. And since most of the oil absorption happens between the double frying of fries, they are lower in fat by ⅓.
I have used Russet potatoes, and it worked. But Russets are not as creamy and do not brown as well. Acceptable but use the Yukon Gold or other lower-starch potatoes if you can.
I prefer a high-temperature oil like peanut oil for all deep frying, but mixed vegetable, corn, or canola oil can be substituted.
There are several variables when deciding on reusing frying oil. A lot to do with what the oil was used to fry, the type of oil, and the temperature used.
I assume you are using the oil repeated in this same "clean" recipe. There is no set number of times you can reuse the oil, but probably 3-4 times and maybe up to 8-10 times. You may need to add fresh oil occasionally.
To reuse the oil in this recipe, after cooling, filter it through a fine mesh strainer, then store it in a sealed container (like the original bottle) in a cool dark place like the refrigerator. When you want to use it for this recipe, set it at room temperature for a few hours to speed up the first step of cooking.
Discard the oil when it becomes dark, foamy when heated, or rancid-smelling.
You may be able to recycle it through a recycling program or food supply companies. Google or a few phone calls should be able to find a solution.
You can NOT recycle it with used automotive oil.
As a last result, put cooled oil in a sealed container, and throw it in the trash.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with about 1 ½ pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. About three medium or two large.
Clean and cut potatoes into ⅜ inch fries. Very easy with a mandolin or use a sharp chef's knife: no need to peel or soak in water after cutting.
Add fries to a Dutch oven or another large pan. Cover the fries with the oil.
Place over high heat, and do not cover the pan. When it reaches a hard boil (about 5 minutes), cook for an additional 15 minutes without touching it; after 15 minutes, using tongs or a wooden spoon, stir and scrape the bottom to release any stuck fries and to break apart any clumped fries.
Continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Place into a large bowl lined with multiple paper towels to drain. Salt to taste.
Easiest French Fries on the Stovetop
- 1 ½ lb Yukon Gold potatoes - about 3 medium or 2 large
- about 4 cups oil - (peanut, canola or other vegetable with high smoking level). Just enough to cover.
- salt - to taste
- Start with about 1 ½ pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. About three medium or two large.
- Clean and cut potatoes into ⅜ inch fries. Very easy with a mandolin or use a sharp chef's knife: no need to peel or soak in water after cutting.
- Add fries to a Dutch oven or another large pan. Cover the fries with the oil.
- Place over high heat and do not cover the pan. When it reaches a hard boil (about 5 minutes), cook for an additional 15 minutes without touching it; after 15 minutes, using tongs or a wooden spoon, stir and scrape the bottom to release any stuck fries and to break apart any clumped fries.
- Continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Place into a large bowl lined with multiple paper towels to drain. Salt to taste.
Your Own Private Notes
- Yukon Gold potatoes work better than Russets.
- Scale to the amount you want. You can double this recipe, but more than that will not work well due to the mass of potatoes.
- You can make fries or wedges but avoid very thin—less than ⅜ inches wide due to burning.
- Use a higher-temperature oil like peanut, vegetable blend, corn, or canola.
- No need to rinse the cut fries in cold water. The starch helps in the browning.
- Keep the lid off the pan to let moisture out.
- Salt after removing from the oil.
- You can reuse the oil as discussed in the post.
- I don’t recommend frozen potatoes for this recipe.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published August 6, 2010. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
These turned out amazing!! Thank you, thank you!!
I have tried and failed with fries so many times, but, I followed this to the letter and they are perfect!
I usually make my fries in the oven, but I found this recipe for stovetop yesterday and thought I would give it a try last night. It was so easy, and worked like a charm! I must have cut my fries a bit too small as they were turning brown after 15 minutes when I gave them a stir. I took them out about 6 minutes after I stirred them, and they were already a but overcooked (but still very good.). Next I will try cutting the fries a bit bigger. I did cool and strain the oil for the next time I make fries. Thank you for this great recipe!
Made tonight! Absolutely delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!
I'm embarrassed to admit it at my age, but how do you strain the oil? I know that the colanders/etc. that I have would not do the job. What kind of "strainer" do you use?
I actually have had this 'problem' in the past with various recipes.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
I use a food strainer. You can usually pick up a package of 3 sizes for about $10. I use them to rinse beans and things like that. They are fairly fine and can substitute for a flour sifter if needed.
I generally reuse the oil 3-4 times then it makes me nervous and it change it out. Initially, I used peanut oil but corn/canola works fine for me.
Eek! I bought new Yukon Gold potatoes, cleaned and cut 1 lb 8.25 oz into 1/4" strips, and put them in room temp. vegetable oil. Next the pot went on high sear induction heat. (FYI: High is 425 degrees. Sear doesn't specify a specific temp) The fries were at a rolling boil in about 2 1/2 Min. I touched NOTHING until 15 min had passed. Using tongs I insured nothing was clumping or sticking. They weren't. 10 more min passed with the oil boiling on. After 25 min I had a pot of greasy, little potato sponges that had not changed color at all. I knew they were trash so I left them for 15 more min just to see if they would get any golden hue at all. The bottom ones did brown slightly. 1 1/2 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes soaked in oil into the trash....
I apologize for writing all of that out, but you have been so kind in answering posts that I hoped perhaps you would see something I did differently than instructed. The only variable I can see is the induction, but since it boiled in the time specified and stayed at the temp specified (I used my Thermapen) I don't see how the induction could be the problem. Any thoughts?
I'm not letting this deter me. Your crock pot penne pasta is dinner Mon. I'm very much looking forward to working my way through your site.
I'm wondering how much of the boil you saw was just the moisture from the potatoes. Since the manufacture of the stove says 425 degrees is the max. which is nowhere near the 572 degrees that is the boiling point for oil. So my guess is it never got to temperature correctly. Nothing you can do about that. It sounds like a disgusting mess.
Good luck with the other recipes.
Another question: what temp is considered "high"? I just got a new induction cooktop, and I need to set it by actual temperature. If I try it at my mom's house, it would be an electric range. Does it matter whether it is "high" on gas or electric? We don't have gas lines so I have never used it, but I can imagine it might make a large difference on a recipe like this. Thanks in advance for the answers. I'm very excited to have just found your blog. I can't wait to work my way through your recipes. I will be sure to rate them as I go.
Welcome to the blog. Here high is as hot as it will go until you reach a rolling or hard boil of the oil. Cooks Illustrated states 5 minutes to get there and they use massive gas stoves. My electric took about the same time or a minute longer. The boiling point of cooking oil is about 300 C (or 572 F). Like boiling water, it can't go above that temperature. If you have a massive stove, you might cut it back a little once you get there but CI did not. An induction cooktop... I have never tried but again, turn it up.
Hope that helps.
Brilliant! So easy it makes me want to try it. Just two quick questions: what kind of oil do you use, and how do you keep the oil from burning? Thank you.
This recipe worked very well for me. Curiously, the fries were not greasy. I especially liked that I didn't have to deal with the possibility of hot oil boiling over when the potatoes were added at the start to cold oil. Other recipes call for adding potatoes to already hot oil. This recipe seems safer given the hazard that boiling hot oil can present.
Question: would this recipe work for making sweet potato fries?
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog. This is what I consider an "odd" method and I gave proper credit in the post to the chef who initiated it. I have done this quite a few times and never had an issue. Always work.
Now about the sweet potato question... don't know. I have never got into the sweet potato fry thing. You are only one sweet potato away from an answer. If you try it, please comeback and comment.
I bought an Actifry to use for French fries and other fried foods. The fries were very good and while not exactly the same as deep fried, close enough. One tablespoon of oil is all that needs to be used. I also used Russets and they worked well.
I always reuse the oil several times. I use a strainer on it before I store it in the second fridge.
Tried this tonight solely to test my theory that Alabama White BBQ sauce would be good on french fries (it its.) I couldn't bring myself to believe the house wouldn't smell of oil after, so I did it outside on the grill burner. I have also heard you can reuse the oil. What are your thoughts on that?