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.
Yukon Gold potatoes preferred
Oil—(peanut, canola, or other vegetable with high smoking level)
Chip: "These turned out amazing!! Thank you, thank you!!"
Alexis: "Made tonight! Absolutely delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!"
This is the ultimate easy French fry recipe. It just works. Cut the potatoes into fries with no soaking or rinsing needed. Then start 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.
👨🍳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.
This is a summary of the steps and ingredients. See the recipe card or the step-by-step photo instructions below for complete instructions.
Storage and reheating
Store leftovers sealed airtight and refrigerated for 3-4 days. I don't suggest freezing cooked French fries.
Reheat at 350° in an air fryer or in an oven with a light spray of PAM cooking spray for 5-7 minutes.
How to reuse the oil
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.
How to dispose of old used cooking oil?
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.
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.
📋About the recipe technique and why it works
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.
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Have you tried this recipe, or have a question? Join the community discussion in the comments.
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.