Make Your Homemade French Fries Taste Like Fast Food With One Ingredient

There are countless tips for leveling up your french fry game at home, from using particular types of potatoes, soaking the fries in water for a period, and even frying them twice for an extra crisp exterior. However, when you're trying to recreate your favorite mouthwatering fast food fries at home, you have to go beyond technique and consider flavor as well. A simple fry seasoned with salt is undeniably tasty, but incorporating some different additions can really take your fries to the next level.

McDonald's has one particular secret ingredient that they've opted to spill the beans on, and following their lead will help you whip up fries at home that taste like they could have been snagged from your closest drive-through window. The fast food chain uses beef flavoring within the oil blend that they use to cook their fries, infusing that little extra burst of savory flavor into the crispy, salty snack.

While you may not be able to recreate their exact beefy oil blend, you can mimic the signature flavor by mixing some powdered beef bouillon with the salt you use to season your fries. As with any seasoning, it's all a matter of preference — start with a very small amount and increase if you find yourself wanting a little more of that distinctive flavor that will have you reaching for fry after fry.

Season your fries like a pro

If you've mastered the technique for making fries at home that are soft and pillowy on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside, the next step in your quest for DIY fast food fries is to nail the seasoning. First of all, when to add your flavoring depends a bit on your cooking method. Those who prefer to cook their fries in an air fryer or bake them in the oven should season them before cooking. For best results, incorporate any spices, such as the powdered bouillon and salt, into the oil mixture used to coat the fries.

For traditionalists who feel the only way to get that perfectly crisp exterior is to deep fry them, seasoning should happen immediately after the fries are cooked, when they're still hot and glistening with oil. This is because the seasoning will adhere best to the steaming, oily surface.

Finally, while bouillon adds a delicious, savory flavor note to your fries, don't be afraid to get creative and attempt to mimic the fry seasoning blend that your favorite fast food spot uses. For example, if you adore the spicy Five Guys fry seasoning, try a few copycat blends until you find one that satisfies your taste buds.