Skipping This Step Is Ruining Your French Fries

Imagine driving to your nearest McDonald's and ordering a large portion of french fries — fresh off the fryer and generously salted. As soon as you lay your eyes on the deep golden-colored sticks of fried potatoes, you know that each french fry is going to be perfectly crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. Now, you promise to recreate the delicious snack at home for an endless supply of french fries at your fingertips at all times except, they just never seem to turn out as crispy as they should. Sometimes, they even come out soggy, looking more like greasy boiled potatoes rather than crispy french fries.

In reality, a lot of science goes behind deep-frying a food item. BBC explains that when a french fry — or any other food item — touches hot oil, the moisture on the surface of the chip instantly evaporates and turns into a dry and crispy crust. Meanwhile, as the temperature of the oil rises, the water that couldn't evaporate in time gets trapped within the french fry, creating a steamy pocket of soft potato inside the crispy exterior. When the process of instant crispy outsides and slow-cooked soft insides isn't perfected, you end up with oily and soggy french fries.

The key to solving the problem and ensuring a nice and crisp french fry each time? Double frying your french fries.

You should be frying your french fries twice

There are many little tips to keep in mind that will go a long way in perfecting french fries. The Spruce Eats stresses that Idaho or Russet potatoes make the best french fries due to the high starch content and low moisture level. Soaking peeled and sliced french fries in a cold water and lemon juice bath for half an hour is another important step to keep both the outside and inside cooking evenly. The site also notes that the main reason why you can't replicate the crispiness of french fries from restaurants at home is that restaurants tend to reuse the oil. However, reusing oil at home can be a bit tricky and more effort than it's worth.

The next best way to stop your french fries from ruining is by double frying them. First, heat your oil to 330 degrees Fahrenheit and fry the fries for about two minutes in small batches (via How to Feed a Loon). When you're ready to serve and eat the fries, heat the oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and fry the french fries again, this time for about three to four minutes or until the color turns brown. The first stage of frying cooks the potato from the inside and makes soft fries. When you fry the potatoes again, this time at a higher temperature, the potatoes cook from the outside and turn into perfectly crispy deep-fried sticks of potato.