Yesterday I tried making French fries, but they were not crispy.

I heard that if I use 2 spoonfuls of Mobil oil with soybean oil, the fries will be much crispier.

Is that true?

Or is there any way to make them crispy?


9 Answers 9


Not to take anything away from the answers already existing for this question, but I want to add one more reference: Kenji Alt's in depth opus on creating the McDonald's style fry at home.

In summary, his method is to:

  1. Blanche the cut potatoes in water lightly acidified with vinegar, to allow them to cook through while the acid keeps the pectin from decomposing and causing the fries to fall apart.
  2. Par-fry the potatoes (first fry).
  3. Optionally (but preferably) freeze the fries at this point, which actually helps develop the crispiness. Of course this also lets you do almost all of the work in advance.
  4. Finish-fry and serve.

You will note this is a variant on the traditional double-fry method outlined in Kevin Dickerson's answer.

See the linked article for all of the science, the details, and a linked recipe.

  • What do you mean by "Blanche the cut potatoes"? Did you mean boil or soak?
    – Mugen
    Nov 12, 2018 at 6:05
  • MacDo style is not the best,at least where I live, it's rather the worst. Are they good where do you live?
    – Quidam
    Nov 7, 2019 at 0:07

I don't know how exactly you fried them, but normally, the second time you deep-fry them is to get them crisp. Make sure you deep-fry them at a hot temperature (180-190°C or 355-375°F). If they aren't crisp enough for you after two minutes, leave them in for another minute and check again.

Another thing I've heard a lot (but without actual proof) is that you best not rinse the potatoes after you've cut them. You'd rinse all the starch off and it would be the starch that gives you a nice crust.

  • 2
    In case the original author is not aware, this is part of a method called 'Double Frying'. The basis of it is that you do two frying periods, the first to cook the inside, and the second to crisp the outside. Usually with a resting period inbetween. Jun 10, 2012 at 1:32

If you want to make fries the way your favorite restaurant does, you need only a few things.

Stuff you need

  • A sauce pan or a fancy fryer, whatever
  • Cold Idaho Russet Burbank No. 1 potatoes
  • Peanut oil
  • Kosher salt


  • Thermometer for measuring oil temperature

Cooking instructions

  1. Fry at a low temperature until the potatoes are cooked, about 250°F – 275°F.
  2. Set aside the potatoes on paper or whatever. (Fancy fryers have a wire basket sometimes for this purpose.)
  3. Increase the temperature of the oil to about 375°F – 425°F.
  4. Fry at the higher temperature until golden brown.
  5. Toss with salt in a bowl like you see on TV.


  • Potatoes must be cold in order to make amazing fries.
  • If you want to presoak the potatoes to get rid of starch, sometimes it's fun to dump a ton of salt into icewater to make them extra salty.
  • Fried fries hate water. Keep them in a paper bag after you cook them and they will stay crispier longer. (But only for a few minutes usually.)
  • The more regular the volume of the potato cuts are, the more evenly they will cook.
  • Unrefined peanut oil has a smoke point of 325°F. Refined is 450°F.
  • A heavy sauce pan will have a more even temperature.
  • The oil temperature will drop a bunch when you add the fries. A thermometer will help you to keep a consistent temperature.
  • Some notes from the idahopotato.com FAQ:

    What is the difference between No. 1 and No. 2 Potatoes?

    No. 1 potatoes are typically better shaped with less defects than No. 2's. No. 2 potatoes bake and taste the same but may have pointed ends, more bruising, etc. Restaurant operators use No. 2 potatoes when the final appearance does not have to be as attractive a potato shape, for example for mashed, hash browns or French fries.

    How do I achieve the best results when frying Idaho Potatoes?

    When frying, the high solids content of Idaho Potatoes decreases oil absorption, guaranteeing crispier potatoes. In addition, Idaho Potatoes shrink less when fried and retain their shape better than moister potatoes. Before frying potatoes, rinse them in cold water to remove starch, which can cause the potatoes to stick together during the frying process. For crispier potatoes, soak the potatoes in salt water for several minutes before cooking. Be sure to always use clean oil, heated to the proper temperature--food dropped in improperly heated oil will absorb the fat and take longer to cook. Oil should be heated slowly. If a good thermometer isn't available, drop a potato strip into the oil and observe. If it sinks and the surrounding oil doesn't react, the oil isn't hot enough. If the oil bubbles around the strip and the potato remains on top, the temperature is ideal.

    Keep checking the cooking oil for acrid odors while cooking; strong odors indicate that the oil is beginning to burn. Be sure to never leave frying potatoes unattended.



The two time fry method is the one we use here in Belgium too. (Never seen it fry more than once by design). The temperature is very important. We usually use a sunflower based oil but traditionally (but unfortunately unhealthily) we use ox fat. (At least I think it is called that in English). Basically it is a fat from cows. At room temperature it is a solid (you can buy it in bricks). It is white hence the name literally translated is "oxen white". I do find fries fried in ox fat tasting better than in any kind of vegetable oil.

  • 2
    The English name is "tallow". While it certainly changes the flavor, I don't think it is directly related to crispiness in fries, as at deep frying temperatures most fats behave similarly.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 6, 2013 at 11:48

The French way or Belgian way (hard to make the difference) to make them is:

1/ Choose the right potato bread, I don't know which ones are available where you live, but for instance, in France or in Belgium, "bintje" is fine. It doesn't absorb oil too much. Having the right potato is very important. The best ones for french fries are the mealy one.

2/ Wash them and peel them. Don't use sprouted potatoes or green ones, they are toxic. It's not always necessary to wash the potatoes after peeling them, for fries, there are 2 ways to do it, some people prefer to remove the starch by washing them and dry them thoroughly with a dry and clean towel, or absorbent paper, they can be less crusty, but will stick less together.

3/ There are several ways to cut them according to French cuisine, you can make the "Pont-Neuf" cut, for instance, for this example, let say we cut them as stick of 2 cm of width or 0,5 cm if you want "allumettes". The way to cut is important, because with some cuts, you will have more sides exposed to the oil. The ideal is to have a lot of sides, and to keep a lot of potato inside the stick, to be soft. Hard, crusty, golden at the exterior, and very soft and creamy at the interior, it's the perfect fry.

4/ Choose well your oil, it has to be a oil that an oil that supports high temperatures (so olive oil is a no-no), some people says that animal gives a very good savour, like "blanc de bœuf", that is a French brand of beef fat that is said to be ideal for fries. If you are into vegetal fats, sunflower oil, or grapfruit seed oil are probably fine.

5/ Here the most important part, the temperature of oil!

You have to cook them twice. Yes, twice.

The first time is a pre-cooking, first oil bath: 160°C/170°C for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain them well by stirring them. It cooks the interior of the fry.

Second oil bath: 180°C/190°C for 2 minutes, to make them golden and crusty. Remove the oil with an absorbent paper. Add salt, and a little of mayonnaise , or a mix mayonnaise + mustard, or mayonnaise + piment, on your plate, to let people dip them in the mayonnaise, but no sauce directly on the fries, it has to be made the last moment, just before eating them.


The other day I made a very crispy and healthy french fry without frying; we couldn't find the candy thermometer.

  1. Batonnet the potatoes 1/4 inch.
  2. Lightly boil the pieces until you can scrape the surface with your finger.
  3. Carefully spread into a single layer on a baking pan and lightly spray with canola oil.
  4. Season and bake at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown and delicious.
  • 1
    These were probably wonderfully delicious potatoes, but they were oven fried potatoes, or just "oven fries"; the deep frying is one of the key definitions of a French fry, although the name of the method has now become the name of the dish of french fried potatoes.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jan 8, 2013 at 22:02


This recipe is the one I use for home made chips, measurements taken in Celsius like the rest of the civilized world but it's on the money. Just use a potato most like the "Maris Piper" variety you can get locally wherever you live, i.e. in Australia we use Sebago (I think that's them!) and follow this recipe, key is to dry them out in the freezer after 1st and 2nd cooking stages. Boiling them to the point of starting to flake on the edges and almost mashable makes them super crispy after 1st fry, 2nd fry makes them amazing! I use a temperature controlled deep fryer to do them in a mix of olive and sesame oil at 130 for first cook (celsius!) and 180-190 for second. 190 does them a bit crispier and slightly more cooked.


I have heard from Belgians that in Belgium it is considered absolutely essential to fry three times, to get the crispest exterior. I guess they soak up a lot of oil, though.

  • They also cook them in horse fat but I'm unsure if that would make a difference to the crispiness.
    – Stefano
    Jun 12, 2012 at 21:00
  • @Stefano Not horse fat, ox fat. PaulS, I've never met anyone who fries them three times.
    – Mien
    Apr 3, 2013 at 9:07

Cut the potataos into slices season it with whatever you want then fry them.10-15 Minutes later flip them and do so 2 more times.Take out and put in paper towl and let cool down

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