When I fry potatoes with only a small amount of oil, one side gets brown but the other side stays yellow.

Fried Potato

How can I make my fried potatoes with a reduced amount of oil but get them to be uniformly fried?

My problem is turning the potatoes over after they are fried on one side. Is there a simpler way, which will consume less oil without burning the potatoes?

  • 1
    Do you turn the potatoes over after they are fried on one side? Jan 6, 2013 at 10:17
  • 2
    There are many types of fried potato.... what kind are you asking about? By "few oil" do you mean little absorbed oil, or a small amount of cooking oil? The tag "french-fries" (what the British call chips) implies a deep frying method which would not count as "few oil" by most standards, so you would be asking for an alternate cooking method in that case, since deep frying is inherently not a low volume of cooking oil, although it can be a small amount of oil in the product when done properly.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jan 6, 2013 at 12:15
  • @AnishaKaul turn potatoes over late compare to when im use much more oil Jan 6, 2013 at 12:34
  • @SAJ14SAJ thanks i add image . I am not familiar to another tags. i don't find anything else. Jan 6, 2013 at 12:36
  • 3
    While I was writing the answer I put below, you updated the question again. Your picture is french fries, but "turning over" implies pan frying. You cannot make proper french fries by shallow pan frying--you can make wonderful fried potatoes of different sorts that way, but the won't be like the fries made famous by certain fast food chains.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jan 6, 2013 at 13:05

4 Answers 4


French fried potatoes (or as the British say, chips) are a deep fried food. In fact, the US term "to french fry" orignally simply meant to deep fry, although simply "french fry" has now come to mean the dish of french fried potatoes.

As such, they inherently are not a low fat or small-oil-volume food.

If you are asking how you can create these with less volume of oil than required for deep frying, the answer is simply: you cannot. There are appliances that claim to "air fry" but I am skeptical of their outcomes.

You can make alternate dishes, which may be very similar, but they will be different. Oven fries are one close alternative--here is a recipe from Tyler Florence of the food network.

You can minimize the amount of oil that penetrates the actual fries by cooking them properly:

  • Use a large volume of oil (counter-intuitively) so that when the potatoes are added, the temperature drop is minimized.
  • Use a deep-fry or candy thermometer, to ensure the oil is at the proper temperature. This will reduce the amount of oil that penetrates the fry. When proper deep frying is happening, the rapidly vaporizing water expressing from the potato prevents the oil from entering. This is by far the most important factor.
  • Make sure the potatoes are dry before putting them into the oil.
  • Immediately upon removing the fries from the oil, put them on a wire rack to drain. Paper towels are good, but they leave the fries in contact with the oil, and as they cool, some will enter the fries.

With proper technique, only a small amount of oil from the deep frying will actually remain in the final product.

  • 2
    This answer cannot be possibly improved upon. Great job, SAJ14SAJ. Try oven fries, @sabertabatabaeeyazdi. They can be quite wonderful, better even than deep fried ones. Oven-fried sweet potatoes are magnificent.
    – Thomas
    Jan 6, 2013 at 14:02

Nearly all of the oil gets absorbed by the fries after the frying.

When you put the raw potatoes into enough hot oil, the water starts to boil off and keeps the oil from soaking the fries. Once you take them out of the oil, the boiling stops, the water vapor bubbles in the fries condense. This creates a vacuum that sucks the oil into the fries. You would need to wash of the oil with some hot solvent while the steam is still coming out. Maybe dump the fries into boiling diesel fuel and then gasoline directly from the deep frier (joke).

There is a tremendous interest by the industry to stop the fat absorption process, but as far as I am aware of, no one found a solution. The low calorie deep fried products use some strange synthetic fats that humans can't metabolize. I don't know if chips soaked with some synthetic oil are healthy.

If you want to deep fry, the best solution is still to use as much fat as possible and drain them, like SAJ14SAJ said. Still, they will absorb a huge amount of fat.

Everything else is probably worse, in a pan you repeatedly heat and cool the surfaces, each time soaking them with more fat.

One thing you could try if you are frying in a pan is to use a non-stick surface and spray on the oil. The potatoes tend to suck in all the oil available anyway, so maybe just coating the surface with an oil sprayer might help.


Brush potatoes (already nearly cooked by boiling) with oil then put them in a preheated shallow dish which has been brushed with oil into the pre heated halogen oven and roast - brushing with oil from time to time using M&S Maris Piper potatoes produces fab roast potatoes using very little oil - I use rapeseed oil.

  • Are you saying these will come out like fries?
    – Cascabel
    Jul 26, 2015 at 21:16

We have a low-oil chips or steak fries recipe. In our house, we cut up potatoes and put them in a big bowl. Then, add a tablespoon of oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper. Optionally, you can add some sprinkles of rosemary. Using my hands or a spoon, stir them so that the potatoes are covered with the oil. Put it in a pan at 425 F and then bake for 30 minutes. Flip them after 15 minutes. If you want them to not brown on the bottom, you can flip them more frequently, say every 8 minutes. They're done if you can stick a fork easily through them, or use a taste test.

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