How to up your french fries game at home

Everyone loves french fries, but not everyone attempts to make them at home, as the results can be hit or miss. Here are three ways to up your homemade fries game, so you can whip up the best salty goodness right in your own kitchen.

Crunch and munch on with these tips for making french fries at home.
Crunch and munch on with these tips for making french fries at home.  © MARTIN BUREAU / AFP

Crispy? Chunky? Soft in the middle?

We all have preferences on how we love our fries, but there are some tricks to achieving the perfect version.

Hot tip: It's all about knowing what kind of potato to use, and exactly how to prepare them.

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Just ahead of National French Fry Day - celebrated on July 13 - here are three things to look out for when creating that french fry perfection.

French Fries Tip 1: Choose the right potato variety

If you like your fries particularly crispy, choose a waxy variety of potato that still stays firm after boiling.

If you like your fries crispy on the outside but still a little soft on the inside, it is better to use a semi-waxy potato, meaning ones that get a little softer but not crumbly when cooked. These "in between" varieties of waxy and starchy hold their shape when cooked, but are also handy for mashing.

Chunky Belgian-style fries, meanwhile, work best with more floury varieties, according to the potato producers' advice. Choose a potato that feels a bit softer, and you'll soon have fluffy fries that will melt in your mouth with each bite.

French Fries Tip 2: Deprive the potato of starch and moisture

Crispy, not mushy: To ensure the right consistency of your fries in the end, it is best to rinse the potato slices thoroughly under running water. This should be done until the water runs clearm, which shows that no more starch is being released. With this method, your fries will be a little crunchier.

But be careful: It's important to thoroughly dry them out afterwards, with a clean cloth or paper towel. Otherwise, the liquid will start to splatter when you cook them.

Before the fries go into the deep fryer or the oven, try dusting them with a little rice flour. This will draw that last little bit of moisture out of the potatoes, and give them a crunchier texture.

French Fries Tip 3: Choose the right method of cooking

The classic method of cooking fries, deep-frying, is – of course – the most fatty option. But one consolation is that the vitamin C in potatoes is preserved despite frying them in fat - at least if you keep your cooking temperature below 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Preparing your fries in an air fryer or in the oven is lower in calories than deep-frying, and if you get the preparation right, you can get crunchy results here too. About two tablespoons of cooking oil should suffice.

Pro tip: Fries that are prepared in the oven should be seasoned before baking, not after. However, if the fries are going into the deep fryer, this step should only be done at the end – so that the seasoning does not get lost in the oil.

However you choose to make these foodie favorites, you can't go wrong. So dive into the challenge at home – and crunch and munch on!

Cover photo: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP

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