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Triple-cooked Chips: Perfect French Fries

Follow this recipe for perfect French Fries... Every damn time!
Course Side
Cuisine British
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 4
Author Johan Johansen

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of relatively large floury potatoes Maris Piper, Russet Burbank or Bintje work well
  • High smoke point oil for frying
  • Quality flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

Prepare potatoes:

  1. Peel potatoes if you so desire or simply give them a thorough wash and scrubbing.
  2. Cut potatoes into relatively thick strips lengthwise, about one centimeter by one centimeter.
  3. Place cut potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and agitate them a bit - water should turn cloudy with starch.
  4. Drain water and repeat the procedure a couple of times until the water runs clear.

First cooking:

  1. Place pot with potatoes covered in (unsalted!) water on the stove and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer potatoes for about 20-30 minutes or until they’re completely tender and the surface is starting to crumble and break apart.
  3. Carefully drain the potatoes and place on a rack to cool slightly and release some steam.
  4. Once no longer steaming, place rack with potatoes in the freezer for an hour to dry out even further.

Second cooking:

  1. Remove potatoes from their resting place in the freezer.
  2. Put a large Dutch oven over high heat and pour in about 10 cm worth of oil or until the oil is no more than about 1/3 up the sides of the pan. Remember, the potatoes will displace a lot of oil once they go in, and they will bubble violently.
  3. Dip a thermometer into the oil and wait for it to register about 150 degrees.
  4. Carefully submerge the potatoes into the oil, the cold potatoes will dramatically reduce the temperature of the oil.
  5. Cook for about seven minutes at around 130 degrees until lightly browned and slightly hardened. Remove potatoes from the oil using a slotted spoon and put back on the rack to cool and release steam again.
  6. Once no longer steaming, put potatoes back in the freezer for another hour until thoroughly dry.
  7. At this stage, the potatoes can be kept in the fridge for up to three days, or they can move on for the final frying.

Third cooking:

  1. Remove potatoes from the freezer (or fridge if made ahead).
  2. Reheat the oil-filled Dutch oven over high heat, this time to a blazing 190 degrees.
  3. Very carefully add the potatoes back into the very hot oil and let them sizzle away for a good 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, crusty and delicious. Your target oil temperature for this frying is 180 degrees.
  4. Once absolutely golden brown and delicious, carefully remove potatoes from the oil, place on a tray or similar and sprinkle with quality salt, then toss briefly and serve immediately for the best French fry experience of your life.

Recipe Notes

Neutrally-tasting, high smoke-point oils like sunflower and peanut oil are great for deep frying. Rapeseed oil, too, but it's a little less flavor neutral.