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Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries

Kenji Lopez-Alt's recipe for perfectly smashed burgers and crispy french fries
TODAY Show: Kenji Lopez-Alt uses hardware appliances to make his perfectly smashed burgers and crispy french fries. -- May 23, 2016Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Kenji Lopez-Alt, author of "The Food Lab," shares how to make fries at home, including a couple surprising tricks. 


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch fries (keep potatoes stored in a bowl of water)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 quarts peanut oil



Place potatoes and vinegar in saucepan and add 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fully tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to dry for five minutes.


Meanwhile, heat oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or large wok over high heat to 400°f. Add 1/3 of fries to oil (oil temperature should drop to around 360°f). Cook for 50 seconds, agitating occasionally with wire mesh spider, then remove to second paper-towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potatoes (working in two more batches), allowing oil to return to 400°f after each addition. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Continue with step 3, or for best results, freeze potatoes at least overnight, or up to 2 months.


Return oil to 400°f over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and light golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain at around 360°f. Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels and season immediately with kosher salt. Cooked fries can be kept hot and crisp on a wire rack set on a sheet tray in a 200°f oven while second batch is cooked. Serve immediately.