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Home Fries Shopping Tips
Only buy potatoes that are firm, intact, and without any sprouts or green parts.
Home Fries Cooking Tips
Potatoes oxidize quickly; have a bowl full of cold water to put your potatoes after cutting them in order stop them from oxidizing.
Best Basic Home Fries Recipe
Home fries are a key breakfast, brunch, or hangover staple. This best basic home fries recipe will give you potatoes that will rival your favorite greasy spoon. If you shred your potatoes here, you will have hash browns. And consider overcooking your home fries a bit for maximum crispiness.
Best Basic Home Fries Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Level of Difficulty: Easy
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- 2 large potatoes, thinly sliced into half rounds or diced
- 1 medium onion, thinly slices
- 1/4 cup butter
Dicing or slicing your potatoes is purely a personal choice. We like our hash browns with potatoes thinly sliced on a mandoline, or in a small dice. If you like big chunks of potatoes, then you will want to parboil — partially boil — the potatoes before cooking. Just cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and start the recipe from step one.
- Heat the butter in a pan until slightly sizzling.
- Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of a medium sized frying pan. Top with a layer of onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Continue layering potatoes and onions until you have used them all up.
- Lower the heat to medium.
- Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the bottom layer is browned and a little bit crispy.
- Flip the potatoes over, one section at a time until all of the browned layer is on top.
- Cook for another 10 minutes until the new bottom layer is browned.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
This is the basic home fries recipe, which is crispy, starchy, and fabulous as is. But one you've mastered this basic home fries recipes, you can start adding you own personal touches. Consider cooking the potatoes in some bacon fat, adding a clove of minced garlic, slivers of roasted red peppers or adding more spice and herbs like basil, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, or oregano.
How to Get Diner-Style Home Fries Without Leaving Your House
One of the obvious joys of restaurant dining is that you don’t have to cook the food. That pleasure is intensified when you enter a diner, crusty-eyed and slack-jawed, having only managed to put on pants (pajama bottoms are a perfectly viable choice) and a shirt, but definitely not run a comb through that mop on your head. Simple, customizable eggs, toast, and a host of other breakfast delights await to reconstitute you into the human your parents always wanted you to be.
Breakfast potatoes facilitate that transformation for me more quickly than anything else the server places in front of my gob. I prefer hash browns (shredded and crisped up in a thin cake on the griddle), but I recognize that most people like home fries (pre-cooked cubes smashed on a griddle and crisped up with bell peppers and onions), if for no other reason than the fact that every damn diner in America adds them on to my plate of sausage and eggs without any prompting.
Good diner-style home fries are, in my opinion, a very rare accomplishment. Too often they’re mealy, not creamy greasy, not crisp and when you hate bell peppers as much as I do, home fries have a steep hill to climb.
But even I will admit they are worth eating—if you make them at home. Let’s learn from what diner cooks know, but then improve upon it.
Dryness equals crunch, so after parboiling your spuds (just bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and let the whole potatoes sit in the hot water until the skin can be pierced easily with a fork, then dunk them in cold water to stop the cooking), you’ve gotta get that water out. At diners, cooks let the potato cubes drain and steam-dry in a colander, then refrigerate them until an order’s up. While this is a great way to dry the potatoes, when they’re packed on top of each other in a colander, all the potatoes on the bottom stay soggy. And when cold, slightly soggy potatoes hit a hot griddle with tons of butter or oil, they act like a sponge, soaking up fat but never attaining the crucial crispiness.
To get those home fries crackling enough on the edges (because if you’re not, why aren’t you just making mashed potatoes?), you‘ve got to lay your cooked ’taters out on a rack or layer of paper towels in a single layer to drain, exposing as much of their surface area to the air as possible. And while you’re making home fries at home, take advantage of not being in a restaurant and leave the potatoes out at room temperature (which a diner health inspector might not appreciate) so they don’t absorb excess oil once they hit the griddle.
Once the cubes have dried, heat a thin layer of butter mixed with an equal amount of vegetable oil (butter adds flavor, while the oil lets you crank up the heat) in a cast-iron skillet over high heat and toss in a single layer of potatoes, without crowding or stacking them on top of one another. Season them liberally with salt and cook until crisp and the bottoms of the matte white cubes have turned deep and golden. Flip the potatoes in big, spatula-sized chunks, and repeat until they have achieved maximum crispness all over.
And no, I didn’t forget about the onions and peppers. Leave them out! This is all all about the crisp, crunchy polygamous marriage between salt, butter, and potatoes, and no sulphuric vegetables or nightshades need apply for entry into this holy union. Just slide them onto a plate, grab a fork, and house a giant plate of these potatoes—no shoes or street clothes required.
Ben Mims is a food writer, recipe developer, and author of Sweet & Southern.
- 2 pounds Yukon gold or red potato, cubed
- 2 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH for 5 minutes. Uncover and cool slightly.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan swirl to coat. Add onion cook 20 minutes or until golden and tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove onion mixture from pan. Wipe the pan clean with paper towels.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and butter to pan, and swirl to coat. Add potato, and cook for 4 minutes, without stirring. Turn potatoes over. Cook 6 minutes or until browned, without stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low cook 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in onion mixture, salt, and black pepper toss. Sprinkle with parsley.
- 2 1/2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
- Coarse salt
- 3/4 pound thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 red onion (about 10 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water bring to a boil over high heat. Salt the water. Reduce heat to medium-high cook until potatoes have softened but are still slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat until all fat has been rendered and bacon is crisp and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon set aside on a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add reserved potatoes cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add reserved bacon, peppers, onion, and thyme cook until vegetables have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and serve.
Secret to the best seasoned fries: a 10-minute soak!
Here’s what you need to do to make the very best seasoned fries: soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. Now, some recipes call for soaking fries for up to 1 hour or more, or even boiling them first. But after lots of tests, we found you only need 10 minutes in cold water! Here’s why:
- It makes the outside crispy and inside tender. There’s a notable difference when you soak before you bake.
- You can soak while your oven preheats! Here’s the thing: you don’t lose any time because you can do it while the oven is preheating. Ideally you can cut, soak and season the fries before the oven is ready to go.
The basic steps I follow to make these home fries are almost identical to the rules I set out in my guide to making potato hash. For hash, I tend to prefer larger russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, whereas for home fries—and this is purely a stylistic choice—I like to use smaller new potatoes with their peel intact, giving each chunk a bit of flavorful skin.
I start by boiling the new potatoes in water that's been spiked with vinegar and salt. Boiling potatoes before frying them is an essential step to getting maximum crispness. Boiling causes starch granules in the potatoes to swell and burst. When the potatoes are subsequently drained and slightly cooled, that gelatinized starch retrogrades and forms a crystalline structure.* That new structure is far more conducive to dehydration and crisping than the raw potatoes, which allows you to build up a significant crisp layer as you fry them. The same process is what makes double-fried French fries retain their crunch, and is the secret to ultra-crispy roast potatoes.
*This is the exact same effect that makes bread go stale.
Why the vinegar and salt? Well, salt is easy—that adds flavor. Vinegar I add for its chemical effects. Like all plant cells, potato cells are held together with pectin, a sort of carbohydrate glue. Pectin starts to break down at 183°F, and the potatoes start to soften. Let them cook for too long and they soften to the point of turning mushy or crumbly. On the other hand, don't cook them long enough and you won't burst enough starch granules, preventing the potatoes from crisping properly. Vinegar will actually affect the rate at which pectin breaks down, slowing it down and vastly increasing the window of time between perfectly cooked potatoes and overcooked potatoes. It's not totally necessary, but it makes things easier.
Once the potatoes are boiled and tender, I let them cool slightly and cut them into quarters before frying them in a skillet.
If I ordered home fries at a diner, I'd be perfectly happy with these potatoes on their own, but for me, home fries are never really complete without peppers and onions.
Crispiest Home Fries Recipe
Whether you’re looking for a delicious breakfast or a quick-and-easy side dish, this Crispiest Home Fries Recipe is going to hit the spot!
This recipe is long overdue. And by that, I mean at least a year.
It definitely started on Pesach, I’m just not sure if it was last year or the year before. Anyway, let me explain. In our kitchen, every pesach, we always try to keep on hand two things that are at the base of many pesach recipes: fried onions and boiled potatoes. (Side note: this is a great tip. Keep both of those around at all times to make your cooking easier.) And on Chol Hamoed, breakfast usually starts with a combination of the two – fried onions and cubed boiled potatoes, turned into home fries.
And then one year I had an idea to take those home fries way over the top by making them crispier than we’ve ever had them before. Then I googled home fries recipes, to see if my brilliant idea was just the standard method that everyone uses. But whadaya know? I didn’t see anyone doing this. They really should though, because it worked – and it’s awesome!I was so excited with the result, partly because it’s awesome when an idea works out the way you hoped, but mostly because, if we’re all being honest here, I go to bagel stores and order their breakfast special just for the home fries. And now? I dunno. I think I’ll just be making them at home.
While this crispiest home fries recipe works for pesach, I have a sneaking suspicion that y’all will be making them all year long!
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Perfect French Fries
IMPORTANT: Please be careful when frying with hot oil. Keep the pot on the backburner so little kiddos won't get hurt.
In a nutshell, here it is: Soak potatoes, dry potatoes, fry potatoes, drain potatoes, then fry again!
Peel and rinse the potatoes, then cut them into sticks by cutting the potato in four or five vertical pieces, then cutting each piece into sticks. Place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water, then allow them to soak for two or three hours. (You can also stick them in the fridge and let them soak for several hours or overnight.)
When you're ready to make the fries, drain off the water and lay them on two baking sheet lined with paper towels. Blot them with paper towels to dry them.
Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot to 300 degrees. In 3 or 4 batches, cook the potatoes for about 4 to 5 minutes per batch, or until the potatoes are soft. They should not be brown at all at this point! You just want to start the cooking process. Remove each batch and drain them on new/dry paper towels.
Once all the potatoes have been fried at 300, turn up the heat until the oil reaches 400 degrees. When the oil's hot, start frying the potatoes in batches again, cooking until the fries are golden and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle fries with sea salt and dive in!
These are the facts of the case and they are undisputed:
1. French fries are delicious.
2. French fries dipped in a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise are divine.
3. Did you know that&rsquos called &ldquoFry Sauce&rdquo in Utah?
4. If you peel a bunch of potatoes and cut them into sticks, then immediately plunge them into hot oil and fry them, they will never, ever, ever, be as good as the french fries I&rsquom showing you below.
5. French Fries for President!
I love lists. I never follow them, but I love them.
But it&rsquos really true, guys: to get perfectly golden french fries that are soft in the middle and crisp on the surface, plunging potatoes straight into oil just doesn&rsquot work. The starch on the outside of the potatoes interferes with the texture of the fries and never allows them to become nice and crisp, and in order to cook the fries long enough to soften the potato, the outside can often get to brown. Utter chaos, I&rsquom telling you!
Not that I&rsquove ever walked away from any form of fried potato. Let me just set that record straight.
But once you try french fries the way they&rsquore meant to be made&mdashand the way they&rsquore made by most restaurants and fast food chains&mdashyou&rsquoll have a hard time not trying to find ways to work french fries into your weekly menu. Whether or not this is a positive thing is something I&rsquoll let you figure out.
Begin by peeling five pounds of potatoes, then cut them into sticks. Throw them in a pot or large bowl and cover them with cold water, then let them soak for at least two or three hours.
Soaking the sliced potatoes is the fundamental first step of making proper french fries. The soaking process removes the troublesome starch on the outside of the potato, which will help the fries achieve the perfect crispness.
Note: Because somewhere along the way I got into the habit of planning ahead for fries, I usually wind up soaking the fries for several hours, or even overnight. Last Sunday, for instance, I peeled and sliced the potatoes before church and let them soak while we were gone so they&rsquod be ready to cook up when we got home. I&rsquod say the minimum time you&rsquod want to soak the potatoes would be an hour or so, but there&rsquos definitely no harm in going longer.
By the way, when this finally breaks, I&rsquom going to mourn.
You don&rsquot need this, though. Just cut the peeled potatoes into four or five long pieces, then lay them flat and cut them into sticks.
But I love that french fry cutter. It&rsquos seen me through some really rough times.
After they&rsquove soaked awhile, drain the fries, then lay them on a bunch of paper towels to dry them off. Blot the top of the potatoes to remove all the excess moisture.
Next, heat a pot of oil to 300 degrees, using a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
300 degrees is a low frying temperature&hellipand I&rsquoll show you why in a second.
Working in batches, add the potatoes to the 300 degree oil&hellip
Then fry the potatoes for about 4 to 5 minutes. The key here isn&rsquot to fry them or brown them at all&hellipjust to start softening them up.
Note: If you have little kiddos in the house, please be sure to put the pot on a backburner!
Once they&rsquore soft (I usually use the spatula to cut through one of them in the pot if it easily cuts through, they&rsquore ready) remove them from the oil&hellip
And drain them on (new, dry) paper towels.
Keep doing this until you&rsquove fried all the potatoes at 300 degrees.
Then&hellipcrank up the heat and bring to oil to 400 degrees. We&rsquoll finish them off a this high temperature.
Throw &rsquoem back into the oil and fry &rsquoem till they&rsquore nice and golden and crisp and irresistibly, ridiculously perfect.
When they look like they&rsquore brown enough, remove them from the oil&hellip
Drain &rsquoem on a plate with a napkin or paper towel&hellip
Then sprinkle &rsquoem with sea salt.
Look at what you made! A beautiful, golden brown, crispy, tender, gorgeous, perfect plate of french fries.
How To Make French Fries
I never make French fries at home. Mostly because deep-frying anything is always messy, annoying, and time-consuming. (Anyone else hate cooking in batches?!) They also never turn out quite as crispy or good as McDonald's. But I recently discovered a genius hack that changes EVERYTHING. It yields astonishingly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside frites. Here&rsquos how it's different (and better) than the traditional way of making fries.
1. You don&rsquot need to soak the potatoes in water (for forever) first.
Soaking sliced potatoes in water helps remove excess starch, which lets the fries get crispier. Some recipes call for an overnight soak, while others want you to change out the water often.
2. Yukon gold is best.
NOT RUSSET! They&rsquore less starchy and will crisp up without ever sitting in a bowl of water. When fried, the buttery interior texture is a subtle contrast to the exterior crunch, but trust me, people will notice.
3. You don&rsquot need a candy thermometer.
Recipes that require frying are often super specific. The temperature of the oil must be just so. Not with this method. Turns out you can put *unsoaked* potatoes in a big deep skillet (or Dutch oven), pour cold oil on top until they&rsquore just covered, then bring the whole thing to a boil. The exact temperature doesn&rsquot really matter so long as it&rsquos hot and bubbling.
4. You only need to fry it once.
In culinary school, I was taught that you need to fry twice: once at a temperature between 325° and 330° to dry them out, then again between 350° and 360° to get them golden and bistro-level crispy. Hence, why I never did it at home. With this method, all of the fries go in at the same time and once they're out, they're ready to eat! After seasoning the heck out of them with salt, of course.
Truffled French Fries
Truffles have been a treasure in high cuisine for years. Due to how hard it is to find truffles and how expensive they are, truffles used to be out of reach for most people, incorporated into elegant and exclusive dishes that most home cooks wouldn't attempt to make. However, affordable truffle-infused oil became an alternative to the actual truffle and the mesmerizing flavor of this underground fungus captivated a new audience of adventurous eaters. Truffle fries popped up in restaurants across the United States, creating a hype that means truffles became less scary and more common.
Truffle oils are delicious, decadent, salty, and earthy. While they are great accompaniments to meat, poultry, and seafood, they also kick up tasty snacks to go alongside a beer or cocktail. Because fries when coupled with truffle oil have such a robust flavor, make sure you serve them alongside foods that can hold their own. An obvious choice is a steak, but for sheer indulgence, you can, of course, eat them on their own.
Casual and unconventional, these fries are a great addition to your recipe arsenal. Easy to make and packed with flavor, use our recipe as a base and experiment with the amount of oil you'd like, the seasonings, and the additions of other herbs.
They're cooked twice in oil for a crunchy outside and a perfect inside, so be mindful of the very high temperature of the oil in this recipe: fry the potatoes carefully, and keep kids and pets out of the kitchen.