Homemade french fries are a treat worth the effort to make. Using a healthy oil such as canola and the correct frying techniques so that the chips do not absorb too much oil makes them better than any fast food fries!!
I strongly prefer to use a deep fryer for safety reasons – they are more stable and much less likely to be tipped (make sure the cord is completely tucked away) and you can control the temperature greatly reducing, if not eliminating, the possibility of the oil getting too hot and catching fire. You should NEVER let the oil get smoking hot as that is the last step before it catches fire!! Never try to move any appliance or pot containing hot oil – let it cool completely – the possibility of injury is way too high. The newest fryers even strain and store the oil for you!! Definitely worth the extra money!
The key to a crispy french fry is the type of potato you use. Russets produce the best result. Even baking potatoes may not be a russet and will not crisp up well. Some potatoes will not work no matter what you do!!
Many sources tell you to fry the potatoes twice. I actually fry the potatoes 3 times for the best result. Interestingly, I have discovered that leftover fries which I have frozen are nice and crispy when re-fried in the deep fryer. This may explain the crispy fries restaurants are able to achieve.
There are lots of instructions for achieving wonderful crispy fries out there. Here are my steps for making crispy homemade french fries.