Making your own fries, depending on the food blog, is all about the cooking method. Deep frying, the classic method, asks you to keep track of the oil temperature via a thermometer or by using a special home fryer machine that does everything for you. Fries are delicious but I would never buy a machine just to cook one dish, my kitchen isn’t roomy enough.
Baking the fries is absolutely the next best method with one caveat. You need to be prepared to temporarily disable your fire alarm in some fashion if turning up your oven to over 400 degrees automatically sets it off. All it takes for my alarm is the slightest indication I’m cooking anything and the alarm lights up like a kid on christmas! That said, if you can work your way around that limitation, oven fries are a lot safer than learning how to deep fry on your stovetop.
3-4 russet potatoes, rinsed in cold water and skin on (remove the skin if it bothers you)
1 large bowl, halfway filled with water
1 baking sheet (with raised sides)
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees (+/- 25 degrees depending on how how your oven gets)
After you’ve washed the potatoes you want to cut them into fries. I think the best way to do this is to cut the potatoes length wise into slices as thick as the fries you want. Then all you need to do is cut each slice into the individual fries. Don’t cut the fries too small and try to keep all the fries roughly the same size. If they are too small or different sizes some fries will cook too fast and some will cook too slow. Put the cut fries into the bowl with water and continue until all the potatoes have been cut up.
Soak the fries in the water for 25-30 minutes. By now you will have noticed the water is murky and starchy. You aren’t trying to remove all the surface starches so no need to rinse them any further. Just take the fries out in smaller batches and dry them with paper towels. Place them on a baking sheet and when all the fries are dry drizzle a small amount of oil over them and mix it all together. If unsure how much to add just add less. You want to end up with each fry lightly coated rather than with a pool of oil in the bottom of the baking sheet.
Dab away any excess oil and sprinkle the fries with a generous amount of salt. Potatoes love salt after all! Mix together a final time and put them into the oven. Here’s where the labor comes in, no worries about deep frying aside. You need to turn the fries roughly every 15 minutes. The best way to accomplish this is a combination of tongs and a spatula. Some fries will stick but you just need to be patient and try to unstick those with the spatula. Bake for 40-50 minutes until crispy and delicious. Serve up with catsup or mayonnaise.