Homemade french fries are a fun family favorite...why I included family in that statement is because I usually peel the potatoes and then try to get my mom to cut them up. We did have a gadget that would push the potatoes through and give us equal 3/8 inch sticks, but Grandma had it last, and now no one seems to know where it went. It's just a part of the job I don't particularly like, so I try to turn it into an event and delegate the work. They are really delicious--way better than any restaurant food and if you don't mind the work, or can turn it into an event, like me, please give them a try.
-8-10 Idaho Potatoes (you can use Russet, but Idaho seem a little firmer for frying)
-Vegetable or Canola Oil
Wash and peel your potatoes--or don't. Some people like the skin on fries, and that's perfectly okay. Put the potatoes in cold water and place them in the refrigerator for about an hour. This helps them get crispier and browner. Cut the potatoes in 3/8 inch sticks and put them back in cold water. You can make the sticks bigger or smaller but remember to adjust your cooking time.
Fill your deep fryer with oil to the fill line and heat to 400 degrees. Also, ready a pan (I use a pie tin) with a thick layer of paper towels to drain the fries when you take them out.
When your fryer is ready, take approximately 2 handfuls of potatoes out of the water and blot them with paper towel. Put them into your fryer basket and down into the hot oil. If you cut them 3/8 inch thick, like the fries in the photo, cook them for 7-8 minutes. If you cut yours thicker or thinner, you'll need to adjust your cooking time accordingly, but a good rule of thumb is to take them out when you see them getting a little brown.
When you take them out, shake the basket to drain off as much oil as you can, dump them on your paper toweled pie tin and salt them right away. Place the pan in the oven on warm and start your next batch in the deep fryer. You can dump each new batch on the same plate until you're done, keeping them warm in the oven. I love to dip homemade french fries in ketchup or tartar sauce.