How Long French Fries Need To Wait Before You Fry Them Twice

Picture it — you're at a burger joint in America, and you've placed your order for a burger that would have made Anthony Bourdain proud. Your server is liable to ask, "Would you like fries with that?," and for good reason. Not only are they something that is flat-out delicious, but they are also a natural pairing for said burger. Still, fries are a side that aren't going to hit the restaurant's bottom line. So, it's a win-win.

If you try to replicate your favorite restaurant's french fries, you might fall short without proper planning when it comes to fry perfection. There are many tips to making a better home fry: uniform slices, soaking the potatoes prior to frying, and even resorting to the air fryer are all along the road to french fry nirvana.

Still, many chefs vow by double frying the Belgian classic for best results. Bourdain banked on the method at his now-shuttered Brasserie Les Halles by which he once wrote in "Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking" that the fries were in fact what garnered the New York restaurant fame. And, it's all about the timing when double-frying french fries. So, while it may sound a bit time-consuming, all good things come to those who wait — in as little as thirty minutes if you're watching the clock.

The secret is waiting

While the short answer to the hang-time question is half an hour, the prep work is where the secret really begins to unfold. Start by soaking sliced potatoes in water for up to an hour for a crispier, fluffier french fry. But, make sure to pat them dry before sliding them into a pot of hot oil, one small batch at a time which will prevent steaming the fries. Then, make sure to pull them from the hot oil only after about five minutes. The potatoes shouldn't change much in appearance than when you first took them for a swim in the pan on this initial fry.

The next steps are where time and patience are on your side. You're going to drain the partially cooked fries and let them cool for at least thirty minutes. You can even take these initial steps the day before, and refrigerate them until the next day. This helps out with anticipated heavy lifting, especially if you're frying up a large batch for a dinner party, for example.

On that second fry, make sure your oil produces a steady sizzle. If it splatters, you know you've got your oil too hot. A thermometer is a great tool to use in this instance which should read around 375 F for optimal results. Depending on how golden you like them, the second fry shouldn't take but about five minutes. Then it's a rinse-and-repeat situation. Drain, season, and serve piping hot.