The Best Potatoes For Crispy Steak Fries

There is virtually no debate that french fries are one of the most delicious uses of potatoes to ever be invented. That being said, there is much contention over what the best cut of fry is. From shoestring and crinkle cut to waffle and curly, everyone has a different answer when asked about their favorite type of french fry. While we can't tell you which kind to prefer, we can tell you how to get the best version of any given fry cut — and in this case, we are tackling steak fries. Our recommendation when making the ideal steak fry is to use Yukon gold potatoes.

Steak fries are one of the thickest cuts of fry out there, resulting in sturdy fries that can stand up well to the heft of a meaty meal. Unfortunately, this thickness also means there is a high ratio of soft interior to crispy exterior. This ratio can make the fries feel soggy and mushy when you bite into them, especially if you are working with an extra-starchy potato like a russet. Yukon gold potatoes address this issue thanks to their dense texture. Where the interior fluffier potatoes may come off as mealy, the Yukon gold turns tender and creamy, offering a more appealing mouthfeel when biting through the fry's outer layer. Additionally, if you enjoy skin on your fries, the Yukon's thin skin will add some flavor and texture without becoming chewy.

How to bring out the best in your potatoes

Once you have gotten your hands on some Yukon golds, the next step to success is cooking them in a way that will give them the best shot at an extra-crispy outer shell. Whether you choose to deep fry or bake your fries is less important than how you prepare them. For a perfect texture, start by steaming your potatoes to parcook them. This will move the starches from the center of the potato out to the surface, allowing that starch to create a crispier layer when they finish cooking. For extra insurance, toss them in cornstarch or baking powder prior to finishing to further enhance the crisping process.

Once your fries are done, they won't be ready to serve without seasoning. Salt is, of course, non-negotiable, but you can go above and beyond by experimenting with other herbs and spices. If your fries are going to be a supporting dish to a heavier meal with strong flavors, opt for subtler seasonings like rosemary, roasted garlic, or sweet paprika. On the other hand, if you intend for your fries to be the main event, you can help them stand out with bolder flavors like lemon pepper, cajun seasoning blend, or even hot pepper flakes.