McDonald's fries aren't something that can be easily made at home, as they require expensive machinery and mysterious-sounding ingredients to make. Still, we really like McDonald’s fries, so we decided to attempt to make them at home, anyway, using natural ingredients and equipment that wouldn’t break our bank accounts. An exact version may not be possible at home, but this recipe gets you close enough.
Want more McDonald's? Click here to see How to Make 10 Iconic McDonald's Menu Items at Home
*If you're not confident with your knife skills, invest in a fry-cutter, like this one.
- 6 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 1 Tablespoon fine sea salt, plus more if needed
- 2 Pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled
Prepare a cold water bath for the potatoes to soak in by combining 8 cups of cold water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Cut the potatoes in ¼-inch diameter matchsticks*, placing them in the vinegar bath as you work.
Drain the fries from the bath and rinse with cold water, and then place in another water and vinegar bath made with 8 cups of cold water and another 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Cover and place in the refrigerator to sit overnight.
The next day, place 4 cups of water and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until all of the sugar has been dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. In a bowl, combine 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and the lemon juice and mix well. Once the simple syrup has cooled, drain and rinse the fries with cold water. Place them in a large bowl and add the simple syrup solution to toss well. Drain the fries from the simple syrup solution, and then add them back to the large bowl. Next toss the fries in the vinegar, water, and lemon juice solution. Drain the fries again and add them back to the bowl.
Meanwhile, heat 4 cups of peanut oil in a large skillet or deep fryer to 390 degrees. Blanch the fries in the peanut oil for 45 to 60 seconds, working in batches if needed. Remove the fries from the oil and place on a wire rack or metal colander and shake vigorously to remove excess oil. When the fries are cool enough to handle, place them in a single layer onto baking sheets, and put them in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
Once the fries have cooled in the freezer, heat 4 cups of peanut oil in a large skillet or deep-fryer to 275 degrees. Cook the fries for 5 minutes and then remove from the oil, working in batches if needed. Remove the fries from the oil and increase the heat to 375 degrees. Add the fries back to the oil and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the fries from the oil and place on a wire rack or metal colander and shake vigorously to remove excess oil. Place in a serving bowl and add the salt, plus more if desired, and toss well until all of the fries are evenly coated in salt. Serve.