Recently, I have become, shall we say, unimpressed with fast food chains and their french fries. To me, they seem to have lost their luster, especially with the changes of oils, flavorings, etc. The big question is this: How can you improve upon what the professionals have perfected?

So the first thing is obvious: You need a potato. Specifically a Russet Burbank Potato. These are the choice potato for french fries.

Step 1: Wash the potatoes. Now I will admit, I am not the best at scrubbing potatoes, so no judgement!

Step 2: While you’re by the sink, measure out some water. Here I have 4 Cups (1 Quart).

Step 3: The first secret is vinegar. Yeah, you’re probably looking at this a little funny right now. The purpose is the acid. Since starches break down, we need something to keep it held together. Acid does the trick nicely. The mixture is 1 Tablespoon per Quart of water.

Step 4: Put your water and vinegar together into a pot. Yes, we’re going to boil (Blanch) our fries, creating a nice, sweet flavor. Gotta break down that sugar somehow!

Step 5: Cut the bottom of the potato to have a flat surface. We don’t want to slip while cutting a round object. That would be bad news.

Step 6: Cut the potato into 1/4 inch slices. Again, I’m not the greatest at cutting. After a lot of practice, I may get better at it, though.

Step 7: Did I mention I’m not good at cutting? Anyway, cut the stacks in 1/4 inch strips. Of course, the more even the fries, the better the results.

Step 8: Put the fries into your mixture. That way they don’t brown. Also, it makes it easy to transport. Continue to cut until full, or until you’re done cutting. Use your own judgement here.

Step 9: Place pot on the stove, and bring to a boil. The fries will remain stiff due to the acidity of the water. Boil for 5-10 minutes. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet, so feel free to experiment.

Step 10: Strain your fries. Water and oil don’t mix.

Step 11: Place your fries in the fryer. The fryer should be set at 350F (~180C). Now we’re going to fry them for about 50 seconds here. Yes, they’re not completely cooked. That’s the point.

Step 12: Here they are frying. The key here is to create an outer shell that’s crispy, with a nice, fluffy interior.

Step 13: After straining off the oil, place them in a container, and put them in the freezer. Yup we’re freezing our fries. “But, I though these would be fresh?” Yes, they are fresh, but turning the water to ice is key. You see, we don’t want water in our fries. And ice, while it expands, will create a way for that water to exit the fries quickly while we cook them.

Step 14: Take out of the freezer, and fry at 375F (~190C) for 3.5 minutes. Then strain, salt and enjoy!