Easier French Fries - Cold Oil Method (Cook's Illustrated)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

These delicious, slender fries have a crisp exterior and a creamy interior, contain 1/3 less oil than traditional methods, and could not be easier to make. Recipe is from Cook's Illustrated (July, 2009) and the method is attributed to Michelin-starred French chef Jöel Robuchon. It skips the usual rinsing and soaking and you only need to fry once. You must use Yukon golds (Russets are too starchy).

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 12 lbs yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, dried, sides squared off, and cut length-wise in 1/4-inch batons (strips) (about 6 medium)
  • 6 cups peanut oil, for frying
  • kosher salt


  1. Combine potatoes and oil in large Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached a rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5-10 minutes longer.
  3. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately.
Most Helpful

I saw this recipe on their TV show and had to try them. I was surprised at how terrific they turned out!
I also read somewhere that these fries were tested after cooking and they were lower in oil content than the "hot oil" method of cooking fries.

My family loves these and they are so easy to make. They really do turn out crispy.

Be warned that some Yukon gold potatoes are sweeter than others so you may get a slightly sweet fry. Some people prefer these with regular old russets.

das.schus August 30, 2010

These were awesome! I saw the episode also. It very much intriqued me! Was happy to find it here. I read a review on another site that said theirs burned. I made sure when mine got to a heavy rolling boil, I turned it back to about medium high and it was Still at a good rolling boil. They turned out perfect and I don't usually make fried foods. My picky son was even asking when I was going to make these again. So much easier not having to worry about the temperature of the oil. Thanks for posting this!

enestvmel March 03, 2011

Really easy to make! I use a 7qt enameled cast iron pot and add just enough oil to cover however many potatoes I use.

Edward Heller December 05, 2010