How to make McDonald’s fries at home

Published September 03, 2013

| The Daily Meal

How to make McDonald’s fries at home

How to make McDonald’s fries at home

Here’s how to replicate that irreplaceable taste at home.

How the Fry Came to Be

We’re starting at the very beginning of this story, because how the potato became a fry is an important part of why McDonald’s fries taste the way they do. If you want to start with a frozen bag of fries, skip ahead a few slides, but if you’re doing it from scratch start to finish, start reading here. And here would be with fresh Idaho potatoes, washed and peeled.

Really, Really Good Knife Skills

One of the first things you’ll need once you’ve washed and peeled your Idaho potatoes are some "dope a$$ knife skills," as Talde puts it. This is so that you can cut the fries into a consistent and uniform diameter, which is one of Talde’s favorite things about the fry. While he admits that they may vary in length, the diameter will always be ¼ -inch thick, and this is one of the things that lends to a perfectly crisp and golden brown fry. While you’re cutting your fries, Talde instructs to place the cut ones in a cold water bath mixed with vinegar. When you’re done prepping all of the fries, drain and rinse the cut fries with cold water, and put them in another water-vinegar bath to sit overnight. Talde tells us that this allows them to leech out some of that extra starch, so that they have a better chance of crisping up.

The Mystery Ingredients

We’re not going to try to define every single ingredient found in McDonald’s fries in order to replicate them at home, but instead we paid attention to a few simple cues given to us by McCain’s product manager, Mario Dupuis. As he says in the video, the fries are first blanched to remove excess sugars and to stop enzyme activity, and then tossed in a dextrose solution and another "ingredient," which prevents them from turning gray. 

After reading McCain’s website, we were able to determine that they blanch the fries at around 180 degrees for several minutes, and that afterward they’re dried before being tossed in the solutions. For a faster drying process, we dried our fries in the oven at 125 degrees for five minutes, and then tossed them in a sugar and water solution to replicate the dextrose solution, and then tossed them in a water, vinegar, and lemon juice bath, which we peg as the "ingredient" that prevents them from going gray.

See all tricks for making McDonald's fries at The Daily Meal

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