McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (2024)

by Stephanie on February 11, 2020 (Updated November 25, 2023)53*This post may contain affiliate links. Read more »

Learn how to make McDonald’s classic French Fry recipe at home! (And exactly how the restaurant does it!) These fries are golden and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside!

There are few secret steps to this recipe: Learn how and why yousoak French Fries in a cold brine of sugar water before youdouble fry them.

You might wonder why anyone would want to go through the trouble of making McDonald’s beloved French Fry recipe at home, which you can just buy some from the dollar menu.

Well, believe it or not, there are 19 ingredients in McDonald’s french fry recipe. One of which is a silicone component used to make silly putty.

(I know. I want my brain to forget that fact too.) 😑

It certainly makes a good argument for making their beloved french fries at home, doesn’t it?

But first, let’s learn a little more about what goes into their process:

What Kind of Potatoes Does McDonald’s Use For French Fries?

McDonald’s uses a variety of non-GMO Russet potatoes, (Ranger Russet, Umatilla Russet, & Russet Burbank) along with Shepody potatoes to make their French Fries.

What Kind of Oil Do They Use?

McDonald’s uses 4 different kinds of oil to make their French Fries: Soybean, hydrogenated soybean, canola and corn.

For this homemade version, we will use vegetable and/or canola oil for the first round of frying. Then we’ll add some vegetable shortening to the mix for the second round of frying.

How McDonald’s Makes Their French Fries

  1. The potatoes are washed and peeled by machines.
  2. Workers hand-cut any imperfections off the potatoes.
  3. The fries shoot through a tube at about 75 MPH through cutting machines.
  4. Optical strips look at every single fry and remove any with a fault.
  5. They are blanched in precisely maintained 170° water for about 15 minutes to allow for a soft interior.
  6. The fries are completely dried.
  7. They are then quickly fried for the 1st time at 400° F.
  8. From here, they go into a freezer at 10°F.
  9. Once frozen, they are shipped to restaurants.
  10. Once at the restaurant, they are fried for a second time, salted, and served.

Fun Fact: McDonald’s goes through 3.5 billion pounds of French Fries every year globally.

To see a video of this process, check out this 2-minute video.

How to Make McDonald’s French Fries at Home:

We don’t have quite the technology that McDonald’s has with its fancy machines, but if you’d like to save time, I recommend this french fry cutter. Of course, you can always just use a knife.

Note: See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient amounts.

Create a brine using a combination of cold water, corn syrup, salt, and white vinegar.

Slice the potatoes into stringsjustunder 1/2 inch thick. Drop into the brine.

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (2)

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as overnight.

Drain, rise twice with cold water, then pat them completely dry.

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (3)

Fry in batches at 300°F for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside on a paper towel.

They will be very soft. (This is a good thing.)

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (4)

Add vegetable shortening to the oil. Increase heat to 400°F and fry again until the fries are crisp and golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towels.

Season immediately with salt and serve!

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (5)

Why Soak the Potatoes in a Cold Brine?

Soaking potatoes incold water helps get rid of the starch, which makes them crispier. The sugar in the brine prevents them from soaking up too much oil when fried, which also makes them crisp.

Soak them for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight. The longer you can soak them, the better. Store them in the fridge while they soak.

Why Double Fry French Fries?

Frying potatoestwiceis the best way to obtain the crispiest result.

The first round of frying cooks and softens the middle of the potato, while the second round crisps up the outside.

How To Store and Reheat Leftovers

Refrigerating:

  • Let any leftover fries cool completely and store them in a Freezer bag in the fridge, removing as much air from the bag as possible.
  • To reheat, bake at 350° F for about 10 minutes. They reheat very well.

Freezing:

  • Flash freeze them on a baking sheet or plate until solid, 1 houror so.
  • Store them in a freezer Ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to eat!
  • Reheat in a preheated 350° F oven until warm and crisp, about 15minutes or so.

Make-Ahead Method

  • Soak the fries as instructed, dry them completely. Fry them in batches at 360° for 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel.
  • Transfer to a plate/tray and flash freezethem for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to them to a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, remove them from the freezer and fry them in batches at 400° until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to paper towels and season them immediately with salt.

Tools for Making McDonald’s French Fries

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (6)

Try These Next

Onion Rings
Popcorn Chicken
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Perfect Fried Pickles
French Fry Seasoning
Baked Potato Slices

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McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes minutes

Soaking Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 2 hours hours 42 minutes minutes

5 from 6 ratings

Servings: 4

Tap or hover to scale

Print recipe Pin Recipe Leave a Review

Learn how to make McDonald's classic French Fry recipe at home! (And exactly how the restaurant does it!) These fries are golden and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside!

Ingredients

Brine

  • 8 cups cold water
  • ½ cup corn syrup, (can sub 1/3 cup sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Fries

  • 6 large Russet potatoes, About 4.5 pounds
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • Salt, for seasoning

Instructions

  • Combine the brine ingredients and set aside.

  • Peel and rinse that potatoes.

  • Slice them into strings just under ½ inch. (A french fry potato cutter makes this easy.)

  • Place them in the cold brine as you slice them. Ensure the potatoes are completely submerged. Add more cold water if needed.

  • Cover and place the brine in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

  • Drain and rinse them twice with cold water. Pat them completely dry.

  • Preheat oil to 300 degrees. (A dutch oven and oil thermometer is very helpful.)

  • Fry the potatoes in batches for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towels. They will be very soft. (This is a good thing.)

  • Add the vegetable shortening and increase the heat to 400 degrees. Fry in batches again until golden brown. (It’s hard to be patient during this part.)

  • Remove and place on paper towels. Season with salt right away and serve!

Notes

How To Store and Reheat Leftovers

Refrigerating:

  • Let any leftover fries cool completely and store them in a Freezer bag in the fridge, removing as much air from the bag as possible.
  • To reheat, bake at 350° F for about 10 minutes. They reheat very well.

Freezing:

  • Flash freeze them on a baking sheet or plate until solid, 1 houror so.
  • Store them in a freezer Ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to eat!
  • Reheat in a preheated 350° F oven until warm and crisp, about 15minutes or so.

Make-Ahead Method

  • Soak the fries as instructed, dry them completely. Fry them in batches at 360° for 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel.
  • Transfer to a plate/tray and flash freezethem for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to them to a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, remove them from the freezer and fry them in batches at 400° until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to paper towels and season them immediately with salt.

Be sure to try my French Fry Seasoning Recipe next!

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 452mg, Potassium: 1332mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 3mg

Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Author: Stephanie

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What are the 14 ingredients in McDonald's fries? ›

Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [wheat And Milk Derivatives]*), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (maintain Color), Salt. *natural Beef Flavor Contains Hydrolyzed Wheat And Hydrolyzed Milk As Starting Ingredients.

How many ingredients does it take to make McDonald's fries? ›

McDonald's french fries, according to McDonald's, don't have 17 ingredients, as some have suggested. They have 19. But relax, McDonald's implores, there's a reason. The rest of the nearly 3 minute video is dedicated to explaining why exactly each of those 19 ingredients is essential.

What makes McDonald's fries taste so good? ›

So, what's the secret? Well, it turns out that it's "natural beef flavoring". According to Jordan, McDonalds are far from being veggie friendly because the chain adds the animal-based flavoring during the frying process.

What is the coating on McDonald's fries? ›

After the fries are cut, they get covered in sugar so they are all the same color. Then, they're coated in sodium acid pyrophosphate to keep them from turning gray when frozen. These are the McDonald's secret menu items you never knew about.

How do they make McDonald's fries? ›

“We simply wash, peel, cut and prepare the potatoes before cooking. We cook them in a blend of sunflower and rapeseed oil, adding a pinch of salt before serving.” McDonald's Fries. Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, our fries are cut from whole potatoes.

Is there silly putty in McDonald's french fries? ›

He also discovered that dimethylpolysiloxane - a form of silicone found in Silly Putty - is used in the making of McDonald's fries along with a petrol-based chemical called tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ).

What makes McDonald's fries taste different? ›

“It's because McDonald's cooks their fries with beef flavoring mixed within their vegetable oil,” the San Diego-based content creator explains in a TikTok posted last week that's served up 9.6 million views. It's “why the fries taste so good,” he added, but it's “probably bad news for vegetarians.”

What is the anti-foaming agent in McDonald's fries? ›

Dimethylpolysiloxane:

From the official website of Mcdonalds' Gulf region, we can know, dimethylpolysiloxane is a food-grade additive acts as an anti-foaming agent to protect their crew from excessive foaming, splashing, or bubbling, which occurs when food is added to very hot oil.

What are KFC fries made of? ›

The full ingredients list is as follows: Potato, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed) in varying proportions, Salt, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Spices, Onion Powder, Sugar, Tomato Powder, Herbs, Garlic Powder, Acid (Citric Acid), Spice Extract, Flavouring.

How were old McDonald's fries made? ›

Before the 1990s, McDonald's fries were actually cooked in straight beef fat to give them their world-famous taste. But they moved to a vegetable oil blend after consumers complained about the amount of saturated fat in McDonald's foods.

How are McDonald's fries so crispy? ›

The main reason is the fat they use to fry them. While many fast food restaurants use a lighter vegetable oil, McDonald's has stuck with the tried and true beef based oil. They used to use beef tallow, which is a many-times cooked beef suet, that's clarified and has a high smoke point.

What did McDonald's use to cook their fries in? ›

For decades, McDonald's fries were cooked in animal fat (lard) which was supposedly what gave them their famous flavor. Eventually, the chain switched to vegetable oil, but customers complained that the fries were no longer as tasty.

Why does McDonald's soak their fries in sugar? ›

Originally Answered: Why does McDonald's add sugar to their fries? The real reason, is that the sugar caramelizes during cooking, giving better color and a little more crunchiness to the fries. They don't add the sugar directly, but bathe the fries in sugar water before frying, so it only gives a very light film.

Does McDonald's still use beef tallow? ›

From 1940 - 1985, McDonald's famous french fries used to be cooked in beef tallow. Everything changed in 1990 when a motivated millionaire pressured them to switch to vegetable oil. Since 1954, McDonald's has been the behemoth of fast food.

When did McDonald's stop using beef tallow? ›

In 1990, the company announced that they would replace the beef tallow with 100 percent vegetable oil. After the announcement, McDonald's stock fell 8.3 percent. The new fry didn't stack up. As it turns out, the beef tallow had added more than just cholesterol to the signature french fry.

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