Most French fry recipes call for two stages of cooking: an initial fry in lower-temperature oil, followed by a quick dip in hot oil to crisp up the exterior of the potatoes. Our method combines both steps into one easy process, thanks to the excellent heat retention of cast iron. Because these extra-thick fries take nearly an hour to prepare, they’re a great side dish to start before you cook the rest of your meal.
Recipe: Thick-Cut French Fries
2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 large)
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying (you will need at least 1 quart)
The Field Method for Cast Iron Care
Peel the potatoes (if desired; we like leaving the skins on for the extra nutrition and flavor) then cut into long, ½-inch fries. Cover in a bowl of cold water and let soak for at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight.
Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
Transfer the potatoes to a No.10 Dutch Oven, arranging them in as few layers as possible. Add enough oil to cover the potatoes about 1 inch. Heat the oil over medium-low heat, stirring the potatoes occasionally—and gently—to prevent sticking, until they're tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes (the oil will begin to bubble around the 10- to 15-minute mark; if it doesn't, increase the heat slightly until it reaches a steady simmer). During this stage, your oil temperature should be around 200°F.
Increase the heat to high and continue cooking, gently stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain, and season immediately with salt. Serve hot.
Seasoning Rating: Best
Frying is just about the best way to build seasoning in a cast iron Dutch oven.
Best—These dishes are the best options for building resilient seasoning, and surefire choices for getting tricky pans back on track.
Better—The best way to keep your skillet in great shape is to cook frequently, and cast iron-friendly dishes like these are your bread and butter.
Safe—These recipes won't strip seasoning away from your pan, but won't really add any, either.
OK—Be sure to clean up promptly. Recipes with this rating might feature acidic ingredients which can affect seasoning if not washed soon after cooking.