Beach Fries

Served on the boardwalks of Atlantic beaches, these simple fries are a taste of summer.

The starting point is a basic french fry that is crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. This is the fry perfected in street stands for over two centuries in Belgium and France. Master this fry and you’ll have no problem finding friends.–Zac Williams

LC Beach Fries Note

Peanut oil and Old Bay. It’s no coincidence that these are not just the defining components of proper beach fries, but the iconic aromas of any Atlantic boardwalk.

Beach Fries Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 2 H, 40 M
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes (12 to 15 ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • Peanut oil
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Apple cider vinegar (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Peel the potatoes. Using a knife with a sharp blade or a fry cutter, cut them into lengths a little less than 1/2 inch square. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl filled with cold water. Add the vinegar and swirl the potatoes around. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • 2. Swirl the potatoes again and drain the water. Spread the potatoes on a layer of paper towels and pat dry with additional paper towels.
  • 3. In a large heavy pot or deep-fryer, preheat the peanut oil to 315°F (157°C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • 4. Working in small batches of approximately 2 cups each, add the sliced potatoes to the hot oil. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until just tender but not brown. Using a basket or slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the oil, shaking to remove any excess oil. Spread the potatoes on paper towels to drain. At this point the potato slices should be refrigerated at least 1 hour, uncovered, or as long as overnight. (You can also freeze the blanched slices at this stage for up to 1 month in a well-sealed freezer bag.)
  • 5. When you are ready to serve the fries, reheat the oil to 375°F (190°C) and fry for about 4 minutes, until crispy and golden. (If using frozen potatoes, allow them to thaw at room temperature. Pat dry before frying.) Remove the fries from the fryer to remove excess oil. Spread on paper towels. Allow the fries to stand for 1 minute before sprinkling them with Old Bay. Serve them hot, preferably in a paper cup, dousing them liberally with vinegar, if desired.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Amy Howard

Jul 18, 2011

These were amazing. I used a small amount of vinegar but that’s because I enjoy the taste of vinegar with fries. I know there are a great deal of people who do not. The Old Bay added such a nice flavor rather than just salt and pepper. A perfect snack or a perfect addition to a steak off the grill.

Testers Choice
Jo Ann Brown

Jul 18, 2011

You know something is really, really good when it doesn’t even make it to a plate. As I was seasoning the last batch of fries out of the fryer with Old Bay and vinegar my husband walked in. What happened next went something like this: “Hi Sweetie, I just finished making these fries. Want to give them a try and let me know what you think?” We proceeded to taste one, followed by nods of approval to one another. We tasted a few more, and the nods began to quicken. Before we knew it, we had shared three potatoes worth of Beach Fries. I can best describe these as a potato chip on the outside and a fluffy baked potato on the inside. I LOVE finding a recipe that becomes my standard way of preparing a dish. This is the only way to make french-fried potatoes—with or without the Old Bay.

Comments
Comments
  1. Renee Schettler Rossi says:

    I know exactly what you mean about not making it to the plate, Jo Ann. That was my and my husband’s reaction to the Momofuku Fried Chicken. Exactly the same response. Sigh. So good.

  2. Susan says:

    I haven’t made this, yet, but I will. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Beach fries are the gold standard, for me. What does the vinegar in the soaking water do? I often season the finished fries with malt vinegar but never thought to use any vinegar in the soaking water.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Susan,

      Soaking the fries in a vinegar water solution helps them to get nice and crispy….yum!

  3. Amy Wilson says:

    I did a whole blog post about how to make Thrasher’s French Fries–the Ocean City, MD, beach fries. They serve them with vinegar only! A lot of thought went it to getting these crispy, but I never tried actually refrigerating the fries after the first fry. I’ll try that next time!

  4. Some people may be unfamiliar with beach fries. Thanks for sharing your recipe for them.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re so very welcome, Perfect Fries! It’s our pleasure. Mmmm…peanut oil….

  5. Susan Gaffney-Evans says:

    I had never heard of Beach Fries until Dan posted this recipe on What’s for Dinner. I fried some up for last night’s dinner and we loved them! The Old Bay Seasoning is genius!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Old Bay is sooo lovely with fries, isn’t it? So glad to hear you liked ‘em as much as we do, Susan.

  6. Marybeth says:

    Has anybody tried to make these baked?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Not to my knowledge, Marybeth, but let’s see. Anyone? (If not, I’d venture to say go right ahead and slice ‘em and soak ‘em as directed above, then pat ‘em dry, toss with a touch of peanut oil and the Old Bay, and roast ‘em in a single layer in a 425°F oven until done the way you like ‘em. And then kindly let me know what you think…

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