Side Delights® sponsors this post through Kitchen PLAY to help create the best homemade French Fry recipe in a cast iron skillet.
Not many know that I grew up on a grain farm in a small area of Western Wyoming called Star Valley. I grew up with potatoes being a large part of our meals over the years. But I never gave potatoes much thought as a kid not even when I went off to college in Idaho.
I always took great potatoes for granted. That is until the US Army sent us to live in Germany and I could no longer get the tasty starchy tubers of my youth. I could get “potatoes”- but they just weren’t the same.
That’s when I first realized that Idaho potatoes are quite extraordinary. Texture, quality, taste, and especially SIZE.
Ever since we got back into the USA, I’ve always made a particular attempt to get Idaho® Potatoes whenever possible.
Why you should use Idaho Potatoes for homemade French Fries
Side Delights® is known for their innovative products that fit every meal, and they have delicious recipe suggestions for all their products.
Their products come from the best production acreage and processing facilities across North America in the nation’s most productive growing regions for potatoes including:
- North Dakota
- Prince Edward Island
Recently I had the pleasure of talking with an owner of Sun-Glo of Idaho farm, one of the largest potato farmers in Idaho and a big supplier of Side Delights® brand. And let me tell you, even though I grew up only 30 minutes away from the Idaho state line, I still learned a LOT about what makes the Idaho potato so stinking delicious!
Like many farms, Sun-Glo of Idaho started as a family business and has continued in the same family for four generations.
They are a USDA certified seed farm. That means that the soil they use to cultivate potato seed is free of viruses. They grow their seeds in VERY large quantities and use those same potato seeds to grow the popular Russett potatoes we place on our table.
Idaho is a prime location for growing great potatoes because after planting, they need sunny, warm days, cool nights, as well as sandy and heavy clay-like soil that makes them grow so well.
Around August 15th, the harvest begins. and usually lasts from mid-August to mid-October.
But did you know that Idaho potatoes play a LARGE part in South-Eastern Idaho communities? In fact, several schools close down for two weeks in the autumn so that everyone can help with the harvest. It’s a considerable effort, and everyone participates.
Making the Perfect Cast-iron Skillet Homemade French Fries
One of my favorite potato treats is a French Fry. I just love the crispy outside, tender center, and salty flavor.
Have you ever tried to make homemade fries at home? I have made several attempts at cooking fried potatoes using different recipes and different cooking methods. And frankly, there is usually something always missing.
This is why I’m so thankful to Jill from Sun-Glo of Idaho for sharing the secret to her family’s Cast Iron Skillet Fried Potatoes recipe with us. These homemade French Fries are a cherished memory of her family’s legacy. Every year during harvest they ate lunch in the fields and enjoyed fresh cooked French Fries from a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven.
What I love about this recipe is that it is convenient, requires very few ingredients and doesn’t take very long to cook. And it’s a perfect crowd pleaser! Everyone loves these homemade French Fries made in a cast-iron skillet.
- 2 Fresh large Russett Potatoes
- 1/2 cup frying oil
- Seasoned salt/ sea salt
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Heat oil on high heat in a cast-iron skillet
- Slice Potatoes into thin chips or fry strips
- Add sliced potatoes to the hot oil
- Fry for 3-6 minutes (until golden crispy)
- Remove from oil and place on a papertowl
- Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice (sea salt)
To make it go faster, I cut up one potato. Then while it is frying I cut up the second potato.
Make sure to not overfill the skillet with potatoes. They should have plenty of room to be covered with oil and not piled on top of each other. I found cooking about 1/2 potato at a time worked well.
Frying time will vary depending on your preference. Thick cut or crispy outside will require a longer fry time than thin cut and softer outside. I almost always average about 3-6 minutes each batch when I cook these.
You can cook these over the campfire, a cache cooker, or the stove. Fill the Cast-iron Skillet with enough oil to barely cover the fries, not too much.
The secrets to making the perfect Cast Iron Skillet Fried Potatoes recipe is getting the perfect temperature. You want the oil as hot as possible before you begin cooking.
Picking the perfect Potato for Homemade French Fries
When it comes to making homemade French Fries, you want to use Russet Burbank potatoes. The reason is because of the moisture and sugar content, which makes it fry so much better than other varieties.
When it comes to the best Homemade French Fries, you also want to make sure you use fresh-cut fries. The fresher they are, the better they will fry. Cut them up from a fresh, whole potato and put them into the oil immediately.
The potatoes cool down the grease to the perfect temperature so they don’t burn and give enough time for the potato to cook inside and outside evenly until golden and crisp.
You may notice that several French Fry recipes recommend soaking the potatoes in water.
Well, take it from a potato farmer – that is NOT the best way to make the perfect French Fries at home. Her family believes that it is the starch on the potato that helps make the fries cook evenly.
Plus, grease and water do not mix! If you don’t soak the potatoes, you’ll get less greasy mess. The potatoes themselves with the sugar and starch content will cool the oil enough to cook evenly without burning.
Farmer secrets for the best fried potato recipes
The internal temperature will change the sugar content of the potato. Which also affects how they cook. So, you want the potatoes at about room temp when you put them into the oil.
If the internal temperature of the potato is too cold, then it will cook dark and look burned on the outside without the center cooking thoroughly.
After you cook the homemade French Fries you can use different types of seasonings or spices to satisfy a range of tastes.
I usually use seasoning salt or fresh ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper. But you can put just about any seasonings on them.
One thing consumers should understand is that being a potato farmer isn’t easy. There is quite a lot of hard work involved, and they are at the mercy of Mother Nature. With only one growing season per year, they could lose their entire crop if the weather isn’t good to grow.
Being a potato farmer is quite a labor of love, straight from the farmer to our table.
So, the next time you cook up your favorite potato recipe, take a moment to appreciate the people who made that delicious, nutritious potato possible on your table.
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