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Pressure Cooker French Fries


Use your pressure cooker (and a secret ingredient) to make quick, delicious french fries that are crispy on the outside, hot and tender on the inside!

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  • 8 to 16 ounces (225 grams – 450 grams) Russet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cold water
  • frying oil, shortening, lard or rendered animal fat (DO NOT use olive oil)
  • salt


Servings 2
Preparation time 5mins
Cooking time 20mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Prepare your frying equipment in advance. Pour oil in skillet, making sure that the sides of the pan rise at least 2" above the top of the oil. Set up thermometer, if desired. Set up metal draining rack over cookie sheet so that there is at least 1" of airspace underneath the rack (or place 2 paper towels on a plate) to drain the fries.

Peel the whole potatoes, wiping them with a clean paper towel if needed. (Do NOT get the potatoes wet, either by rinsing or submerging the potatoes in water.) Cut potatoes into thick, steak fry size slices (at least ½ inch in width). Cut a few more fries than you want in case of breakage.
Add 1 cup of cold water, 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to pressure cooker bowl. Stir briefly. Add trivet or vegetable steamer. Place french fries in steamer, in a single layer. (If you need to make more french fries, make multiple batches, replacing the water, salt and baking soda for each batch.) Pressure cook on HIGH PRESSURE (10 PSI) for 2 minutes using QUICK RELEASE. For those with stove top pressure cookers, which reach higher pressure than most electric models, I’d try 1 minute at whichever pressure setting on your machine is closest to 10 PSI and immerse your pressure cooker under cold running water as soon as the minute is up.)
Once pressure is released, carefully remove the fries with tongs. If you have a good oven mitt, you can remove the fries all at once by grasping the central prong and removing the vegetable steamer and fries together. Discard any pieces that fell into the water and became waterlogged. Be prepared to start frying as soon as you can, the hotter the fries are when they reach the oil, the better they will be.

There may be some moisture on the outside of the potatoes, and you should gently dab away a little of the surface moisture with a paper towel to prevent splattering. Aside from the moisture, the potatoes should have a starchy, somewhat sticky feel on their surface. DO NOT rinse the fries, or wipe them, just dab away some of the water, if your do too much, you'll lose that starchy, sticky surface, and your fries won't be as good.

Heat your cooking oil on medium high heat to approximately 350° F (175° C). If you don't have a thermometer, or you're shallow frying, you can drop a cube of bread into the oil and when it turns golden brown in about a minute, the oil is hot enough. With tongs, gently add the french fries to the skillet, taking care not to overcrowd the pan (there should be space between the fries).
If you are using a deep fryer, the fries should be done in just a couple of minutes. If you are pan frying, to avoid breakage, allow the bottom side of the fries to develop a nice light golden color before attempting to turn them over. Fry until all sides have a gorgeous medium golden brown color.

Remove the french fries to drain on your metal rack or plate lined with paper towels. While still hot, sprinkle either with coarse kosher salt or salt from a sea salt grinder. If you are serving kids, you might want to wait a minute or two before serving. The french fries are best when hot, but they should still be pretty crisp and delicious even at room temperature. Enjoy! NOTE: If you want to make more fries than indicated in the recipe, make multiple batches. You want to put the potatoes into the steamer in a single row, to keep as much of the surface area exposed as possible. When making additional batches, do not re-use the cooking water. Throw out any leftover water, rinse out the bowl, and measure the water, baking soda and salt again. Using old water would throw off the ratios of the baking soda and salt.

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