Skip to Content

Can you cut potatoes ahead of time for French fries?

Do you ever have a craving for French fries, but don’t have the time to make them from scratch? One solution is to cut the potatoes ahead of time and fry them when you’re ready to eat. However, the question remains: can you cut potatoes ahead of time for French fries? In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this question, as well as provide tips and tricks for making the perfect French fries.

The Short Answer

The short answer is yes, you can cut potatoes ahead of time for French fries. However, there are some important things to keep in mind if you want to ensure that your French fries turn out crispy and delicious.

What Happens When You Cut Potatoes Ahead of Time?

When you cut potatoes ahead of time, the exposed surface of the potato reacts with the oxygen in the air. This can cause the surface of the potato to turn brown, which can affect the taste and appearance of your French fries.

Additionally, cutting potatoes ahead of time can cause them to release excess starch, which can make them soggy when you fry them. So, if you’re going to cut potatoes ahead of time for French fries, there are some steps you can take to prevent these issues.

How to Prep Potatoes Ahead of Time for French Fries

If you want to cut potatoes ahead of time for French fries, here are some steps you can take to ensure that they turn out perfectly:

Choose the Right Potato

The type of potato you use can make a big difference in the taste and texture of your French fries. Russet potatoes are generally the best choice, as they have a high starch content and low moisture. This makes them ideal for frying, as they’ll turn crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Cut the Potatoes into Sticks

To prepare your potatoes for French fries, cut them into sticks that are about 1/4 inch wide. You can use a knife or a French fry cutter to do this.

Soak the Potatoes

Soaking the potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes can help remove excess starch and prevent browning. You can also add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to help prevent browning.

Parcook the Potatoes

Parcooking the potatoes means cooking them partially before you fry them. This helps remove excess water and starch, and ensures that the French fries turn out crispy.

To parcook the potatoes, fill a large pot with oil and heat it to 325°F. Add the potatoes and fry them for 3-4 minutes, until they’re cooked but not browned. Remove the potatoes from the oil and let them cool.

Store the Potatoes

Once the potatoes are parcooked, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Be sure to drain them well and pat them dry before storing them.

Cooking the French Fries

When you’re ready to cook the French fries, heat the oil to 375°F. Add the parcooked potatoes and fry them for 2-3 minutes, until they’re golden brown and crispy. Remove the French fries from the oil and drain them on paper towels.


In conclusion, cutting potatoes ahead of time for French fries is possible, but it requires some careful preparation. By choosing the right potatoes, cutting them into sticks, soaking them in water, parcooking them, and storing them properly, you can ensure that your French fries turn out crispy and delicious every time. Happy cooking!


Can I prep french fries the night before?

French fries are a favorite snack for many, but it can be quite time-consuming to prepare them. If you’re strapped for time or want to get ahead of your meal prep, you may be wondering if it’s possible to prepare your french fries ahead of time.

The short answer is yes, you can prep french fries the night before. However, it’s essential to know that they tend to lose their texture and crispiness as they cool down. So, while it’s possible to prepare them ahead of time, it’s highly recommended that you enjoy them immediately.

If you still want to prep french fries ahead of time, one of the best ways to do so is to cut them into the desired shape and then leave them soaking in salted water in the fridge for up to 12 hours. This process helps to remove excess starch, which can result in an uneven cook. After this, pat them dry using a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.

When you’re ready to cook them, preheat your oven to 450F. In a bowl, add the dried and seasoned fries and toss them with a little oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they’re spread out evenly. Bake them in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

While it’s possible to prep french fries the night before, you may not get the best results if you store them in the fridge for an extended period. For crispy and flavorful fries, make sure to cook them after preparing them.

Is it OK to cut potatoes ahead of time?

If you are preparing potatoes for cooking, you might be wondering whether it is okay to cut them ahead of time. The answer is yes; you can cut potatoes ahead of time. In fact, many people find it convenient to cut potatoes in advance so that they can save time on the day they plan to serve them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

However, it is crucial to know that potatoes have the tendency to oxidize and turn brown when exposed to air. This might be unappetizing to look at, although it does not affect the safeness or taste of the potatoes. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to store and keep the potatoes refrigerated so that the browning process is slowed down.

To store the cut potatoes, prepare a bowl of cold water and place the cut potatoes in it. The cold water will prevent the potatoes from browning while in storage. You can even add ice since cold temperatures help inhibit the browning process.

For longer storage, you can store the cut potatoes inside an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Before cooking, drain the potatoes of any water, and pat them dry with a paper towel.

It is okay to cut potatoes ahead of time as long as they are correctly stored and refrigerated to prevent browning. Cutting them in advance can save you a lot of time on the day you plan to serve them, and it is the perfect solution for those who do not have much time on their hands.

How long can you leave fresh cut fries in water?

When preparing homemade French fries, it is common knowledge that soaking the cut potatoes in water beforehand can result in a crispier texture and a more evenly cooked product. However, sometimes life gets in the way and the soaking time may end up being longer than anticipated. So, how long can you leave fresh cut fries in water before they begin to deteriorate?

According to culinary experts, you can leave the potatoes submerged in water for more than 30 minutes without any significant adverse effects. In fact, some sources suggest that soaking the potatoes for up to 2 hours can result in even better french fries. However, it is important to note that the longer they soak, the more prone they are to enzymatic browning (discoloration), which can impart an off-putting flavor to the final product.

To prevent discoloration, it is recommended that you add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the soaking water. The acid in the added ingredient helps to slow down the browning process and also adds a subtle tang to the fries. However, if you choose to use this technique, it is essential that you thoroughly rinse the cut potatoes before frying them, as any leftover acid can negatively affect the flavor of the fries.

If you find that you need to soak the potatoes for longer than 30 minutes, it is best to place the bowl in the refrigerator to keep them chilled and prevent any bacterial growth. However, it is important to understand that cold temperature can also slow down the enzymatic browning process, so be mindful of the time and remember to rinse the potatoes thoroughly before frying.

Once you are ready to fry the potatoes, it is crucial that you thoroughly dry them before submerging them in hot oil. This will ensure that the excess moisture is removed, resulting in crispier french fries. You can do this by laying the cut potatoes on a clean towel or paper towel, gently patting them dry, or even spinning them in a salad spinner.

While it is best to soak fresh cut fries in water for 30 minutes or less, you can certainly soak them for longer. Just be mindful of the potential browning and bacterial growth issues and take the necessary steps to prevent them. With these tips in mind, you can achieve the perfect crispy, golden french fries every time!

How long can peeled potatoes sit in water in the refrigerator?

Peeled potatoes are convenient to have as they save a lot of time when it comes to cooking. However, once they are peeled, they tend to discolor quickly and become dull, making them look unappetizing. To prevent this, many people choose to store peeled potatoes in water in the refrigerator. But how long can peeled potatoes sit in water in the refrigerator?

According to experts, you can store peeled potatoes in water in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Peeled potatoes left out by themselves at room temperature, on a refrigerator shelf or wrapped in foil or plastic wrap will still get dark overnight, so submerge them in a bowl of water, cover and refrigerate. This will keep them fresh for up to a day.

It is important to note that the water should be changed every four to six hours to prevent the growth of bacteria. The water should also be kept cold at all times, and the potato pieces should always remain submerged in the water to prevent air from reaching them.

Additionally, it is not recommended to store potatoes in water for longer than 24 hours as this can cause the potatoes to become waterlogged, which can affect their taste and texture. Therefore, it is best to only peel as many potatoes as you need for a particular meal or dish and store the rest whole until needed.

Peeled potatoes can be stored in water in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. To keep them fresh during this time, change the water every four to six hours, keep the water cold, and keep the potato pieces submerged. It is important to only peel as many potatoes as needed, as storing peeled potatoes for too long in water can affect their taste and texture.

Can you freeze raw potatoes cut into fries?

While you can freeze raw potatoes cut into fries, it is not recommended to do so. Potatoes, especially raw ones, have a high water content that can cause them to turn mushy or grainy if frozen without pre-treatment. Therefore, it is best to parboil or partially cook the potatoes before freezing them.

To prepare raw potatoes for freezing, you should first peel and cut them into fries. Then, blanch them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are slightly tender but still firm. After blanching, you should immediately transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool them down quickly.

Once the fries are completely cool, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zipper bag, making sure to remove any excess air before sealing it. Raw potatoes can be stored in the freezer for up to 8 months.

When you are ready to cook the frozen fries, you can either bake or fry them, depending on your preference. If baking, preheat your oven to 400°F, spread the frozen fries in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. For frying, heat oil in a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot to 375°F, and fry the frozen fries in small batches for 4-5 minutes or until they are crispy and cooked through.

While it is possible to freeze raw potatoes cut into fries, it is not recommended to do so without blanching or partially cooking them first. By taking this extra step, you can ensure that your frozen fries will maintain their texture and quality when you reheat them.

How do you keep fresh cut fries from turning brown?

If you’ve ever cut up potatoes for making fresh fries only to notice that they start turning brown, you know the struggle of trying to prevent this discoloration. While the browning doesn’t necessarily make the fries unsafe to eat, it’s not very appealing from an aesthetic standpoint. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks you can use to keep fresh cut fries from turning brown.

One of the main reasons that potatoes turn brown is due to exposure to oxygen. As soon as you cut into a potato, oxygen starts to react with the enzymes on the surface of the potato, causing them to turn brown. The best way to prevent this is to minimize the amount of time the potatoes are exposed to the air. One method for doing this is to place your freshly cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water. The water will help to cover the surface of the potatoes and reduce their exposure to oxygen. Be sure to use cold water, as warm water can actually encourage bacterial growth, which could lead to food poisoning.

To further prevent browning, you can add a little bit of acid to the water. Lemon juice is an effective option for this, as it contains citric acid that can help the potatoes maintain their color. Simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the water and stir. You don’t need much- just a tablespoon or two should suffice.

Once your fries have soaked for a bit (around 15-30 minutes), you’ll need to rinse them off before cooking. This helps to remove excess starch, which can make your fries gummy and result in a less crispy texture. After rinsing, pat your fries dry with paper towels before adding them to your oil for frying.

To keep fresh cut fries from turning brown, cut them immediately before cooking, place them in a bowl of cold water with lemon juice to prevent the surface from oxidizing, and rinse and pat them dry before cooking. With these simple steps, your fries will maintain their fresh white-yellow appearance and be perfectly crispy and delicious when you serve them up.

Does salt water keep potatoes from turning brown?

Potatoes are a versatile ingredient and an essential part of a variety of dishes. When sliced or diced, potatoes can tend to turn brown quickly due to the process of oxidation. This browning does not necessarily affect the taste or texture of the potato, but it does impact its visual appeal, making it less desirable for certain dishes or presentations. However, there is a simple solution for preventing potatoes from turning brown: salt water.

The reason salt water can prevent potatoes from turning brown is due to its ability to reduce the activity of enzymes that cause oxidation. When potatoes are exposed to air, an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase oxidizes the phenolic compounds present in the potatoes, leading to browning. However, the salt in the water helps to break down the cell walls of the potato and create an environment that is not conducive to the reaction of the enzyme with phenolic compounds. While there are other methods to prevent browning, such as using vinegar or lemon juice, salt water is a popular choice because it does not leave an acidic taste on the potatoes as the other methods can.

To use salt water to prevent browning, begin by washing and peeling the potatoes. After you have sliced or diced the potatoes, immediately place them into a large bowl or stockpot filled with cold, salted water. For every gallon of water, add one teaspoon of salt, and then gently stir the potatoes to ensure that they are evenly coated. Allow the potatoes to soak in the salt water for at least 15 minutes, or up to several hours before draining, rinsing, and then using them in your dish. By using salt water, you can ensure that your potatoes stay looking fresh and appealing, enhancing not only the visual presentation of your dishes but also the taste of your recipes.