Crispy Homemade Waffle Fries

published Sep 15, 2021
Waffle Fries Recipe

This recipe proves, once and for all, that waffle fries are the best fries.

Serves4

Prep30 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 45 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Waffle fries on a blue plate with dipping sauce
Credit: Tara Holland

Some might say waffle fries are the king of fries. I used to be a fry purist, but I’m starting to understand all the waffle love. I believe it comes down to the combination of the crispy texture and the high surface area to volume of spud (i.e., you get to scoop lots of sauce without feeling like you’ve got half a potato in your mouth). But the best part, in my opinion, are the tiny waffle windows. They naturally create little nooks and crannies for the seasoning and sauce to sneak into, therefore resulting in hidden bursts of extra flavor.

Russet potatoes are the best for frying because they’re low in moisture but high in starch: two characteristics necessary for crispy fries with fluffy interiors. It’s best to remove excess starch to prevent the fries from sticking together; soaking the cut potatoes in ice-cold water and rinsing does just that. You can also blanch fries in water, but I’ve learned it can sometimes create a gumminess that is harder to wipe off and dry before frying. 

It should be noted that waffle fries are fragile and can break very easily (that’s why the thicker they are, the better). The recovering perfectionist in me had some initial issues with this, until I realized the small broken pieces should not be discarded — they are close to being the best part. Cook them and you’re left with delicious, crispy nuggets of misfit waffles. For this recipe, I’ve created a simple chipotle-lime mayo, but there are plenty of delicious store-bought options on the market if you’d prefer an easy life!

Why Double-Fry a Fry? 

Blanching in water or oil at a lower temperature helps to cook the interior of the fry. Cooking the fries again in hotter oil creates the crispy, golden-brown exterior (the Maillard Effect).

What Equipment Do I Need to Make the Waffle Shape?

There are a few different routes you can take to create waffle fries. There is a specific wave waffle cutter, which is relatively inexpensive and quick and easy to use. Some mandolines have a waffle cut option (you just need to change the blade to the wavy blade first), but make sure you can change the thickness of the waffle cut before you attempt to make them for dinner. You need to cut to ideally a 1/4-inch thickness; 1/8-inch thickness will also work, but you’re going to end up with waffle chips. (I learned this the hard way.)

You can also use a handheld crinkle cutter, which is a cheaper option but creates a little more work, as you have to make sure you manually cut them the same thickness each time. The plus point is you can use them to cut sweet potato fries, which were made for the crinkle cut!

When using a mandoline, safety comes first! One kitchen item that I first discovered at culinary school (and I have never been without since) is cut-resistant gloves, which put my mind at ease and make me feel more comfortable working with sharp blades.

Credit: Tara Holland


The Secret to Shaping and Cutting Waffle Fries

Regardless of which piece of equipment you use, the secret to creating the waffle cut is exactly the same process. Start making a crosswise crinkle-cut. (You can also do this on the diagonal if you prefer larger fries). Rotate the potato by 90 degrees each time (this is vital!), so that you are slicing across the cut you just made in the opposite direction.

Best Waffle Fries Toppings and Dips

Sometimes you can’t beat regular ketchup or yellow mustard dip, but here are some alternative suggestions for seasonings and dipping, should you wish to go renegade.

Dips


Seasonings

  • Adobo seasoning
  • Tajin (lime and chili seasoning)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Your favorite dry rub spice blend 
  • Freshly grated Parmesan and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper

Waffle Fries Recipe

This recipe proves, once and for all, that waffle fries are the best fries.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 cups

    ice cubes

  • 2 pounds

    russet potatoes (3 to 4 medium potatoes)

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 1

    canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sauce

  • 1/2 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 2 quarts

    (8 cups) vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying

Instructions

  1. Fill a large bowl with 4 cups ice and top with cold water.

  2. Scrub 2 pounds russet potatoes under running cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Using a mandoline set to waffle cut or a hand-held crinkle cutter, carefully slice the potatoes to 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch thickness. Start the first cut crosswise, then rotate the potato 90 degrees in between each cut. Transfer to the ice bath and chill for 15 to 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the following, adding each to a small bowl once you complete it: Finely grate the zest of 1 lime until you have 1/2 teaspoon zest; juice the lime until you have 1 tablespoon juice; finely mince 1 canned chipotle pepper; add 1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (depending on your spice preference), 1/2 cup mayonnaise, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt; stir to combine.

  4. Place the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika to a second small bowl and whisk to combine.

  5. Heat 2 quarts vegetable or canola oil into a large Dutch oven over medium heat until 260℉. To test if it's hot enough, add a small piece of potato. It should sink and tiny bubbles should expel from it. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and rinse under cold water. Lay on a clean dish towel (or large sheets of paper towels) and pat potatoes dry. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.

  6. Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the fries and fry, stirring with a spider or slotted spoon to prevent sticking, for 3 minutes. The potatoes will have no color and will be slightly softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

  7. Increase the heat to medium-high and heat the oil to 350℉. To test if it's hot enough, add a small piece of potato. It should rise to the top and bubble fiercely. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels or fit with a wire rack.

  8. Working in 2 to 3 batches, fry waffle fries until golden-brown and crispy, 1 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to flip individual slices to ensure they brown evenly. Transfer to the second baking sheet.

  9. Sprinkle the fries with the spiced salt blend and toss to coat. (It may seem like a lot of seasoning, but you will lose some as it falls through the holes). Serve with the chipotle-lime mayonnaise for dipping.

Recipe Notes

Leftover chipotle peppers in adobo: Chop the leftover peppers and mix them into leftover sauce. Freeze small portions in an ice cube tray then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag once solid. Use cubes to pack a punch and add flavor to future chilis, soups and stews.

Gluten-free: To keep this recipe gluten-free, make sure the chipotles do not contain wheat.

Storage: To ensure maximum crispiness, waffle fries are best eaten straight away to avoid sogginess. However, you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Reheat in a 375°F air fryer for 10 minutes.