From America's Test Kitchen Season 4: Steak Tips
Thick spears of skin-on potato, steak fries are the heartier, more rustic cousins of the crisp, skinny french fry. But getting steak fries crisp on the outside and tender inside can be tricky—soggy steak fries are too often the norm. We wanted to find a way to achieve a steak fry with hearty potato flavor and great crunch. We found that the dense starchiness of russet potatoes makes them the best variety for frying. We got the proper ratio of crisp exterior to tender interior when we cut them into 3/4-inch wedges. As for the frying oil, peanut oil was our top choice. Chilling the potatoes in cold water before frying proved to be an essential step. Prepared this way, they cooked more slowly and evenly, without burning. Even after chilling, though, our fries were overcooked when we simply fried them in oil. A two-step process worked wonders. After chilling and drying the potatoes, we par-fried them at a lower temperature to cook the interiors without browning them. Following a brief rest, we fried them again at a higher temperature to brown and crisp the exteriors. Neither greasy nor soggy, these fries boasted great flavor and crunch.
The potatoes must be soaked in cold water, fried once, cooled, and then fried a second time—so start this recipe at least one hour before dinner.