Smoked french fries! While it requires a little time and effort before actually frying them, smoking fries takes them to a whole new level !
Originally Posted September 30, 2015. Updated 1/13/2021
Smoked French Fries: Because sometimes, laziness is the mother of invention.
A couple weeks ago, I was deep frying something for Hedonistic Hops - wings, if I recall correctly.
The recipe shoot was doubling as supper, and we hadn't really planned on a side, outside of a couple artistically placed celery sticks.
We did have some leftover smoked potatoes in the fridge, however. I didn't feel like pan frying them as hashbrowns - how I normally serve smoked potatoes - so I sliced them up into makeshift fries and deep fried them.
Holy. Mother. Of. God.
I'm not even as much into smoked foods as my husband is, and these were AMAZING. Definitely some of the best fries I've ever had!
The smoke flavour was retained even after deep frying - without being overpowering - and they had an amazing texture. Tons of character!
So, we HAD to actually do up a recipe for them.
Update: Since first posting this recipe, air fryers have become *a thing*, so we’ve updated with directions for frying them that way, also!
Smoking French Fries
The finer details of how you smoke these are going to depend on your make/model of smoker, so definitely look to you smoker’s handbook if anything here doesn’t look right to you.
In general, get your smoker going and the smoke... stabilized? Is there a better term for that?
You don’t want to put the fries in during the initial strong white smoke, you want the lower intensity, almost wispy smoke for this. Heavy white smoke tends to cause a lot of soot, in our experience.
Sooty fries are no fun. Definitely recommend avoiding that!
The smoking process cooks the fries to some degree, but most of that will actually come during the frying. The main purpose of the smoking is to infuse it with a ton of flavour!
Deep fried vs Air Fried Smoked Fries
While an air fryer can produce incredibly similar results to deep frying, in a lot of cases... These smoked French fries come out *wildly* different between the two techniques.
I wouldn’t even say one is better than the other, they’re just very different.
Deep frying your smoked fries will produce French fries like you’re used to, but smoky in flavour.
Air frying your smoked french fries ends up with a sort of leathery exterior. It can be blistery and separated from the bulk of the fry, inside.
Super tasty and a lot of fun, just definitely a bit of a different texture. It feels more like a *smoked food* when done in the air fryer, if that makes sense.
Think about the difference between pan fried and smoked, when it comes to things like ... Kielbasa or chicken breasts. Same sort of deal here, when using the air fryer.
Air Fryer Smoked Fries
As I mentioned in my Honey Jeow Glazed Wings post, we bought an air fryer back when the shelter-at-home thing started up. It seemed like a fun way to make some of the frozen foods that we bought - just in case - more palatable.
AND WE LOVED IT.
The Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer, 6 Quart by Instant Pot is the Air Fryer we purchased, and we love it. If I had my time back, I may have ordered this one - a size bigger - but we had no idea how much we'd use it, so we weren't really willing to pay more or sacrifice more counter space for it!
How to make Smoked French Fries
Wash potatoes, slice into your choice of shape – regular fries, steak cut, wedges, disks … whatever.
Soak fries in cold water for 1 hour, to remove some of the starch.
Once the hour is up, arrange wet fries on smoker racks, allowing a little bit of space between each fry.
Smoke – following your smoker’s directions – for 1 hour at 225F **. Allow to cool to room temperature, before frying.
Deep Fried Version
Heat fryer oil to 360 degrees F
In small batches, cook fries for 10 minutes. This will NOT brown them, merely cook them. As each batch comes out, put aside.
Once all fries are par-cooked / blanched, turn the heat up to 375, and allow oil to reach temperature. In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per batch.
Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!
Remove to paper towels to drain a little, season with salt, and serve immediately.
Air Fryer Version
Heat air fryer to 375 degrees F, toss fries with a bit of oil - about 1 tablespoon per large potato used - and season with a bit of salt.
In small batches and in single layers, air fry your fries for about 8 minutes or so (will depend on the thickness of your fries), giving them a good shake about ⅔ of the way through the cooking time.
Also, be sure to leave a little space around each fry, so they can crisp up all around.
Once fries are done to your liking, season with salt and serve immediately.
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Smoked French Fries
- 4 lbs Russet Potatoes*
- Wood Chips of Choice
- Frying Oil
- Wash potatoes, slice into your choice of shape – regular fries, steak cut, wedges, disks … whatever.
- Soak fries in cold water for 1 hour, to remove some of the starch.
- Once the hour is up, arrange wet fries on smoker racks, allowing a little bit of space between each fry.
- Smoke – following your smoker’s directions – for 1 hour at 225F **. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Deep Fried Version
- Heat fryer oil to 360 degrees F
- In small batches, cook fries for 10 minutes. This will NOT brown them, merely cook them. As each batch comes out, put aside.
- Once all fries are par-cooked / blanched, turn the heat up to 375, and allow oil to reach temperature. In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per batch.
- Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!
- Remove to paper towels to drain a little, season with salt, and serve immediately.
Air Fryer Version
- Heat air fryer to 375 degrees F, toss fries with a bit of oil - about 1 tablespoon per large potato used - and season with a bit of salt.
- In small batches and in single layers, air fry your fries for about 8 minutes or so (will depend on the thickness of your fries). Be sure to leave a little space around each fry, so they can crisp up all around.
- Once fries are done to your liking, season with salt and serve immediately.
More Grilling & Smoker Recipes!
Looking for an excuse to fire up the grill? I've got you...
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Cold Smoked Potato Salad
Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
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Grilled Jambalaya Skewers
Hop Marinated Chicken & Vegetable Skewers
Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce
Hot Smoked Sockeye Salmon
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Montreal Smoked Meat
Montreal Steak Spice & Marinade
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers
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Smoked Cheese Balls
Smoked Chicken Breast
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Also be sure to check out our recipe sections for Grilling Recipes and more Smoked Food Recipes.
Maybe this is just crazy, but, what would happen it you tried "hopping" them up?
Smoked French fires recipe looks easy enough. My wife son and I recently went to an upscale hamburger joint and they had smoked French fries. They were the best French fires I have ever eaten. So being someone who loves to try new smoker recipes I searched for some for this. I have to ask why fry the fries twice at two different tmeperatures?
You start with the lower temperature to cook them through, then the higher to get them crispy on the outside. Just cooking at the low temp doesn't provide adequate crispiness, while cooking only at a higher temperature will cook the outsides too quickly, leaving the center raw.
My first words after trying smoked french fries while on vacation were your exact words. Holy Mother Of God. I'm on a low carb way of eating right now but I didn't care. Even my nutritionist said she would have gone all in on them. As soon as we got home I googled and found your recipe. Going to try them soon.