French fries with ketchup over old wooden table

If you love french fries, you probably cannot get enough of them. But one order of restaurant french fries can cost as much as an entire bag of potatoes for homemade french fries. However, if you don't know how to use a deep fryer, making homemade french fries can be a little tricky the first time. While the amounts of oil and frying instructions vary from fryer to fryer, there are a few basic rules of thumb to follow when frying french fries.

Choose the right cooking oil. The BC Centre for Disease Control's "Guidelines on Deep Fryers and Frying Oil" recommends using cooking oil that can withstand high heat. Safflower, sunflower, corn, canola and peanut oil all have high smoking points and are good for deep frying.

Rinse potatoes thoroughly. Remove any potato eyes or sprouts. Allow to drain completely until dry.

Peel the potatoes (optional). Cut the potatoes in half, lengthwise. Cut the potato halves into long strips according to the desired thickness.

Pour cooking oil into deep fryer, taking care not to exceed the fill line. Turn the deep fryer on and heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Don't let it get too much warmer: The BCCDC states that frying oils should not exceed 355 degrees F.

If your deep fryer has a frying basket, remove it and place a handful of cut potatoes into the basket. Otherwise, place sliced potatoes into a metal skimmer. Slowly lower the basket or skimmer into the hot oil. Be sure to use an oven mitt to protect yourself from the hot oil.

Leave french fries in the deep fryer for approximately three minutes. Slowly raise the basket or skimmer. Allow the hot oil to drain over the deep fryer before moving the french fries to a plate.

After you have cooked all of the french fries, turn the deep fryer off. Allow the oil to cool completely before draining it into a metal container for disposal.