They are delicious and crispy. It doesn’t matter if you make french fries in the oven or fryer; you always want them to be as crispy as possible. It is very convenient to get them frozen from a store and put them into a fryer or in the oven. But does the price difference between store-bought and homemade french fries really justifies this convenience?
We did research and calculated if homemade french fries made from scratch are cheaper than store-bought frozen french fries.
Homemade french fries that you make from scratch are cheaper than the store-bought frozen french fries. It costs only 7.01$ to make french fries at home from scratch for 4 people. Monthly and yearly savings are also very gracious. A family of four can save up to 242$ a year or 20$ a month if they make them at home from scratch.
|Savings for making french fries at home calculated for the family of four|
|Weight store-bought||Cost store-bought||Cost homemade from scratch||difference per bag||Monthly saving per family of four||Yearly saving per family of four|
|Frozen french fries regular cut||26 oz (737g) bag||$3.08||$1.48||$1.61||$20.22||$242.67|
In general, cooking at home is cheaper than eating out. Check out how to save from 1720$ to 4303$ with homemade food.
Oven french fries vs fried french fries
Authentic french fries are deep-fried in oil. Since more and more people are aware of saturated fats in fried foods, home cooks are deciding to make french fries in the oven.
Both deep-fried fries and oven fries can turn out crispy, but it depends on how you prepare the potatoes. The essential thing that separates crispy and not crispy french fries is the type of the potato and cooking technique called blanching. The best potatoes for making french fries are Idaho or also called Russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are much denser than other potato types, and they are not as moist as other potato types.
Blanching is a cooking technique in which ingredients are put in boiling water or hot oil for a short time, removed from boiling water or oil, and put into a cold place or ice water.
Blanching french fries in water
When it comes to blanching french fries in water, the potatoes are put in boiling water. The cooking time is about five minutes. After the cooking process is done, it is crucial to cool them down completely before putting them in hot oil or the oven. The cooking and cooling process makes a thin outer layer on the potato, which becomes crispy after you fry it or bake it.
Blanching french fries in oil
Blanching in oil is similar to blanching in water. Cut potatoes are put in hot oil, which shouldn’t be more heated than 302F (150C). The first fry will cook the potato inside, which shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Simultaneously, the thin outer layer will form, which will result in crispy fries in the second fry. The second fry should always happen with cold potatoes and hotter oil. When the potatoes are blanched the first time, you should always cool the potatoes thoroughly. Only when they are completely cold proceed with the second fry. Oil for the second fry should be preheated to 356F (180C). Hotter oil will make the other layer brown and crispy.
- Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking dish
- Place blanched fries onto a baking pan
- Preheat the oven to the highest temp possible on ventilation function
- Bake for about 10-20 minutes until golden brown
- Always put salt on already baked fries because if you salt unbaked, they will release water and won’t come out as crispy
- Preheat the oil in your deep fryer
- Place blanched fries into the frying rack
- Deep fry for about 5-10 minutes
- Salt french fries before serving
How much does it cost to make french fries?
There aren’t a lot of ingredients in french fries recipes. The only thing you need are potatoes, oil for frying, and salt. To calculate the cost of making french fries at home, we had to consider all the factors that affected the price.
Measurement to grams: we calculated the measurement of each ingredient into grams to get the sum weight of ingredients for french fries. Since oil is not used entirely in the frying process, only the oil that is absorbed into french fries was calculated.
Average product price: for each ingredient, we checked the latest prices online and calculated the average price of ingredients per ounce, which are included in the french fries recipe.
Price per ingredient: the price for each ingredient is calculated to match the amount used in the recipe:
- The price for potatoes is calculated for unpeeled potatoes. Example: the recipe calls for 10 large potatoes, which is 3680g. The average price per 1lb of potatoes is 0,78$. If 1 lb is 0,78$ then 3680g is 6,5$. Meaning 10 large russet potatoes in french fries costs 6,5$.
- The price for oil is calculated on the fact that oil can be used at least 10 times with the hypothesis that you only use oil for frying potato fries or chips and not breaded or battered foods.
Sum weight of french fries: the summed weight of all ingredients for unfried french fries in grams is calculated with unpeeled potatoes and only absorbed amount of oil in potatoes. This is how we can compare the weight of unfried store-bought french fries to the unfried homemade french fries recipe.
- Russet potatoes calculation: To compare the weight of russet potato ingredient to frozen french fries, we took the total unpeeled weight of the potatoes. The hypothesis is that when you buy a frozen bag of potatoes in a store, you purchase unpeeled frozen potatoes. The hypothesis for calculating the total weight of unpeeled potatoes was that the weight of potatoes is reduced by 10% after they are peeled.
- Oil calculation: To compare the weight of oil, we took into consideration the fact stated in a book Food Engineering – Volume III: approximately 10% of oil is absorbed in the frying process.
If you make french fries in the oven, we took into calculation only 6 tbsp of oil. When making french fries in the oven, less oil is used than if you deep fry it.
Electricity cost: We made calculations for making french fries in a deep fryer with an average power of 800 watts and in the oven with an average power of 2400 watts.
- The deep fryer idle energy rate is approximately 800 watts. If we use a deep fryer for 10 minutes, we spend 0,02$ for electricity on average electricity rate.
- Ovens use 1000 to 5000 watts, with an average modern oven using around 2400 watts on medium to high heat.
- The calculation also includes the average electricity rate in the USA which is 13.19 cents per kilowatt-hour (updated April 2020)
Time, utensils, and cookware: We did not include time cost or the purchase of cookware and tools into the calculation.
The recipe ingredient quantities are taken from the cozy cook website. If you want to check all recipe steps click on the link and follow the directions.
I’ve written a complete “is it cheaper” analysis of the most popular foods cooks make at home.
(BREAD, PIZZA, PASTA, FRIES, BEEF JERKY, LASAGNA, CHEESECAKE, GRANOLA BARS, GLUTEN-FREE BREAD, MAYONNAISE, GNOCCHI, GUACAMOLE, GROUND BEEF, BROWNIES, HUMMUS)
I outlined the costs and buying guides for the ultimate savings.
The table shows that it costs 7.01$ to make 4 servings of french fries at home, which is 123 oz (3496 g). If you are making them just for one person, it will cost only 1.17$.
|Cost of homemade French fries made from scratch and fried in deep fryer?|
|HOMEMADE French fries||Quantities||Quantities in grams||Cost|
|Russet potatoes||10 large||3680 g||$6.50|
|Vegetable oil||2 quarts||1786 g||$0.45|
|Salt||1 tsp||5.9 g||$0.04|
|Electricity (deep fryer) frying time 10 min.||$0.02|
|Cost per 6 serving of French fries||$7.01|
|Cost per serving||$1.17|
|Cost per ounce||$0.057|
|SUM weight French fries (6 servings)||123 oz (3496 g)|
|SUM weight French fries (per serving)||20.5 oz (582.7 g)|
How much do you save if you make french fries at home from scratch
The calculation shows that it is cheaper to make french fries at home from scratch when comparing it to the store-bought frozen french fries. You can save up to 5$ a month and up to 60$ a year per person if you make french fries at home from scratch.
|Savings per person per serving if you make homemade french fries once a week|
|Weight store-bought||Cost store-bought||Cost homemade from scratch||difference per bag||Monthly saving per person||Yearly savings per person|
|Frozen french fries regular cut||20.5 oz (582g)||$2.43||$1.17||$1.26||$5.06||$60.67|
For the family of four, monthly savings are 20$ and can reach to 242$ a year if you make french fries at home from scratch.
|Savings for making french fries at home calculated for the family of four|
|Weight store-bough||Cost store-bough||Cost homemade from scratch||difference per bag||Monthly saving per family of four||Yearly saving per family of four|
|Frozen french fries regular cut||20.5 oz (582g)||$2.43||$1.17||$1.26||$20.22||$242.67|
Americans consume 30 pound of french fries per year. If we include this into calculation an average person in america could save 30$ a year if they mede homemade french fries from scratch.
Best Budget friendly french fries tools and gadgets for the crunchiest french fries
New Star Food Service 42313 Commercial Restaurant french Fry Cutter
If you are a french fries junky, then you need this commercial french fry cutter. It’s a sturdy restaurant-style kitchen tool, with stainless steel blades that can cut through potato, like a hot knife through butter.
Crinkle Potato Cutter – 2.9″ x 11.8″ Stainless Steel french Fries Slicer
You can’t make crinkle cut without the right tool. This crinkle cutter is the only tool you will need. It’s sharp, you can hold it in your hand like a knife, and it’s dishwasher safe.
T-fal Odorless Stainless Steel lean Deep Fryer with Filtration System
When you are deep frying indoors, it is very important to have a great odorless deep fryer. T- fal deep fryer will keep all orders safely inside the fryer where they belong. It is a stainless steel sturdy frier that is perfect for french fries, chicken, and order fried dishes.
* The prices for ingredients and products in our tables are average prices take from various websites. The prices are not taken directly from Amazon.
* Pro family chef utilizes affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of our product links, Pro family chef will receive a small commission at no cost to you. This helps support us, and allows us to keep providing tips, reviews, guides, and content for you.