One Pot Dish Recipe

Making French Fries for a Crowd

Home Fries for a crowd - How Many Servings for a large group

Do you know that the USDA's data showed that almost half of potato sales in America go to making the humble french fry?
Moreover, we can definitely all agree that a crispy fry or any variety - be it a shoestring fries or steak fries are the favorite snacks of all ages and for all kinds of events. What is the most favorite snack at the Super Bowl - it is the fry- even though they are sometimes soggy fries - they are still the favorite.
How Many Fries Do I Need For 100 People

If you are planning to cook french fries for a crowd, party, or a big group it may feel overwhelming because of the huge quantity that you have to prepare and how do you really handle french fries for 10,20,50, or even 100 people.

Plus how many french fries does the average person eat at a party or family reunion?

Also, if you are going to cook thicker fries from scratch, we got you the best recipes and methods that you need and we also answer all your most common questions about how to cook french fries for a big crowd.

If you are having fries - then you certainly need burgers! - see our guide to making burgers for a crowd.

After fries then fruit is always good - see how to make fruit salad for a large group.

What if you need to prepare ahead of time with other meals - what recipes are good to make in advance.

There are many ways to cook these beauties and we will try to cover them all. As long as you have either an air fryer, griddle, or cast-iron skillet, oven, deep fryer you are in business.

First, we will cover the methods and then we will talk about how to scale each method up so you can handle a group of 50 people or more

Lastly, we will answer at the end of the article many faqs about french fries.

Air fry french fries for 100 people - you will need more than 1 Air Fryer
Air fry french fries for 100 people - you will need more than 1 Air Fryer

How to Make Homemade Crispy French Fries For A Large Group

There are several ways on how to successfully make homemade french fries. Here are some of the recipes and ways that you can choose:

Air Fryer French fries

This is a good option if you want your french fries to be less oily and healthier since an air fryer will not require you to use a lot of oil.  However, they are slower so scaling this method up for a lot of people will mean having at least 2 air fryers.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilogram of frozen french fries or sliced potatoes that have been prepared (see below how to do this)
  • Salt to taste (sea salt)
  • Ground pepper (optional)

Directions

1. Place the french fries (according to how many will fit - do not over load it) in the air fryer basket and spread them to cook evenly. You can choose to spray with a little olive oil or another cooking spray. Frozen fries are usually pre-cooked in oil so you will not need to use oil for them. But if in doubt test first.

2. Air fry for about 10 to 15 minutes at 400°F. Thicker fries or a potato wedge will take a few more minutes to be cooked. Try not to overcrowd the air fryer basket.

3. Gently shake the basket and turn the fries to prevent overcooking. Repeat until golden brown. 

4. Remove the fries and place them in a container. Drain the excess oil in a paper towel.

5. Sprinkle every batch with enough amount of salt as soon as you remove them from the basket. 

How To Use A Griddle Or Pan To Make French Fries for 100 People
How To Use A Griddle Or Pan To Make French Fries for 100 People

Use a Griddle To Make French Fries

Cooking french fries in a griddle is a good option if you want to have a time-efficient way of cooking. 

Using a large griddle that is well heated will allow you to cook in a large amount at once and as long as it is hot enough. 

If done right this is quite an efficient method to bulk cook french fries. The key is to have a hot enough griddle. If you are making homemade fries using a waxy potato and boiling first then removing the water from the par boiled potato will help with the overall crispiness.

Ingredients

  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Potatoes prepared as per method below.

Again if you are really serious about crispy fries you are going to have to follow our double cook method below - it is what the professional chefs do - which is ok for a small batch - making the ultimate fries for your family but it is really a lot of work for a large group which is why most people will opt for using frozen french fries which have already been cooked once.

Directions

1. Wash the potatoes to remove excess dirt, especially if you are using fresh.

2. Put the potatoes into a pot of cold water to stop them from going brown.

3. Sprinkle salt into the water to enhance the flavor. 

4. On high heat rapidly boil the water and potatoes for five minutes and let them simmer for another 3 minutes

5. Using a strainer, drain the water and add salt and oil.

6. Gradually the oil to the griddle, do not put on the fries until the griddle is hot. You can test by placing one potato on and see if it sizzles immediately. If so you are ready.

7. Place the potatoes one side down and do not flip the french fries until that side is golden brown. Repeat for the other sides.

8. Take the french fries off from the griddle and place them in the strainer or on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

9. Season with salt and black pepper according to your taste.

Use a Cast Iron Skillet

These are great as they will hold their heat well. I prefer a deep-sided pan so I can get at least 1-2 inches of oil in.

Ingredients

  • Oil
  • Salt
  • 1kg potatoes (or frozen fries)

Directions

1. Prepare the cast iron skillet. Pour on inches of oil on high heat. Get the oil up to around 325 F for normal fries, but for shoestring or thin fries have it up to 375F

2. Cut potatoes into thin slices.

3. Add the potatoes or frozen french fries into the boiling oil. Make sure not to overfill it, and keep the temperature stable.

4. Fry for five to six minutes until golden brown on both sides.

5. Remove from the oil using a strainer and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil

6. Sprinkle with salt for seasoning. 

DIY French Dries - Oven Made
DIY French Dries - Oven Made

Oven Fry - One Of The Best Ways

How to make homemade french fries in the oven?

Oven-baked fries are some of the best, and if you have a fan bake function it is very efficient at cooking crispy fries. Because you can put multiple trays of cooked fries in the oven at the same time oven-baked french fries are one of my preferred methods and a good way to make them for a crowd. Plus this method actually works well with a range of potatoes like the russet potato

Deep Fryer

Home Deep Fryer - these are actually quite good, and not very expensive. For example, online they can range from about 40 dollars up. To deep fry in vegetable oil is the most common way that cafes and small restaurants do. 

Here you set the oil temperature as per the manufacturer’s instructions - but usually at 325-370 F - depending on the thickness of the potato fries. For thinner fries have the temperature hotter.

Again to get the best result for fries that are fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside using a frozen product that has already been cooked is the quickest and easiest - but see our method below for you to make your own perfect french fries from scratch.

Do not overload the basket with potatoes - put in around one-third full and give a little shake and then leave them - as they cook 

Twin Basket Deep Fryer
Twin Basket Deep Fryer - This could make fries for 100 people

Big Group - Get help from friends and family

If you are cooking for a crowd, it is obvious that you are going to cook a lot of french fries. If you think this will take too much of your time, simply get help from people who are willing to lend their time for you. In that way, you are going to make the preparation and cooking time faster. Getting help is a great way to work smart. 

You can designate the work by assigning one person to do the washing and cleaning the dishes. While another person will wash and slice the potatoes to make sure its free of dirt. Another person could be in charge of rinsing and seasoning. And another could be in frying. 

It would be best to get your best friends in doing this with you to make it fun and exciting. Also, making your guests part of this process will help you interact with them in a more enjoyable way without making their day hassle. 

Cook ahead of time

Cooking ahead of time will prevent you from cramming and serving poor-quality french fries.

How Many Potatoes Do You Need Per Person for Fries

You would approximately need at least four medium potatoes per person. If you are going to serve this as a side dish, you can prepare at least six to seven ounces of potato slices per person. 

Moreover, if you are serving french fries as a snack for everyone in the crowd, you might have to prepare more. See our guide below for 100 servings of french fries.

Do not forget to prepare the french fries ahead of time if you plan to cook them in a large quantity. Place the uncooked potatoes in a large bowl of cold water to retain the texture and color. 

What Type of Potato is Best for French Fries?

The best type of potato that you can get for crispy french fries is the waxy style. Some other good examples are Idaho or Russet potatoes. Some may also work for others as the best everyone has their own favorite potato.

How Do I Season French Fries For a large Crowd or a Group?

One of my favorite sayings is "variety is the spice of life" and this certainly applies to the humble potato and what the French did to it with oil - namely fried it. So here are some ideas of the best seasoning for french fries for your group party.

  • sriracha sauce
  • shredded cheese
  • sea salt
  • onion powder
  • chicken salt
  • garlic powder
How To Serve French Fries For aCrowd
How To Serve French Fries For aCrowd

What Some Popular Choices For Making Home Fries for a Crowd

  • crinkle cut
  • curly fries
  • cajun french fries
  • cheese fries
  • potato stick
  • sweet potato fry

How To Make Crunchy French Fries At Home

The Secret is to Soak potatoes, dry potatoes, fry potatoes, drain potatoes, then fry again! However this is a lot of work for a large group - so we recommend getting a good brand of a frozen style from your local store or in bulk from a commercial supply.

Why Soak Potatoes for French Fries?

Why do you Soak potatoes in water before air frying or other methods - Soaking potatoes in cold water helps get rid of the starch. We want to get rid of excess starch because it makes the fried potatoes soft, and we want our fries to be hard on the outside - crisp, but nice and hot and fluffy on the inside.

For French Fries - How Long Do I Soak Potatoes?

The minimum time is at least one hour. Some people will soak them as long as overnight. I like to soak for at least six hours to get rid of the starch. Make sure all the potatoes are covered with water so they do not go brown. Keeping them in the fridge while they soak is also preferred.

How Many French Fries Are In A Serving

How do I calculate how many ounces or grams of french fries I need for a crowd of 10,50 or 100 people? 

First, what is the average serving size for one person or adult (children tend to eat more)? 

A good standard measure is our famous friends at MacDonalds - how many grams, ounces, and fries are in their packets.

What is the difference between a MacDonalds small, medium, and large fries portion? 

Average Macdonalds Fries Sizes

  • Large  140g/4.9oz  90 fries
  • Medium 100g/3.5oz 70 fries
  • Small 70g/2.5oz 55 fries
  • Kids 50g/1.7oz 40 fries

And that is a good measure for you to calculate how much you need for your party.

Lets calculate how many fries based on an average medium serving 

  • for 10 people you need 1kg or 2.2 lbs of fries
  • for 20 people you need 2kg or 4.5 lbs
  • for 50 people you need 5 kg or 11.25 lbs
  • for 100 people you need 10kg or 23 lbs
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