Crispy Fried Potatoes – How to Make Old Fashioned Fried Potatoes

This Crispy Fried Potatoes recipe starts with raw potatoes and ends with a perfectly pan-fried potato.  Follow my step-by-step instructions on how to make old fashioned fried potatoes (served with ketchup, of course).

Crispy Fried Potatoes Recipe

At my house growing up, Mom often served pork chops or salmon patties with fried potatoes that were perfectly crispy outside and slightly soft inside. To this day, I crave fried potatoes served with a side of ketchup.

And that’s exactly how this story began.

Me: “Mom, how do I make fried potatoes? You know, the ones that start with raw potatoes.”

Thank God for Moms. I’ll never be too old to use mine as my own personal instruction manual.

Old Fashioned Fried Potatoes

The secret to making a crispy fried potato is in the prep work. After washing and peeling the potato, slice into thin slices and soak in cold salt water.  I start this process early or mid morning; that way, I’m all set when the lunch hour comes around.

You’ll also want to be sure to use a large skillet. This way, the oil covers the entire pan allowing the potatoes to crisp up.  If you use a smaller skillet, flip and turn the potatoes often, moving around the potatoes so they all have a turn in the oil.

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Add enough oil to the bottom of the pan to cover the pan in a shallow layer.  For an 8 inch pan, that’s about 5 tablespoons. It’s ok to eyeball this step.  Next, be sure to pat dry the potatoes to remove the excess water from soaking.

Another rule of thumb to ensure crispy-fried potatoes is the oil should be screaming hot before adding the potatoes. Test the oil by adding one potato slice to the pan first to make sure it ripples and fries immediately.

Continue to fry the raw potatoes to your desired crispness. You can make them extra crispy, or crisp on the outside and soft on the inside (my personal preference).

Follow all these steps, and you’ll have amazing country fried potatoes before you know it.

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Ingredient List for Fried Potatoes

What do I need to make old fashioned fried potatoes?

Potatoes, scrubbed clean, peeled and sliced

Water, to soak potatoes

Vegetable Oil (or canola)


Black Pepper


How To Make Fried Potatoes from Raw

  1. Wash and peel potatoes. Slice into thin slices approximately 1/8 inch thick.
  2. Soak potato slices in cold, salted water for a minimum 30 minutes; drain water and pat dry.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add potato slices. Fry until browned, flip potatoes often to brown all sides to the desired crispness.
  5. Drain onto a paper-towel lined plate.  Season with salt and pepper while hot.

For the full instructions and ingredient amounts for pan fried potatoes, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

Notes About How to Fried Potatoes from Raw:

  • What kind of potato works best for fried potatoes? I recommend using a  potato with a high starch content such as Russet.  This will result in a crispy pan-fried potato.
  • Why do you soak potatoes before frying?  Soaking in cold water removes extra starch which keeps the potatoes from sticking together during the frying process.  Less sticking together equals crispier potatoes.
  • How long should I soak my potatoes before frying?  Soak the potatoes in cold, salted water for a minimum 30 minutes.
  • What type of oil should I use when making fried potatoes?  Use an all purpose vegetable oil or canola oil. These oils don’t have strong flavors and have a high smoke point.
  • Should I salt my potatoes before frying? Add salt to the cold water for soaking to infuse flavor into the potato salt.  Then be sure to salt when the potatoes are done frying and still hot.
  • What size skillet should I use to make fried potatoes?  Use a larger skillet than you think you’ll need so that the potatoes are spread out and more make contact with the hot oil.  If you choose to use a smaller skillet, just be sure to stir the potatoes more often during the frying process to get all the sides brown and crispy.
  • Why are my fried potatoes soggy?  Be sure to pat dry the potatoes when you drain them from the soaking water. Skipping this step can result in soggy potatoes.  Secondly, be sure the oil is very hot before adding the potatoes.

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.