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American Fries vs French Fries: What’s the Difference?

Do you love fries like we do? French fries or American fries – who’s the true winner when it comes to deliciousness and texture?

The battle between these two beloved potato side dishes leaves many of us feeling perplexed.

So, what really sets them apart? What makes one better than the other in a sea of heavily-seasoned thick-cut yellow potatoes?

Here, we dive into all things related to American and French Fries, detailing the various characteristics that distinguish them from each other so you can decide which is best for your taste buds.

What are American Fries?

American Fries, also known as home fries, are a popular pick in the U.S.

They are thick-cut potatoes, fried to a golden crisp. Inside, they’re soft and fluffy.

You can have these fries on their own or dip them in ketchup or other condiments.

Unlike French fries, American fries have a thicker cut and more potato flavor.

They are also seasoned with salt and other spices for extra flavor.

With their crispy coating and hearty potato goodness, American fries stand out from the thinner fries.

What are French Fries?

French fries, also known as chips or fries, are thin strips of potatoes deep-fried until crispy.

Born in Belgium, they’ve become popular around the world.

They’re usually served hot and salted, making them a popular side dish or snack.

The key to making the perfect French fry? Prep.

Choose the right potato, cut it into uniform shapes, and double fry it for the perfect texture and flavor.

French fries have a unique cooking process.

First, fry them at a lower temp to cook the insides without browning too much.

After that, take them out and let them cool.

Finally, fry them again at a higher temp for that golden-brown color and crunchy exterior.

This two-step process sets French fries apart from other potato dishes.

You can dress up French fries with salt or seasonings for added flavor.

Or, add toppings like gravy, cheese, chili sauce, or truffle oil.

These customizable toppings give French fries extra flavor and make them suitable for different tastes.

Plain or garnished, French fries remain a beloved treat worldwide.

Origin and History of American Fries and French Fries

American Fries and French Fries have an interesting past.

These potato dishes have become popular worldwide.

The two types differ in how they are made.

It’s said French Fries began in France in the 1700s or 1800s.

They were thin-cut potatoes fried in oil until both outside and inside were cooked.

This food quickly spread across Europe and to America.

During World War I, American soldiers in Belgium tried French Fries.

They took the idea home, and it became very popular.

American Fries grew out of this.

They are usually thicker-cut and wedge-shaped.

Plus, they often have different flavors.

French Fries usually come with ketchup or mayonnaise, while American Fries offer a wide array of dipping sauces like cheese, chili, or ranch.

Throughout the years, both French and American Fries have changed.

We now have classic fries, curly fries, waffle fries, and crinkle-cut fries.

These potato treats keep evolving to fit with trends and people’s tastes.

Differences Between American Fries and French Fries

American Fries and French Fries may look equal, but they’re really quite different.

Cut and Shape

The cut and shape of these two beloved potato preparations set them apart.

Thickness – American fries (steak fries) are usually thick and chunky.

The inside stays soft and fluffy, while the outside is crispy.

On the other hand, French fries are cut into thin strips, making them delicate and crisp.

Shaping – American fries are wedged or sliced into rectangular shapes, while French fries are cut into uniform sticks.

Seasoning and cooking – American fries are smothered in ketchup, while French fries are sprinkled with salt.

Both offer unique flavors.


When it comes to french fries, there’s a choice to make: thin or thick? American and French fries are both made from potatoes, but the variance lies in how they are cut and cooked.

American fries are usually thicker, broader pieces, cooked until they have a crunchy exterior and a soft interior.

For French fries, they are commonly made by slicing potatoes into slender shoestring-like strips.

This ensures each fry is golden and crispy, without losing its tenderness.

The cooking method also plays a role in creating the distinct textures.

American fries are double-fried or baked, making them crunchy outside and fluffy inside.

For French fries, they are fried once at a higher temperature, creating an even crispness throughout.

It’s all about personal preference.

But no matter what type of fry you pick, it’ll be an irresistible indulgence.

So, when faced with the choice between American or French fries, consider your desired texture and indulge accordingly.


Texture is a crucial factor when it comes to American and French fries.

American fries are famous for their crunchy outer layer and soft center.

They’re thicker and fried for longer, creating a rougher surface.

On the other hand, French fries use a thinner cut.

They’re double-fried to achieve a golden, crispy texture.

American fries are often seasoned with spices such as paprika or garlic powder.

This adds extra flavor that complements the texture.

But French fries usually just use salt.

This lets their natural taste and crunchiness stand out.

Seasonings and Flavorings

Seasonings and flavorings are key in making American fries different from French fries.

American fries are usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, for a savory taste.

French fries, on the other hand, are typically flavored with herbs like rosemary and thyme, for an aromatic flavor.

These flavors give each type of fry a unique taste.

Some American fries have spices like paprika or cayenne pepper to add heat and spice.

The different seasonings create distinctive flavors in every bite, making American and French fries special.

Similarities Between American Fries and French Fries

American and French fries have much in common.

Both are made from potato strips deep-fried to a golden brown.

They have a soft insides and crunchy outsides, making them loved around the globe.

These two types of fries are a fast-food favorite.

You’ll find them on menus all over the U.S. and France.

They’re the perfect comfort food for people of all ages.

You can season American and French fries with different toppings and condiments.

Ketchup, mayo, cheese sauce, bacon bits, chili, salt, and pepper are all popular choices.

You can customize the flavor to your liking.

Both types of fries work as side dishes or part of a larger meal.

They go great with burgers, sandwiches, and hot dogs.

They’re so versatile.

Minor differences in thickness or shape might exist, depending on where they’re made.

But overall, American and French fries are similar.

French fries are a symbol of international cuisine.

Variations of them exist under different names, like chips in the UK or frites in Belgium.

They’re a testament to the shared love of fried potatoes.

American fries and French fries may have similarities, but they are contrasting in various regions.

In America, American fries are usually thick-cut potatoes that are fried until crunchy outside and soft inside.

They are often seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices.

French fries, as the name suggests, began in France and are usually thin-cut potatoes fried until golden and crispy.

Usually served with a condiment like ketchup or mayonnaise.

In different parts of America, there are special variations of American fries to suit local preferences.

For instance, in the South, you may find Cajun-style fries with a spicy kick from Cajun seasoning.

In the Midwest, cheesy chili fries with melted cheese and chili might be enjoyed.

These distinctive regional versions add variety to American fries.

Likewise, French fries also have their own regional preferences around the world.

In Belgium, they are proud of their frites, twice-fried for a crispy exterior and soft interior.

Usually served with mayonnaise for dipping.

In Canada, poutine is popular, with French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.

Other countries have their own spin on French fries.

In Japan, tempura-style fries might be found–these are coated in a light batter before deep-frying.

In India, masala fries are enjoyed–these include French fries tossed in Indian spices such as turmeric and garam masala.

Serving Styles and Condiments

American and French fries have distinct serving styles and condiments.

American fries are often a side dish, seasoned with salt and pepper.

In some places, cheese is melted on top.

Or, chili and cheese can be added for chili cheese fries.

Sauces like ketchup, ranch, or BBQ can go with them.

French fries are thinner and longer.

They are usually served as a main course in France.

Herbs like rosemary or thyme can be used to season them.

Mayonnaise or aioli are usually the dipping sauces. Different regions have twists.

For instance, American fries may have toppings like bacon bits, sour cream, and chives.

Sweet potato fries may be served with chipotle mayo.


French fries and American fries have similar names. But they are different.

French fries are thin and crispy. American fries are thicker and soft.

It’s not just texture that’s different.

French fries are usually made from russet potatoes.

American fries can be made from different types.

The way they are cooked is distinct too.

French fries usually get deep-fried twice to get their crunchy exterior.

American fries are pan-fried or cooked on a griddle.

This makes a difference to the taste. French fries taste lighter.

American fries have a heartier flavor due to their thicker cut and softer texture.

So, next time you order fries, choose wisely.

American Fries vs French Fries: What’s the Difference?

Distinguishing between American fries and French fries? Look no further! Discover the key differences in this concise guide, helping you navigate the world of fried potatoes with clarity.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That


  • American Fries
  • French Fries


  • Choose between American fries and French fries based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword American Fries vs French Fries
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