The first time I had a waffle fry, I knew that what I was holding in my hand was the Cadillac of fries. Large and in charge, these maximize crispy surface area while maintaining optimal potato fluff levels. Oh, and don’t forget the seasoned salt. Even the experts (well, a few “experts,” anyway) agree: The waffle fry is king.

But what if you don’t want to go to a fast-food joint or buy that frozen stuff? How do you even get that waffle shape? It’s not the industrial waffle-punchout machine you may be imagining, but a pretty straightforward process. All you need is a mandoline with a wavy/ridged blade attachment, a wavy cheese knife, or any other wavy slicing gadget. Basically, you make a wavy cut on your potato, then rotate it 90 degrees, and make another cut. Boom: Waffle fry. A mandoline will get you the best results, as each cut is the exact same width, which is what you need to make the waffle. If you’re using a wavy cheese knife, you have to make sure you line up each cut perfectly — it’s not impossible, but it’ll take you a lot more time than using a mandoline.

mandoline_blade
A mandoline with the wavy cutting attachment — your one-stop shop for waffle-cut chips and fries.

When you’re selecting your wavy-bladed apparatus, one thing to keep in mind is the size of the ridges. The smaller ridges that come on some mandolines will give you more of a waffle chip than a waffle fry (not that that’s a bad thing; think steak fries vs. shoestring fries), though they’ll still retain a bit of fluffy interior if you cook them right.

We’re going to use the double-fry method here, which I generally suggest for making crispy homemade fries, but depending on whether you’re making chips or fries, the timing is going to vary slightly. Which is better? That’s really up to you. Feel free to debate amongst yourselves.