Extra crispy baked oven fries recipe shows you how to make the best homemade baked french fries . This healthy alternative uses easy tips and tricks for making ultra crispy potatoes to dunk into the homemade fry sauce recipe included.
Easy tricks for best oven fries!
French fries don’t stand a chance around me. I can seriously eat my weight in them. But nothing makes me (almost) second guess having another than a soggy, limp fry.
Therefore, tackling the best method for making oven fries was a job I took very seriously. Perhaps, a little too seriously. But, hey, at least there were a lot of “mistakes” to consume!
Making homemade fries is simple. However, if you want to make truly crispy baked fries, there are some easy tricks., some of which are used in this famous roasted zucchini recipe!
- Soaking the cut potatoes first, which draws out the excess starch. I explain more on why this is key below!
- Not crowding the pan. When I make these I use three, sometimes even four pans. Oven fries need room for hot air to circulate.
- Not flipping too soon. They are baked for the majority of the time without flipping. This gives a nice sear and makes them easy to flip and finish.
- Seasoning after they are done baking. Salt draws out moisture, which you want to avoid until they have a nice, crispy exterior.
step by step: How To Make Crispy Oven Fries
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Cut the potatoes lengthwise first, in 1/4″ slices. Lay slices flat and cut again into 1/4″ sticks.
- Soak cut fries into a bowl of cold water. Let sit for several hours to overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Drain fries and soak up excess water using a flour sack towel.
- Spray the baking sheets first with cooking spray. Divide the fries between two sheets and drizzle with olive oil.
- Toss the fries in olive oil and spread on baking sheets, making sure there is room between the fries for heat to circulate.
- Bake for 20 minutes until crisp on one side and tender. Remove from the oven to flip potatoes and then continue baking for 10-15 minutes more.
- Season with preferred seasonings, such as salt, pepper, seasoned salt, or garlic powder.
best potatoes to use
To mimic a traditional french fry taste I believe Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho potatoes, make the best crispy baked fries. They have a high starch content so they stay crispy when baked.
Other potatoes, such as waxy red, new potatoes or yukon golds, contain more moisture so they have a tendency to steam and not have as crispy as an exterior. Those potatoes are best used for mashed, smashed potatoes, or grilled potatoes.
Why Soak Potatoes in Water First?
Although this is an extra step, it truly achieves the most ultra crispy exterior. Soaking the fries in water draws out the excess starch, which helps for a few reasons.
- It mimics that deep fried, golden coating, but much healthier!
- Soaking in water helps prevent fries from sticking together while baking. In turn, the heat reaches all sides of the potatoes, instead of trapping in heat and steaming.
- Soak potatoes for several hours up to overnight. Then, all the prep work is done when it’s time to prepare the meal! Simply drain the potatoes, blot dry, and throw in the oven.
best way to reheat fries
Usually when I make this side dish there isn’t a crumb to be spared. However, if you have more self-control, follow these steps to reheat fries either in the oven, stovetop, or airfryer. (Please, no microwave).
- Reheating fries in the oven: Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425ºF. Once the oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet, carefully spread fries in a single layer and bake 3-5 minutes.
- Reheating fries on the stovetop: Heat a heavy skillet (cast iron works best) on high heat until it’s very hot. Swirl around a small splash of oil and add fries in a single layer. Flip fries every 30 seconds until hot and crispy.
- Reheating fries in an Air Fryer: Preheat air fryer to 350ºF. Spread fries out in the basket, no more than halfway full. Cook the fries 3-4 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
Are Baked Fries Healthy?
Baked fries are healthier than traditional deep-fried french fries because they use less oil to cook them in, usually only a couple tablespoons.
Baking fries at home also allows you to control the amount of salt and seasonings, which restaurants typically go overboard on.
Life Changing Fry Sauce
Once upon a time I was oblivious to fry sauce. They were dark times.
If you have never tried fry sauce before, I understand your indifference. I was once you, looking at that simple list of ingredients, wondering why people go nuts about it.
It’s all legit. Who knew five simple ingredients can blend together to make a french fry’s soulmate?
Just try it. I bet you have all the ingredients in your kitchen, and the easy recipe is right
dinners to serve with Fries
Of course the most popular side dish for burgers is french fries, but they also pair perfectly with these dishes as well!
expert Tips to remember
- The best potatoes to use are russets. Peel them or leave the skins on. Either way they are perfect.
- Lay the drained fries on a towel to soak up excess water before baking. This recipe is yet another reason why I adore flour sack towels. They are absorbent, lint free, and huge (perfect for drying lettuce, veggies, and draping over rising bread).
- Spray the baking sheets first with cooking spray. This may seem redundant, but cooking spray contains lecithin, which forms a thin layer between the pan, oil, and food to help the fries release easily. Parchment paper may be used, but keep in mind this does bake in a 450 degree oven, which is its limit.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. I use 2-3 baking sheets when making Oven Baked Fries because the more space between the fries, the more heat can circulate around each fry’s surface. If you are short of baking pans, cut the potatoes in wedges.
- Rotate the pans between the oven racks during baking for even browning.
- If the fries do not flip easily, bake them longer. You’ll know when they are crisp and ready to be flipped because they release freely from the pan. My go-to spatula for roasting food is this thin flexible steel one.
- Season after they are done baking. Sprinkle on sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, fresh herbs, or parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
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Crispy Homemade Oven Fries (Not Soggy!)
- 3 large russet potatoes, cut in 1/4″ matchsticks
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, for seasoning
- ½ cup mayonnaise, I used light
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Place potato matchsticks in large bowl and cover with water. Soak for at least 2 hours up to overnight in the refrigerator. This draws out the excess starch in the potatoes to make them crispier.
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Drain the potatoes, rinse, and lay out on lint free absorbent towels, such as flour sack towels. Blot dry as much as possible.
- Spray baking sheets with cooking spray. Divide the potatoes between the baking sheets. Divide and drizzle olive oil over the top of the potatoes. Toss to coat evenly with oil. Spread potatoes on pan so they aren't clumped together. The more space they have, the crisper they will get.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating pans 1/2 through. Remove pans to flip fries. If fries do not release easily, put back in oven and bake until crisp on bottom and freely releases from pan.After fries are flipped, bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until browned and crisp. Season with salt.
- Combine all ingredients together and serve with fries. Refrigerate leftovers.
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Best Tips to Remember!
- The best potatoes to use are russets. Peel them or leave the skins on.
- Lay the drained fries on a towel to soak up excess water before baking and dry as much as possible.
- Spray the baking sheets first with cooking spray. This may seem redundant, but cooking spray contains lecithin, which forms a thin layer between the pan, oil, and food and helps the fries release easily.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. I use 2-3 baking sheets when making these because the more space between the fries, the more heat can circulate around each fry’s surface.
- Rotate the pans between the oven racks during baking for even browning.
- If the oven baked fries do not flip easily, bake them longer. You’ll know when they are crisp and ready to be flipped because they release freely from the pan.