Crispy Oven Fries
These oven fries bake up so incredibly crispy! I’ve combined the best tricks from all over the web to create this quick & easy recipe.
Anyone who knows me will tell you: I absolutely adore potatoes!
I’ve said it so many times, “I could 100% live off of nothing but potatoes.”
When you think about it, it makes sense. Not only are they delicious, but there are so many different ways to enjoy them! There are tons of different potato recipes on this site alone. Baked potato soup, cheesy scalloped potatoes, potato salad… the options are endless.
And today, I’m bringing you another favorite: crispy oven fries!
WHAT ARE OVEN FRIES?
Oven fries are just French fries that are baked in the oven, instead of deep fried in hot oil.
I love them because potatoes (hey), but also because they’re lower in fat and calories.
But best of all, they’re so much easier to make. While deep-fried anything tastes amazing, I often find heating a big pot of oil to be messy and wasteful. It’s also a chore babysitting it to keep it at the right temperature. And if I’m being honest, boiling hot oil scares me a little. Idk, I’m weird like that.
In the past, I’ve always just tossed some cut potatoes in a little oil and roasted them on a baking sheet. (Like I did for this sweet potato fries recipe.) Not half bad, believe me.
But as I was preparing to share this, I did a little research and found some great tips and tricks online to make them even crispier. Which equals better, imho!
So I’ve added all the tweaks and come up with the best oven fries recipe out there! And it’s easy to boot!
ARE OVEN FRIES HEALTHY?
There are lots of specifics in the nutritional label below, but I can tell you for certain that baked fries are definitely lower in fat than traditional, deep-fried French fries.
Compared to regular fries, you only need a very small amount of oil.
Since fatty foods translate into high-calorie foods, that makes this recipe lower in calories as well.
- Naturally gluten-free
- Dairy-free, and
Not to mention great for snacking.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY FRENCH FRIES IN THE OVEN
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Hot Water
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Oil, and
Start with potatoes. I used 3 large russet potatoes. If your potatoes are closer to medium-sized, use 4.
Russet potatoes are my favorite because they bake up so fluffy inside! But feel free to experiment with another kind if you like.
Personally, I like the taste and texture of the potato peel so I leave it on. You can peel yours if you prefer!
Scrub the potatoes and cut them into planks. I find that 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch in thickness works best. Thinner will bake slightly faster and more crispy. Thicker may take a few minutes longer but they’ll have the fluffiest interior.
Then cut the planks into batons.
Soak them in the hottest tap water you can get! Add a splash of cider vinegar and a fat pinch of salt.
The vinegar draws out the extra starch. You won’t really taste it in the final product, although I don’t really think that would be such a bad thing if you could (?).
Salt will draw out extra moisture from the potatoes, which will help them to be crispier.
And the hot water acts almost like a quick pre-cook, allowing the fries to need less time in the oven.
At this point, you can start preheating the oven. First, place 2 baking sheets inside so they can get really hot too. Then fire it up to a really high temp! This will immediately sear the fries and get them really golden and crispy.
Soak the potatoes for at least 15 to 30 minutes. You just want them to soften up slightly and get some of that excess starch off. Check the bottom of the bowl, if the water looks really cloudy you’re good to go!
Drain the potatoes and carefully blot them dry on all sides so they can really get crispy!
Then toss them in a mixture of oil, cornstarch, and salt.
Cornstarch will absorb any excess moisture and help the fries to cook up incredibly crispy. Here is a high-tech, science-y explanation of that, for all you nerdy types (of which I am one :P): Why Starch Gets Crispy.
By now your oven and your baking sheets should be good and hot. Working quickly, remove the trays and mist them with non-stick spray. Then divide the unbaked fries equally between both pans, arranging them in an even layer.
Try not to allow the fries to touch one another. They need to get hot air all around them so they can crisp up. If that doesn’t happen, they’ll steam rather than bake. And they could also stick together.
I wish, wish, wish I could tell you that you don’t have to flip the fries, but sadly I can’t. Because not only do they crisp so much more evenly if you do, but opening the oven during the cooking process allows steam to escape, which will prevent sogginess.
You’ll know your oven fries are done when they’re sizzling, golden brown on all sides, and gloriously crispy.
These fries are perfect as-is, but if you want to fancy them up I have some fun ideas for you:
- Sprinkle them with Old Bay to make crab fries. This is a Philly favorite!
- Drizzle or dunk in beer cheese. YUM!
- Toss them in truffle oil. This brand is my current favorite: Truff Truffle Oil. So bomb!
- Sprinkle them with fresh herbs. I love a little finely chopped rosemary or thyme!
- Shower them in freshly grated parmesan.
- Add a sprinkling of garlic powder.
- Top them with cheese, cooked bacon, and ranch to make loaded fries.
- Coat them in ranch powder for ranch fries, or taco seasoning for taco fries.
And stay tuned for my next recipe post: an absolutely killer poutine recipe!
FRENCH FRIES IN THE AIR FRYER
If you have an air fryer, this recipe is perfect for it!
Just lower the temperature by 25 degrees F and you’re golden.
If you have a convection setting on your oven, that will work too! Again, decrease the oven temp by 25 degrees.
CAN THESE BE MADE AHEAD?
Look, oven fries that aren’t freshly made are still darn good. Not gonna lie, I’ll still scarf them happily.
But honestly, they do tend to become less crispy and more chewy as they sit. Re-warming them in a low oven can help, but sometimes it dries them out.
I really think this recipe is best made fresh.
That said, you can easily scrub, cut, and soak the fries ahead of time. It’s fine for them to stay in the vinegar-salt-water for a couple of hours.
That at least cuts down on the last-minute prep time, so all you have to do is dry them, toss them in the oil mixture, and bake them off.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE SIDE DISH RECIPES:
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Incredibly Crispy Oven Fries
- Scrub the potatoes, peel them (if desired) and cut them into 3/8 to 1/2-inch planks.
- Cut the planks into 3/8 to 1/2-inch batons.
- Combine very hot tap water in a large bowl with the vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the salt.
- Soak the cut potato batons in the liquid for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and thoroughly blot them dry with clean towels.
- Place 2 foil-lined baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
- Place the cornstarch, remaining teaspoon of salt, and oil in a medium bowl and add the potatoes.
- Toss the potatoes in the oil mixture until well-coated.
- When the oven has reached 450 degrees F, quickly remove the baking sheets, mist them liberally with non-stick spray, and arrange the potatoes on them in an even layer (trying not to allow the potatoes to touch each other).
- Bake the fries until golden brown and crisp on all sides, turning them every 6 to 7 minutes (approx. 25 to 30 minutes total).