Learn the secrets to the best oven French fries ever. Tasty, crispy, healthy and did I say easy. Now you can do it too.
Editor Note: Originally Published: September 23, 2012, Updated and republished April 15, 2018, I have added more discussion and re-edited photos. And I added some dog love with a flashback dog picture.
All the food blogs have oven baked french fries recently. So I’ll jump in too. But I’m lazy; I don’t want to be flipping halfway through. I what relatively simple prep and even simpler cooking. But I want crispy and tasty too. I’m so picky. I want it all (and so do you!)
A darn good fry.
The Secrets of Crispy Oven Baked French Fries
- You need to cook at a high temp. I ended up at 425 convection. I think convection is important if you are using the rack not to have to flip the fries.
- The potatoes must be soaked, rinsed and then dried or they will just be a mushy mess.
- A light coat of oil adds some taste.
- Put the salt on before you bake.
- If you put them up on a rack, they will brown all around, and you do not need to flip them halfway through
- Never overlap fries. If they touch some, they will be ok since they will shrink a little and still brown.
What are the best potatoes for oven French fries?
Potatoes that are higher in starch are recommended for both deep frying and oven French fries. The most common is the Russet potato, but Yukon Gold potatoes are also a good choice. I have used both although I use Russets most of the time.
Many people want to call all “Russet potatoes” as “Idaho potatoes,” but that is not correct. There is no variety call “Idaho Potato,” but it is a registered trademark owned by the Idaho Potato Commission. So there are Idaho Russet Potatoes (usually my choice), but there are over 30 types of potatoes grown in Idaho and all fall under Idaho Potatoes.
Can I oven bake frozen French fries?
Yep, and the technique is the same. But start at the step of coating with oil. Don’t do the soaking.
Do I have to use a rack?
No, but then you will need to flip them halfway through cooking.
What cooks well with this?
I do these with the oven baked drumsticks. The timing and temps match nicely. Preheat before getting the potatoes cut and soaking. Work on the drummies and get them in. Then drain, rinse and dry the fries. Mix with a little oil and spread out on a rack. Salt and stick them in with the chicken. The chicken will get done first. Remove the drumsticks and let them rest a few minutes while the fries finish up.
Start with a couple of medium russet potatoes. That will make four servings. Preheat oven to 425 convection. If you don’t have convection, you can use 450 degrees or stay at 425, and it will take a bit longer.
Peel potatoes if desired. Cut your fries. I use a mandoline, but a knife will do. 1/4 inch thick, please.
Place in cold water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse the fries with cold water and place on a towel and dry reasonably well.
Dry the bowl and put fries back in and mix with about a tablespoon of oil.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a rack. Spray with PAM.
Spread the fries on a prepared rack. Do not overlap but they may touch a little. Give a light sprinkle of coarse salt.
Bake until golden brown. About 30 minutes.
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Originally published September 23, 2012
Updated and republished April 15, 2018