I promised this post a while ago when I wrote about how to make the perfect simple cheeseburger. Here it is- five simple tricks to making perfect, crispy oven fries!
How many of you have tried to make oven baked french fries, only to have them come out a soggy mess, or stick to the pan, or burn too much? I have. I’ll find what seems to be the perfect recipe, with a beautiful photograph, only to have wasted my time and practically ruined a pan with sticky, burnt potatoes that end up in a lumpy pile in my trash can rather than in my mouth. So disappointing.
After a LOT of trial and error, I have figured out the way to make crispy oven fries perfect every time. Hip hip, hooray!
This recipe is simple, and uses only salt and pepper (and a bit of crushed red pepper for some heat) for seasoning, which is how I season almost any roasted vegetable I make. The beauty of these is that you can add whatever flavors you want- garlic, parmesan cheese, truffle oil, Old Bay… the possibilities are endless. They are a super healthy alternative to fried fries, they are super inexpensive to make, and if you follow these tricks they will come out perfectly every time!
1) Coat the fries in oil and seasoning. Slice the potatoes, put in a bowl, add olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings you are using, and stir. Many other recipes will tell you to put the potatoes on a baking sheet and then “drizzle” with olive oil. This generally doesn’t work, because the whole fry needs to be covered thinly in oil in order to be crispy (unless you mix it around after drizzling with your hands). I usually use about 3 tablespoons of olive oil for two potatoes (I don’t measure- instead, I count to three using my olive oil dispenser).
2) Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Parchment paper is the most magical cooking supply ever. Nothing will ever stick to your pan, and bonus- just throw it out when you are done and you don’t have to wash your baking sheet! Genius.
3) Spread the fries out so they aren’t touching. If the fries are too crowded, they will steam instead of get crispy, because the moisture won’t be able to escape. If you need to, use two pans instead of crowding them!
4) Roast at a high temperature. This will produce a crispy outside and a fluffy inside, since they will cook quickly.
5) Leave the fries alone while cooking. Many recipes will tell you to flip them halfway through cooking. Not only do I find this cumbersome, but I find that my fries come out better if I leave them alone. When you flip them, they will have a tendency to fall apart since they haven’t fully cooked, and unless you spread them out again so they aren’t touching, they may come out soggy.
And finally, as with anything I make with potatoes, I always leave the skin on, since it’s where many of the most important nutrients are (plus, no peeling!). Just make sure you give them a good scrub before slicing.
Hope you enjoy this guilt-free way of enjoying fries! And if you try any interesting flavor combos, I’d love to hear about them! :-)
How to make the perfect, crispy oven fries
- Place the potatoes in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want. Stir to coat well in the oil and seasoning.
- Spread potatoes out evenly on the baking sheets so they aren't touching.
- Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside.