The Great Soaking Debate
I wondered if sweet potato fries would benefit from a soak in water like my crispy potato wedges do. Those wedges are made with Russet potatoes, and soaking them for 10 minutes in hot water helps release some of the starch in the potatoes and lets them absorb moisture, which leads to ultra-crisp outsides and moist interiors.
So, I tried soaking batches of fries in hot water, and batches in cold water, and baking them with and without cornstarch. You know what? It wasnt worth the effort. Hot water actually seemed to inhibit crispiness. When I compared a batch of cold water and cornstarch fries with un-soaked cornstarch fries, the un-soaked actually fared better.
I hate extra steps as much as you do, so Im pleased to report that you do not need to soak your sweet potato fries for great results!
Soaking Potatoes For Fries
Is it necessary to soak potatoes for fries? Yes and no. I tested this recipe a number of times, both with and without soaking. I found that soaking the cut potatoes in cold water for 15 minutes resulted in slightly crispier baked French fries. However, unsoaked fries were still decently crispy. My advice? Soak if you have the time because it does help to make the crispiest baked fries. If youre short on time, you can skip the soak and your oven fries will still be delicious.
What Temperature Do You Cook Zucchini Sticks In An Air Fryer At
When cooking zucchini fries in an air fryer, it is best to set the temperature to 400°F . This will help ensure that your fries get nice and crispy while also maintaining their texture on the inside. You should also make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket so that air can circulate and the fries cook evenly.
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Cooking Vessel And Oil
Cooking vessel Use a heavy-based, large pot that is at least 10 cm / 4 deep. We need:
Oil depth 3 cm / 1.2 of oil . Its barely deep-frying, its more like shallow-frying!
Safety headroom 7 cm / 2.8 headroom above the surface of the oil for safety purposes as the oil bubbles up quite a lot when we fry. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Oil overflow is a real risk if you do not do this. Its scary and dangerous, as I found out first hand! Learn from my mistakes.
Oil temperature Preheat the oil to 205°C/400°F. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. I use a Thermapen, see my Essential Kitchenwares post for more details.
The Secret To Crispy Fries
It turns out that the secret to deliciously crispy oven fries is a presoak in salted water. Soaking the raw potatoes in salt water releases a lot of their moisture before cooking, so they can crisp up nicely in the oven without turning out overcooked.
Heres one of my favorite recipes for oven-baked fries, so you can put this method to the test for yourself!
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French Fry Flavor Variations
- Classic Crispy Oven Fries Simply seasoned with fine ground sea salt. For a nice presentation, you can garnish them with a little fresh minced parsley, like the fries you see in this post.
- Cajun Fries Toss the oil-coated potatoes with my Kickin Cajun Seasoning Mix or a store-bought blend before baking.
- Old Bay Fries Toss the oil-coated potatoes with a little Old Bay Seasoning before baking and then season the baked fries to taste with salt, if desired.
- For a tasty flavor variation check out Martha Stewarts Italian Fries.
How To Make Crispy Oven Fries
Wash the potatoes with cold water and dry them with a kitchen towel. Leave the skin on. Slice the potatoes lengthwise about 1 inch thick.
Cut the slices lengthwise into long fries. Put the fries in a big bowl with cold water for 20 minutes to remove the starch.
Take a clean kitchen towel and dry the fries.
Preheat the oven to 350 and in the meanwhile line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Put the dried fries on the baking sheet and sprinkle the olive oil on the fries and coat evenly.
Sprinkle with cornstarch and use your hands to coat evenly. Divide the fries on the tray but do not crowd the tray.
You do not want the potatoes to steam but fry them in a bit of oil so they can crisp up.
Put the baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Toss the fries and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the fries so they do not burn.
Take out of the oven and season with sea salt and oregano or paprika powder or ranch seasoning.
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Dip Them In Beer Batter For Crispy Results
If you feel like going the extra mile with your frozen fries, you can opt to lightly fry them on the stove using a rich, homemade beer batter.
“Lightly coat the fries in the batter and add a little Cajun seasoning,” Mendoza said. “This adds more crunch to your fries along with a light, spicy note from the seasoning.”
To make a quick beer batter, simply combine a cup of all-purpose flour with an egg and any seasoning you desire. Whisk to combine, and then slowly add about a cup of any beer you have handy.
Slice Your Fries Thinly
You want your fries to be about 1/4 wide, or close to it. Thick fries never get crispy.
Heres how to slice a sweet potato into fries: Rest your sweet potato on its side on a sturdy cutting board. Working lengthwise, slice off a 1/4 thick slab from one of the sides. Turn the sweet potato onto the flat side so its more stable. It gets easier from there!
Continue cutting the sweet potato into slabs, and then cut the slabs into thin fries. As youre cutting the slabs, youll eventually want to turn the sweet potato onto the now-larger flat side to maintain stability.
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How To Reheat Fries
You can easily reheat your leftover oven baked fries, either in the oven, or on the stovetop.
- Stovetop Reheating: Add a tablespoon or two of oil in non-stick pan. Reheat over medium heat for a few minutes and enjoy!
- Oven Reheating: Baked fries can be reheated in the oven. Spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven.
- Microwave Reheating: This is less ideal as they can come out soft or soggy! 20-40 seconds should be plenty of time.
Always Salt Your Fries While They’re Still Hot From The Oven
If the salt seems to fall right off your fries, you may be seasoning them at the wrong time.
“Add salt immediately after cooking, while they’re still piping hot,” Koeppe said. “This helps you get the best flavor.”
Using finely milled salt rather than coarse, flaky salt may also help the salt crystals stick to the fries.
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Toss Your Sliced Fries In Cornstarch Before Oil
Cornstarch really helps to get the outsides crisp! Its a little trick I learned from a commenter named Jeni . Ive played around with various amounts of cornstarch and olive oil and found the perfect ratio.
Ive experimented with arrowroot starch as well, and it produced fries that were somewhat less crisp, but its worth using if thats what you have.
Coat The Fries With Oil
To successfully oven-fry, you still need to use oil-just not as much as you’d need to fill a deep fryer. About 2 teaspoons of canola oil should be enough to coat one medium sweet potato cut into fries or wedges. Toss your oil and sweet potato pieces in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix them together to distribute the oil more effectively. This is also a good time to add seasoning, since the oil will help it stick evenly to the food. And while you’re at it, a little oil or cooking spray on your baking sheet is a good idea to prevent the fries from sticking. Cooking spray will give you the best coverage using the least amount of oil.
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The Key To Perfect Crispy Oven Fries
The key to crispy oven fries lies in the type of potato used and preparation method employed. For a creamy interior and crispy exterior use the right types of potatoes and soak the potatoes to remove some of the starch. To speed this process along, par boilthe fry cut potatoes, drain, then allow the water to steam off. Patting the fries dry ensures the oil will stick to the potatoes and produce a nice crispy exterior.
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- Rimmed Baking Sheets. With these in your kitchen, youll be ready for baked fries anytime.
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- Mixing Bowls. Stackable and easy to store.
If you try this recipe for ranch-inspired crispy baked fries, Id love to hear what you think. Your comments mean so much to me!
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Why Are My Sweet Potato Fries Not Crispy
You can keep the fries crispy by spreading them out in an even layer with enough space between them to avoid touching them. When making a large amount of fries, this is especially important. Spread them out over two baking pans or bake them in batches instead of piling them all on one pan.
I made baked sweet potato fries for the first time eight years ago, and theyve been one of my favorite snacks ever since. Theres no need to hurry to get your crispy fries because theyre so simple and simple to prepare. Sweet potato fries have a variety of advantages over traditional fries. While the fries are baking, salt them first, but wait to add any spices afterwards. Once the cooking is finished, youll switch to the lower and upper rack positions. When they are baked, they should be evenly distributed on the outside and golden on the inside. Youll learn how to make crisp, oven-baked sweet potato fries.
These fries are simple to make and healthy snacks or side dishes that can be served with olive oil and sea salt. For a 20 minute baking time, place the fries in a baking pan and cook on all sides. This recipe yields four portions. Because baked sweet potato fries are best served fresh and hot, leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days. Reheat in an oven or toaster oven until heated and crisp. If you want to try something different, add the baked fries to a spice grinder and toss them in.
How Do You Make Frozen Fries Really Good
When it comes to frozen fries, there are a few things that you can do to make them even better. One thing that you can do is to use a non-stick pan.
This will help to make the fries cook evenly and thus make sure that they are not soggy. Another thing that you can do is to use low heat when cooking the fries. When done, the fries should be crispy and golden brown.
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Different Types Of Starches For Thickening Liquids
When the starch is finer and more absorbent, it is more effective at thickening liquids than cornstarch. Arrowroot and starch share many characteristics, including a sweet taste and a clear texture. A potato starch, which is also known as potato powder, is a starchy root vegetable. This type of starch, which comes from cassava root, has a slightly pudding-like consistency and is extracted from cassava roots. Granules of instant mashed potato are powdered instant potatoes that can be used to replace cornstarch in baking recipes.
How To Make Homemade French Fries
Learning how to make French fries from potatoes is an important life skill that youll be happy to have in your arsenal.
After extensive experimentation with different varieties of potatoes, baking times and temps, and seasonings, todays easy homemade fries are the BEST of them all!
My homemade French fry secrets come down to four basic tips:
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What Ingredient Makes Food Crispy
There are many ingredients that can make food crispy, but one of the most important is baking powder. Baking powder helps to create a crispy texture on food by helping to dry out the food and prevent it from sticking to surfaces.
What makes food crispy is a key ingredient, and its not just the fat that makes it gooey. The starch in the food also helps to keep things cooked through.
How To Make Perfect Crispy Oven Fries
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. Ill 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 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!
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 dont have to wash your baking sheet! Genius.
4) Roast at a high temperature. This will produce a crispy outside and a fluffy inside, since they will cook quickly.
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How To Cut French Fries By Hand
To make baked French fries at home: youll need to learn how to cut them! Its not hard once youve done it once. Weve got a video to help break down the method. Here are a few notes:
- Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base.
- Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long 3/8-inch wide strips.
- Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries!
Background: Rethinking The French Fry Method
The conventional way of making french fries involves firstly soaking the raw fries in water followed by a double fry. This was the way students were taught at cookery school and is still the default method used by many restaurants and pubs.
This method will yield crispy fries when they are piping hot, straight out of the fryer. But the first problem is that within minutes, before they even hit the table, they start to lose crispiness. I also found this classical method is heavily dependent on the potato. You get varying levels of crispiness depending on the potato quality and even season, as the starch / sugar levels of potatoes vary throughout the year. This is true even if you use the ideal variety of potato.
Well, this wont-stay-crispy problem and unpredictability just wont cut it anymore. So, old school method ditched. Its time to look at modern methods with better and more reliable results!
Actually its not just me. Times have changed generally and restaurants around the world use all sorts of methods these days in pursuit of the ultimate crispy French fries. Some go to extreme lengths like triple or quadruple frying, overnight resting, or frying in pure beef drippings.
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Chef Tips For Making Crispy Oven Fries
- Be sure to preheat the baking sheet. This step will help prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan. And try not to flip the potatoes before 20 to 25 minutes of roasting. They still my stick a little before this amount of roasting time.
- Dont line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. I always thought this was the way to go for easy clean up. But with this added layer on the baking sheet, the potatoes will steam more than roast.
- Season the crispy oven fries as soon as they come out of the oven. The kosher salt will stick better when the fries are hot.
If you make these crispy oven fries, Id love hearing from you. Be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating ~ I do my best to reply to all your comments. And snap a photo to post to . Ill add the photos to my Insta stories as I love seeing all your creations.
Also check out my and pages for lots of fabulous foodie stories and videos, cooking tips, and recipes.