These baked fries, aka oven fries, are made with just potatoes, oil, and salt. They’re easy, healthy, crispy on the outside, and folks are telling us no one will notice they’re not fried. Tasting is believing.
Yes, baked fries. We know. You’ve tried oven fries in the past and have been sadly, miserably, devastatingly disappointed by what you experienced. Try again. Thanks to this recipe, you can make—and inhale—crisp, tender, perfectly cooked fries without the expense or fuss of a deep fryer. We know. Baked fries can never achieve the indulgent goodness of traditional fries. But these come close. Swear. Tasting is believing.–Lukas Volger
WHY DO I NEED TO SOAK MY POTATOES BEFORE BAKING?
The secret to achieving oven fries awesomeness is to first soak the potatoes in water to rid them of some excess starch and then blast them in the oven at a high temperature. The soaking is the secret to the crisp texture of the fries. By drawing out a little of the starch, they become more rigid and less likely to stick together. Russets are recommended for fries because of that high starch content—it helps the spuds keep their shape during the cooking process.
- Three (1 1/2- to 2 1/2-pound) large russet potatoes scrubbed but not peeled
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed or mild vegetable oil
- Sea salt
- Using a sharp, sturdy knife, make a single slice just beneath the peel along the length of the potato so that it rests flat on a cutting board. Carefully slice the potato lengthwise into broad slabs that are 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Arrange 2 or 3 slabs on top of each other and slice them lengthwise into strips that are 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
- Toss the potatoes in a large bowl, add enough cold water to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Lightly oil a couple rimmed baking sheets.
- Pat the potatoes dry. You really want to get them as thoroughly dry as possible. If you have a salad spinner, run the potatoes through that and then blot them with a clean, dry kitchen towel. [Editor’s Note: We never imagined using a salad spinner for potatoes, either. It works. Trust us.]
- Dump the potatoes in a large resealable plastic bag or bowl, add the oil and 1 teaspoon salt, and shake or toss well to evenly coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes evenly on the prepared baking sheets, taking care not to crowd them.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping the potatoes every 10 minutes, until golden and crisp. [Editor’s Note: We prefer to use a thin bendy metal spatula to slide beneath the potatoes.] Immediately dump the fries onto a plate or platter and toss with more salt to taste. Devour immediately.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I thought that I knew how to make baked fries. They never tasted as good as real fries, but I figured, why would they? They're healthier. Well, I was so wrong. Hot off the pan, these baked fries are every bit as awesome as the real deal. My daughter and I polished these off easily.
Baked French fries always SEEM like a great idea. In all honesty, though, they rarely ARE a good idea in actuality. Until now!
I used two HUGE russet potatoes that weighed in at nearly two and a half pounds between them. From slicing and soaking through baking, these fries took just about 1 hour. And let me assure you, they were well worth every minute. I find that adding the fries, oil, and any spices to a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and tossing them is the best way to entirely coat them and there’s no mess from tossing in a bowl or on the baking sheet. My delicious fries were done baking in just a little over 30 minutes.
One final note, if you choose to conceal the fact that these fries are baked and not fried, no one will be the wiser!
Originally published January 1, 2018