Baked Fries

These baked fries, also called oven fries, are made with just potatoes, oil, and salt. They’re easy, healthy, crispy on the outside and a lot like steak fries. Tempted? You should be.

Baked Fries

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. The secret to achieving oven fries awesomeness is to first soak the potatoes in water to rid them of excess starch and then blast them in the oven at a high temperature. Swear. Tasting is believing. Originally published January 1, 2018.Angie Zoobkoff

Baked Fries

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 2 to 4
Print RecipeBuy the Veggie Burgers Every Which Way cookbook

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Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Lightly oil a couple rimmed baking sheets.
  • 4. 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.]
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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 transfer the fries to a plate or platter and toss with more salt to taste. Devour immediately.

HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR OVEN FRIES

  • To give your fries some personality, try adding different spices with the olive oil and salt before roasting the fries. The possibilities are sorta infinite. Don’t know where to start? Perhaps try smoked paprika or Old Bay seasoning for starters.

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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!

Comments

  1. I’ve been baking my French fries in a similar way using a French fry cutter with a lever. Really easy to do a lot of potatoes- and you want to do a lot because they’re addictive for everyone who eats them. I refrigerate the bowl of potatoes for at least several hours, sometimes all day if I cut them in the morning. Then I dump then in a colander and rinse. It’s amazing how much starch comes off! Pat dry, mix with oil, salt,pepper and garlic powder and bake on a greased sheet, flipping once or twice until you reach your desired crispness. We even like the ones that aren’t crisp and start eating them off the pan. Even my 88 year old mother is making this recipe since I told her about them.

  2. So, I made these tonight exactly according to the recipe. I soaked the russet potatoes for at least 7 hours, dried them first in a salad spinner and then very well in a towel. Tossed them in a plastic bag with the oil and salt and baked them in a 450F oven on a lightly oiled sheet pan. After 10 minutes they were so stuck to the pan I could not flip them with a fish spatula. I left them for another 6 minutes and was able to barely scrape them off the pan to turn them. Baked for another 10 minutes and they were definitely cooked through but not crisp at all. Left them for another 5 minutes and still kinda floppy and falling apart. Very disappointed. Will have to go back to deep frying I’m afraid.

    1. Alexandra, I’m so sorry you had that experience. May I ask, was your oven preheated to 450°F before you put the fries in the oven or was it still preheating? That can make a difference. I occasionally have potatoes stick to the sheet pan yet it’s usually when the oven isn’t quite up to temperature before I slide them into the oven. I’m a little perplexed at the potatoes staying floppy and not crisping at all although that, too, can happen when the temperature is a little too low to first crisp the exteriors. It can also happen if you had the wedges a little close to one another; when the air can’t circulate well, the potatoes will effectively steam rather than roast and crisp. Did you use the couple baking sheets as indicated in the recipe or did you perhaps use only one? Kindly let me know your thoughts, not trying to point fingers, just trying to understand where things went awry and we’ll go from there in terms of trying to recreate what happened and troubleshoot.

  3. Thank you for your reply, Renee. My oven was definitely preheated to 450 and I use an oven thermometer too as I am a baker by profession. My oven fits a 3/4 sheet pan and I was able to fit all the potatoes on it without crowding. I only used 2 large russets, not three. My pan was lightly oiled, but perhaps a little more would be better. What do you think about using parchment paper to keep the fries from sticking?

    1. Thanks for your patience, Alexandra. I personally find I get a better crust on potatoes when I leave them in contact with the metal although one of my colleagues also suggested parchment. So if you’re willing to try it again, I would give that a twirl. I myself err on the side of using more oil as opposed to less and while sometimes they need a little coaxing the exteriors always crisp and the interiors always turn fluffy. One thing you may want to try is first boiling the potatoes-—not cut in wedges but either whole or cut into large chunks—-and then draining and letting them cool and then refrigerate them overnight. Then I slice or chunk the cold potatoes and toss them on a baking sheet slicked with oil. It requires more planning, but the result is an incredibly crisp and golden surface that, in my experience, lifts even easier from the metal sheet pan. And the interior turns ethereally airy and fluffy. Much as what happens with cold rice and cold polenta when exposed to hot oil (or, for that matter, hot duck fat). For what it’s worth…

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