Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, Crispy Oven Fries are easy to make. Whip up a few dipping sauces to take these Oven Baked French Fries over the top! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
French Fry Comfort Food
I used to work at a burger joint when I was in high school. The cooks’ method of preparing french fries included soaking fry cut, with skins on, potatoes in big vats of water. They’d soak for hours, drain the fries, then fry upon order. These fries were sublime and made a crave-worthy snack after a late night shift. Crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, just what you want a fry to be.
Now, I’m a fan of thick cut and fried french fries, but frying at home just isn’t going to happen. So I started learning how to make french fries in the oven. With Oven Baked Fries, there’s no need to fry anyway.
For 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 (non waxy) and soak the potatoes to remove some of the starch. To speed this process along, I par boil the 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.
What Is Par Boiling?
Par boiling is a process used to pre-cook food partially so that cook time is later reduced. Also, and in this case, so that the interior and exterior of the potatoes cook evenly at a high temperature.
Par boiling, as opposed to a long cold soak, speeds the preparation process along in this recipe.
What Is the Best Potato for This Recipe?
I use several varieties of potatoes for Baked Oven Fries, depending on what the farmers market has. My favorites for this recipe are Russet, Yukon Gold and Maris Piper. Because of their high starch content, they tend to have a fluffier interior after cooking than waxier potatoes.
What Oil to Use for Oven Baked French Fries?
Concerned about smoke point, I tested two different oils for this recipe: extra virgin olive oil and melted virgin coconut oil. I like both and nether reached their smoke point at the baking temperature 450F. For the coconut oil, I couldn’t detect its coconut flavor.
How to Make Crispy French Fries in the Oven
Pure comfort food and so simple to make, Crispy Oven Fries are the perfect companion to to veggie burgers, sandwiches and BBQ, but also they’re fabulous as a snack.
- First, slice the potatoes into 1/4″ (ish) batons.
- Second, place the potatoes in a large Dutch oven or stock pot and cover in water by an inch. Add a good pinch of salt.
- Third, bring the water just to a boil, remove from heat and soak for 8-9 minutes. Drain. Allow potatoes to set, to steam off for five minutes. Pat the potatoes dry.
- Fourth, transfer potatoes to sheet pans, toss with oil.
- Last, bake.
Season the Baked Oven Fries with a mixture of sea salt and smoked paprika hot out of the oven. Enjoy ASAP with fry sauce du jour, as their crispness fades as they cool.
A Few Recipe Notes
- This recipe is for four servings, about four small potatoes will do (one potato per person). The recipe is easily halved for two servings.
- For optimum crispy, give the potatoes plenty of room to bake. Make sure the potatoes do not overlap or touch on the pans.
- I’ve included several fry sauces in the recipe, however a good Smoky BBQ Sauce and Yogurt Ranch Dressing makes a fabulous dip as well.
- Oven fries are best enjoyed straight from the oven as their crispness fades as they cool. Reheating makes them tough.
- The fry sauces can be made at least a week ahead. Store in lidded containers in the refrigerator.
Recipes to Share with Oven Baked French Fries
- BBQ Chickpea Veggie Burgers
- Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
- Black Bean Walnut Veggie Burgers
- Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Yogurt Ranch Dressing
Crispy Oven Fries
For the Fries:
- 1 1/2 lbs Russet, Yukon Gold or Maris Piper Potatoes about 4 small potatoes
- 2 1/2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
For the Sauces (optional):
- Honey Mustard: 6 Tbs Yellow Mustard + 2 Tbs Honey whisk together
- Quick Aioli: 6 Tbs Mayo + 2 tsp Minced Garlic + 1 Tbs Lemon Juice + Pinch of Salt whisk together
- Spicy Sauce: 6 Tbs Mayo + 4 Tbs Sriracha adjust heat to taste, whisk together
- Homemade Yogurt Ranch Dressing
- Preheat oven to 450F (232C) and arrange the oven rack to the center. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Scrub the potatoes, removing any eyes that may have developed. Leave skin on (or remove if desired). Cut potatoes into 1/4"(ish) (.6cm) batons. Place into a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Cover with water by 1" (2.5cm). When the water just comes to a boil, remove pot from heat, set a timer and allow the potatoes to soak in the hot water for 8-9 minutes. When ready, the potato should be tender but not easily broken. Drain. Allow potatoes to set and steam off for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, while the potatoes are steaming off, place the sheet pans into the oven to preheat.
- Carefully transfer potatoes in batches to tea towels and pat dry. The potatoes are tender at this point so handle them gently.
- Remove the sheet pans from the oven, place the potatoes on the sheet pans and gently toss with olive or coconut oil (be careful, the pan is hot!). Space the fries so they are not crowded or touching. Place the sheet pans back in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. Flip the fries over, rotate the pans and bake for another 9-12 minutes. The fries are done when golden with a few darker spots. Sprinkle with salt/paprika mixture while hot, if using. Toss. Share with dipping sauces if using or simply ketchup.