Homemade baked fries have a tender, fluffy inside and crispy edges. Just what you need for ketchup dipping next to a juicy burger. If frying isn’t your thing, this oven version will prove there’s no sacrifice made on flavor and certainly no hit to your health. I’ll show you how.Jump to Recipe
There’s a lot to learn about fries–we love them hot in a greasy bag slathered in salt from a drive through.
But when I learned restaurants like Wendy’s has “engineered” their fries to stay crispy for up to 30 minutes after purchase and that McDonald’s fries have up to TWENTY ingredients in them, it felt like the last straw–or the last french fry.
Maybe you’re reason for needing a baked fry recipe isn’t because fast food will put you in an early grave. Maybe it’s football night or grilled burgers on the deck and you don’t have any frozen fries.
I’ll take ‘ya either way.
Is baking better than frying? The truth.
Whenever there’s a chance to discuss fat, I’m all for it. The truth is frying is NOT bad. But what you fry in could be. High quality saturated fats are nourishing for the body and reduce inflammation and cholesterol. Fats like butter, lard, or coconut oil.
What’s not good for you are PUFAs or polyunsaturated fatty acids like those found in ta-da…vegetable oil and all its cousins. Canola, sunflower, corn, safflower and a few others. If I am frying, I do that in refined coconut oil so there’s no coconut flavor but I’m getting the benefits of saturated fat. Good fats have been instrumental in recovery from my paralyzing autoimmune disease.
So bake if you enjoy the hands-off perks; but don’t fret over fat. The research is out there–feel free to comment and I can tell you more if you’re interested.
Tips for perfectly fluffy-center homemade baked fries
Homemade baked fries need a fluffy, tender center and crispy exterior. Follow these tips for success:
- Let the potatoes soak in water after slicing to remove starch. This will prevent your potatoes from getting gummy when they bake.
- Dry your potatoes totally before placing on the cookie sheet. Moisture makes steam and you’ll get soggy fries.
- Bake your fries at two temperatures: First lower and slower to cook the potato through then crank it up to get things crispy.
- Finally make sure your fries have plenty of room on the pan and aren’t overlapping at all. Again, this is a moisture issue. We need air to circulate.
- Toss your baked fries 2 or 3 times during cooking to make sure things are browning evenly. If you sliced your fries the same size, it should be fine.
How to choose potatoes for baking into fries
A russet potato is your best choice. Russets are dark brown and thickly skinned and have the right starches inside for baking. Avoid Yukon Gold or fingerling potatoes. They are too waxy and will be gluey when baked. They make awful mashed potatoes too. 😉
How to slice a whole potato to make fries
Feels a bit tricky, doesn’t it?
Step 1: Place a washed potato on a sturdy surface. If you want to peel yours first, go for it. You can also slice a bit of one side off to make it sit without rolling around if needed. Slice the potato in to 1/2″ slices.
Step 2: Once all the slices are made, re-stack them.
Step 3: Slice down through the slices making 1/2″ thick slices again. The key to symmetrical fries is to cut the same dimensions both times.
How to prepare homemade baked fries for the oven
Start by soaking your sliced fries in water for about 30 minutes but they can sit for up to 4 hours if needed.
Once they’ve soaked, drain away that water and give them a quick rinse with fresh water again. Then transfer them to a clean, dry towel or paper towels and be meticulous to get them as dry as you can. Wet fries are soggy fries, friend.
Transfer your dry fries to a parchment paper lined baking tray. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons of avocado oil or other high-heat tolerant oil and add salt, pepper or your favorite seasonings. Toss everything well.
Finally, spread your fries out so they all have space. Use two pans if needed so everything can have good air circulation.
Bake your fries at two temperatures: First at 375 for about 20 minutes to get the centers cooked, then turn the heat up to 425 and cook them an additional 15 to 20 minutes (keep an eye on them and toss them a few times for even browning). If your fries are thicker, they may need closer to 25 minutes. If they are small and thin, go for about 15.
Homemade Baked Fries
- Wash and peel potatoes if desired. Slice the potato into 1/2" thick slices. Stack the slices and slice down to make 1/2" thick fries. See post photos for detailed steps.
- Transfer fries to a bowl with cold water and soak 30 minutes minimum, but up to 4 hours is fine. Preheat the oven to 375 before the soaking process is over.
- Drain potatoes, rinse again and transfer fries to a towel or paper towels and dry thoroughly.
- Place the potatoes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper or other spices if using. Toss well and spread the potatoes out in a single layer. Use two cookie sheets if needed.
- Bake on the center rack at 375 for 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 425 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your fries. Very thin ones will take about 15, and thicker could take closer to 25. Toss the fries twice to ensure even browning.
- Serve warm.