Perfect oven baked French fries aren’t just a food thing, they’re a smart thing and an easy ‘bridge’ linking healthy AND crispy!
The addition of both Kosher salt and apple cider vinegar to a pre-bake hot water bath alter the fibrous structure of the potatoes in this method for crispy oven fries. The salt extracts excess moisture while the vinegar strengthens the surface enabling the fries to hold their shape throughout the bake rather than going limp.
This salted, acidulated water bath takes but only a few minutes. The potatoes are removed from the bath, dried, and liberally swathed in a good quality olive oil. Arranging in a single layer on a large, screaming hot pre-heated baking sheet enables them to ‘get their crisp on’ immediately. No cornstarch necessary, and no baking soda required. Best of all, this method works equally as well for baked sweet potato fries.
Finally, a from-scratch recipe that’s a legit alternative to real-deal, deep-fried French fries. Oven baked French fries aren’t just really good fries, they’re a waaaaay healthier recipe for fries. But baking fries isn’t really a recipe as much as it is a method. This method incorporates an extra step as compared to some. The result? An entirely crave-able, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside potato minus any and all dunks into hot oil…
The thing I love about this baked fries recipe is that the oven time leaves me free to prepare whatever else I’ve got going on. On the occasion I had to bake these up for photographing with Not Entirely Average in mind, I was also prepping some buttery Brioche buns to play host to my Tender And Crispy Baked Chicken Sandwiches.
Choose to peel or leave the skins on, but either way, this is one heck of a French fry…
Getting fries crispy is a rudimentary hack. Its all got to do with that pre-oven hot water bath I referenced earlier. The concept is simple; cooking the potato fries initially at a lower temperature (the hot water bath) then again at an advanced temperature (a pre-heated baking sheet and a 425 oven), constructs the utmost inner pillowy soft texture, while forming a crisp al dente outside texture.
Learning how to make French fries from potatoes is an important life skill that you’ll be happy to have in your arsenal, as a quality potato product compliments everything from a charbroiled hamburger to perfecting entrecote, also known as steak-frites.
Baking fries in the oven has become second nature for me. From an elegant-but-easy potato wedge to a full on gratin, quick oven fries are just part of my repertoire. Baked French fry techniques vary, but in almost every method you run across, the employment of a hot water soak is what makes oven baked fries successful.
My favorite way to enjoy crispy baked oven fries is with a big bowl of Béarnaise sauce or Guinness Onion Gravy and cheese curds. Seriously, it’s a super-comforting appetizer when hosting girl night, and all I do is scrub the potatoes versus scrub and peel. A bit of extra fiber never hurts, eh?
The recipe I am imparting today calls for nothing more than flakey sea salt, however if you enjoy malt vinegar, fresh rosemary, truffle oil, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese, don’t hold back. The best dishes we create are the dishes that showcase favorite flavors.
So many of my recipes require the use of large baking sheets. This one is my favorite. I recommend it often because it’s made here in the USA and comes as a set with the wire rack shown. If you’re a long time reader of Not Entirely Average, you know how often I call for baking chicken, pork, and beef cutlets directly in the oven atop a wire rack. Good food necessaries, click image for pricing.
The Rudimentary Hack That Yields Perfectly Crisp Potato Fries In The Oven, Every Time
I bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. I add the Kosher salt and the apple cider vinegar and remove from the heat. Then very carefully, I drop in the fries and allow them to soak in their ‘spa’ for 10 full minutes. The little bit of cooking that the potatoes do in the hot water soon becomes science when cooking at a much higher temperature in the oven.
Do You Have What You Need To Bake Up These Copycat DoubleTree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies? Check The List!
apple cider vinegar
flakey sea salt
fresh chopped rosemary
Bake Some Crave-able Crispy Oven Fries With Flakey Sea Salt
- large stock pot
- large rimmed baking sheet
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 4 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
Ingredients for Crave-able Crispy Oven Fries With Flakey Sea Salt
- 8 cups water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes well scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch sticks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt such as Malden
- Parmesan cheese
- truffle oil
- fresh chopped rosemary
- malt vinegar
- Place the large rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425°F.
- Combine water, vinegar and the Kosher salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, remove from the heat and carefully add the potatoes to the water being careful not to splash and burn your hands. Soak potatoes, fully submerged, for 10 full minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the potatoes to a few layers of paper toweling. Gently pat dry, then transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the olive oil. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and spread the potatoes in a single layer. Bake, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Remove fries from the oven and immediately sprinkle the flakey sea salt all over. Let rest for 2 minutes. Transfer the fries to a serving bowl and serve immediately.