Crispy Oven Baked French Fries

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Introduction: Crispy Oven Baked French Fries

Sound impossible?  You no longer have to decide between soggy oven baked potatoes or heating up a huge pot of stinky oil to enjoy French fries at home.  This technique turns ordinary potatoes into extraordinary crispy fries with little effort, little oil, and no mess or residual oil stank to deal with!

We know from the past that it takes two cooking sessions to create fries that are perfectly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. This time, instead of two quick fries in a deep pot of oil, we're going to eliminate the mess altogether (and most of the oil while we're at it!)  and subject our potatoes to a brief stint in the microwave followed by an extra hot session in the oven.  Tossing the potatoes with cornstarch and preheating the oil in the oven is the secret to ending dense, limp fries forever.

You'll never think about French fries the same way again after this.  This technique is so easy, and the resulting fries are so surprisingly delicious, you just may consign your deep fryer to the curb for good.


Step 1: Ingredients

Russet potatoes are the best choice for a classic French fry taste and texture.

This recipe uses:
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt 

Step 2: Nuke 'em

First, preheat your oven to 450F (230C) and move the oven rack to its lowest position.

Cut your potatoes into 1/2" thick fries.

Place fries in a bowl and wrap tightly in plastic.

Microwave for 3-5 minutes.  The plastic wrap is going to expand into a crazy UFO like balloon in this time.  It's awesome.

CAREFULLY lift the plastic from the side opposite you (the steam is scalding!), and drain fries on cooling rack or paper towels.

When cool enough to handle, blot fries to dry.

Step 3: Bake 'em

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 5 tablespoons of oil and place in the oven to preheat until just smoking - 5-7 minutes (just like we do for perfect popovers!).

While oil is heating up, whisk together remaining tablespoon of oil with cornstarch and salt.

Add potatoes to bowl and toss gently to coat.

Carefully arrange the potatoes on the preheated baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 25-35 minutes.  Halfway through baking time, flip fries to brown evenly on both sides.  

Transfer to paper towels to blot dry and enjoy with your favorite condiments!  

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what is the function of the cornstarch?

77 Comments

I just found a cool french fry cutter in a dumpster 20 minutes ago! Guess I know what's for dinner...

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3 replies

To bad the rest of the machine wasn't in the dumpster as well

I had one identical to this one but gave it to a friend who is a collector. It was much harder to use than the hinged one I kept. The one in the picture is not a broken piece.

That is amazing! I love that it says french fry cutter right on it!

Thanks for the great recipe. My wife said: "They don't need any ketchup". That is a very good complement because I have tried other methods and they definitely needed help from condiments. I put the cut potatoes in a 2 quart Corning Ware glass lidded square casserole dish instead of the bowl with the plastic wrap and that seemed to work well too.

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1 reply

Good idea, using a cassarol dish!

So yeah, these came out so perfect! I added garlic powder and then sprinkled Parmesan cheese as soon as I took them out of the oven. SO GOOD!

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I made these today, and they were AMAZING!!! Very tasty too!

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1 reply

I'm so glad you had success! I LOVE this recipe. I'm always amazed at how great the fries are. I hope you spread the word!

Awesome. We tried it yesterday night. Anna wanted to do the cooking (meatballs whith spaghetti), and then decided she doesn't want to.
So I ended up doing the cooking.
Like in my first comment on this instructable, I used a plate to cover the bowl of potatoes. Maybe not as funny as the bubbling plastic wrap, but it worked.
To cover the potatoes, I did as instructed, but it seemed to little oil being in the cornstarch. So I added more....
....DON'T.
The fries were a little to "oily" afterwards, but otherwise they were great.
Now I just have to get a fry cutter. I had to cut all my fries with a knife :-)

I also made pictures to prove that I really tried. I think you can see that they are indeed a little oily. The soon to be meatballs ended up as patties.

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do you absolutely need a microwave? because i dont have one D:

8 replies

How dont you have a microwave

Because I can't afford one

Are you being a troll because if not we have a spare microwave I'd be willing to ship to you

Many people don't have microwaves. My apartment complex doesn't supply them so I haven't had one for over 2 years now. Haven't had a use for a microwave that whole time until now. So, I'd like to know if there's a good way to do this without using a microwave as well.

I have read something about microwaves a while ago, but don't know what they are or what they do ... I thought they were ripples in a pound or small waves in the sea.

Yes DanR7, they are very, very small ripples. LOL

The use of the microwave basically par boils the potatoes. You can do this on the stove with a pot of hot water. Just be careful to not over boil them.

I don't have a microwave either. Maybe it's strange, but they take up a lot of space for so little use, and use a lot of energy. The only thing I miss it for is heating up cold coffee and melting chocolate. For this recipe, I imagine you can simply boil or steam the potatoes, as that is essentially what you would be doing with the microwave. Worth a try.

Would a crumpled up sheet of foil do the same thing? Let me think - you'd have to heat the oil on it, toss the fries, then crumple it with a spatula or something, but you wouldn't have to wash anything. This recipe is groundbreaking!