Introduction: Crispy Oven Baked French Fries

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!  


sctirvn687 (author)2012-04-25

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.

IcewhipRoxx. (author)sctirvn6872015-06-27

Good idea, using a cassarol dish!

spike3579 (author)2012-03-27

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

static (author)spike35792013-11-16

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

scoochmaroo (author)spike35792012-03-27

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

zurichko (author)2012-06-05

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!

supergirl500 (author)2012-04-21

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

scoochmaroo (author)supergirl5002012-04-22

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!

Mike73 (author)2012-04-08

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....
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.

coolcrafter101 (author)2017-01-01

Also, do you have to use the plastic wrap? Me and my mom are trying to make these at the moment.

coolcrafter101 (author)2017-01-01

Would this work for yams?

(Sweet potatoes)

Accodion (author)2016-08-07

These are hands down the greatest fries I have ever made. Ever.

iw110781 (author)2016-06-19

accidentally put a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon WARNING DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE!!! they were great though.

iw110781 (author)2016-06-19

when I took the oil pan out of my oven, the smoke alarm went off and i had to open every window in the house, good thing its a windy day

iw110781 (author)2016-06-18

even with a knife it was pretty easy... I dunno if they're supposed to be so starchy out of the microwave but that may just be the plate instead of bowl thing plus I probs shoulda added a bit more plastic wrap to the plate...

RickK36 (author)2016-05-17

These were great!! I made them this afternoon--The key is to microwave them 1st. -no more than 4 mins.--It makes them fluffy inside--I did do the cornstarch, oil, salt and I added a bit of Lawry's,paprika and pepper. They took exactly 25 mins. on bottom shelf!!!

Samerica21 (author)2015-10-08

I dont have cornstarch any other suggestions? Or just cornstarch :p

d.saraceno59 (author)2014-08-09

What happens if one has no cornstarch available?

You can find cornstarch next to the flour (usually) in the grocery store.

vincent7520 (author)2013-02-17

How strange ! … You don't peel potatoes before frying them ??…
You recipe made my day as it reminded me the fighting over the "pommes de terre frites" recipes my grandmother and one of my aunt (one of her daughters) had when I was a child a long, long time ago.
My grandmother was all for the double fry in oil method. My aunt, being the youngest and more modernistic of all, was for oven baking.
Kids never complained as "les frites" was the treat of the week anyway !!!…
Thank you for reviving past memories !…
But please tell me why you don't peel your potatoes before frying them ?…
Because of the taste ? For vitamins or other dietary reason ? Or simply out of laziness ? Or ?…
Cheers and thank you for sharing. :D

IcewhipRoxx. (author)vincent75202015-06-27

I didn't peel mainly for laziness. I don't taste it, there's at least some nutrients in the skin, and so there's little reason to have an extra step between you and delicious french fries, right?

scoochmaroo (author)vincent75202013-02-18

I do it strictly for the taste, but it's true that most of the potato's vitamins are in its skin. My mother thinks it's downright disgusting though, so I don't blame you if you want to peel them :D

IamTheMomo (author)scoochmaroo2015-03-01

Only 20% of its nutrients are in the skin. Its most valuable resource is fiber, and one probably doesn't get enough on a French fry to justify it. I like a very crispy skin on baked potatoes, but for the best fries, I prefer peeled.

vincent7520 (author)scoochmaroo2013-02-18

Poor Mama : he daughter is so talented and so disgusting !!!!… LOL

Anyway you passed the test : to me taste and laziness were the only valid answer !…

As for taste I'll give it a try some day : you may open to me a whole new dimension to french fries. :D

Wish you a pleasant week.

IcewhipRoxx. made it! (author)2015-06-27

I made these a while back, and they were amazing! I accidently used the top rack instead of the bottom, but all that happened was that they got a little extra crispy! No more bagged fries for me... unless my mom buys them on sale.

KingBubbaTruck (author)2015-04-25

I should have known this was a scoochmaroo thing! Trying them tonight. Of all the recipies I searched for, this one hit all the bases with the par cooking and baking.

IamTheMomo (author)2015-03-01

Potatoes grow underground, so they aren't sprayed with pesticide.

Snowed (author)2014-01-11

I love oven baked fries for several reasons-- they are the best! I don't mean to rain on anybody's parade here, but using plastic wrap or heating foods in a microwave in plastics is not a great idea because this will release dioxins into the food which is cancer causing. You can check this out yourself on Snopes. Just use glass or ceramic...God knows our foods already contain enough bad stuff!!

IamTheMomo (author)Snowed2015-03-01

I did check it on Snopes, and guess what! There are NO dioxins in plastic wrap! I use glass because I can handle it better without getting scalded, but neither microwaving nor freezing will make you ill. Freezing actually makes chemical transfer far slower. See for yourself

bowow0807 (author)2012-03-21

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

cj8675 (author)bowow08072013-08-20

How dont you have a microwave

bowow0807 (author)cj86752013-08-20

Because I can't afford one

cj8675 (author)bowow08072013-08-21

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

baileyann1 (author)cj86752014-11-25

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.

DanR7 (author)baileyann12015-01-13

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.

Patricia1966 (author)2014-07-13

I made these but cut my fries larger & added some spices. They tasted just like they came off the Chip Truck!! Wicked fries and this is the only recipe I will ever use again!

ArronReds (author)2014-07-06

Can someone try using bacon grease instead of cooking oil and tell me what they think?

tck1000 (author)2013-12-01

I made these fries last night. Awesome! Even better than the fries I make in the deep fryer, and less mess. Oh, and the tip about heating up the roasting dish before adding everything? Classic. Nothing stuck to the roasting pan.

MrsMurphy (author)2013-10-03

My hubby has been bugging me to make him baked fries. I found ur recipe and tried it. This is a great recipe,my hubby can't stop eating and it really is crispy!
Thank u for this,from now now on I'll be making my own homemade great fries! :)
Here's a photo of what I made...

Tamaresque (author)2013-02-10

What does the cornstarch do? I had to Google it to find out what it was, so not sure if I can find that locally. Is it essential?

scoochmaroo (author)Tamaresque2013-02-18

The cornstarch absorbs some of the potato's liquid and makes the fries crisper. Perhaps corn flour would work?

Ausmerican (author)scoochmaroo2013-10-03

Cornstarch = US word
Cornflour = Aussie word

They are exactly the same thing.

thegrendel (author)2013-08-27

A fine idea, Scooch!
Who says cooking is not a creative art?

sesquipedalian (author)2013-03-30

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!

Takelababy (author)2012-03-24

I wish someone would invent an oven pan for flipping fries.

allen (author)Takelababy2012-03-25

I've taken to using a stainless steel cooling rack and putting it in a cookie pan. The rack holds to fries off the cookie pan allowing them to cook on both sides without needing to be flipped. The down side is now I've got two things to clean instead of just the cookie pan. Still, you don't have to horse with fries half way through and they're a snap to get off the cooling rack since there's so little area of contact.

Hermaniac (author)allen2013-03-21

You're a god damn genius.

Great Wight Ninja (author)2013-02-24

I assume you microwave on HIGH, but that might be worth mentioning.

ggeiger (author)2013-01-30

I made these tonight and they were delicious. Very crispy. I used a baking stone instead of a cookie sheet and had to cook just slightly longer than what the recipe suggested to get the right color and consistency. Next time, I will try to use a little less oil. There seemed to be enough of an excess, so I will be curious to experiment. My husband and I both enjoyed them. I will be making these again.

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