Introduction: Crispy Oven Baked French Fries

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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!