The Secret To The Most Scrumptious Homemade And Healthy French Fry Is Just This Simple Trick

The Splendid Table

French fries, without a doubt, are one of the food favorites of mostly everyone in the world. There’s a good reason as to why all fast food joints serve fries on the side, because we just can’t get enough! Unfortunately, there’s a downside to this food favorite – all that oil they use to fry them to reach its ultimate crunchy perfection. 

It turns out though, that there is a way to recreate that scrumptious crispy outer later with the soft and fluffy inside without using giant vats of oil in your own kitchen. In fact, why not just skip the whole frying process altogether and just bake these fries in the oven? They turn out just like if you had picked the up from a drive-thru, and way healthier. 

Deb Perelman from the Smitten Kitchen said that, “The secret to great French fries is to cook them twice.” She learned about this tip from the book of food writer Jeffrey Steingarten – The Man Who Ate Everything ($16.95, Amazon), in what she dubs as “one of my favorite French fry essays of all time.”

Perelman explained that, “When cooked twice, the first at a lower temperature to gently warm and tenderize the potato, and the second at a higher temperature to seal and crisp the edges, you get the French fries I dream about.” We’ve all had those days wherein we dream about potatoes in all their glorious forms, so why not test this recipe out! 

Modern Mommy’s Kitchen

After slicing the potatoes into good french fry sizes, throw them into a pot with enough water to reach an inch above the root vegetables. Let it simmer on high for 10 minutes (it shouldn’t reach to a boil, so just lower the temperature in case this happens). Perelman suggested taking a bite to see if it is a “very ‘al dente’ potato — one that is too firm to eat enjoyably, but has no crunch left.” Once it reaches that texture, drain them in a colander. 

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil into a sheet pan and set your oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 minutes until it gets nice and hot. Carefully lay down all the sliced spuds in the pan, sprinkle them with salt and drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil on top. Pop them in the oven for another 20 minutes. 

Give them a toss to make sure all sides of the fry gets crispy at every 5 minute interval until they reach the perfect “deep gold” color. Total cooking time becomes 30 minutes until the fries reach this color. 

The technique of baking them with less oil, rather than deep-frying them not only lowers the fat content of this “guilty pleasure” treat, but it also makes things less messy in the kitchen. 

You can’t go wrong with this delicious result, so why not experiment on different ways to spice up this recipe like adding some seasoning and herbs! A popular potato-flavor-booster is onion soup mix. 

Give this recipe a try and we assure you that you’ll never have to wait on a drive-thru again to satisfy your french fry cravings!