How to bake Frozen French Fries
I bought a couple of packets of frozen fries and I absolutely can't fry them. My only option is to bake them. I have access to oil if necessary.
How do I bake the fries to make them resemble (as far as possible) the McDonald type fries ?
What I have tried:
Preheating oven to 250C, throwing them in (on a baking tray) till they look golden. Didn't work, they tasted weird and were soggy-ish. Maybe lack of oil? Citation Here
Same as above but with an added step before throwing them in : gently pouring oil over them and mixing them by hand. Result was not very different.
I take a piece of aluminum foil, crumple it up then smooth it out somewhat still leaving slight concave and convex angles for the fries to crisp evenly without the need of flipping halfway through baking.
That's a really cool trick that could be used for a lot of different foods. Thanks for sharing.
It's also what ATK recommends. See http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/78898/when-making-french-fries-can-i-precut-them-before-baking-or-frying-them
The problem with baking frozen french fries is that they lie on their side on the baking sheet, and the side that touches the sheet never gets a chance to become crisp. To solve the problem, make sure that you lay the fries out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Pull the sheet out of the oven about halfway through the baking process and give 'em a good toss. That will turn enough of the fries over that you shouldn't get too many soggy spots. If your diet allows, toss the cooked fries with salt to taste.
Frozen french fries will have already been fried once at the factory. They may not have the same hot-from-the-fryer coat of fat that you get from deep-fried fries, but a bigger difference is probably the moisture content. The hot air in an oven tends to dry fries (and anything else) out. The hot fat in a fryer pushes against the steam inside the fries, not exactly trapping it, but keeping more moisture inside the fries while still crisping the outer surface. Frying and baking are simply different processes that produce different results.
I've also noticed that using a hotter oven helps with making fries crispy, say around 450*. I've done this with left-over deep-fried french fries and it re-crisps them nicely, and I've also done homemade baked fries and they come out nice and crispy. Not sure if the pre-made frozen fries will react the same way, but maybe you can tweak it some. :)
The hotter oven makes sense to me since deep friers at places like McDonalds and Burger King tend to run about 350-365*. Recipes that you can find online for baked fries also suggest higher temps: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-french-fries-i/. I suspect that using higher heat helps trap in some of the moisture because the outside crisps up more quickly, but I could be wrong about that.
frozen french fries are handy, but not necessarily tasty. try partially thawing first, patting dry, put in large bowl (gently), add a little olive oil, sea salt, toss gently, then put them on a baking cooling rack (the type w/ little squarishish grids), on top of a cookie sheet, this allows air to circulate, and get all sides - preheat oven to 400-425F, depending on whether you have fat or skinny fries (fat ones on higher temp.). cook for 15 -25 minutes...keeping checking, it just depends on the size of the fries. it's worked for me, although real french fries are just still the best.mc in oakland
DO not use olive oil for your fries. in a deep fryer fries reach best crispness at 160+. olive oil has a smoke point of 120* the lowest of all the cooking oils. Special deep fryer mixes are available which have a high smoke point, Best results is no cover the fries in oil and salt then put them on a griddle in layers in the oven. You can criss cross them to get more on but this just seems like a lot of work for something that is supposed to be quick and easy and all that work for not graet results seems a waste.
Well, I'm sorry to say that Baked french fries rarely have the same texture of freshly deep-fried ones. One trick you may want to try is an egg white wash. This helps lots of baked goods brown and crisp as they bake. Try beating 1 tsp water with 1 egg white and brushing this on your fries before they go in the oven.
I love tossing them with a ranch packet with canola oil. Do not use olive oil it is not made for crisping it will just make them soggy. Also do not let them thaw; that's the worst thing you can do. Just coat with plenty of seasoning and oil. Cook about 15 minutes longer than instructions tell you to, but at the same temperature. Pull out after 3/4 of the baking time, pour in a heat resistant bowl, shake well, then continue baking. Nice and crisp with great flavor.
I had some frozen hashbrowns one time which had different preparation instructions and were great. The next time I got frozen fries, I tried the same method. Every time i prepared frozen french fries according to the standard instructions, they tasted like cardboard.
I like Cajun fries so I used the seasonings.
- Put the amount of frozen fries you will use into a freezer box.
- Add the Cajun seasonings and toss.
- Thaw in the microwave.
- Heat a non stick skillet or griddle plate.
- Add some butter or other type of fat as you prefer.
- Toss the fries around with a couple of spatulas until brown.
- Add salt to taste and enjoy what tastes just like freshly made fries.
This is the one exception I make to following the instructions, since I do not enjoy cardboard for dinner.