There’s a science to getting the perfectly golden oven baked fries
After many a failed attempt, I’ve discovered what makes the perfect oven baked fries. Ones that are crispy on the outside yet soft in the middle, golden brown, seasoned perfectly and not dripping in excess oil. I also may have watched one too many episodes of Master Chef but that’s neither here or there.
What you need to make the perfect oven baked fries
To make classic fries you need potatoes. While there seems to be an ever-increasing amount of potato variations popping up, I’m not picky – any medium to large potato will work. The only thing to bare in mind is that certain potatoes (purple potatoes, and the red skinned potatoes do take longer to cook than brown skinned white potatoes).
You’re going to need some oil to get that perfect crisp. In the interest of research and a good baked fry, I tried out 3 different oils – Olive oil, Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil. You can use any of them, but the olive oil resulted in the most golden and crispiest fries with the coconut oil following in second. I tend to go between using olive and coconut oil. The Avocado oil gave the lightest softest fries, so if you like a softer fry use Avocado Oil. The perfect amount of oil is one teaspoon of oil to one medium potato.
3. Baking Paper
Baking paper is key for getting them to crisp up without sticking to the bottom of the pan. I’ve tried spraying the pan as well as oiling it – in both cases the fries get stuck and you need to peel them off which ruins them
Salt and black pepper is all you need. I prefer cracked black pepper over ground – it spreads better and is subtler. If you want to add flavour go for smoked paprika, chilli or some herbs and garlic.
How to Bake the Perfect Oven Baked Fries
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with baking paper
2. Peel your potatoes and cut them up into fry strips. You can go as thick or thin as you like. Thinner will cook quicker so you’ll need to watch them closer. Thicker cuts will cook slower.
3. Add cut up potatoes to a bowl and add in your oil. You need one teaspoon of oil per potato. Make sure each fry is evenly coated in oil
4. Season with salt and pepper or however you like.
5. Place the fries on your lined baking sheet in an even layer. Make sure none are overlapping to make for even cooking.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through. Depending on the size you cut your fries, the time may vary, so check in on them every 10 minutes to make sure you get them at their best golden brown. For very crispy fries let them bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
7. Remove and eat with tomato sauce. If you’re feeling particularly fancy this roasted chilli tomato sauce is amazing, or you can chop up some fresh herbs and sprinkle on top.
Photography by Feige Lewin
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