No one can resist the temptation of hot, fresh fries straight out the oil. However, although they're very delicious, they're extremely unhealthy for you. And even when you do allow yourself some fries, they probably aren’t the best. Below, we give you some important tips on how you can make healthier and tastier BAKED fries at home. One secret ingredient, which is mentioned below, will help you get fries that are golden and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Just how fries should be!
Potatoes with a high percentage of starch are perfect for frying and roasting and will yield crispy fries instead of soft limp ones. The goal is to find potatoes with high starch content and low moisture. The best potatoes for this are Idaho potatoes, also known as Russet potatoes. These type of potatoes have exactly what we’re looking for when we want to make French fries. On the other hand, stay clear of potatoes with a high water content, as once fried, they will hollow out.
Most of us have a preference for the size of our favorite fries, which we know mostly from fast food restaurants, but to make the perfect fries at home, you have to cut them in a specific size to get the right balance between crispiness and tenderness. The perfect thickness for a fry is 1/2 an inch. A thinner cut will cause the outer part of the potatoes to go golden before the interior softens, and a thicker cut will turn your potato chips into "just" oven roasted potatoes.
The moisture in the potato makes it difficult for the oil to stick to it and make it crispy. After slicing the potatoes, dry them with a paper towel or a clean towel, and then sprinkle on the secret ingredient that will make your potatoes crunchy and taste perfect. And the secret ingredient is – cornflour! All you need is one tablespoon of cornflour per 1 pound of potatoes, and your baked potato will change from limp and bland to crispy and golden.
Baking the potatoes will save you from a lot of extra greasiness, but if you still want crispy fries - and we know you do, you shouldn’t take the oil out of the recipe altogether because if you don’t use enough oil, the potatoes will turn out limp. The exact amount of oil you will need is 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil per pound of potatoes, just be sure to coat all the fries in oil, so that each piece is covered with a thin greasy layer.
It’s important to place the pieces of potato in a single layer on a tray large enough to hold them all (but also allows them some "breathing room"). The reason for this is that a piece that is too close to or on top of another piece will cook and become soft instead of becoming crispy.
The ideal temperature for baking potatoes is between 450-480 degrees F (230-250C) and is another important part of the journey towards ultimate fries. Your oven must reach the desired heat before you put the potatoes in, so that the outside will immediately start to roast and brown quickly.
Obviously, we’d all prefer to put the potatoes in the oven and forget about them until they are ready, but this extra little step to making your chips has a big effect. After baking for 10-12 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, turn the fries over and put them back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes. Doing this will ensure equal crispiness all around.
You probably won’t have a problem with this rule ... Just like fried fries, baked fries lose its crunch as soon as they cool, so potatoes should be eaten immediately once topped with some salt and sided with great sauces. As far as we are concerned, eating the fries immediately is a very important step that we're sure you won’t fail at!