I am not exaggerating when I say these are the best oven fries I’ve ever had. I’ve had my eye on these babies for awhile. So, when the weather got nice for one day we grilled burgers and I made these fries. The hardest thing about making your own fries in the oven, is getting them cooked to perfection. Soft and creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. I could never get them to turn out that way. Thankfully the test kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated was able to figure out how to get them cooked perfectly. The ingredients are very simple and there is one important step in creating the perfect oven fries. The step may sound silly, but if not done you won’t have the creamy/crispy fries you long for. Soaking the potatoes in very hot tap water for a good 20 minutes is the key. I learned never to doubt Cook’s Illustrated and once I bit into a fry; I knew they had the winning recipe.
*Important Note* Make sure you use a heavy-duty baking sheet. If you use a lighter baking sheet the heat from the oven could cause it to warp.
Oven Baked Fries:
- 3 Russet Potatoes (about 8 oz each) peeled, each potato cut lengthwise into 10 to 12 even wedges
- 5 tbs vegetable or peanut oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position; heat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water; soak 20 minutes. Meanwhile, coat an 18 by 12 inch heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with 4 tbs of the oil and sprinkle evenly with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; set aside.
- Drain the potatoes. Spread the potatoes out on a triple thickness of paper towels and pat throughly dry with additional paper towels. Rinse and wipe out the now-empty bowl; return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with remaining 1 tbs oil. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet; cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, scrape to loosen the potatoes from the pan, then flip each wedge, keeping the potatoes in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating the pan as needed if the fries are browning unevenly.
- Transfer the fries to a second baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Source: The New Best Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated