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Crispy Oven Fries

Photography By Sina Mizrahi

Ihate to sound cliché, but really, who doesn’t love French fries? In my family’s opinion, it’s the best invention to come out of France (or Belgium, it’s up for debate). I often bake them instead of frying because it’s healthier and easier. I recently heard that boiling the potatoes in water with apple cider vinegar and salt first makes for crispier fries, and I wanted to see if it makes a substantial difference. It takes a lot to convince me to dirty a pot. Let’s see if it’s worth it.

  • 1½ lb (680 g) russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2–3 Tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt
Method 1: Baked

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut potatoes into ½-inch sticks.

Place the cut potatoes in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for at least 10 minutes, pat dry, and toss with oil and salt. Spread on an unlined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until golden and crispy, flipping potatoes halfway through.

Method 2: Boiled

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut potatoes into 12-inch sticks.

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Drain, pat dry, and lay on an unlined baking sheet. Toss with oil and salt. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until golden and crispy, flipping potatoes halfway through.

My Verdict

First off, cutting the potatoes uniform in size is recommended unless you like the skinny, on-the-verge-of-burnt pieces. Both batches were delicious, but method 2 resulted in a noticeably crispier outer texture with a creamier interior, while method 1 was on the drier side. Boiling the fries in salted water helps extract excess moisture from the potatoes, while the vinegar strengthens the exterior so the fries hold their shape. For the best oven fries, don’t skip the boiling.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 881)

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