I really wanted to call these “OMG! They’re Crunchy!” Fries, but that doesn’t work very well for SEO purposes. My point is, I’m happy to have finally made some oven fries that are crispy and crunchy. Are they like deep fried fries? Well, no. Fries made in the oven will never be like real fries because the science behind the cooking is completely different, but it’s nice to finally have made some that are actually crispy rather than just strips of soft baked potato, ya know?
These little fries are an addictive snack or they can be a delightful side to dinner. You can season them with just about anything you want (think Parmesan, curry powder, ranch seasoning mix… anything), but I went with my favorite go-to combo of garlic and smoked paprika. It’s always a hit.
The secret to making these fries crispy is simple. Cut them THIN. There’s no special 10 step method like soaking in salt water and drying with a towel, just cut them thin. I did my best to show you in the step by step photos the easiest way to make them thin and uniform, because when you’re cooking thin anything, uniformity is key to keeping them all cooking at the same rate. If they’re all different shapes and sizes, you’ll have some shriveled and burned, and other soft and mushy. So, now’s a good time to start practicing those slicing skills!
Anywhooo, I enjoyed these fried a LOT (maybe too much) and can’t wait to try some more flavors. Feel free to share you favorite fry flavors with me in the comments below! :)
- 2-2.5 lbs. russet potatoes $2.07
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 1 tsp (approx.) garlic powder $0.10
- 1 tsp (approx.) smoked paprika $0.10
- Generous salt & pepper $0.05
- Non-stick spray $0.15
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare two baking sheets by covering them with foil and coating the foil with non-stick spray.
- Wash the potatoes well to remove any dirt or dust. Cut the potatoes into very thin, ¼ inch matchsticks, then divide them between the two baking sheets.
- Drizzle each sheet of potatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then toss the fries to coat. Sprinkle the fries with garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Don't worry, they'll get tossed with the spices when they get stirred during the baking process.
- Bake the fries in the fully preheated 400 degree oven, stirring gently with a spatula every 15 minutes. Bake until the fries are brown and crispy, but still slightly moist in the center. The fries will bake at different rates, depending on how thinly they are sliced, so keep a close eye. My batch took approximately 45 minutes to bake.
Step by Step Photos
Before you begin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cover two baking sheets with foil. Coat each one in non-stick spray.
Start with two large russet potatoes, about 2 to 2.5 pounds total. Wash them well to remove any dust or dirt. Cut the potato in half lengthwise to give yourself a nice flat surface to slice on. Turn the potato onto the flat surface and carefully slice it into thin strips.
Next, take a few of the thin slices that you just cut and lay them down on their flat cut side. Cut lengthwise again, this time 90 degrees perpendicular to the original cuts, to make matchsticks. Did that make sense? I hope so.
Divide all of your matchsticks between the two prepared baking sheets. Drizzle each one with one tablespoon of olive oil, then toss to coat. Even though you’re using olive oil here, it is getting mixed in with the starchy juices of the potatoes, which is why you want that extra layer of protection from the non-stick spray first.
Once the potatoes are coated in olive oil, sprinkle garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly cracked pepper over top. You don’t really have to measure the seasonings, just sprinkle them liberally (except the garlic, that can be strong, so go a little lighter with that). The seasonings will get tossed with the potatoes when you stir them during baking.
Bake the fries in the preheated 400 degree oven, stirring once every 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown and crispy. The total amount of time needed will depend on your potatoes and how thinly they are cut, but mine took about 45 minutes (stirred twice). Use a spatula to help you gently stir the potatoes because they will be fairly delicate before they crisp up.
Look pretty good, huh? They were really good dipped in some chipotle ranch dressing that I had. MMmm.
Or you can do ketchup. Ketchup is always good.