I’ve been doing oven fries for years. Deep frying is messy and bad for you. However, oven fries tend to have more of a baked potato type texture than the creamy interiors of French fries.
French fries are usually made by putting potatoes in a deep fryer for a couple of minutes to blanch them and then finishing them later to crisp them up. This gives the great crisp exterior and creamy centres that we love in French fries.
I wondered if I could use a similar technique to improve the consistency of oven fries. I decided to try giving them a hot water bath to blanch them.
I started by cutting up four medium potatoes into 1/2 inch fries. I don’t peel my potatoes. I put the fries in pot and covered with cold water for 20 minutes. This takes a lot of the surface starch off and improve how they brown.
While the soak, I mixed up a seasoning mix:
- 5 ml (1 tsp) seasoning salt
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) paprika
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) onion powder
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) garlic powder
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper
I greased a baking sheet with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of oil and put it in my Traeger Timberline which was preheated to 450 F (230 C). Obviously, Oven Fries could also be done in a 450 F (230 C) oven.
I drained the the potatoes and then covered them with boiling water. Let them sit in the hot water on the counter for 10 minutes.
Toss the potatoes with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of oil and the seasoning mix then spread them in a single layer on the pan.
Turn the potatoes and cook until golden brown, ten to fifteen minutes.
This worked great. The potatoes had a great creamy texure. They aren’t as crisp as French fries. You can increase the crispness by adding some cornstarch to your seasoning mix but I don’t care for the bite with cornstarch. Another option is an air fryer which gives a nice crispness. See my post Air Fryer French Fries.
I will be adding the hot water bath to all future batches of oven fries.
The Old Fat Guy
- 4 medium potatoes
- 5 ml seasoning salt 1 tsp
- 3 ml paprika ½ tsp
- 3 ml onion powder ½ tsp
- 3 ml garlic powder ½ tsp
- 3 ml pepper ½ tsp
- 30 ml vegetable oil 2 tbsp, divided
- Cut the potatoes into ½ inch french fries. Cover with cold water and let soak for 20 minutes.
- Mix the seasoning salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
- Grease a baking tray with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil and put it in a preheated oven or smoker.
- Drain the potatoes and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit in the hot water for 10 minutes on the counter. Drain the potatoes and mix with remaining oil and seasoning mix. Spread the potatoes a single layer on the heated tray.
- Cook for 15 minutes and flip the potatoes. Cook until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.