French fries are a favorite food around the world and one of North America’s favorite side dishes for a meal. It is estimated that Americans alone consume up to 4.5 billion pounds of french fries each year. That’s a lot of potatoes!
Most of those fries are served as a side and in abundance, often more than what a person can consume in one setting and so we package them up and bring them home to enjoy later. But now, we have cold fries and are left wondering how to revive them!
While we do love potatoes with our favorite meals, nothing is worse than leftover, soggy cold fries! So how, exactly, is the best way to reheat french fries?
In this post, we are covering how to reheat french fries so that they turn out just as fresh and extra crispy as when you first ordered them. You’ll learn the top three methods for reheating fries and the one method you should never use, as well as helpful tips and tricks, like how to reheat fries without drying them out.
Best Way to Reheat French Fries
Deciding how to reheat french fries depends on a couple of things: personal preference and what appliances you have available. Most people agree that the best way to reheat french fries is with an air fryer, but what if you don’t own one?
The good news is that there are a couple more methods that work just fine for reheating leftover french fries so that you get a french fry that is crispy on the outside but tender and fluffy on the inside.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can reheat french fries in a regular kitchen oven or even on a stovetop to revive their crispiness, even if they are soggy!
How To Reheat French Fries in an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is the most effective way to reheat fries. Many air fryers have a french fry setting that makes reheating fries a breeze. The only downside to using an air fryer is that you are limited to the size of the trays or basket and might need to reheat your leftover fries in smaller batches.
The following steps show how to reheat french fries in an air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once preheated, place your fries in the basket or on a tray in a single layer, allowing for some space between fries for proper airflow.
- Cook the fries at 350 degrees for between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!
How Do You Reheat Leftover French Fries in The Oven?
Choosing to reheat fries in the oven is good when you don’t own an air fryer. It’s the best way to reheat french fries if you have a larger quantity of fries that you need to revive.
Here’s how to reheat french fries in the oven at home:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a wire rack on a baking sheet (or use crumpled aluminum foil on the baking sheet – this creates the same effect as a wire rack to allow for heat on all sides of the fries)
- Spread the fries out in a single layer on the rack or crumpled foil.
- Lightly spritz the fries with cooking spray.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the fries are golden brown and crispy. Enjoy!
How To Reheat French Fries on The Stove?
Reheating french fries on the stovetop is pretty straightforward. Essentially, you are refrying them a second time by using a little oil in the bottom of a heavy pan. The fries should crisp up nicely and taste like they are freshly made.
This is how to reheat french fries on the stovetop:
- Using a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil in the pan. (Use the sizzle test to determine when the oil is hot enough to put the fries in: add one drop of water to the oil, if it sizzles, the oil is ready for the fries.)
- Add the fries to the pan in a single layer and cook for a few minutes, flipping each fry once during the cooking process.
- Remove from the pan to a tray lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
- Re-salt is necessary and enjoy!
Avoid Reheating French Fries in Microwave
Reviving fries in the microwave is not the best way to reheat french fries. When you use a microwave to reheat foods, it creates steam. This results in moisture which will produce the opposite of crispy fries!
Sad, soggy fries are no fun to eat so stick with the other ways to reheat fries like the oven, stovetop, or air fryer methods. These will produce fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
If you absolutely have to use a microwave to reheat fries, you can use a microwave crisping tray that has been designed for this purpose.
Tips & Tricks
- Deciding how to reheat french fries depends on which appliances you have at your disposal. In order to get close to the original texture, you need a method that will crisp up the outer part of the fry while maintaining the tender inside texture. Air fryers are the best way to reheat french fries, but you can also successfully reheat them using the oven or stovetop as outlined above.
- To reheat fries in an air fryer, remember that achieving proper airflow is the key to fresher fries!
- Spritzing the fries with a little oil before reheating them helps to achieve greater crispiness.
- If all you have is a microwave to reheat fries, investing in a microwave crisper tray will be helpful.
- Whichever method you choose to use, always be sure to preheat your appliances or crisper tray ahead of time.
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How Do You Reheat Fries Without Drying Them Out?
Are you wondering how to reheat french fries without drying them out? The answer is to simply add more oil. When you reheat french fries, they need a little bit of oil to avoid drying out.
Because water and steam would promote sogginess, it’s not a good idea to use water. Just a spritz of oil when using the oven or air fryer methods should do the trick. Or, alternatively, you can simply refry them in a little oil on the stovetop. Just be sure to drain the excess oil off of the fries!
How Do You Refresh Leftover Fries?
Knowing how to reheat french fries so that their original texture is restored is easy once you nail down the technique.
While the best way to reheat french fries is in an air fryer, the next best way to refresh leftover fries on the stovetop is by refrying them in a small amount of oil.
Simply place your fries in a preheated pan with oil and fry them for a few minutes, drain on paper towels, and salt to taste. The fries should be very close to their original texture and taste.
How Do You Keep Fries Crispy When Reheated?
The best way to reheat french fries to keep them crispy is to refry them in oil or to apply oil before cooking them in the air fryer or oven. As the oil heats up, it crisps whatever surface it is touching, mainly the outer layer of your fries.
Just remember, more is not always better. Too much oil can result in sogginess, so follow the instructions and drain off the excess oil for the best results.
Deciding how to reheat fries will depend on the appliances you have in your home kitchen and the method you personally prefer. Most people prefer the air fryer or stovetop for smaller batches of fries, while the oven is best for larger batches that you wish to reheat.
Can I Reheat Fries in a Microwave?
It isn’t recommended to use a microwave to reheat fires because of the steam factor. However, there are some tips on how to reheat french fries in the microwave to pull the steam away from the fries while they cook. Oil is used to coat the fries and paper towels to capture the steam and pull it away from the fries.
The best way to reheat french fries in the microwave is to use a crisper tray that is specially designed for that purpose.
A crisper tray works by first being preheated so that when you palace your food on it, it crisps the outer edges of your food. Some microwaves even come with a crisper setting. Refer to your microwave’s manual to know how to use it.
Finally, we’ve got a recipe that will give you perfect, crispy fries each time that is sure to become a favorite on your menu at home. Read on for more!
How to Reheat French Fries So They're Extra Crispy
- 5 pounds russet potatoes
- Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
- sea salt
- Peel and rinse the potatoes.
- Cut each potato into sticks by cutting it into 4 or 5 lengthwise pieces, and then cut each of those pieces into sticks. (Or use a french fry cutter to cut them to the appropriate size)
- Place them in a large bowl and cover them with cold water.
- Allow the raw fries to soak for 2-3 hours. (You can also stick them in the fridge and let them soak overnight.) Note: Don’t skip this step! Soaking the fries ahead of cooking removes excess starch from the fries and ensures the perfect texture!
- When you're ready to make the fries, drain off the soaking water and lay the potatoes on 2 baking sheets lined with paper towels.
- Blot the fries with extra paper towels to dry them.
- Preheat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot to 300 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer to confirm the right temperature.
- In smaller batches, fry the potatoes until soft, 4 to 5 minutes per batch for the first cook. (you will be frying them a second time in the next step) Keep in mind: The fries should not be brown at this point! You just want to activate the cooking process.
- Remove each batch and drain on new, dry paper towels.
- Once all the potatoes have been fried at 300 degrees F, increase the heat until the oil reaches 400 degrees F.
- When the oil is up to temp, start re-frying the potatoes in batches again, cooking until the fries are golden and crisp.
- Remove the fries from the oil and drain them on paper towels. (Be careful, the oil and french fries will be hot!)
- Sprinkle them with salt to taste and enjoy!