Shoestring, curly, crinkle-cut, wedge, straight, steak, or waffle. Chips, frites, pommes frites, French-fried potatoes, or just plain fries. Regardless of how we cut them and any name we call them they can be summed up in one word – delicious! Fries are convenient, laid-back. The easiest and possibly most satisfying of finger foods. After all, they are just cuts of potatoes. It seems that a simple food like fries should also be fairly simple to make then, right? Well, not exactly. There are countless opinions and endless ways to best prepare and bake these famous potato sticks. One of the most common questions regarding the topic is this. “How long do I bake fries in the oven and at what temperature?” More specifically, how long to bake fries at 400 degrees in the oven? Keep reading to find out the answer as well as tips to make the best crispy oven baked fries!
It takes 35 minutes to bake fries in oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. And you will get fries with crispy exterior and a cooked through interior. The fries should be turned crispy approximately half way through the total cooking time.
Oven temperatures for fries typically range from 350 degrees to 425 degrees, and can vary depending on the size and amount. Baking fries at 350 degrees will definitely take longer, up to 45 minutes, and is not going to produce a crispy exterior. At this temperature, the potato is going to take longer to cook through to become tender, which will also cause some drying to occur. I would sadly expect the result to be a limp fry with a chewy exterior. Increasing the oven temperature to 375 degrees will produce a faster cook time for the fries at around 40 minutes, but this is still too low of a temperature to result in the ideal crisp of the fries we know and love.
The secret to making fries perfectly crisp in the oven is to bake them at a temperature that allows the inside starches to cook through while simultaneously removing the moisture from the exterior of the fries. This can only be achieved at temperatures above boiling. The ideal temperature will also depend on the size of the fries themselves. A thinner-cut fry will cook faster at the same temperature than one that is thicker.
Baking fries at 400 degrees for 35 minutes will result in the exterior of the fry being crispy and the interior cooked through. If baking at 425 degrees, the exterior of the fry will become overly browned and the interior will be underdone.
Note - this does not hold true for frozen fries, as these have already been pre-cooked and need high heat only to crisp.
This is why a baking temperature of 400 degrees for fresh-cut fries is considered to be ideal. It is hot enough to cook the internal starches, boil the moisture from the potato, and create a crispy outside layer.
The best potatoes to use for making homemade fries are Idaho brand or the Russet Burbank variety of potatoes. The ideal variety of potato has a high starch and low moisture content. When properly prepared, this combination results in a fluffy internal texture and a perfectly crisp exterior.
This is the recipe that I used to bake the perfect fries in the oven.
If I am running short on time and need to speed up the process of getting my fries from whole potato status to the dinner table, there are a couple of things I will do.
An excellent seasoning combination for fresh-baked fries is rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and parmesan cheese topping. I also love to use my own blended seasoning of paprika, garlic powder, salt, parsley, thyme, oregano, and black pepper.
Ultimately, no matter which way the fries are cut, with a proper bake at 400 degrees and some favorite spices they are bound to be amazing!