Crispy-Skinned Potato Wedges or Fries (GFCF)

For years those crispy, homemade fries have eluded me, specifically the kind of oven-baked persuasion. I’m scared of deep-frying, so making fries the traditional route is out. Besides of which, even if I wasn’t scared of deep-frying, I’m still concerned about the amount of oil leftover…what do you do with it and how do you get rid of it? You can only use leftover oil so many times.

At home, we’ve always made the “fries” in the oven and although they do taste good, they’ve never had that crispy outer layer or taste quite like fast food and restaurant fries do. Maybe I just wasn’t letting the potatoes bake long enough in the oven, or I wasn’t patient enough to let them get to that crispy-skinned state, I don’t know, but I found my potato bliss when, on a whim, I put them under the broiler. I heard sizzling, I heard popping. I looked, and there was that unmistakable crispiness. And they tasted just as good as deep-fried fries. Oh yes, and did I mention that they’re crunchy, too?

People, the secret to great homemade, restaurant-style potato wedges (or fries) is the broiler.

So I would think this is more of a how-to or guidelines than a real recipe, and I’m sure this is something not new at all. But for people like me who were confounded as to why their oven fries were not getting that crispy skin or not as near the results they were expecting, this is for you. You can season the potatoes anyway you like and have them anyway you like: plain, dipped in ketchup, or white vinegar – sometimes I like drizzling white vinegar over the potatoes and then dipping them into the ketchup – or however you like your fries. The possibilities are endless.

While writing this post, my brother said that, “They taste just like McDonald’s fries, but healthier.” For ketchup, we use a honey-sweetened ketchup from a Canadian company called Honey Bunny.

Crispy-Skinned Potato Wedges

My broiler has a high and low setting. I broiled the potatoes on high (about 350ºF according to my oven thermometer). Depending on how your broiler is coordinated, you may have to fiddle with the timings a bit. Use a a glass baking pan for this – I tried doing this on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and though the potatoes still worked, the paper burnt badly.

[Update] There have been some excellent tips about getting crispy oven fries (and not just potatoes either!) below in the comments. Do you have a favourite way to make oven fries? Join the discussion and share it in the comments below. All your comments are greatly appreciated. :) Thanks!

Scale accordingly.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
Potatoes, cut into wedges with skin on or off or thin, peeled strips for French fries
Salt and or seasonings of your choice

Method:

Pour a small amount of olive oil (about a tablespoon) into a glass baking pan and brush or spread it around. Lay the potato wedges in the pan in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and any other seasonings of your choice. Put under the broiler (see note above) for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes should have a browned, crispy skin but don’t smell burnt (check after the 7-minute mark). Leaving the broiler on, take the pan out and flip over the potato wedges and repeat until the other side is also crispy-skinned and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the broiler and cool. Serve with condiments of your choice. Enjoy!


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16 thoughts on “Crispy-Skinned Potato Wedges or Fries (GFCF)

  1. Glugle Gluten-Free

    That’s so funny. I had always wondered that myself until this past weekend. I was in a group walking at BlogHerFood. And, I don’t know if it was Kim from Cook It Allergy Free or Shirley from Gluten-Free Easily or Wendy from Celiacs in the House or Diane from The Whole Gang or a combination there of. But I heard something about fries and broiler, so I made them repeat it.

    So, if you had posted this last week, I would have been, “wow! you are amazing! OMG!” But, instead, I’m like, “Yeah, I know thaaaaaaaaat.” :P (Just channeled my teenage in-laws for that.)

    xoxo,
    Tia

    PS – Great info just the same because not everyone knows it. I am case in point.

    Reply
  2. Heidi @Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

    Hi Zoe!

    Your fries look yummy! :-D

    I love making fries in the oven, although I have never tried the broiler method (knowing me, I would walk away and come back to find potato tar nuggets, LOL!).

    What works for me is to toss the potatoes with a light drizzle of healthy oil and a sprinkling of Kosher salt (I like the bigger flakes) and spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a cookie sheet (being careful not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will not get crispy). and I bake them at 425 F. for about 15-20 minutes or so.

    I can’t remember where I heard the tip about not overcrowding the pan (allowing at least 1/4-inch open space around each potato wedge), but it was definitely the key to crispy potatoes! I think when they are too close together, the moisture that the potatoes release as they cook simply steams the surrounding potatoes and the hot, dry oven air cannot crisp them up.

    This works like a charm for other veggies too, like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans (my kids LOVE green bean “fries”). I also change up the seasonings, adding whole garlic cloves, thyme, Herbes de Provence, etc.

    xo,
    Heidi

    Reply
    1. Zoe | Z's Cup of Tea Post author

      Hi Heidi, thank you for the tips! I like the idea of switching up the seasonings, too. Besides potatoes, my family and I love yam fries…in fact, I think even more so than potato fries. The green beans sound intriguing. I tried making carrot fries years ago when we were just starting SCD (no starches allowed, so no potatoes) and since I wasn’t as experienced back then or know as much, like about using the broiler, they were disappointing (to me, at least). I’ve been thinking about having another go at them, though.

      Reply
  3. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free

    Zoe, we always make oven fries, but I usually bake that at 400 for a bit first before turning the broiler on at the end to try and crisp them up. I do the same for sweet potato wedges. But I have never cooked them for the entire time under the broiler. I will have to try that this weekend.
    And Tia cracks me up. She channeled the teenage girl in her very well! LOL
    xo

    Reply
    1. Zoe | Z's Cup of Tea Post author

      Hi Kim, since reading everyone’s lovely and helpful comments I’m coming across more and more ways about how to make oven fries that are crispy – one even that does not use the broiler at all. Maybe sometime I’ll do a “take two” on this post.

      In my experience, using the broiler all the way through makes the fries faster since it’s so hot and under direct heat. Important especially when there are people who are making demands – to which point it sometimes feels like an express lane!

      And yes, Tia is hilarious! She’s great. :)

      Reply
  4. tastyeatsathome

    Yum! I do fry occasionally, but you’re right – there’s a lot of leftover oil. While you can use it a few times, I rarely end up doing so (because it’s an ordeal to fry, and it makes a mess, and the house smells…), and then I have to throw it away – which means pouring it into an empty oil bottle (or milk jug or whatever) first. It seems so…wasteful! I prefer the oven. Much less hassle!

    Reply

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