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