There are few things better than a roasted potato with a nice crunchy crust and a soft, fluffy inside.
Halfway there, and you have slightly soggy potatoes that are perfectly palatable but lacking that awesome fry-like texture. Too far past the crunch point and you get burnt potatoes…which are significantly less palatable.
I haven’t done oven fries too much lately, as I don’t get much of a craving for them in the summer. But I made a small batch for a snack the other day and realized that there were some tips to share!
First and foremost:
- You need to use a white potato. Specifically, a russet potato. Sweet potatoes really don’t crisp up. It’s cool, they are delicious in their own right. But they just don’t get crispy. Most sweet potato fries are battered before they are fried, so they are kind of cheating. Russet potatoes are “flaky” potatoes, which means they get a nice fluffy texture in the interior when cooked. Their high starch content translates well into oven fry deliciousness.
- Your oven needs to be hot. I cut my potato into wedges, toss with salt and olive oil, and cook at 425. Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so to keep them from sticking and remove once they look like they are your desired crispiness.
- Don’t crowd ’em in the pan! If you put your potatoes too close to each other, they will end up steaming each other. Steam directly counteracts crispness. Make sure you have everything spread in a single layer with sufficient space.
- Use a dark pan to up the crisp factor. Dark metal pans yield very different results than light colored metal or glass cookware. I find I have to watch the oven more closely when I pan roast veggies in metal baking trays.
Personally, I cut my potatoes into wedges because I’m too lazy to put in the effort to do matchstick potatoes. But these crispy matchstick potatoes with garlic have me reconsidering…