Oven Fries

Fries without the frying
50 minutes Total Time
20 minutes to prep
30 minutes to cook
4 servings
Cook's Illustrated published a recipe for Oven Fries in 2004 that created great crispy oven fries without needing to fry anything. They were delicious, but greasy because the recipe called for 5 tablespoons of oil. They "lightened" up the recipe a few years later by reducing the recipe to 4 tablespoons of oil. That is not much lighter. I have continued to lighten the recipe more by getting the oil needed for the recipe down to 2 tablespoons of oil. The trick is heating the oil on the baking pan first so it can spread evenly.
Adapted From: Cook's Illustrated
This recipe seems like a lot of steps, but it is an easy recipe. It produces a better-textured fry than a simple roasting of potato wedges would. You can peel your potatoes if you prefer. I like the skins and I just trim off any parts that don't look good.


Ingredients with an * are listed more than once.


  • Gather and prep ingredients. (Note that I have olive oil pictured here, but this recipe is better made with vegetable oil which has a higher smoke point.) Move an oven rack to lowest position. Preheat the oven to 475°.
    Step 0
  • Place potatoes in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak for 10 minutes.
    Step 1
  • While oven is preheating and potatoes soaking, add oil to a heavy rimmed non-stick pan. Put the pan in the oven for 1 minute only. The oil will be easier to spread around the pan when heated. Tilt the pan so the oil covers the bottom completely.
    Step 2
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the pan.
    Step 3
  • After potatoes are done soaking, drain the potatoes and return to the bowl. Dry the potatoes as best you can with a paper towel. If you want to be fussy you can lay them out and dry them on a flat surface. I find doing it the bowl to be enough.
    Step 4
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the to potatoes and toss to evenly coat.
    Step 5
  • Lay the potatoes on the pan so that one cut side is flat on the pan.
    Step 6
  • Cover the pan with foil and place on bottom rack. Bake for 5 minutes.
    Step 7
  • Remove foil and return to oven. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Turn pan after 10 minutes.
    Step 8
  • Loosen potatoes with thin metal spatula. Flip them so second flat side is touching bottom of pan. Return to oven and cook for another 7-10 minutes. Both sides should be browned and crispy.
    Step 9
  • Remove from oven. Pat fries with paper towel to remove any excess oil. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
    Step 10

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