Crispy Oven Fries

I haven’t given in to the air fryer trend, so when I came across a recipe for crispy oven fries using a pot of boiling water on the stovetop and a hot sheet pan in the oven, I figured I’d give it a shot.

The March 2021 issue of Eating Well magazine features “26 Ways to Be a Better Cook,” with tips ranging from “keep knives sharp,” to “dirty up one bowl for cookies.” With potatoes a staple in my kitchen, I tried the tip, “Boil potatoes before making oven fries.”

According to Eating Well, classic French fries are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside thanks to dunking them in hot oil. As a way to avoid the mess of frying potatoes at home, Eating Well suggests boiling cut potatoes in salted, acidulated water (using cider vinegar) before roasting them in the oven. “The salt helps extract excess moisture from the potatoes while the vinegar strengthens the exterior and helps the fries hold their shape.”

My family and I enjoyed the oven fries with oven baked fish sandwiches recently. If you want to avoid greasy, fried foods, these oven fries are a delicious substitute!


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven; preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine water, vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick sticks. Add to the pot, reduce heat to medium and cook just until starting to become tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the potatoes to a clean kitchen towel with a slotted spoon. Gently pat dry, then transfer to a medium bowl and toss with oil. Carefully spread the potatoes in a single layer on the hot baking sheet. Bake, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Transfer the fries to a paper-towel-lined bowl. Let rest for 2 minutes. Remove the paper towels and sprinkle the fries with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately.

The March 2021 issue of Eating Well is available upon request from Whitehall Public Library by calling 412-882-6622 or here. It’s also available as an e-magazine on Flipster.

Crispy Oven Fries
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