We all know the pain of getting your hot, golden, crispy fries home only to discover they have turned limp and soggy.
Particularly in a year when we are all staying at home more, making restaurant-quality food from the comfort of your own kitchen has bever been more important.
Is there actually a way to save your potato mush? We are here to give you the run-down on how to reinvigorate your french fries to their former glory.
You will want to avoid the temptation of throwing the fries, box and all, into your microwave. These use radiation to cook and eat your food from the inside out.
Keeping the fries in their original container gives the moisture released a surface to condense on. This means that your fries will quickly become soggy and lose their structural integrity.
This is a very low-maintenance method of reheating fries, perfect for those hungover mornings where all you need is carbs. It is also the best method to use when you need to reheat a large quantity of fries.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place this baking sheet in the oven to get really hot before you add on the fries.
Spread your leftover fries across the sheet in a single layer. This will help prevent them from becoming soggier and will ensure they get their crunch back.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and allow the fries to warm up. The time this takes will vary depending on the oven and type of fries. Generally speaking, skinny french fries will only need 2 minutes, whereas chunky fries will take 3-4.
When you think they’re done, take one of the fries out of the oven. Cut it in half to ensure it is piping hot throughout and the outside has a slight crunch.
If they are still cold, leave them in the oven and check at 1-minute intervals.
Place a cast iron, or another heavy skillet, on your stovetop. Turn to a medium-high heat and allow the pan to warm for a couple of minutes.
The heavier the pan, the more heat the materials will hold onto and the crispier your fries will become.
Pour some oil into the pan. We recommend using about 10ml, or 2 teaspoons for a small portion of fries. If you are warming more, use an extra teaspoon or two.
Allow the oil to heat for 20 seconds. We suggest using peanut, vegetable, or canola oils as these all have a high smoke point.
Add the fries to your skillet in a single layer. If the pan appears crowded, it is a good idea to reheat the fries in batches.
Cook the fries for between 2 and 5 minutes, flipping to heat on all sides. Thinner fries are likely to take much less time to cook.
Allow the fries to drain on a plate covered in kitchen towels. This will absorb any excess oil, making the fries much tastier.
Connect your air fryer to the power source and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a couple of handfuls of cold fries in the basket of the fryer. Spread them out to create an even layer. We recommend not filling the basket past the halfway mark, or they will not reheat evenly.
If you have a lot of fries to reheat, we recommend doing this in batches for the best results.
Place the basket into the air fryer and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Give the basket a vigorous shake to change the positioning of the fries. Return the basket to the fryer and cook for 1 to 3 more minutes, based on your fry size.
We suggest draining your fries on a sheet or two of paper towels before you serve them.
Deep fat fryer
This is sometimes referred to as Belgian style fries as they will be double fried.
This should only be done if your french fries have a good level of structural integrity.
If they are already beginning to fall apart, we do not recommend this method as they will disintegrate.
Heat the oil in your deep fat fryer or in a large pan until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefully add in your fries and fry for 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain the fries on a paper towel and re-season before serving.
Do not expect your french fries to taste the same as they do fresh from the fryer once they have been reheated.
They are often cut very thinly to cut down on cooking time. French fries are, more often than not, cooked in cheap and low-quality oil. Reheating them can draw out any lingering tastes from this oil.
We suggest sprinkling some sea salt over your fries once they have been reheated.
If you have a toaster oven, this is even better than a standard oven for reheating french fries. They will be hot and crunchy, although the flavor will be slightly different.
If you are not inspired by any of these methods, why not try repurposing your fries altogether? Place the old fries on a baking sheet and cover with cheese and your other favorite toppings.
Place in the oven to warm through and melt the cheese. Easy, hassle-free loaded fries that help you to reduce your food waste.
You could even cover the fries in gravy and cheese curds to make your own iteration of poutine.
Another innovative idea is to utilize your waffle machine. This is a fun way to repurpose your day-old french fries, giving them a completely new lease of life.
Simply chop them up and place them in the dish of the waffle maker. If you wish them to stick together more, you could add some egg as a binding agent. Cook for 3-4 minutes, top, and enjoy.
For additional flavor, we always recommend seasoning your fries again after they have been reheated. This can be as simple as salt, or we have included a recipe for our favorite french fry seasoning below.
Another great way to add some additional flavor to your reheated fries is by serving them with a variety of dipping sauces.
French fry seasoning
Mix together ¼ cup of fine salt with 2 tablespoons of paprika and 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and garlic salt.
Add ½ tablespoon each of ground black pepper, cumin powder, dried parsley, and dried basil. Finally, add in 1 teaspoon of chilii powder and ½ teaspoon of celery salt.
This can be customized to suit your own personal taste.
French fries are never going to taste the same the next day, even after you have reheated them.
There are definitely methods which create a much closer imitation of fresh fries - such as frying and heating over the stovetop.
We do not ever recommend reheating french fries in the microwave as this will result in a limp and soggy piece of potato.
If you have a little more time, we suggest making loaded fries from your leftovers. This will disguise any changes to the taste or texture, making for a more enjoyable dish.