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How To Fry Frozen French Fries

Quick Answer

When it comes to cooking frozen french fries, your options are four-fold. You can bake, deep fry, stove fry, or air fry them.

Oven cooking or air frying are the healthiest (and safest) options. Simply set the heat, load the fries in there, set the timer, and wait for the ding!

On the other hand, if you want to take the old-fashioned route to crispy golden goodness, then deep or stove frying is the way to go!

If you ask me, frozen french fries are one of humanity’s most astounding achievements alongside the light bulb, walking on the moon, and Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam”.

How To Fry Frozen French Fries

With a bag of these skinny potato lengths in our freezer, we can have a delicious batch of crispy, golden goodness whenever the feeling takes us!

All we have to do is decide which cooking method is best, that is unless, you’re unsure how to cook up this delicious side dish.

If that’s the case, don’t sweat it — I’m going to be guiding you through all the possibilities right here, right now.

Cooking Frozen French Fries

You and I are only going to get hungrier, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

How To Oven Cook Frozen French Fries

I know, I know… french fries are most scrumptious when fried in a vat of bubbling amber oil, but news flash, fellow frozen french fry fanatics, deep fried goods don’t exactly constitute a healthy diet.

If, like me, you desire french fries every single day of the week, the only way to go about it with any semblance of responsibility is to utilize the oven from time to time.

It’s not going to give you quite as miraculous a finished product as a deep fry, but if you know what you’re doing, you can get pretty darn close!

In fact, there are some extra benefits to cooking your frozen french fries in the oven.

Here’s how it’s done…

Step 1: Preheat your oven to the temperature specified on the bag. This is typically around the 450 °F (232.222 °C) mark.

Step 2: No need to break out the bag of frozen fries just yet. It’s best they stay frozen solid until they go in, but what you can do while the oven heats up is prepare a tray.

Take a baking tray and line it with some greaseproof paper. Alternatively, you can simply grease the tray with a bit of butter or oil, but I’d only do that if the tray is relatively new and clean.

Step 3: With your oven up to temp, it’s time to pour out your fries and spread them evenly about the tray.

Step 4: (optional) Here’s where using an oven really pays off. Before you set them to cook, why not embellish them with a drizzle of chili or garlic oil.

I personally like to pre salt them so the grains cook into the exterior of the fry. I’m partial to a modest scattering of rosemary too.

Step 5: Place your tray in the oven then leave your french fries to cook for about 10–12 minutes. Make sure to get the oven door closed as quickly as possible in order to maintain the internal temperature.

Step 6: Check the color of your french fries.

If they’re starting to look mildly golden brown in areas, remove the tray from the oven, flip them, and if possible, bring the outside fries into the center and the center fries towards the edge of the tray.

Step 7: Replace your tray in the oven and cook for a further 8–10 minutes.

Step 8: Remove your tray from the oven, let the fries rest for about 2 minutes on a trivet, do any post-bake seasoning, collect all your favorite dips, then serve those tasty french fries up!

How To Deep Fry Frozen French Fries

If you’re a traditionalist, there’ll be no substitute for good old-fashioned deep fried french fries. This gives you the quintessential crispy exterior and fluffy, soft interior — YUM!!!

Granted, it’s not the healthiest way of cooking, but as long as we keep it as an every-now-and-again treat, as opposed to an everyday oil fest, there’s no harm in indulging.

Step 1: Remove the basket from your deep fat fryer.

Step 2: Pour fresh oil into your deep fat fryer until you reach the capacity markings.

Step 3: Wait for your fryer to hit the desired temperature. 350 °F (176.667 °C) is the sweet spot!

If you don’t have a deep fat fryer but would like one, I can’t speak highly enough of this unit from T-fal.

Step 4: Fill your fryer basket with as many frozen french fries as your fryer can handle. You don’t want to overfill, as this will bring the temperature of the oil way down, leaving you with soggy fries.

Also, remember to spread them out; you’re looking for an even stack across the length and width of the basket.

Step 5: Ever so gently lower the basket into the hot oil, and if it has one, close the lid on your fryer.

I’d recommend wearing long sleeves while lowering the basket, as there’s almost certainly going to be some splatter when those icy fries hit the boiling oil.

Step 6: Leave your fries to cook for 2 minutes, and in the meantime, grab a large bowl and line it with a paper towel.

Step 7: After 2 minutes, lift the basket from the oil and shake the fries to prevent them sticking together.

Step 8: Lower the fries back into the oil and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Step 9: Once 2 minutes are up, open the lid of your fryer and have a peak in. By now your french fries should be crispy, golden, and delicious.

Step 10: Lift the basket, shake off as much excess oil as possible, then decant the fries into your bowl. The paper will soak up even more oil, leaving you with a truly delicious bounty of french fries.

Step 11: Season the fries, serve them up, and enjoy!

How To Fry Frozen French Fries

How To Stove-Fry Frozen French Fries

There’s no need to worry if you don’t own a deep fryer, because you can achieve more or less the same thing with a pot or skillet and your stove top.

It’s a little dangerous cooking french fries this way, but as long as you’re vigilant, the results can be breathtaking.

Step 1: Grab yourself a pot or skillet and set it on one of your stovetop burners, unlit.

Step 2: Fill the pot or skillet at least a ¼ full (but never more than ⅓ full) of oil with a high smoke point.

Step 3: Fire up the burner and bring the temperature up to around the 350 °F mark. Use a thermometer designed for measuring deep fat fryer temperatures to keep tabs on thermal progress.

Step 4: Retrieve your bag of frozen french fries from the freezer, then, small handfuls at a time, drop them into the pot or skillet, being careful to avoid any splashes or spitting.

Whatever you do, don’t overfill. You need every single fry to be completely submerged in oil for this method to work.

Step 5: Cook for 4–8 minutes, until your french fries have that sweet, sweet golden brown hue. While you’re waiting, line a large bowl with paper towels.

Step 6: Use a spatula to remove the fries from the oil, then place them in the bowl and wait for excess oil to seep into the paper towels.

Step 7: Rinse and repeat if you’re cooking for more people.

Step 8: Season and serve!

How To Air Fry Frozen French Fries

Don’t you just wish there was a way to get that deep fried crispness without your health taking a hit? Well, this win-win scenario is entirely feasible with a quality air fryer.

If you like the sound of that but don’t have an air fryer, I’d recommend checking out the Cosori Pro II, but if you do have an air fryer, here’s how you’d go about cooking up some frozen french fries.

Step 1: Lubricate the air fryer basket with a few spritzes of cooking spray.

Step 2: Pour your fries into the basket, being careful not to overload it. If possible, spread them out evenly.

Step 3: Set the temperature to 400 °F (204.444 °C) and the timer to 18 minutes.

Step 4: Shake the fryer at 6 minute intervals to ensure an even cook.

Step 5: When the alarm rings out, remove the basket and look for that golden brown hue. If they don’t seem quite there yet, allow them to cook for a further 2 minutes or so.

Step 6: Voilà; your french fries are ready. Season them, serve them, and gobble them down!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Defrost French Fries Before Frying Them?

You can defrost french fries before frying them if you want, but although they’ll cook faster, it’s really not worth it.

When defrosted, they become saturated, meaning they don’t cook quite right, so you’d sacrifice that perfect crispness we’re all looking for in a french fry.

The finished product winds up more flaky and crumbly than crispy.

What’s more, once they’re defrosted, they’ll start to deteriorate. Potatoes don’t fare well at room temperature, and even if you cover them with cold water, they’ll start to get soggy and stinky before too long.

Can You Use A Frying Pan To Cook Frozen French Fries?

As long as it’s deep enough, yes, you can use a frying pan to cook frozen french fries, but you’re better off using something a little taller to reduce the chances of anything going wrong.

If it’s your only option, just follow the stove cooking method detailed earlier, but as frying pans are quite shallow, you may be limited in terms of how many fries you can cook at once.

Can I Reheat French Fries?

You can absolutely reheat french fries! The best way is to either re-fry them or pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.

You should only reheat them once though, and if they’ve been stagnant for 2 days or more, just toss them.

Final Thoughts

Cooking frozen french fries is an absolute breeze once you know what you’re doing, but if you’re deep frying on a stovetop, be careful.

Should the oil ignite, don’t fight it. Simply turn off the heat if you can, evacuate your household, and call the fire brigade. Never, ever use water or a fire extinguisher, as this will only fuel the fire.

Jess Smith