The pandemic supposedly got people back into their kitchens – baking bread and making comfort food casseroles. But around here, we’ve actually found ourselves getting take-out a little more often. At first it was a way to support local restaurants, and then it became increasingly uncomfortable to linger in grocery stores hunting for rarely-used ingredients for new recipes. Plus, there’s just the fact that when there are other stressors on your brain, it’s nice to have one less thing on the mental bandwidth.

So we’re still cooking (Jeremy’s stupidly-easy-but-incredibly-delicious biscuits have seen perennial action), but restaurant take-out has ended up in the dinnertime rotation a bit more frequently.

Something I noticed after consuming these Styrofoam-encased meals, is that we sometimes ended up with some leftover French fries. Restaurants often accompany their entrees with outsized portions of these, and our kids especially don’t always have the appetite to finish theirs off. The leftover fries would end up in the fridge, where they might invariably remain untouched, and be shunted to the trash.

Because who loves to eat leftover French fries? Their deliciousness has a short shelf-life; fresh from the fryer, they’re the height of tastiness, but a day, even an hour later, and they’re soggy and mealy. Reheat them in the oven, plus they turn hard and dry. Nuke ‘em in the microwave, plus they become soft and limp, devoid of their former crispness.

And yet, it seems a shame to throw your fries away. You paid for them, and take-out is expensive. You want to get your full money’s worth instead of letting your food go to waste.

Fortunately, it’s possible to reheat and reuse leftover French fries with techniques that restore their golden glory.

What is the best way to reheat french fries?

The idea is simple and doesn’t require a deep-fry, or really even that much oil: Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat; pour in a few tablespoons of oil; add your sad fries; cook, flipping once; and have happy fries again!

Reheating French Fries: 5 Ways to Add Crunch and Flavor Again

French fries only taste good as long as they taste fresh and crunchy. Any leftovers soon get soggy and lose out on their flavor, which often means that they have to be discarded. In this Tastessence article, we will discuss various methods on reheating fries to bring back the crunch and flavor easily.

How to Reheat French Fries in Microwave

Microwaves, are not really ideal for heating fries, as the variable temperatures can easily turn them into mush. However, with the following steps, you can reheat French fries in the microwave, and give them a little crunch.

  1. Pour a little vegetable oil on the fries.
  2. Place the fries lightly on some dry paper tissues. This reduces the amount of moisture and oil from the fries when they are heating up.
  3. Place the fries on a microwave-safe plate.
  4. Heat the fries in the microwave for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the fries out and remove the paper.
  6. Spread the fries and let them cool for 2-3 minutes before consuming.
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You will need to experiment with the heating time to get best results, as each microwave heats food differently.

How to Reheat French Fries In the Oven

The way I prefer to reheat French fries is using the oven. There are loads of benefits to using this method, but it mainly comes down the texture and the healthiness of using the oven. You don’t end up with a lot of oil in the fries, and they aren’t soggy at all. They may have a slightly different texture from what they were when you bought the fries or cooked them originally, especially if they were not initially cooked in the oven.

How to reheat French fries in the oven? You need to preheat the oven first of all. Please note that oven reheating is the method that takes the longest time, but it is also the best overall, if you want your food to taste good. Who doesn’t want that?

The best temperature for reheating fries in the oven is somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will ensure that they warm up quickly and you don’t waste a lot of time waiting for them to get warm. It also cooks them to the correct internal temperature so that they are heated through and through and there are no cold spots. Who wants to eat a partially cold fry? Not me!

How long to reheat French fries in the oven? It depends on how many you put in there at once. An average serving of fries (about 20-130) should take about five minutes to warm up in the oven. Remember, you are not cooking them or warming them up from a frozen state.

This cooking time is intended to be used for fries that were stored in the fridge for a few hours. If you are warming up a large portion of fries, then you may need a longer cook time. It’s not a bad idea to check them at five minutes, though.

This method works for all kinds of fries. If you are wondering how to reheat McDonald’s French fries or any other restaurant’s fries, just use this method and they will come out nice and toasty every time.

Tips for Oven Preparation:

  • Cook the fries on a baking sheet
  • Preheat the oven before placing the fries in
  • Spread the fries out on the baking sheet so they are not on top of each other
  • Add your toppings after the fries have warmed
  • Check the fries after five minutes and put them back in for a few more if necessary
  • Thick cut fries and large fry portions will need longer to cook

How to Reheat French Fries In a Skillet (The Re-Fried Fries Method)

How to Reheat French Fries In a Skillet

This is arguably the best way to reheat fries and keep them crisp like a fresh batch. Let us see how this is done:

  1. Find a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, that will be able to cook the fries at the same time, heating them evenly from all sides.
  2. Spray the skillet with a little oil with a high smoking point, heat it on the stove till the oil is hot.
  3. Reheat the French fries on the stove with an occasional toss or stir to heat the fries evenly, on a medium flame.
  4. Do not add any extra oil during the heating process, as this can cause them to get soggy and oily. Once the fries gain a crunchy texture, you can take them off the heat and serve.
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It is important to remember that when you are reheating French fries in a skillet, you should always be in control off the flame. Excess heat will burn the fries, while less heat will make them go limp. Also avoid adding salt during the heating process, this can also make the fries limp and soft.

Another great way to reuse French fries is to add bacon and cheese to the skillet, or mix the fries in pies and quiches, for a totally new but delicious dish. Use the above tips to enjoy fries in the best ways possible.

How to Reheat French Fries on the Stove

You could also reheat fries on the stove, in some oil. You can reheat them in a frying pan with no oil and do a dry fry or you can put them in a deep fry. The problem with the deep fry is that it makes the fries extra oily.

Now, you can wipe off some of the oil once they come out, using a paper towel, but they will still have absorbed quite a bit of oil. Deep frying French fries to reheat them is not the healthiest way to warm them up.

To fry in oil, just preheat the oil on medium heat and cook for about three minutes. It doesn’t take long to warm them up in hot oil.

Dry frying works okay, but you need to let the fries reach room temperature first before putting them in the frying pan. Then, heat them on a low heat setting to warm them slowly, so they heat all the way through.

For dry frying, it should take about five minutes to warm the fries enough that they will be warm all the way through.

How to Reuse French Fries in a Meal

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of heating up the oven or dirtying a frying pan just to make yourself a French fry snack, consider reusing your leftover fries by incorporating them into another food or meal. When they’re mixed with other things, their texture becomes less consequential.

Smothering the fries with cheese and toppings or poutine (gravy + cheese curds) is a good option, as it turns a would-be snack into something that eats like a meal.

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You can also use leftover fries pretty much in any recipe that calls for potatoes (keeping in mind that they’re already cooked, and won’t need as much cook-time as the original recipe calls for). You can stick them a breakfast burrito or hash, or incorporate them into a casserole.

Possibly the best option is to put your leftover fries into a frittata. Frittatas are a versatile dish – they can be eaten for breakfast or dinner, and you can pretty much throw anything you have on hand, leftover or fresh, into them, whether veggies, meats, or even (cooked) pasta. While you can come up with infinite combos, here’s a recipe that will get you started and easily and tastily use up your leftover fries. 

How to Reheat Fries in an Air Fryer

If you haven’t already jumped aboard the air fryer train, now would be a good time to do so. As it turns out, they’re one of the best kitchen tools out there. And if you’re wondering how to reheat fries in the air fryer, it’s super simple. Check out these steps.

  1. Place your fries in a single layer in your air fryer. You can add one tablespoon of oil to the fryer, or fry them on their own.
  2. Set your air fryer to 350° and air fry your fries for 3 to 6 minutes, to your desired crispiness.

How to Reheat McDonald’s Fries

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, McDonald’s French fries are definitely a kid favorite — so if you don’t want to toss out uneaten fries, you better learn how to reheat McDonald’s fries. Since the Golden Arches fries are deep-fat fried, reheating them on the stovetop with a touch of oil may duplicate that same-day taste your kids crave. “They may not be perfect, but they are good,” says Rada. So, if you want to know how to reheat fast food fries, consider the following steps on how to reheat fries.

Conclusion

These are the most common methods for reheating fries, and if you are tired of soggy, cold, and unpleasant leftover fries, try these warming tips to ensure that yours come out great every time. Your fries can taste almost as good as when you bought them. You just have to know the secrets to reheating them and not settle for the quickest, most obvious ways.

About the Author

Austin Sims

Currently Executive Chef at famous NY restaurant, Austin began his tenure with as Chef de Partie. He has over eight years of experience, including tenures at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants. Austin is passionate about all things cooking – products, supply chain, management, menu design, and budgeting.

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