Raise your hand if you love French fries! They’re a beloved side dish, a filling yet munchable way to round out your plate with a burger, sandwich, wrap, or even mussels. To make fries from scratch takes a bit of effort, and you might not be up for it on a busy night or when you’re feeding a crowd.
Thankfully, frozen fries make serving up this side easy. There’s just one big problem…they often taste like they came from the freezer. That’s why these tips will show you how to make frozen fries taste better. In fact, you’ll see that you can make them taste so good that people will think you made them from scratch!
- Tips for Choosing Frozen Fries
- How to Make Frozen Fries Taste Better
- – Don’t Skip the Preheat
- – Keep Them Frozen
- – Pair Frozen Fries with Acidic Ingredients
- – Use an Open Rack for Baking
- – And Speaking of Air Fryers…
- – Know When to Season Your Fries
- – Go Beyond Salt
- – Give Them a Twist of Fusion
- – Make the Whole Bag at Once
- – Top Them Up
- – Give Them Some Beer
- – Serve Them with Dips and Sauces
- Final Thoughts: How to Make Frozen Fries Taste Better
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Tips for Choosing Frozen Fries
Whether you have a brand you prefer or you’re just seeing what’s on sale when it comes to frozen fries, you should check out the labels. If you want them to taste more like they came from a restaurant, you’ll want them to have a higher fat content. But if you want to keep things a little healthier, choose brands that list fewer ingredients. Remember, you’re about to learn how to make frozen fries taste better, so they’ll only become more delicious with what you add to them.
That brings us to our next point…the oil is what makes fries turn golden and crispy. However, even if you select a brand with less oil and lower fat content, you can still get them to the right crispy texture by adding your own. This gives you more control over what you put on your fries and ultimately makes them taste so much better than if you simply baked them and served them as they came from the bag.
Also, don’t forget about fry styles. Some are thick cuts, others are crinkled or curly. You’ve got shoestring, steak fries, and gobs of other choices to make. If you want to make frozen fries piled high with toppings, as mentioned in the tips further below, you should choose a sturdier fry style. These will hold up better for those toppings. For those of you that prefer dunking and dipping, you can pick any style you like best.
How to Make Frozen Fries Taste Better
By learning how to make frozen fries taste better, you can cut right to the chase for family dinners, backyard barbecues, or when friends drop by to watch the game. Rather than spend your time peeling and prepping tons of potatoes, pouring out a few bags of frozen fries and cooking them is the way to go.
To keep them from having that frozen taste, use these tips, and no one will be the wiser!
– Don’t Skip the Preheat
First and foremost, fries taste best cooked at high heat. Maybe you’re not deep-frying them, and that’s ok. It’s healthier to bake them and less messy too. However, your oven should be preheated to the temperature listed on the baking instructions for your frozen fries. Having it at the right temperature will ensure your fries come out with a crispy exterior and a nice fluffy texture inside.
– Keep Them Frozen
While your oven preheats, keep your fries where you found them…in the freezer. It may seem counterproductive, but pouring them onto your lined baking sheet after the oven lets you know that the preheating is complete is the best way to go. In doing so, you’ll get a better texture and flavor.
– Pair Frozen Fries with Acidic Ingredients
One of the best ways to make frozen fries taste better is to think of how to bring out the natural flavor of potatoes. Acidic ingredients do this so beautifully, so think of squeezing on a little lemon or fresh citrus. You can also drizzle them with vinegar, hot sauce, or pickles right after taking them out of the oven. Just a little will do the trick. Don’t add too much, or you’ll wind up with mushy fries.
– Use an Open Rack for Baking
Baking your fries on a baking sheet will work out fine. But if you want them nice and crispy without frying them, you can put them on an open rack to expose them to more airflow. Ideally, you will line the bottom of your oven first to keep from making a mess.
Even better, a hybrid of this frozen fry hack can help. You can use an oven-safe rack added to your baking sheet to create that same air flow for golden-brown fries. Plus, the baking sheet catches any drippings to prevent a lengthy cleanup session once all the fries have been devoured. This is a great trick to use if you don’t have an air fryer but want those crunchy, crispy, golden fries like you get in a restaurant.
– And Speaking of Air Fryers…
If you don’t want to heat up your whole house by turning the oven up to high temperatures, especially in the summer, or you want to make use of your air fryer, go for it. Frozen fries will taste better when you cook them in an air fryer.
You’ll wind up with crispy and delicious French fries, even from frozen, by using this popular kitchen appliance. The best way is to preheat your air fryer to 400F and then pour the fries into the basket. You should then cook them for about 12 to 14 minutes, taking time to toss the fries in 6-minute intervals.
– Know When to Season Your Fries
Believe it or not, the best time to season your fries is as soon as you pull them from the oven. By adding salt right after you get that tray out of the oven, it will give your frozen fries the best flavor. Additionally, the type of salt matters too. Finely milled salt sticks to piping-hot fries much better than coarse and flaky styles. You can leave it at that or add some freshly ground black pepper for that restaurant flavor.
– Go Beyond Salt
Salt is always a good choice for jazzing up frozen fries. But if you want to know how to make frozen fries taste better, experiment with your spice rack. You can sprinkle on garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, seasoned salt varieties, or even chopped fresh herbs. Ideally, if you’re doing fresh herbs, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil or even truffle oil to pull it all together. Watch that you’re not adding too much to bog down the fries with a soggy texture, though.
– Give Them a Twist of Fusion
And while you’re at it making those frozen fries better, think of the different flavors from around the world. You can use up an extra packet of taco seasoning to make fries with a Mexican twist, much like Taco Bell famously did with those nacho fries. Make it Greek with a squeeze of fresh lemon, dill, feta, and a side of tzatziki for dipping. Or top them with cheese after baking and give them a few minutes under the broiler, then serve with gravy to get disco fries. Keep thinking along these lines, and you will always know how to make frozen fries taste better!
– Make the Whole Bag at Once
Freezer burn is one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of making frozen fries taste good. This tends to happen when you make only part of a bag of frozen fries, which is why you should throw caution to the wind and just make them all at once. If you’re only making them for yourself and can’t eat a whole bag in one sitting, make sure you reseal them in a freezer bag to keep them fresh for next time. Doing so will ensure they don’t get ice crystals on them that will ruin their flavor, which you will certainly notice no matter what kind of seasonings you use to perk them up.
– Top Them Up
Look, there’s nothing wrong with plain fries. Nothing at all. Maybe you truly love keeping it simple and dunking them in a little ketchup, mayo, malt vinegar, or ranch dressing. And hey, that’s a fine way to eat them. But if you want to make your frozen fries taste better, you can treat them more like nachos when plating them and turn them into a meal.
Throw on seasoned ground beef, cheese, olives, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Shake on onion soup seasoning and melt Gruyere on top. Add bacon, cheese, and chives. Chop up roast beef slices and sauté them with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers, then add it to your fries with melty provolone or white American cheese for a plate of fries that eats like a Philly cheesesteak. Or pile on the chili and cheese. That’s exactly how to make frozen fries taste better!
– Give Them Some Beer
If you want to make your fries taste just like they do at your favorite sports bar, try this awesome trick of adding beer. This will give them a crunchier texture that you’re going to love. You’ll mix a cup of all-purpose flour together with an egg, then slowly add in a cup of whatever beer you’ve got in the fridge. Dip the fries in the batter, and then you can lightly fry them on your stovetop.
It’s best to add a little seasoning to this batter. Cajun is a great idea, though don’t shy away from other kinds of spices too. You can choose to serve it with your favorite condiments for dunking or simply enjoy them as is.
– Serve Them with Dips and Sauces
Some people are fry-purists, and that’s fine too. Maybe you’d rather not have tons of toppings on your fries. It is true that toppings can muddle the texture if you don’t eat them quickly enough.
While many people love ketchup, there are so many other sauces you can set out with those frozen fries to make them better. Along with the other tips above for getting them to that right texture, serving with a sauce or dip will only enhance your enjoyment of this side dish.
That said, think about queso, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and blue cheese dressing, ranch, salsa, sriracha, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, honey mustard, and all the other possibilities. You can even make your own mayo-based dip with a seasoning packet for a creamy dill or onion-flavored option.
Final Thoughts: How to Make Frozen Fries Taste Better
It all starts with making a good frozen fry selection at the store. Choose a good-quality bag of frozen fries in the style that will work best for you. Always have the oven preheated first, and keep those fries in the freezer until you’re ready to stick them in the oven. From there, follow the top rules for seasoning those fries, and you’ll always know how to make your frozen fries taste like anything but frozen!