Perfect oven-baked French fries

No deep fryer needed for crispy, delicious fries!

While I do own a very nice deep fryer, I have to confess it doesn’t leave its cozy cupboard that often. It’s a bit of a hassle to clean and when I use it, I find it somewhat vexing to have my house – not to mention my clothes and hair – infested with a telltale oily smell that lingers for many hours afterwards. As a result, I’m often experimenting with ways to make oven-baked versions of my favourite deep fried goodies. I’m very happy with my wonton crisps and sweet potato fries, and I’ve also developed an impossibly delicious baked doughnut recipe. Now, I am delighted to present a sure-fire way to make crispy, perfectly-cooked French fries in your oven. I have to confess that the experimentation that led to this awesome recipe was inspired by a snippet I heard on CBC Radio one day, discussing the science of French fry making. It has proven to be a game changer for me; you can read all about it here.

For the best oven-baked fries, parboiling them in a water and vinegar solution prior to baking them is the secret to making them as crispy as though they'd been deep fried.

For the best oven-baked fries, parboiling them in a water and vinegar solution prior to baking them is the secret to making them as crispy as though they’d been deep fried.


  • 3 medium Russet potatoes (about 2 lbs/1 kg total weight)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white vinegar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons (30 – 45 mL) of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) sea salt


  • Wash the potatoes well and cut into uniform sticks about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
  • Put the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Add the vinegar. 
  • Bring the pot to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Drain carefully using a sieve or colander. Spread the potatoes out on paper towel to absorb moisture, then put then on a wire rack in a single layer to allow them to dry completely, for at least 30 minutes (refrigerate the potato-filled rack if drying for longer).

  • Preheat oven to 435F.
  • Put dried potatoes in a bowl then drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to gently turn them over and over so each piece is thoroughly coated.
  • Put the fries on a large baking sheet, again in a single layer.

  • Bake 10 minutes then turn the fries over.
  • Bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes, until uniformly golden brown.
  • Transfer fries to a paper towel-lined basket and jostle them gently to shake excess oil onto the paper towel.
  • Season with salt (or other spices, as desired) and serve hot.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

14 thoughts

  1. Very interesting! I had never considered boiling before – I always went straight to bake. But that photo of your chips is goooood looking. I’ll give it a try 🙂 Thanks!

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