The Easy Stovetop Method To Avoid Soggy Reheated Fries

French fries are one of the most popular snack foods or side dishes around the globe. The crispy, fried potatoes are a staple at almost every restaurant, from fast food to fine dining. According to Britannica, they originated either in France or Belgium and are now one of the most well-loved and familiar ways to eat potatoes.

French fries are ubiquitous in many meals, from burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and more. They're also a great shareable food item. However, one of the significant drawbacks of ordering french fries, whether at a drive-thru or a sit-down restaurant, is the leftovers. Unlike most other foods, which can be reheated in your microwave or even enjoyed cold, french fries do not keep well as leftovers. One of the obvious causes of leftover fries' bland taste is that they're not fresh from the fryer.

While most fried foods don't taste nearly as good reheated as fresh, they still don't taste nearly as bad as fries. The issue lies specifically in the potato itself, explains Live Science. Potatoes are full of starch, and when the starch is hydrated, it fluffs up. When it's dehydrated, they get grainy and soggy. The problem with reheating french fries, then, isn't about heat — it's about moisture.

Shallow fry leftover fries

While moisture is needed to reheat fries, it shouldn't come from any source — steaming your fries, for example, will result in unduly soggy, gritty pieces of bland potato. This is why reheating your fries in the microwave ends in disaster, according to Kitchn — the fries release steam as they're heated, which gets trapped in the microwave and makes them soggy when done.

The heat, moisture, and crispiness of oil are what you want to reheat your fries instead. That doesn't mean you need to break out your deep fryer and a bottle of vegetable oil, though. All you need for deliciously crispy leftover fries is a little oil and a stovetop pan big enough to hold them all. Simply heat your pan and oil, ideally two teaspoons for every handful of fries, and once it's hot, add your fries. Cook for a minute on each side until they're nice and crispy looking again, and then top with fresh salt. This likely won't taste nearly as fresh as they do straight from the fryer, but it's a much better alternative to microwaving them.