For An Easy Flavor Upgrade, Coat Your French Fries With Spices Before Frying

The best fast food fries have a few things in common that helped them achieve that top spot. It's not just the freshness of the fries or the fact that they perfectly toe the line between crisp and soft – it's that they know just the right amount of salt to use. Deep-fried french fries are typically seasoned right out of the fryer. However, you can add spices beforehand for a more impactful flavor.

There's a good reason people only season their fries post-frying. You shouldn't salt food before frying it since the mineral draws moisture out of food. Plus, any seasonings you add may end up floating around in the oil instead of adhering to the fries. Thankfully, creating a batter for the fries allows you to season them beforehand while still having crisp fries.

The additional step creates an extra layer of flavor for the fries, all with a crunchy, yet pillow-soft texture. After cutting up the potatoes, soak them in cold water to stop them from browning. When you start to work on the batter, mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a bowl. Coat the fries in the batter and fry them in small batches to prevent them from getting stuck together.

What seasonings should you use for fries?

Creating a batter for your fries gives you more free range to experiment without worrying that your spices won't stick properly. You can keep things simple by opting for garlic salt, onion powder, and paprika, or add a kick to it by pouring in some chili powder. Add more spice with cumin and black pepper for an earthy, grounded heat.

For a more interesting flavor, look to New Orleans' cooking and use Cajun seasoning in the batter. Add white pepper, cayenne, and black pepper to the base of paprika, garlic salt, and onion powder you already have. For a smokier flavor, sprinkle in some chipotle and cardamom.

If you want crisp french fries without the addition of a batter, make them in an air fryer. Submerging seasoned fries, sans batter, into oil will cause the frying liquid to break down. With air fryer french fries, the potatoes will absorb the flavor as they cook, giving the fries a more impactful taste.