Here's How You Should Be Reheating Fries

For a lot of people, getting into the crispy, crunchy side order of French fries might actually be the highlight of their meal. But just because the main entrée filled you up doesn't mean you should leave extra French fries behind. Those who take their leftover fries home have likely found that soggy, cold fries just won't cut it. That's why you need to know the best ways to reheat them so they are as good as the day you ordered them.

While the easiest and fastest method might be the microwave, there are several other ways to reheat fries that are well worth the effort. Appliances like your oven or air fryer are certainly handy for the job. However, you can also accomplish better leftover fries in a Dutch oven or even on the stovetop in a pan too. With the right methods, any one of these methods will make those reheated fries taste even better.

You can always go with the classic microwave method

While simply sticking your fries in the microwave and pressing a button won't give you the best results, there are a couple of ways to put the appliance to good use. With the right equipment and technique, the microwave is one of the fastest ways to reheat your leftover French fries. In fact, it only takes 10 minutes according to The Kitchen Community. The trick to using the microwave to allow the steam inside the fries to stay there long enough to reheat them without it staying inside and causing them to get soggy. But you can make that happen so long as you use a crisping tray or paper towels (even though this method is typically looked down on according to Insider).

According to The Kitchen Community, you should start by tossing your leftover fries in enough neutral-flavored oil to just coat the outside of the room-temperature fries. Next, you should place the fries in a single layer without crowding them on either the crisping tray or a microwavable plate. Using a crisping tray, microwave at full power for 10 minutes for reheated fries. If you use a plate instead of the crisper with its lid, then cover the plate with a single layer of paper towels and wrap them over the fries. Remember to shake them up a bit halfway through for more even crisping.

Or, opt for the oven

The oven is typically a trusted method for reheating fries, but they can still turn out soggy if you're not careful. According to The Kitchn, you should avoid using the broiler and instead take the time to preheat your oven to a high temperature for great results. Though this isn't the fastest method, it is a low-maintenance option with next to no clean-up so long as you cover your sheet tray with aluminum foil before placing the fries on it.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and spread leftover fries on a cooling rack or crinkled-up foil placed on a baking sheet. Remember to avoid crowding the fries or allowing them to overlap for the crispest reheated fries. Then simply let them get warm and crunchy in the hot oven for about 20 minutes. Don't forget to re-season the fries when they come out of the oven too.

Dutch oven or deep fryer — big payoff but big clean-up

This method will undoubtedly yield the best results for reheating crisp and crunchy fries to just about as good as they were the day you got them. However, this method does require the most effort and clean-up afterward even if it is a quicker process. Not to mention, this method does require using quite a bit of oil which can be troublesome to deal with after it has been used too according to Allrecipes. But it is worth the effort if you want the best leftover French fries you can imagine.

Using either a deep fryer that you can set on your countertop or a big Dutch oven on your stovetop, heat neutral oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oil is hot enough, place small batches of fries in the hot oil to re-fry them for up to five minutes. Let the oil come back up to temperature after each batch of fries you cook. Let the excess oil drain off on a plate covered with a paper towel.

Turn to the air fryer

The air fryer has become such a beloved small appliance because it does make deliciously crispy fried foods without all of the hassle and mess of a lot of oil. That's why the air fryer is a popular and reliable alternative to the deep fryer for reheating leftover fries. Another amazing perk of the air fryer is that it is just as fast as the microwave but with infinitely better results. When you use this method, you'll get crisp fries on the outside with that soft interior you know you want according to The Kitchn.

Simply heat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and add your leftover fries into the basket. Spritz with a little oil from an air fryer-safe oil sprayer for extra-crisp, golden-brown fries, and cook for up to five minutes. When they come out, you should have fries that are as good as they were at the restaurant.

Finally? Pan-frying

If you don't want to deal with deep frying or don't have the time or an air fryer to follow the other methods, you can also pan-fry leftover fries to bring them back to life. According to The Kitchn, fries reheated this way are just about as good as heating them in the oven and it only takes 15 minutes to get there too. While this method is great for reheating just a few fries without going to too much trouble, it isn't the best option for a lot of fries. That's because, once again, you don't want to overcrowd the fries in the pan.

To heat your fries in a pan on the stove, add just a little neutral oil to the pan and heat it with the pan. Add the fries in so they are not overlapping or too close and allow them time to get crisp on one side before turning. You can place them on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil that might be on them if you accidentally added too much oil.