There are few sides more beloved, or debated, than the French fry. Some will argue until the end of their days that a steak fry with a soft, potatoey center is fast food gold while others may go out of their way to enjoy the reliably crispy shoestring cuts at a burger joint across town. We're not here to judge (though we'd argue that a curly fry just might be the most fun), but we are here to unite potato fans on one thing: Leftover fries don't have to be soggy.
No matter where you fall on the fried potato spectrum, you're sure to have dealt with the mushy leftover fry. We all have good intentions; no one wants to leave a plate piled high from an over-order on the table. But one zap in the microwave and your crinkle cut inevitably becomes a wrinkled mess. While you can use extra wedges in a different recipe entirely (transform them into a hash tomorrow morning, perhaps?), fry purists will be delighted to know that there's another way to revive their crispy physique. Here's what you need to know.
Transfer Your Fries From the Takeout Container Stat
As soon as you get your doggie bag home, move your fries to an airtight storage container before placing them in the fridge. Don't wait too long to use them either. You'll want to reheat within two days.
Roast Your Way to Crispy Leftover Fries
The microwave may be the fastest way to make french fries warm again, but it cooks from the inside out. As it heats the water on the interior of the fries, it steams them and destroys any hope of crispiness. Try oven-roasting instead. A bit of fresh olive oil and high heat applied on the outside will give you a result that rivals their freshly-served peak.
How to Reheat Leftover Fries in the Oven
Start with a hot oven, about 400°F or 425°F. Crinkle up aluminum foil before spreading it back out to cover your sheet pan. The wrinkles in the foil will help expose more surface area on the fries for a superior toast. Toss your fries onto the sheet, spreading them out to a single layer for an even roast, and hit them with a quick burst of cooking spray. Bake until they're crispy again, about 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to check in on them, as over cooking will leave you with sad burnt and dry fries.
Of course there are other options for making the most of your leftover wedges (we hear an air fryer comes in handy for all things fried and leftover), but if you don't have or want any extra kitchen gadgets, your oven will easily get the job done.