The Secret Ingredient for the Crispiest Baked French Fries

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the fries get crisp!



If anyone asks me what my favorite food is, I would mostly likely say french fries. You may think that fries aren't necessarily a whole meal but to me it is. I like different iterations of fries including waffle, steak, crinkle, curly, and shoe string. I even like them with additions such as chili, cheddar, and my personal favorite, gravy and cheese curds.

For obvious reasons, I cannot eat traditionally prepared (deep-fried) fries all the time, so oven-baked fries are a good alternative. Baked fries can be hit or miss because sometimes instead of crispy fries, you're left with oversized roasted potatoes. There are tricks to getting crispier fries, but this one hack is something you would have never imagined.

According to this recipe from user Life Tastes Good, tossing potatoes with a tablespoon of sugar, and letting them drain in a colander for 30 minutes before baking is the vital step to getting super crispy oven fries. Here's why it works.

Why Does Sugar Help Make Crispy Baked French Fries?

Sugar gets potatoes nice and crispy in two ways: the first is through osmosis. Just like how salt can draw water from vegetables and make them "sweat," sugar does the same thing. This is why after tossing the potatoes with sugar in this crispy baked fries recipe, we leave them to drain in a colander. Getting rid of this excess water ensures that once you put the fries in the oven, they will crisp up instead of steaming.

The second way sugar helps with browning is with the Maillard reaction. This reaction causes food to brown when sugar reacts with amino acids under heat. So adding that sugar ensures that browning will occur, leading to that golden crisp exterior you want from a good french fry.

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