We’re Begging — Please Stop Microwaving Your Leftover Fries

published Feb 9, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

French fries are at their peak when they are almost too hot to eat. They’re crispy on the outside, with soft and fluffy insides, and coated with just enough fat and salt to make you come back for more at the risk of burning your mouth. While I’d like to pretend that leftover french fries simply do not not exist, I know too well that occasionally french fries must come home with us in small brown cardboard boxes, paper bags, or paper cups with high hopes of being eaten later.

Unfortunately, many of us are making things worse by zapping them into soggy submission in the microwave. We’re begging you — please stop microwaving your leftover fries and try this instead.

The Stovetop Is the Best Way to Reheat Fries

The microwave cooks food from the interior out and if you’re microwaving your fries in the takeout container, any moisture coming off the fries is being trapped in the container and steaming the fries. Instead you want to reheat the fries with a little extra oil on an even cooking surface over some medium-high heat. Enter: the stovetop. A pan on the stovetop is the very best way to reheat leftover french fries. (It’s also the best way to reheat pizza, so this wisdom will take you far.)

Here’s How to Do It

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of cooking oil for every cup (about a large handful) of fries. Once the oil is shimmering, add the fries in a single layer and cook for about 1 minute, before using a large spatula to flip the fries and cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. When crisp, sprinkle the fries with a pinch more salt and serve while hot.

It might not be perfect, but it’s certainly good.