The Super Simple Way To Upgrade Frozen French Fries In The Oven

crispy french fries on parchment paper
crispy french fries on parchment paper - Zapylaiev Kostiantyn/Shutterstock

Everyone loves french fries -- everyone. And for good reason. French fries are the whole package: Crispy on the outside, tender in the middle, and salty all over. When paired with the right condiment — ketchup, mayonnaise, garlic aioli, malt vinegar, cheese sauce — the fry suddenly becomes even more dazzling, making it a wonderful accompaniment to any burger, wrap, or sandwich. But making fries from scratch can be a bit of a process. And while playing around with a vat of hot gurgling oil is some people's idea of a good time, it's a whole lot easier to buy a bag of frozen fries from the supermarket.

Frozen fries are inexpensive, take little time to prepare, and stay good in the freezer for months. There are a lot of frozen french fry varieties from which to choose, but don't be too picky about brand or shape, because you can upgrade the look, taste, and texture of any of them by adding a simple drizzle of olive oil before popping them in the oven. Yes, this one addition will not only keep the fries from clumping together but also add a faint fruity richness that will make your finished fries a whole lot more interesting.

Read more: The 11 Best Frozen Burger Brands Available

How To Bring The Best Out Of Your Frozen Fries

french fries with seasoning in black bowl on wooden table
french fries with seasoning in black bowl on wooden table - Mahi ryan/Shutterstock

Drizzling your frozen fries with olive oil is a simple way to boost their taste and appearance. That being said, you don't want to saturate them in oil as if you were roasting vegetables or fresh potato wedges. Instead, spread the frozen fries out on a baking sheet that's either lined with parchment paper or foil and pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil over them, making sure to coat as much surface area of each fry as possible. You can also opt for an oil-based cooking spray to achieve a thinner, more delicate coating.

At this stage, you'll want to make sure the fries are sitting a good distance apart from one another. If they're laying all over each other, then parts of the fries will cook unevenly and may end up soft and floppy. The oil also helps lubricate the fries, which can be especially helpful if they come out of the bag clumped together in frozen chunks. The simple step of adding oil can totally transform the flavor and texture of your fries in just a few seconds, giving them a golden sheen and crisp exterior. Plus, the oil also helps any extra seasonings adhere to the fries before they go in the oven.

Other Clever Ways To Elevate Frozen French Fries

french fries in bowl with bacon and scallions on dark wood table
french fries in bowl with bacon and scallions on dark wood table - DronG/Shutterstock

While a little bit of olive oil helps keep the fries crisp, golden, and flavorful, there are some other fun and clever cooking hacks out there to take those spuds to the next level. First is to consider the cook. One of the most common mistakes committed when preparing frozen fries is not preheating the oven beforehand. Missing this step will result in fries that are flabby and unevenly cooked.

Since french fries are more or less a blank canvas, you can easily make them your own by adding some spices, herbs, or toppings. You can toss them with oregano, za'atar seasoning, lemon juice and top with crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist, or use garlic powder, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese for something more Italian in flavor; however, if using fresh herbs, you'll want to sprinkle them on after the fries come out of the oven. And don't be afraid to get bold with the seasonings: chipotle powder, smoked paprika, Old Bay, or a Cajun spice blend will do wonders for your frozen fries. If you want your fries on the saucy side, add a spoonful (or two) of salsa verde, pico de gallo, gravy, or Japanese curry! The choice is yours and yours alone, but starting with a drizzle of olive oil is the first step to some tasty fries.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.