When done right, day-old fries make a tasty snack or side dish. But before you put any leftover fries on your table, you might want to read up on how to reheat old fries. “Fries, unlike pizza and Chinese food, are rarely better cold. Thankfully, you can salvage them in a number of ways,” says expert chef Courtney Rada, host of the web series Carnivorous on Genius Kitchen.
You don’t have to spin your wheels trying to figure out how to reheat French fries. We asked two professional chefs to weigh in on their top kitchen hacks for how to reheat fries.
How to Reheat Fries in the Oven
Reheating French fries in the oven is the smart way to go — especially if you don’t want your kids to complain about soggy fries. Plus, Rada says, you can use the same steps if you want to know how to reheat fries in toaster oven.
“Instructions for reheating fries in the oven and toaster oven are generally the same, though toaster ovens are usually the best option to preserve crispness,” explains Rada, though she adds that if your toaster oven doesn’t reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to leave the fries in longer. Just be attentive and make sure they’re cooked to your desired consistency. Here, Rada shows us in seven easy steps how to reheat fries in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (this will prevent them from sticking to the pan).
- Spread your fries out on the pan, avoiding overlap.
- Add a little extra salt, paprika, garlic powder, or even fresh herbs like oregano and thyme. If you thought they were missing some pizzazz previously, this is your chance to spice up your fries.
- Place the pan inside and bake for two to three minutes, watching closely so you don’t burn them (make sure the oven is 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Check on the fries and tousle them around using a spatula or an oven mitt to shake the pan (after two to three minutes). The type of fries will determine how long to reheat fries in oven. If you’re working with heftier fries like steak fries, they might require a little more time in the oven.
- Remove the fries when they appear crispy and have that golden glow. Cool before serving.
The above steps only cover reheating French fries. But what if you have an entire meal to reheat? In that case, Rada says busy parents wondering how to reheat a burger and fries should use the stovetop method. Here’s the method she uses to reheat this kid-friendly treat.
- Heat a medium skillet with a little canola oil or grapeseed oil (you’ll want to use an oil with a high smoke point — so no olive oil!)
- Remove the burger patty from its bun and place on the pan. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for roughly five minutes.
- Meanwhile, freshen up the bun by giving it a minute in the toaster (or toaster oven if there are toppings stuck to it).
- Remove the lid on the skillet and flip the patty to its other side, allowing it to cook uncovered for two more minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a paper towel to soak up excess liquid before serving in the heated bun.
How to Reheat Fries in the Microwave
We’re all squeezed for time, so knowing how to reheat fries in the microwave is a real life-saver. While reheating your fries in the microwave won’t achieve that “day one crunch,” Rada says that if you’re willing to eat your fries on the softer side, it’s totally doable. Here, Rada shows us in three easy steps how to reheat fries in the microwave.
- Start by pouring a little vegetable oil on your fries — just enough for a light coating.
- Place your oiled fries on a microwave-safe paper towel, dabbing at any excess oil.
- Lay the towel and fries on a microwavable plate and heat for 20-second intervals until you’ve reached your desired temp.
How to Reheat McDonald’s Fries
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, McDonald’s French fries are definitely a kid favorite — so if you don’t want to toss out uneaten fries, you better learn how to reheat McDonald’s fries. Since the Golden Arches fries are deep-fat fried, reheating them on the stovetop with a touch of oil may duplicate that same-day taste your kids crave. “They may not be perfect, but they are good,” says Rada. So, if you want to know how to reheat fast food fries, consider the following steps on how to reheat fries.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a nonstick pan (canola or vegetable oil is best) over medium heat until the oil starts to simmer.
- Throw the leftover fries in the pan and spread them out evenly, cooking for about one minute. They should sizzle.
- Stir with the spatula and flip, heating the second side for an additional 30 seconds.
If McDonald’s isn’t on your drive home, you may be wondering how to heat up your Five Guys fries, In-N-Out fries, or Chick-fil-A fries. The good news: You can reheat all of these fries with the same steps as the McDonald’s fries!
When it comes to deciding how to reheat cheese fries or how to reheat carne asada fries, Rada says if you’re heating up fries that have fresh or day-old toppings, you should definitely stick to the oven, which is always more reliable for an even temperature, explains Rada.
Elana Karp, head chef and culinary cofounder of Plated says knowing how to reheat steak fries is easy — you just pop them in the oven and follow the instructions above for how to reheat fries in the oven. Reheat your steak, and you'll have a full meal. And in case you’re wondering how to reheat sweet potato fries, use the same method as you would for steak fries. (If you're looking reheat a full-on baked potato or microwave a sweet potato, you'll need a different method.)
Fried-food lovers: Now that you know the experts secrets to making day-old fries come alive, you’ll never have to serve soggy French fries again.