Crispy outside with a warm, delicate center. French fries are a delicious food staple in restaurants and homes alike. Can you fry frozen french fries safely to satisfy your cravings?
With so many frozen French fry varieties available in supermarkets, you may be wondering if you can successfully fry frozen French fries at home. Yes, you can fry frozen French fries. In fact, the quality can diminish if the frozen fries are thawed before cooking. There are several frying methods you can use that yield delicious results.
Read on to learn about the four popular frying methods for frozen fries and important temperature and timing tips.
Is it okay to fry frozen French fries?
It is okay to fry frozen french fries. Most restaurants use frozen fries and add them directly into hot oil to cook. While it is safe from a food safety standpoint to thaw frozen fries before cooking, they will lose quality. Thawing allows them to absorb too much oil, so they won’t be as crispy.
How long should you fry frozen French fries?
Frying frozen French fries is a fairly quick process determined by your chosen frying method. Fries can be done in as little as 3 minutes and up to 25 minutes.
Several factors affect how long it takes to fry frozen fries. One such factor is the type of frying method you choose to use. Popular frying methods include using a deep fryer, frying in a frying pan, frying using an air fryer, or “frying” in the oven. Using a deep fryer and pan frying are the most time-efficient methods. This is because your frozen fries quickly appear golden brown after 3-5 minutes in the oil. While being healthier options, air frying and oven frying take longer to reach the desired color and crispness.
Using an air fryer to fry your frozen fries can take 18-20 minutes, depending on temperature and air fryer specifications.
Oven frying can take up to 25 minutes; oven instructions are printed on frozen French fry bags.
What is the best oil for frying frozen French fries?
When frying frozen French fries, choose oil types with a high smoke point. These types of oils prevent the fries from breaking down at high temperatures, particularly when you use a deep fryer for frying. These oils also reduce the amount of smoke emitted during the cooking process.
You also want to choose a neutral-tasting oil, so you don’t add unwanted flavor to the fries. Olive oil is not an option because it is a strong oil with a low smoke point. Sesame and avocado oils have high smoke points but tend to be strong in flavor and expensive.
To get the best taste and flavor, you should fry your frozen French fries using the following oils:
- Refined sunflower oil
- Canola oil
- Refined peanut oil
- Refined corn oil
Are frozen fries healthy?
Over the years, there have been increasing concerns about how healthy fried foods are, including frozen French fries. Research studies have been conducted to look at the health implications of certain oils and ways of cooking. So, are frozen french fries healthy?
Recent research has hinted that frozen French fries may be responsible for many deaths across the world. According to the research, people who consumed French fries more than twice a week had a higher chance of death.
So, what is a fry lover to do? Many factors could contribute to this increase in death. Most people enjoy salt on their fries, and sodium is known to increase blood pressure.
French fries often accompany unhealthy foods like burgers, fried chicken, and cheese sauce. A diet full of unhealthy choices can have health consequences.
When eating frozen French fries, moderation is the key. They should be an occasional indulgence instead of a daily meal staple.
Are frozen French fries already fried?
Frozen French fries have already been blanched and fried before they are flash-frozen and packaged for sale, so there is no need to double-fry them yourself. One round of frying at home will produce crispy, yet tender fries.
Frozen French fries are pre-cooked in two stages. In the first stage, the fries are blanched for a short time in boiling water. Blanching reduces bacteria and preserves color and texture.
The second stage involves frying. At this stage, the fries are heated at a very high temperature to make the fries crispy and brown. Once stage two is completed, the fries are flash-frozen and packaged.
Can frozen fries go bad?
The longevity of a bag of frozen French fries depends on the storage method. Once fried, you can keep the fries in the refrigerator, reheat them regularly, and even use them to make your dishes.
Many types of frozen fries are available for sale in specialty and grocery stores today. The good news is that no matter the brand or type of frozen fries you opt for, the number of days they can spend in the freezer before losing quality is the same.
If adequately sealed, a bag containing frozen French fries can last for as long as 10 to 12 months in the freezer. However, if the fries start to thaw past 40°F, do not attempt refreezing them.
Once you remove the frozen fries from the bag, make sure you cook all the fries or promptly return any uncooked fries to the freezer. Put any opened bags in a sealed bag to reduce the chances of freezer burn.
How to fry frozen French fries?
You have several options when it comes to frying your frozen fries at home: frying in a deep fryer, frying in a frying pan, frying in an air fryer, or “frying” in the oven. Choose the method that works best with your time constraints and health considerations.
|Deep frying||3-5 minutes||350-375 degrees F|
|Pan frying||3-5 minutes||350 degrees F|
|Air frying||18-20 minutes||400 degrees F|
|Oven frying||20-25 minutes||400 degrees F|
Learn about each frying method below:
1. Frying in a deep fryer
Most restaurants use large deep fryers to fry up their signature fried foods. Can you deep fry frozen French fries at home? Yes! Smaller, electric home versions can be purchased at stores like Walmart and Target. You can deep fry frozen French fries to duplicate the taste and texture of your favorite restaurant varieties.
Follow these steps to use a deep fryer:
- Pour oil into the fryer, keeping oil below the 1/2 full mark.
- Preheat oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually 350 – 375 degrees).
- Once the oil is heated to the recommended temperature, pour the frozen fries into the fry basket.
- Carefully submerge the fries in oil.
- Fry for 3-5 minutes until the fries are golden brown and crispy.
- Drain fries on a paper towel to release excess oil.
2. Frying in a frying pan
Can you pan fry frozen French fries? Yes, this is likely the most popular at-home cooking option. This cooking method is credited with giving the fries a similar taste to those fried in a restaurant while using equipment found in most kitchens. You can choose to deep pan fry or shallow pan fry.
Deep pan frying requires more oil and a deep-sided pan to contain at least 3-4 inches of oil plus the fries. Shallow pan frying requires as little as 1/4 inch of oil, and the pan can be smaller. Non-stick pans can be used occasionally for frying, but consistently high temperatures may break down the coating. Follow these steps for perfect pan-fried frozen French fries:
- Place a frying pan on a gas or electric cooktop. Make sure the pan is deep enough to adequately contain oil. Preheat the oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
- Drop the frozen fries in the oil, being careful not to put too many fries in the oil at the same time.
- Allow fries to fry for about 3-5 minutes or until you notice that they are golden brown.
- Remove the fries from the oil using a slotted spoon. This will allow you to shake off the excess oil and fat from the fries.
- Place the cooked fries on a paper towel to drain.
3. Frying in an air fryer
Frying frozen French fries in an air fryer takes longer than traditional oil frying but is healthier. It also helps you avoid the “fry cook” smell that can permeate your hair, clothes, and house. Using an air fryer is fast and easy, too. Frozen fries cooked in an air fryer closely mimic the taste and texture of oil-fried French fries.
Let’s look at the steps for perfect air-fried frozen French fries:
- Spray oil across the air fryer’s basket or line the basket with parchment paper to prevent the fries from sticking to the basket.
- Add ½ to 1 pound of the frozen fries to the fryer basket, depending on size. Don’t overcrowd!
- Fry at 400° F for 18 -20 minutes.
- Remove fries from the basket and season to your liking!
4. Frying in an oven
Oven-frying frozen French fries is another great option if you are trying to avoid excess oil. Using this method, you can choose to forgo added oil altogether, or you can add sparingly. Frying in a deep fryer or in a pan can be messy. Oven “frying” eliminates the mess. Follow these steps to oven-fry frozen French fries:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cover a large metal baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Put the frozen French fries in a Ziploc bag and spray or toss with olive oil. Shake the bag thoroughly to coat each fry. This step will make the fries crispy. You can skip this step if you are wanting to eliminate oil.
- Spread the fries onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Broil for a few minutes at the end of cooking if you like extra crispy fries. Keep a watchful eye, so they don’t burn!
Summary of “Can you fry frozen French fries?”
Frozen French fries satisfy our salty cravings and are very versatile. You can enjoy them as a snack or a meal. However, overconsumption of fried, fatty foods can pose health issues. Indulge periodically and choose the frying method that works best for you.
How do you fry frozen fries?
Frozen fries can be deep-fried, pan-fried, air-fried, or oven-baked.
How long do you fry frozen French fries?
The time required to cook frozen French fries will depend on your cooking method. Deep frying and pan frying can take as little as 3-5 minutes, air frying takes 18-20 minutes, and oven frying can take up to 25 minutes.
Can you pan-fry frozen French fries?
Yes, you can pan-fry frozen French fries in a deep pan or shallow pan. The deep pan requires 3-4 inches of oil, while the shallow pan requires 1/4 inch.
What is the best way to cook frozen French fries?
The best way to cook frozen French fries depends on your time and health restraints. Deep frying and pan frying or quicker, but use more oil. Air frying and oven frying take more time but allow you to use little to no oil in the process.