A while back, I came across a method of cooking chips in the oven (rather than deep frying them). Basically, what I do it cut the raw potatoes into chips, coat then in oil and bake them in the oven for about 30 mins on top heat. This works... kind of. However, if I cook the chips thinly, they just break up in the dish when moving them around, and if I cut them thickly (which I would prefer) they just never cook (I've left them in for a lot longer than 30 mins in the past).

Are there any tricks to this? Is there a certain type of potato that I should be using, or a certain type of oil?

(I'm in the UK, so I imagine that available ingredients differ from the US - as does the meaning of chip - by which I believe I'm referring to french fries)

  • The potato variety part of the question is asked here... but the top answer incorrectly says that it doesn't matter. It was also asked here with a bit more of a description. There's a bit more on the actual difference between varieties here and here. (I'll see if I can clean up any of this when I have more time.)
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 16:33
  • Just to be clear, I'm not specifically asking which type of potato to use (unless that turns out to be the answer). TBH, I've tried it with various types and haven't really noticed any difference with relation to my question. Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 17:43
  • Understood, that's why it's a comment and not an answer - but the type of potato definitely should have an effect on the tendency to break up. Waxy potatoes hold together better than starchy/floury/mealy ones.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 18:31
  • The general answer to your question is that these are called "oven fries". If you google, you should find a myriad specific recipes. They will not have quite the same quality as a true deep fried French Fry, but they are delicious in their own right.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 19:47

4 Answers 4


There are a couple tricks I've learned from Cook's Illustrated about making oven fries:

  1. Soak your cut potatoes in warm water to rinse off excess surface starch. Drain them and dry them very well (I use a salad spinner and paper towels).

  2. Use a heavy duty sheet pan on the bottom rack of a hot oven to focus the heat on crisping the bottoms of the potatoes.

  3. Oil your sheet pan well, and sprinkle salt on it. This will act kind of like ball bearings under the potatoes to prevent them from sticking too hard.

  4. For the first 5-10 minutes, tightly wrap the sheet pan (with the potatoes) with aluminum foil. This will essentially steam the potatoes and help get a really nice creamy interior. After that, remove the foil and flip the potatoes halfway through. Make sure you use a thin metal spatula when you flip them.

These techniques work well for potatoes in general, and really do turn out some fantastic spuds.


I do this routinely. I do about half an hour at 375 and then turn it up to 425 to crisp them. Don't turn them often - typically I will just turn them once when I'm putting the heat up. I've tried assorted varieties and never really noticed any difference.

  • How long at 425?
    – Jonathan
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:41
  • 1
    @JonathanLeaders until they are brown and crispy - a few minutes, maybe as much as 10. It depends on how many there are (ie whether the sheet is crowded) and what else has been going on (have I been opening the oven a lot etc.) I typically turn them up while meat rests, sauces get finished, quick-cooking vegetables like kale get cooked, the table gets set etc, so I'm not always paying strict attention to time passing, I just look at them to see if they're ready or not and if not I give them another minute or so. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:51

To help your thick cut chips cook I suggest par-cooking them before putting them in the oven. You can do this by boiling them or microwaving with some water. Then dry them out, coat them in oil and bake at a high heat to get them crispy.

This is a much simpler adaption of Heston Blumenthal's chip cooking technique. Much more viable for the home cook with limited time.

For extra reading and inspiration here is some chip research/science on recreating McDonalds fries and a video from McDonalds explaining their actual process.


I pre cook my fries. I cut them into medium thick fries, wash them and put them in a pan with cold water. Bring them to a boil and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes, drain them. Then I spray my baking sheet with Pam, then put my fries on the baking sheet and pray them again with Pam. Bake them for half an hour in a pre-heated oven on 415 F, turn them after 20 minutes. This recipe is for medium thick cut fries, if you want steak fries, add about 5 to 10 minutes oven time. Mine have never failed me and I am a french fry lover, but this way I have them somewhat healthier then when you prepare them with oil Enjoy!!!

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