Crispy sweet potatoes are a fun splurge when you go out to eat, but the oven fries you make at home never seem to compare. What’s the deal? These tips will help you make the crispiest, tastiest sweet potato fries, all without leaving your house — meaning you just scored a ticket to pants-free snacking.
1. Consider your potato
You’re probably used to seeing sweet potato fries made with orange potatoes, but is that really the best variety to make the crispiest fries?
The orange sweet potatoes tend to be wetter and creamier than other varieties, like Korean and Japanese white sweet potatoes. These, while lacking an orange hue, retain the sweet flavor you love. And because they contain less moisture, they cook up drier and fluffier, which translates to extra crispiness once fried.
2. Cut into uniform fries
Variety may be the spice of life, but uneven fries are a recipe for disappointed taste buds. Cut fries into potato logs 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. Thinner will be crispier, while thicker will retain a creamier center.
Just make sure they’re all as close in size as possible, or you may wind up with a batch of fries that’s both burned and undercooked. A waste of a good potato, if you ask me.
3. Soak them
Soak the fries in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour. This will help rinse the extra starch from the potatoes so they can get crispy when it’s time to cook them. When they’re done soaking, strain them, and pat dry with paper towels or a clean, lint-free dish towel.
4. Coat them
You don’t have to do this with regular spuds, but with sweet potatoes, coating them in some cornstarch will help them achieve a crispy exterior.
Try shaking your fries in a zip-top bag with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, seasoned with some salt and pepper if you’re so inclined.
5. Use the right oil
You don’t want your fries to taste funky, nor do you want to accidentally start a grease fire while you’re making your snack. Use a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point, like canola, peanut, safflower or vegetable oil.
6. Double-fry them
The key to getting a crispy exterior and fully cooked interior is the double fry.
Heat your oil to 350 degrees F, then add your potatoes. You may need to adjust your burner to bring the oil back up to 350 degrees F when you add your fries. Cook until the potatoes just start to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or spider, then drain on paper towels while you heat the oil to 425 degrees F. Cook the potatoes for a second time, turning them often, until they are crispy and golden brown — it should take only a couple of minutes. Drain on paper towels, season with salt, and enjoy!