I have been making homemade baked sweet potato fries for a long time. I love controlling the seasonings and knowing that they are baked instead of deep fried.
But, no one wants soggy fries. Not appealing at all. Over the years I have discovered some tips and tricks to help achieve the crispiest oven-baked sweet potato fries. I have ten tips to share with you in this post. Buckle up and get ready to learn all about oven-baked crispy sweet potato fries!
Tip #1: Cut them thin and even.
I opt for 1/4 inch thick spears. Any of the spears that are different should go on a different baking sheet so they can cook at a different length. Always cut the pointy tips off the sweet potato spears. The pointy tips will burn so be sure to square-off your edges. See below for an example of the tips starting to burn because they were not cut properly.
Tip #2: Give them an ice bath.
Yup! Soak them in a big bowl of ice water for 30 minutes minimum (60 minutes if you have the time). This helps to remove the excess starches and allows them to then crisp up in the oven. This step is critical.
After they are finished soaking, be sure to drain, rinse with fresh water and pat dry with a kitchen towel well. You do not want them going into the oven wet or they definitely will get soggy. Dry sweet potato spears are key!
Tip #3: Set your oven to 415 degrees convection.
This yields crispy but not burnt fries and the convection function allows them to cook evenly. I find with the convection setting the sugars from the sweet potatoes begin caramelizing sooner, creating crisp edges.
Tip #4: Use arrowroot starch.
The starch helps them to crisp up similar to how corn starch works. Toss them well in the arrowroot starch so they are evenly coated before you add the oil.
Tip #5: Only use a little oil.
If you use too much they will get soggy.
Tip #6: Salt AFTER they are done cooking.
Salt draws out the moisture from the sweet potatoes so you want to salt at the end once they are slightly cooled. You can add other seasonings prior to cooking (such as black pepper or garlic powder).
Tip #7: Space them out!
Do not allow the spears to touch or overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will steam.
Tip #8: What you cook them ON matters.
For best results line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper). Definitely do not grease a baking pan and put them directly on the baking pan without some barrier such as parchment paper as mentioned.
Tip #9: Bake for the right amount of time and flip!
Bake for 15 minutes then flip 180 degrees and bake another 10-13 minutes watching closely at the end. Flipping allows for even cooking and also when you open the door it provides an opportunity for the steam to escape from the oven that has built up in the first 15 minutes of cooking. Final cooking time will vary based on how many spears and how thick they are which is why watching closely at the end is so important. If you want to avoid having to flip the spears you can put an oven-safe wire cooling rack on your baking sheet and place the sweet potato spears on that. This allows the heat to cook around all sides of the spear at once so you do not have to flip them. If you do this, be sure to still crack the oven door about halfway through the cooking process to allow the steam to escape. Finally, you can invest in a copper crisper (not sponsored/affiliate link) and use this to ensure they cook evenly without having to flip the spears halfway through.
Tip #10: Allow them to rest before enjoying.
Allow them to rest in the oven or on the counter for 10 minutes before enjoying. They will crisp up as they cool. But don’t ignore them for too long or they will get cold. If you do reheat them, use the oven and not the microwave which can make them soggy. And don’t forget to salt at the end since you didn’t add the salt before baking.
With these ten tips in mind, you can say goodbye to soggy fries for sure! If you don’t have time for ALL these tips I would say the most important are how you cut them (tip #1), the ice bath (tip #2), salting them after (tip #6) and rotating (tip #9). I would love your feedback on how your sweet potato fries turn out using these methods. And please share any additional tips in the comments below. I’m always learning too!
This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free, egg-free and dairy-free. If you give it a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it and tag your photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your fries!Print