Crispy oven fries are entirely possible; you just need a few tips from a burger pro.

Boston-based burger blogger, chef, recipe developer and cookbook author Richard Chudy is one of our culinary heroes. His impressive mastery of all things fried, cheesy and dippable has expanded to his recent book, American Burger Revival: Brazen Recipes to Electrify a Timeless ClassicCowritten with chef-author Samuel Monsour, winner of Boston Magazine’s “Best Burger” award, American Burger Revival is a collection of recipes, stories, techniques and crucial information for inspiring and building the greatest burger you could ever dream up. And now, some thoughts on oven fries, which can in fact be done well. 

Yeah, it’s a big claim, but it is possible. Look, there are few finer things in life than a perfectly crispy and piping-hot french fry straight out of the fryer. But deep frying at home? It’s a pain the ass, and we all know it. Especially with fries. You have to peel and cut and soak and blanch. My head hurts just thinking about it. It leaves your kitchen a mess, then you’re stuck with used oil you never know what to do with. Enter the oven fry. We’re not in it because it’s healthier per se, but it certainly is far easier. And unlike other baked versus fried items (looking at you, chicken wings, spring rolls et al), these are damn close to the real thing, and in some respects, I’d argue even better. They will be as crispy as a chip if you let them, cleanup is a breeze and there is far less oil involved.

The big debate in our house is which kind of potato is best. Both russet and Yukon work just fine here. Russets will be a little more firm, while Yukons will be a tad creamier. Both will be crispy, so the choice is yours. Same goes for thickness; obviously a thicker-cut potato will take longer than a thin-cut one. Adjust the timing as needed.