I think potatoes have kind of gotten a bad rap. And, that makes me sad. Yes, while they are wonderful deep fried – they can be great when done with a more healthful approach as well. I’ve been making baked oven fries for as long as I can remember being active in the kitchen. They’re so simple, and make the perfect side to so many meals. You can be simple with the seasonings – going for just salt and pepper. Or, spice it up! I love adding oregano, Herbes de Provence, or Montreal Steak seasoning to switch things up a bit.

The key to the awesomeness of these fries, the uber-crispiness, is a result of a soak in the hot saltwater. The undisputed best place in the world for Boardwalk fries is Thrashers, in nearby Ocean City, MD. They do a soak in salt water, which I always knew was the key to their greatness. They also don’t serve ketchup, which most people might find kind of odd. Salt and vinegar only! Anyways, the original recipe calls for regular hot water. Which, is fine too. But, if you’re a sodium hound like I am, add a little salt to the water as well. Either way, make sure the water is good and hot. I’m no AB, but, I think the hot water starts to break down the starches or something. Helping the fries along in their quest for crispiness. I promise you’ll make these again and again!

11 Comments

  1. Posted December 2, 2011 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    Ahhhh, Thrashers Fries..and yes some good malt vinegar and salt is the only way to eat them. I didn’t realize that they soaked them in salt water, I just thought they fried them kind of low and slow..I am absolutely trying this recipe next time we make fries. We do oven fries a lot, too, and I am always look for ways to perfect them.

  2. maryell
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    I make these ALL the time but didn’t know about the hot water/salt soak. I do watch salt intake because I just do but I am going to try this and put my fries in just hot water only and let Jimmy have the salt and then do a taste test. Do you boil the water and then let it sit for awhile or do you use hot tap water? I am not sure my water gets that hot.

    • Laura
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

      I just use hot water out of the tap, Maryellen.

  3. Posted December 2, 2011 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    whenever i roast potatoes, i give them a quick pre-bake boil – just long enough to get the very outside of the chunks soft. this guarantees a nice crunchy outside. the outside essentially gets cooked twice.

    for added awesome, just after the boil, put the potato chunks back in the pot, add a bit of oil, some crushed garlic, spices, herbs, etc., and shake! shake until the cooked outsides of the potatoes have been smashed off, combined with the oil and spices, and are now coating the potato chunks in a thin layer of what is essentially highly-flavored mashed potato.

    when that bakes, you get a thick, crunchy, super-flavored potato batter.

  4. Posted December 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    I’m all about the vinegar – vinegar on fries, and vinegar on chips. Have to love a place that doesn’t even serve ketchup lol.

  5. Posted December 3, 2011 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    Salted water – wow, so simple and effective. I’ll be trying this method with my occasional treat of potato wedges just for me.

    Super thanks for sharing this recipe, I hope your holiday/xmas prep goes well. I’ll be doing it all in our Summertime which has just arrived.

    Sending care, Michelle (with my Zebby Cat snoring in the back ground, bless him)

  6. norbs
    Posted December 3, 2011 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for this delicious recipe!
    Cheers from Romania 🙂

  7. Kathi
    Posted December 3, 2011 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Have you used the same process for sweet potatoes or yams?

    • Laura
      Posted December 3, 2011 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

      Not yet, Kathi. But, I’m looking forward to trying sweet potatoes soon! Drizzle them with a little bit of brown sugar. OMG, it would be heaven!

  8. Posted December 4, 2011 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    I love baked fries and they are so easy to make at home. I didn’t know to use hot water and salt. I’m definitely going to try it this next time. It makes sense to me!

  9. Posted December 4, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Baked fries are amazing, so I can’t wait to try your salt-water trick! These will definitely be on the table for dinner soon.

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