Crispy, salty French fries are an American obsession. As a matter of fact, according to Grit, Americans eat a total of 4.5 billion pounds of French fries each year. A feat that no other country can compete with.
One of the most common pitfalls in french fries is that they have a very short life. As soon as they get cold, their fate is sealed. However, even though they might not taste the same once cold, there are ways to reheat them so that they can still be enjoyed.
With this in mind, there are some easy steps you can take to reheat these delicious treats in the microwave.
Can You Reheat French Fries in the Microwave?
You can reheat French fries in the microwave. There are a couple of ways you can reheat French fries, and using microwaves is the quickest of all.
Compared to the other methods, such as in a conventional oven or on the stove, reheating French fries in the microwave can be quite challenging because they won’t make a crunching sound when you chew them as they will be soggy and soft.
Luckily, thanks to recent advances in the modern kitchen, there is a microwave convection oven, which essentially combines microwave technology with convection oven technologies to give you faster results.
The convection mode will allow you to crisp the French fries again. However, the problem is that they are quite expensive, and not everyone has access to them in their kitchen.
For a more budget-friendly alternative, there is a special tray for microwaves that can make microwaved French fries crispy and crunchy, just like oven-baked or deep-fried french fries.
How Long To Reheat French Fries in the Microwave?
The number of fries, their size, and what microwave you are using are all determining factors for how long it will take to reheat the French fries. But in general, single-serving fries of about 3 ounces take around 5 to 10 minutes to reheat.
How To Reheat Fries in the Microwave: Step-by-Step Guide
There are at least three ways to reheat fries in the microwave.
Method 1: Using an Olive Oil
In the first method, we will use olive or vegetable oil. The first method is the easiest but also the most unreliable one since, in my experience, the result always comes out mushy and unappetizing. Though, if you wouldn’t mind eating soggy fries, you could try this method.
What you’ll need:
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil.
- A microwave-safe plate.
- 2-3 paper towels.
- Salt (optional).
1. Remove the Fries from the Refrigerator
Remove the fries from the refrigerator and slowly let them come to room temperature (about 15 minutes) but don’t let them sit outside for too long, or else they’ll become a breeding ground for bacteria.
The fries that have come to room temperature take less time to heat up and generally have a better chance of staying crispy and not becoming soggy.
2. Put the Paper Towels on the Plate
The next step is to place down 2-3 paper towels on the microwave-safe plate. This is done to absorb as much moisture as possible from the fries when they are being warmed up.
Be aware that some paper towels aren’t safe to be in the microwave, or they’ll catch fire, so always check the safety of the paper towels you’re using to make sure they are microwave-safe.
3. Put the Fries on the Plate
Pour the fries onto the paper towel-lined plate and arrange them so that none of them overlap to promote more even heating.
4. Drizzle the Oil
After arranging the fries, drizzle them with 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Just add enough to give the fries a light coating.
5. Microwave on High for 20 Seconds at a Time
Put the plate of fries into the microwave and heat them on high for 20 seconds at a time until they are heated up to your liking.
6. Remove the Plate from the Microwave and Salt Them
Once they are heated to the level you want, carefully remove the plate from the microwave and let the fries cool for a bit. Sprinkle them with some salt if you’d like and enjoy.
Method 2: Using a Microwave Crisper Pan
In the second method, you’ll be using a tray that is specifically designed for microwaves to heat French fries or anything else you want, which is my preferred one because it produces results superior to just using olive oil.
This method works quite well because the metal of the tray allows it to become an excellent heat conductor and works the same as a pan you’d use on the stove. It will brown and crisp the French fries, just like when you heat them in a frying pan.
What you’ll need:
- A microwave crisper tray or pan.
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil.
- A plate.
- Salt (optional)
1. Remove the Fries from the Fridge
We’re going to do the first same step as the first method, which is removing the fries from the fridge and slowly bringing them to room temperature before heating them.
2. Preheat the Crisper Pan
To get the frying pan effect, a crisper pan must be hot before putting the fries on it. So while you’re bringing the fries to room temperature, preheat the crisper pan in the microwave by heating it for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Keep in mind that different crisper trays have different models and designs and therefore different preheating times, so check the instructions of your tray to see how long it takes to heat up.
3. Put the Fries on the Crisper Pan
Once the pan is heated, carefully place the fries on it and arrange them in a single layer, leaving enough space between each fry to help promote even heating. For the best result, don’t try to reheat too many fries at once. Instead, it’s better to heat up your fries in batches if you have a lot of them.
Be careful when placing the fries on the tray, as they are extremely hot at this point. Never ever touch the crisper pan with your bare hands. Always use oven mitts.
4. Drizzle the Oil Onto the Fries
Use 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil. You don’t want to soak the fries in oil; you only want to add enough to coat them lightly.
5. Microwave on High for 30 Seconds
Once the fries are on the pan and oiled, heat them up in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. If one side has started to crisp up, flip them over and heat up the other side. Keep repeating the process until all sides are browned and crisped.
6. Remove the Crisper Pan from the Microwave
Once they are heated to the level you want, carefully remove the crisper pan with oven mitts and let it sit for a few seconds before transferring the fries to a plate. Sprinkle them with some salt if desired, and enjoy!
Method 3: Using Water (Optional)
If the fries you want to reheat are very dried and crumble, you can place a cup of water next to them in the microwave and heat them together. This will moisten the fries, so they don’t become crumbly when they are heated.
How Long Until Fries Go Bad?
When properly stored, leftover fries can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, uncooked French fries will maintain their quality for up to 12 months, but it’s best to consume them within 3 months of buying. That doesn’t mean it is unsafe to eat French fries after 3 months, but they may lose some of their flavor and texture.
How long your fries last will also depend on your freezer’s temperature and how often you open the fries bag.
If you frequently take out a bag of fries from the freezer to fry a small portion of them and then put them back, you will frequently expose them to room temperature. The more times you do this, the shorten the shelf life of your French fries.
How Can You Tell If the Fries Are Bad?
The easiest way to tell if your fries have gone bad is to look and smell them. If they have gone bad, you will notice they start to develop a sour smell, or they may grow mold.
If you notice this after you have taken them out of the freezer or fridge, discard them immediately.
So there you go, different ways to reheat French fries in the microwave. Using a crisper pan is my favorite method as it gives you those nice crispy fries. Be extremely careful when using the crisper pan, though, as it can be very hot.
If you’re looking for more information on microwaving frozen fries, be sure to check out my other articles on the topic. I have tips for getting the best results, as well as a list of the best foods to serve with fries.