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When you look at the statistics, our obsession with french fries is obvious: The average American consumes 29 pounds each year. And there’s a good chance that a lot of those are microwave french fries, aka, leftover spuds.

When warmed-up right, day-old fries are the perfect answer for your midnight salt cravings. But if your stomach is screaming at you and the clock is ready to click over to a.m., you might have to rely on a fast way to reheat french fries.

How to Reheat French Fries

There are several ways to reheat french fries, including on the stovetop, oven, toaster oven and of course, in the old standby: microwave french fries. We’re all squeezed for time, so knowing how to reheat french fries in the microwave is a real life-saver, especially if you want to avoid their turning into a big soggy mess. While nuking your leftover fries is not an ideal way to enjoy this favorite staple, it's fast and convenient.

Microwave French Fries

If you’re craving french fries, follow some key steps to transform last night's leftover fries into today's salty delight.

The first step in reheating any leftover food is to add some moisture. And to microwave french fries the right way, you need one other secret ingredient: vegetable or olive oil. By drizzling the fries with oil before exposing them to heat, there’s a better chance they will turn out crispy rather than mushy. After your microwave french fries are all oiled up, they’re ready to face the heat.

  • Take the fries out of the refrigerator and let them sit out for 15 minutes. 
  • Put two to three paper towels on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Place the fries on the paper towels, spreading them out so they aren't touching.
  • Drizzle the fries with vegetable or olive oil, just enough for a light coating. 
  • Put the plate in the microwave and heat for 20-second intervals until you’ve reached your desired temperature. 
  • Take the fries out of the microwave; remove the paper towels, and let them cool before eating. 

Best Way to Reheat Fries

Undoubtedly, the best way to reheat fries is in the oven or on the stovetop. With an oven, you have the advantage of controlling the temperature with a slower warming time, which results in leftover fries that are evenly heated. The stovetop gives you the option of tossing the fries with some oil and cooking them on an even cooking surface. You can’t go wrong with either of these methods since they both result in fries that are fluffy on the inside, yet crispy and salty on the outside.

Oven to Reheat French Fries

  • Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spread the french fries on the pan.
  • Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 2 to 3 minutes. Take them out and check for crispness. If they aren't warm enough or crisp enough, put them back in for another minute or so. 
  • Remove the fries when they look crispy, and cool before serving.

Stovetop to Reheat French Fries

  • Drizzle the bottom of a cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. 
  • Heat the oil on low to medium heat. 
  • Slowly add the fries. Make sure they are not piled on top of each other, and heat for one minute.
  • Use a spatula to move them around in the oil and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Flip over and heat for another 30 seconds. 
  • Remove from heat and put on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and serve. 

About the Author

Sara Lindberg

Sara Lindberg is a lifestyle, health, wellness, and fitness freelance writer.