Microwaving Frozen Fries That Turn Out Crispy (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Microwaving potatoes for a crispy side dish is a classic cooking technique that’s been around since the invention of the microwave. Frozen fries are an easy, healthy alternative to frying.

How do you know if they’re done?
How long does it take?
How can I get them crispier?
We have all the answers in this step-by-step guide!

Where Do Frozen French Fries Come From?

fries and ketchup

The first frozen fries were sold through the Birds Eye Co. plant in Caribou, Maine, back in 1947 and have only been popularized since then by other companies like McCain Foods of Florenceville that soon followed suit with their own french fry plants to meet the demand for this product which has exploded over time.

Are Frozen Fries Already Cooked?

Ever wonder how they do it? Commercially, potatoes are steamed and tumbled to remove the potato skins, then they get moved along and shredded.

After that, our potato chips are blanched in water or oil. They’re individually flash-frozen on a conveyor belt before being bagged for oven baking, frying, or microwaving at home with your preferred seasonings.

Can I Get Crispy Fries in the Microwave?

How do you like your fries? Crispy, crunchy, or soft and fluffy on the inside with a golden brown exterior crust?

A lot of people have expressed their love for french fries, but it may come as a surprise to find out that frozen ones can be cooked in the microwave!

This is perfect if you’re craving fast food at home and don’t want to go through the hassle of filling a pan with oil or baking it in the oven for 25 minutes!

How Do You Make Crispy French Fries in the Oven

The secret to crispy and delicious microwaved french fries? A microwave crisper pan. If you don’t have one handy, then any microwave-safe plate will do.

But a microwave crisper pan is great for crisping up and even reheating a whole host of delicious and convenient foods in your microwave.

Step 1: Grab a microwave crisper pan, or a microwave-safe plate, some salt, and some oil for your french fries.

I use sunflower or blended oil to crisp my fries in the microwave, but you can also use olive oil. It is an expensive option.

Step 2: Get your frozen french fries and place them on some paper towels or parchment paper to dry them up first. Sprinkle with a little salt to get a good crisp on them.

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The dryer you can get before they go in the microwave will make it easier to get crispy french fries. So don’t rush this step.

Step 3: Place the french fries on your prepared plate in a single layer and drizzle with a little oil. You want to leave a little distance between each fry as, if you overcrowd the plate, you won’t get gorgeous, crispy fries but you will get a big, soggy, lump of fries.

And that is not the point of this exercise. So either plan to do two batches of french fries in the microwave if you’re hungry, or get a larger plate so your fries can have the space they need to crisp up.

Step 4: Place the fries in the microwave, in the center of the microwave.

Make sure the temperature of the microwave is at the highest setting.

If you only have a handful of chips on your plate, then put the timer at 3-minute increments, checking every 3 minutes and then 30-seconds to 1-minute as they get closer to being done.

If you have a larger plate with more fries, set the first timer for 5-minutes, then 2-minutes, and finally, 30-seconds to 1-minute as your french fries get closer to be done.

Don’t forget to toss the fries every time you open the microwave so that they can get an even crisp all around.

Step 5: Once you are happy that your french fries are crispy and delicious (or you just can’t wait any longer), remove them from the microwave and place them onto fresh paper towels. This is to remove any excess oil from your fries.

Allow the fries to cool on the paper towel for a minute or two, shaking them once to get all the excess oil off them.

Step 6: Time to eat your fries! Add another sprinkling of salt, to your favorite flavoring, to your french fries, and serve next to some classic ketchup!

Can I Reheat French Fries in the Oven?

Yes, you can!

Firstly, when reheating old french fries, get rid of the excess oil or water by putting them on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

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Next, when reheating your french fries, make sure to put them on parchment or fresh paper towel on your microwaveable plate or microwave crisper pan in the center of the microwave.

Use a medium heat setting or about 50% of the power and heat for fries in 20-second intervals.

This will ensure your fries are heated and crisped up to the standard they were the first time!

You may not think of parchment paper as a microwave food hack, but if you want to get that crispy texture in your lunch or sandwiches without worrying about the mess and clean up afterward, then this is an excellent trick.

Placing it under microwaved items will help make sure they come out crispier than before! It’s also really useful for reheating toasties or pizza in the microwave.

What Are Some Of The Best Toppings For French Fries?

bacon strips and melted cheese topped fries on oval white and blue platter with gray stainless steel forks

– Salt

A good old sprinkling of salt is a classic way to enjoy your french fries.

– Ketchup

With ketchup is another American classic. Traditional yet delicious.

Do you know that, on average, Americans eat more french fries than any other country in the world? The national average is around 30lbs a year. That’s a lot of ketchup!

– Cheese

Loaded fries are a genre unto themselves. Cheese and jalapenos, cheese and bacon bits, cheese and sour cream; cheesy chips are popular the world over, and that star isn’t dimming any time soon.

– Mayonnaise (to dip)

In the Netherlands, it is customary to have salty french fries and mayonnaise. Now don’t knock it until you try it.

This delicious combination of crispy fry, salt, and creamy mayo is delicious and heavily underrated.

– Poutine

Thanks, Canada! This delicious dish has eaten the world over in gluttonous glee. The delightful combination of crispy French fries, meaty gravy, and creamy cheese curds combine into what is arguably one of the most comforting comfort foods around.

– Gravy

Chips and gravy are a staple in northern England and Ireland and are another comfort food to come out of harsh winter climates. There’s something about the meaty gravy combined with crispy french fries that just makes you feel instantly good from the inside out.

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How Do You Know If Your Frozen Fries Are Bad?

There are many ways to tell that your french fries have gone bad. Stains, mold, and even color can be an indicator of spoilage. But if you’re looking for a surefire way to know whether or not they should go in the trash bag, then check out their smell!

If it smells like death warmed over (or any other unpleasant odor), throw those stinky spuds away post-haste because you just won’t want them around anymore no matter how much salt has been applied.

And, a word to the wise, if you think any food may be bad, don’t go putting it near or in your mouth! That’s just a recipe for disaster.

Look first, smell second, and then, if you’re confident the food is probably ok, do a taste test.


French fries are one of America’s most iconic and versatile side dishes. It’s hard to imagine a cheeseburger without it, But there is more than just ketchup that you can put on them!

The humble french fry has been around for a while, and in its frozen version, it has been gracing our grocery aisles for nearly a century! 100 years of frozen french fries, and now we can make eating them even more convenient by cooking crispy versions in the ever-so humble microwave.

The french fry is something people love eating no matter what time of year it is. And these little deep-fried potatoes have even made their way into other cultures like England, where they’re known as “chips.”

From the US to the UK, from Canada to Europe, these frozen fries are enjoyed all over the world.

French fries are an undisputed American classic. They have the perfect combination of carbohydrates, fat, and salt for a quick snack or as part of a full meal.

It’s not always convenient to cook french fries in a deep fryer, but they can be cooked with ease in the microwave if you follow our steps here.

If you don’t own an oven or an air fryer, fear not! You still have options to get crispy, flavorful potatoes on your plate without much effort.

Give it a try today, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below!

French fries