It’s super-easy to make these crunchy toaster oven fries – just pop them in and when the timer rings, they’re ready! The toaster oven preheats and turns itself off giving you time to work on the main meal.
Are you wondering why I didn’t pre-pressure cook the fries? I tried various ways, times and pressures and the resulting potatoes couldn’t really be called “fries” – they fell apart and had to be eaten with a fork and knife.
Long-time readers already know that I will not unnecessarily complicate a recipe or compromise the results for the sake of using a pressure cooker. Sometimes, you can’t. This is one of those times.
On the plus side, baking fries in the toaster oven makes the whole cooking process practically hands-free. Time that your hands can dedicate to cooking the main dish. For example, my family’s favorite accompaniment, tomato-braised meatballs!
4 Reasons Toaster Ovens are Awesome
I almost never use my fancy 36″ (90cm) oven anymore except for our ritual Sunday night double-wide focaccia. I’ve moved what little baking and broiling I do to the toaster oven. Here’s why:
- Fast – A toaster oven is small and preheats faster than an oven. (5 minutes vs. 20 for my more-than-full-sized oven).
- Easy -Most toaster ovens have a timer – when time has run out, the oven will turn itself off.
- Effective -The heating element in a toaster oven is is very close to the food – so caramelization is guaranteed.
- Energy Efficient – A small toaster oven consumes much less energy than an electric oven cooking at the same temperature (here’s how).
What unexpected things do you cook in your toaster oven? Leave a comment below to let us know!
My Toaster Oven & Happy Accidents
I have a special kind of toaster oven that also makes bread (only available in Europe, sorry). It gets used to make two whole grain loves a week ever since I got it for Christmas two years ago. Thanks to this double-use I accidentally got a crunchy coating on my oven fries. Wha..? Let me explain.
When I re-utilized the left-over parchment paper that I use to stretch dough into baguettes, I inadvertently coated the potatoes in a bit of flour, too. I got THE CRUNCHIEST oven fries- ever! Since that happy accident, I always dust the potatoes with just a little bit of flour on purpose to get this coating. Try it!
Although my toaster oven is not available in the U.S. whenever I come over and do pressure cooker demos in American cooking stores I’ve used Breville’s Smart Oven for the last broiling step. It heats up quickly and evenly with lots of features (like a rack that slides half-way out so you don’t burn your hands on the elements, and removable crumb tray so you don’t have to coat the bottom of the toaster oven with tin foil). Even though it does not make bread like mine, I highly recommend it if you’re looking to move any baking you’ve got left to a quality toaster oven.
- Serves: 4 servings
- Serving size: ¼th
- Calories: 325.6
- TOTAL Fat: 3.7g
- TOTAL Carbs: 66.8g
- Sugar Carbs: 3.6g
- Sodium: 315.8mg
- Fiber Carbs: 6.2g
- Protein: 8.1g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 2 pounds (1k) new potatoes
- 1 tablespoon AP flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped (about a tablespoon)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Prepare a baking sheet that came with your toaster oven by covering it with parchment paper and set aside.
- Wash the potatoes really well, remove any blemishes and slice into wedges not wider than approximately ½" (1 cm). Toss them on the baking sheet as you go.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with flour, salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil.
- Use your hands toss the potatoes in the baking sheet until evenly coated with all of the ingredients.
- Shake the pan to get all of the potatoes into an even flat layer.
- Slide the baking sheet in the bottom rack of the toaster oven and cook, using the convection setting (the setting with the fan), for 60 minutes at 400°F (200°C)-includes pre-heat time.
- Serve hot - preferably with homemade ketchup!
Wash potatoes well and remove any imperfections.
At the suggested oven temperature of 400 degrees, wouldn’t using parchment paper to line pan be safer than wax paper?
Ina, You’re right – we only have “parchment” paper in Italy, but I accidentally wrote “wax” -absolutely everywhere – thanks for catching that and leaving me a note. I’m making the correction now!
If I don’t have a lot of time, I do use the pressure cooker to start the potatoes, similar to par boil, I either leave them whole or cut them in halves and then finish the cutting. They can then go into the hot oven for about 20 minutes to crisp.. I will try the next time I make them.
I pre-pressure cook the half-baked potatoes – but “fries” just don’t seem to work out. I’m glad you found a system that works for you!
I wonder if this would work in a Tefal Actifry or any other brand of air fryer? I think this would work a treat. Powdered flavourings have to be mixed-in with the cooking oil, otherwise the Actifry would blow away the flavourings because it uses a fan and hot air to cook. I wash the chips/wedges until the water is clear, then I use a clean tea towel and kitchen paper to remove every bit of moisture from the raw potatoes (it doesn’t take long), then I put them into the Actifry and add a little oil using the supplied measuring spoon. Well worth it!
Flour and rosemary on chips (fries), I must try this. I’ve found a very similar recipe to this one, using an Actifry; it may work for air fryers too:
I definitely think there is some existing “technique” about adding flour – I’ve never heard of it or even understand the physics behind it (because it’s not like it’s a full-on flour coat – it seems to make the starch on the outside of the potatoes act differently) but I’m glad I stumbled onto it!
How did your actifry fries turn out?
You can add all sorts of seasonings to Actifry chips (fries).
I’ve tried flour and seasonings recently and the chips have been great from my Actifry. The secret I find is to dry the raw chips (after washing) with a tea towel and then kitchen paper (dry REALLY thoroughly), before adding the oil and seasonings including flour. I don’t know if toaster oven chips need to be really dry before cooking, but I know Actifry chips must be dried otherwise they don’t cook well. The chips taste less “plain” when flour is used, worth doing.
No, they don’t need to be rinsed and dried – my toaster oven fries are slice and go.
Next time I use the Actifry, probably this week, I will try half of the chips (fries) not rinsed and the other half rinsed and dried first, all using flour and seasonings. I prefer using vegetable oil (the Crisp n Dry brand) in the Actifry; I didn’t have much luck with olive oil in the past.
I would really like to know what the brand of your European toaster oven is. I have the Cuisinart CSO-300 steam/convection “toaster” oven. It does bread. Do you know if it is similar to yours?
C.J. I have a Delonghi Sfornatutto Pangourmet it is similar to yours except there is a motor in the base that turns a mixing rod in the removable bowl. You can just mix and bake directly in the container and get a bigger loaf than from most breadmakers and it’s round – not square! I set it on a program that mixes, rises, beeps me so I take the bowl out and stretch the dough onto the baking sheet, and then cooks baguettes. Since whole wheat bread in the Italian bakeries tastes awful I buy the german bread mixes for black or brown bread. Love it!! : )
I looked at your Cuisinart – and my oven has a similar “steam” setting. It doesn’t necessarily GENERATE steam but it traps the steam from the food and uses it to keep it moist.
CJ: I, too, have the Cuisnart CSO-300. The oven fries should do nicely using the Convection setting 0f 400 degrees F.
I know I commented earlier, but I’m so pleased with the results I felt the need comment again and this time give the recipe a good 5 star rating, as I didn’t click on the rating stars before.
My method is different and uses an air fryer (Tefal Actifry), but similar to this recipe. I rinse the raw chips in a bowl until the water is clear, then dry them very thoroughly (yes really dry!) in a tea towel followed by kitchen paper. Rinsing and drying removes excess starch and prevents the chips from sticking to each other.
Once dried, I put the raw chips in a (dry) bowl with a little plain flour, not too much, followed by whatever seasoning I have. Mix together and then add vegetable oil; the oil will bond the seasoning and flour onto the chips. Olive oil doesn’t seem to work as good, but you can use it. Cook in the air fryer until the chips are golden, not too browned. Usually 23 minutes for 1 to 3 servings in the Actifry, as I find longer times can easily overcook.
Now I always add a little flour and seasoning to my chips, a huge boost to otherwise plain-tasting chips. I sometimes add a pinch of chilli powder (not too much!!) to make great spicy-flavoured chips, delicious and my friends love eating them. I never knew that flour and seasonings could transform ordinary chips into something much tastier.
Interesting about the drying and flouring and wonder if this would also work well for the oven fry recipe herein.