How To Reheat Leftover Fries So They Taste Freshly Made

Two pictures of a woman savoring the taste of freshly made french fries.

Revive Old Fries To Hot And Crispy Perfection

For the most part, I try to avoid wasting food. When I go out to dinner with my boys, we often bring home a box of whatever didn’t get eaten to save for later. Generally these leftovers are gone within a a day, but one restaurant leftover that seldom gets eaten is french fries!

My boys are definitely “microwave chefs”, and try as they might to microwave those leftover fries, they never turn out very good! The fries get hot, but they’re also mushy and tasteless. So despite my efforts to avoid food waste, into the trash they go.

But after doing some research to determine the best way to reheat french fries, I made a couple of great discoveries. I learned there’s not one, but two easy ways to transform sad fries back into hot, crispy goodness!

We’ll start with the stove top method before moving onto the air fryer method.

How To Heat Up Leftover French Fries: 2 Easy Methods

A woman pouring oil into a pan of freshly made french fries.

1. Stove Top Method

Start by adding a neutral-flavored cooking oil to the bottom of a large skillet, just enough to coat the bottom in a thin layer. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot.

When the oil is sufficiently hot, place the leftover fries in the pan in one layer. If you have more fries than will fit in one layer, reheat them in batches. 

When the bottoms are crispy and golden brown, flip the fries over and cook for another couple of minutes until they’re crispy and golden brown all over. Remove the fries from the pan and place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 

Add salt and seasonings, if desired, and serve immediately with the dip of your choice! (Fry sauce anyone?)

An individual using an air fryer to cook carrots, enhancing their taste and avoiding the need to reheat leftover fries.

2. Air Fryer Method

Another easy way to revive old fries? Toss them in your air fryer! It works just as well and you don’t have to add any extra oil.

Simply set your air fryer to 325°F and let it heat up for a few minutes. When it’s nice and hot, arrange your leftover fries in an even layer in the basket, then put them in your air fryer for 3-5 minutes.

Depending on how thick the fries are, they could crisp up very fast (like shoestring potatoes), or they might take longer (like steak fries). Just to be safe, check them every couple of minutes until they’re hot and crispy.

A blonde woman reheating leftover fries in her kitchen, eager to taste the deliciousness.

How easy is that? I’m predicting no more leftover fries being thrown away in this house. ;-)

What is your preferred way to eat leftover fries?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • When the family gathers for take out, there are always a ton of fries left over. I turn them into a form of hash brown, but rough chopping and tossing into a lightly oiled hot frying pan. After flipping them a couple of time, break a couple of eggs into them and a speedy breakfast. Or BFD. Or add the chopped contents of a tin of corned beef for corned beef hash. So much faster than making has browns from scratch. And while this isn’t good waistline food, it’s good food waste prevention.

  • I’ve dry fried them for years. As they’re already deep fried, you don’t need to add oil to the pan. Works perfectly every time and not greasy :-)

  • We heat them up in our Ninja air fryer. It’s quick and easy – just shake them once or twice during the air fry cycle. It only takes a few minutes to make them hot and crispy!

  • […] The Best Way to Reheat Leftover French Fries [One Good Thing by Jillee] […]

  • I put leftover fries in the freezer (I do this with leftover fried chicken as well) the night before and reheat in the a preheated oven at about 350-400 degrees for about 20 minutes for the fries and about 30-45 minutes when reheating fried chicken. While I do lightly spray a baking sheet for the fries, there’s no need to add extra oil if reheating leftover fried chicken.

    Turn fries once about 10 minutes and chicken once at about 15 minutes.

    Once ready, remove from oven immediately and enjoy crispy fries or chicken that taste just fried.

  • Anyone ever tried using an electric griddle?! It’s great for re-heating tons of things ~ and fries! But the very best is heated & “crisped” pizza that comes from the delivery guys! Pop it onto the griddle straight from that cardboard box, and even re-heat any that’s left over! It doesn’t take long at all till it’s hot & crisp & the cheese is melted! Just watch it, b/c it can get a bit “too brown” if you turn it too high!

  • I warm them up in a non-stick pan. Then I make them into chili cheese fries. My husband now loves them so much, he always makes sure we take some fries home.

  • The easiest way is to just throw them in the oven. You don’t need to add any extra oil because they’re already full of oil. For extra fun, sprinkle them with onion/ garlic powder and serve with breakfast as an alternative to home fries.

    When I make frozen fries, I use the crinkle cut and fry them extra crispy. I fry an extra hand full and leave the leftovers uncovered on the kitchen counter. They are still crispy in the morning and delicious heated in the oven.

  • We have done almost the same thing – but we have always lined them up and cut them up into cubes. When they are nearly done we push them to one side and scramble some eggs on the other side of the pan for great eggs and hash browns!

  • No need to add oil to the pan – there’s plenty of oil in those fries! I just start them off in the frying pan over a lower heat & heat them up a little slower. Always crisp & tasty without any extra oil.

  • The number one way to reheat french fries or pizza is a pizza stone! I have a small bar pan from Pampered Chef (I don’t sell it, I just like it). Not only does your food come out perfectly crispy, there will be a puddle of grease that you would have eaten otherwise! Please try it and let me know what you think. The only thing that doesn’t come out well so far are waffle fries. They dry out too much.

  • We’ve also found that this is a great way to re-heat leftover pizza (which I hate in the oven or microwave). I haven’t tried it with oil, just straight in the frying pan until it’s hot. So delicious!

  • I put mine on a foil lined baking sheet in the toaster oven for a few minutes. It’s absolutely possible to overcook them so I stay close by. The oven or broiler work the same. No added oil or pan to clean and I think they taste the same as they did at the restaurant.

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