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Why didn't my sweet potato fries get crispy??!!

  • Suzie Mar 6, 2007 06:30 PM
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I tossed them in olive oil and cooked them in a 400 oven. They became mushy, stuck to the foil, burnt on the side on the foil, just an overall mess!

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  1. were your pans really crowded? They tend to "steam" when that happens, and prevent the nice crispiness.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alex8alot

      It was one pan and it was a bit crowded . I bet you that was it. Thanks! I will try less next time.

    2. Was anything else in the oven with them? Moisture from another dish will prevent them from getting crisp. For example, they will never get crisp if you cook them with a bird in the oven.

      1. Was it a bag from Trader Joe's?? Both my sister in law and I had the same problem. We even tried without evoo. I decided the have to be dimped in hot oil and cooked on the tradition.

        1. My dad uses an egg white to coat his and is happy with the results, I haven't tried that method yet.

          1. I've made sweet potato fries only a couple times, but mine didn't get crispy either. Still were very good, I think there's just something about sweet potato that is inherently not going to get as crispy as a regular potato. They were plenty browned though and think if I kept them in there they'd just have burnt like yours but stayed soft. Do spray your foil with pam or use baking paper like you'd use for cookies.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tarabell

              I was told once by an owner of a Fish and Chips place, when I gently suggested they have SP fries, that the water content of sweet potato fries was too high to properly cook them until very crispy, like regular fries.

              1. re: thenurse

                But it can be done!! Redfish Grill and Bar (one in Chicago, two in Phoenix), El Paso BBQ (Ahwatukee, AZ), Stax (Scottsdale, AZ), and Rumba Grill (Ahwatukee, AZ; although the SWFs here aren't very crispy) all serve crispy fries. I do make sure to order them "extra crispy."

                I saw on a couple of food channel shows where the fries are parboiled first and then lightly oiled and then "oven-fried," and supposedly came out crispy, but I haven't tried this method myself. I recently bought a bag of pre-cut sweet potatoes and tried two methods: pan-frying a cupful of fries in a 1/2 tsp. of oil and lightly spraying a cupful of fries with PAM and then baking them in a toaster oven. Needless to say, the pan-fried version was much better (crispy!) than the toaster-oven version (hard and dry on the outside, mushy on the inside). I'll try the oven next time.

                1. re: starlightjulian

                  i tried parboiling them and then oven baking them. the parboiling took out most of the flavour and left the sweet potato bland. i dont recommend this.

            2. Just a thought... I wonder if you blanch them first for a few minutes, and then pat them dry, coat them in whatever you want, and bake them? This is what I do with my pan-fried hashbrowns, and they are always perfectly done on the inside and crispy on the outside.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Katie Nell

                I second Katie's reply to blanch first - I do this with my sweet potato fries and my regular potato fries -- they turn out great.

                1. re: Marianna215

                  I always soak my regular potato oven fries in warm water for 10 minutes before baking, it removes some of the starch. I'll have to try it with sweet potatoes!

                  1. re: atomic

                    I'm using a recipe I found on this site. The recipe did call for soaking the sp sticks in cold water for 30min, before draining, drying, and then coating w. olive oil, kosher salt, garam masala, cinamon. We'll see how it goes.

                2. re: Katie Nell

                  Blanch them in oil or water?

                  1. re: Suzie

                    water

                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      thanks

                3. I concur with the others that say it is hard to get sweet potato fries crispy in the oven -- even deep fried, they never get as nice a crisp exterior as regular fries. I think it's the sugar in them. To get them as close to crispy as you can in the oven, cook at high heat, use lots of oil, and don't crowd them.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DanaB

                    DanaB: yes

                    Did them this way last night. They were done and tender 10 minutes before doing any "browning", but still not crispy-crunchy like white potatoes. Lovely with a crushed coriander-salt-red pepper-flake dredge. Used a 425 oven in a steel baking pan, no non-stick or foil.

                  2. I had the same problem you did. I used the precut sweet potatoes from Trader Joes. I used plenty of oil and didn't overcrowd the pan. I'm not concerned with crispness, but they stuck to the foil badly so I had to scrape them off leaving the browned crust. Otherwise they tasted great. I will be willing to try again with the blanching or any other method that you've found that worked.

                    1. They're really easy to overcook, which turns them mushy. But I've done the egg-white thing with some success.

                      1. Tried this once and it was pretty successful. Not 100% crispy but most of them were. Instead of foil, used parchment paper. Baked at something like 400degrees or 450 in convection oven. I'll try blanching to see if it'll crisp better.

                        1. I stir/turn mine every 5 minutes or so, and that really helps with the sticking. And spread them out.

                          1. I grill the crap out of everything including potatoes and I've taken sweet potatoes out of my grilling repertoire for this reason. No matter what I do, they come off the grill limp and mushy and very un-toothsome.

                            1. I soaked em in warm water for 10 mins, blanched em for 5 mins, paper towel dried them and then rolled them in egg whites before deep frying the crap out of them. To no avail, the gooey mess tasted ok, but I'll never go there again.

                              1. Okay, so I tried the recipe today after reading all of these suggestions and I tried a couple of them out. My first batch, I blanched and then dried the potatoes then tossed them in 1 tablespoon of evoo and salt. I placed them out flat with enough room for each fry. I put them in for 15 mins and was disappointed when they were almost burnt to a crisp. (I cut mine quite thin.) The second batch I did the same thing but turned them after 5 mins. After about another 7 mins I took them out and though not all of the fries were consistently crispy, many of them were. I felt that it was pretty successful in the end.

                                1. i gave up on them and make sweet potato stick-pie...as we call them...cut 'em into american fry size wrap 'em in fillo (phillo) and bake 'em (follow the distructions on the phillo dough)...yummie-yummer
                                  mowarsh

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mowarsh

                                    Oh wow- sounds fabulous!

                                  2. I spoke with a friend of ours that is a chef and their restaurant only makes sweet potato fries in a convection oven. That's how I make them now and they come out great about 425 with olive oil and a little bit of salt

                                    1. jfood makes them all the time as wedges. no need for frying either.

                                      425 oven, pray a rimmed cookie sheet with pam into the oven for 25 minutes. use a steel spatula and loosen from bottom and turn. return to oven for 15 minutes, then turn oven to convection roast for 5-10 minutes. crispy and carmelized. oooh. aaah. and no oil.

                                      14 Replies
                                      1. re: jfood

                                        And if you use the newish Reynold's Release foil, they don't stick at all. I recommend this product all the time, so it might seem like I own stock, or work for the company, but it really is superior when you absolutely don't want something to stick.

                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                          wow, thanks p, never would have thought of that. have to grab some at the grocer.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            MAJOR THANK YOUS TO PIKAWICCA

                                            the jfoods just finished dinner and sweet potato fries on Reynolds Release was a side. Little jfood looks at jfood and says "these are great, what did you do?

                                            They were easy did not stick and the ability to season freely was fantastic.

                                            Major addition to jfood repetoire.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              You are more than welcome, jfood. If you make brittle or candied nuts for salads, this stuff is a godsend. Greetings to the little jfood.

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                Couldn't you just use parchment paper?

                                          2. re: jfood

                                            What kind of oven Jfood? I'm liking this very much.

                                            What cut, make wedges, thin fries or circles and how thick please? Sounds great!
                                            Thanks!

                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                              GE Monogram made by bosch. Convection roast puts on both top and bottom elements for a speedy hot air bath and the convection blows it like a banchee. Convection Broil should be fine as well.

                                              Jfood usually peels the SP, slices the long way and makes for wedges per half of the potato. He likes some substamce to the wedge. He first tried evoo before placing in rows on the sheet but did away with the oil when he wanted to loose weight and it was fine. S&P and some smoke paprika and maybe some garlic powder is all he places on the wedges.

                                              For quicker SP fires (also known as mommy fries in casa jfood) he juliennes the SP and broils them (mrs jfood invented these 20 years ago for the little jfoods), but you have to stay close to the oven/broiler or you have a sheet of used matchsticks.

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                Thanks, gotta commercial quality convection oven, I know juuuuuuust what to do now. I love sweet potatoes thanks for your tips!

                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  if you really want some complex flavors sprinkle some five spice powder on them when they com out.

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    Chili powder works well too. I like to cut the potatoes in matchstick size and make Nid oiseau and sprinkle them with chili powder and fill them with lightly sauteed tiny green peas. hey make a great accompaniment to roast pork

                                                    1. re: chazzerking

                                                      yikes, it's all good!

                                            2. re: jfood

                                              who's Pam and why are you praying with her. Sweet potato fries are hard, but not that hard.apparently I have greater confidence in Jfood's ability to get e crust he does.

                                              1. re: chazzerking

                                                that is "spray" Pam, not "pray" Pam. Pam is that spray anti-stick stuff. And jfood never said that SP fries were hard.

                                                Read further down the sub-threads about Reynolds Release. Now jfood only uses that method, thx pica.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  I was wondering which prayer Pam preferred..

                                            3. I cut them pretty small, instead of wedges, so they don't need to be blanched. I don't think they ever get as crispy as I like, so I use this trick: I toss them with just a bit of oil, then top them with salt, pepper and cajun seasoning. Once they are cooked through, I sprinkle with just a small amount of brown sugar and toss. Back in the oven very high, 425-450, and in just two minutes the sugar caramelizes and forms a nice crispy crunch. Because of the salt, pepper and seasoning, you have a nice salty/spicy/sweet combo that is delish.

                                              1. another tip is to line your sheet pan with parchment paper. No sticking so you can easily toss/turn them for more even browning. The high sugar content tends to make them go from brown to black in short order so watch them carefully. Maybe back off on the heat but cook them longer.

                                                1. I cut mine on a mandoline in matchstick size aand spread them on paper towels and salt them like eggplant. deep fried, they will crisp. when cut thick they just hold too much moisture to get crisp.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: chazzerking

                                                    I agree, there's a little bar in a small town in Louisiana that makes delicious, crispy, salty, sweet, sweet potatoe french fries. They cut them thin like shoe-string fries salt and deep fry them.

                                                  2. Did it not occur to you to deep fry them? You want fries, not roasted potatoes.

                                                    1. My method for crispy SP fries involves blanching them in hot water for about one-minute. Then I give them a few spins in one of those plastic (cheesy) salad spiiners lined with paper towels. Coat with eggwhite seasoned with garlic powder and paprika. Then dip in Japanese 'panko' breading. Panko is shredded dried bread crumbs, but zero moisture or oil content. It's what makes tempura crunchy. Deep fry the SPs or bake in a 450 degree oven. Always crispy!

                                                      1. tonight I made them for the first time (ate too much) and I cut them in good sized slices and layed them in a non stick pan - sprayed the pan with pam then sprayed the potatoes and they didn't stick at all - added fresh ground salt and sprinkled them with cumin ---they were great - also here where I live in South Dakota we dip them in apple butter - try them, you might like them!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mel1963

                                                          I never would have thought of that, but apple butter sounds like it would taste great! Thanks for sharing that idea.

                                                        2. I found a recipe on MarthaStewart.com for Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries and they are the only sweet taters I've ever gotten to come out crispy ... and they were so delish! Preheat oven to 400. Spray tinfoil lined pan with cooking spray. Cut potato into wedges, leaving skins on. Dip each wedge into flour, egg white and shredded parm. Set the wedges upright if you can and bake away for 15 minutes. Sooooo good.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: aebowles

                                                            After reading this post I looked up the recipe online and tried it this weekend with an oven roasted pulled pork. It was really good! The insides were soft and tender and the outsides crisp and flavorful. Very easy to make! Now, mine took longer than 15 minutes to bake... more like 25-30 but I followed the recipe and the pieces of potato may have been larger. The recipe says to quarter them but mine were pretty large so I did less than quarter sizes but they were still pretty much "wedges" and not so much really thin like fries. VERY GOOD!

                                                            This is the parmesan sweet potato recipe I used:
                                                            http://www.wholeliving.com/recipe/par...

                                                          2. To get them crisp you have to give them a light dusting of flour. Don't ask me why. It just works.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: bw2082

                                                              what kind of flour? all purpose or cornstartch? what type of oil should at deep fry it in and what degrees?
                                                              I had some at a restaurant tonight and they were soooo nice and yummy and crispy.

                                                              1. re: bw2082

                                                                just dusting with flour, no olive oil or cooking spray and put them in the oven?

                                                              2. i had this problem, too; my sweet potato "fries" were more like soft wedges. that's until i read one of mollie katzen's recipes for oven "fried" sweet potatoes.

                                                                She starts out like we normally do, cooking them in a 375°F oven, flipping a couple times to prevent burning, until fork tender.

                                                                but THEN, she turns down the oven to 200°F and lets them "dry out" for 20 minutes -- the results: a crispier, more toothsome texture.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: ceenote

                                                                  Hi all - love this thread, read the whole thing,(totally sympathize w/jfood), so thankful for the suggestions - trying to synthesize....

                                                                  So, would this make sense?: blanch, coat with evoo, salt and pepper, cook on parchment or non-stick Reynolds, 375 deg. oven. turn every 5 minutes (but dunno for how long), then into a 200 deg. oven to dry out.

                                                                  (Can't do a flour dredge cuz we're GFCF; any other guidance available?)

                                                                  thanks in advance!

                                                                  1. re: AmyZSD

                                                                    There is a really yummy recipe for crispy sweet potato fries in the new Cook's Country magazine. It includes a good spice mix for "sweet and hots".

                                                                    -Becca
                                                                    www.porterhouse.typepad.com

                                                                    1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                      Do you mind posting the link or emailing me the link, I can't seem to find it.
                                                                      BTW- Love your blog.

                                                                      Thanks

                                                                      1. re: vanity021

                                                                        It is in the newest print issue. I do not have an online membership to CC.

                                                                        Thanks, Becca
                                                                        www.porterhouse.typepad.com

                                                                        1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                          Thanks anyways! maybe i'll go and take a look at it at the bookstore.

                                                                    2. re: AmyZSD

                                                                      I just made these and used brown rice flour for the dredging. They were wonderful! Of course, I am a parmesan fanatic and used a wee bit of ketchup for dipping. It can be fun to eat GF.

                                                                      1. re: AmyZSD

                                                                        Hi AmyZSD, I know I'm a little late in replying to your post re: Sweet Potatoe Fries - dated May 13, 2008 but I was just searching out the same info myself today so I decided to join and give you an idea. I used to do a coating to OVEN FRY chicken parts that I now use on numerous different items. My daughter went to WELLSPRINGs camp this past summer and since then we have been maintaining a slow and steady weight loss by watching fat content. I now use my coating on boneless skinless chicken breast, Fish filets - just about anything you want that Crunch and feel of Fried foods. I use instant mashed potatoe flakes, to that add what ever seasoning you want - Parm. cheese, onion powder, garlic, lemon pepper -- Whatever your taste buds are looking for. To moisten the food I use things like LF salad dressing, LF mayo, egg white-whatever I'm feeling like (or happen to have on hand) then press into your potatoe flake mix and place on pan coated with butter flavored cooking spray and place in oven. Time and Temp will depend on the type of food you are cooking but it comes out crispy and outrageous tasting ( everyone looks for more). Granted I have never tried on Sweet tater fries but if Martha Stewart can use Parm. cheese and other ppl can use Panko bread crumbs Why Not give it a try?? After everyone else's tips I might have to try it tonight myself:) Low Calorie, Fat Free, Cholesterol Free, not bad on sodium and Gluten Free as well. I hope this helps, if not for the fries then maybe for some other meals you might want to make. :) BTW - You can also try things like Corn Flakes, Rice crispies or corn meal. Take care and Good eating.

                                                                    3. I worked in a restaurant (cooking and serving) where sweet potato fries were one of the specialties (local celeb chef from here is "famed" for creating them, his sous chefs operated the restaurant I worked at). This is how we prepared them:

                                                                      Peeled and then sliced with a mandoline, about 1/2 in thick

                                                                      Kept the raw fries in water (no specific time, but usually it was a day or so depending how many orders we went through)

                                                                      Tossed fries in cornstarch, no oil, the water was a perfect bonding agent - make sure that all fries are evenly coated

                                                                      Fry until done, salt to taste!!

                                                                      Story goes that our local chef and his assistants went through much trial and error in order to perfect sweet potato fries. They are really good, and our town is completely obsessed over them (link to menu and pic of SPF http://www.restauranteur.com/slates/m...).

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: cocktailqueen77

                                                                        cocktailqueen77 Hi this is Dedarah Tossed fries in cornstarch, no oil, the water was a perfect bonding agent. So what kind of Oil or did you use any to fry them?

                                                                        1. re: dedarah

                                                                          Hello Dedarah!

                                                                          Good question...it's been a loooong time since I worked there, but the typical (and most common) frying oil that restaurants use are Canola. It has a high enough smoke point and is universally inexpensive (especially when bought in bulk).

                                                                          Good luck!

                                                                      2. I fry them all the time & they are never mushy. You need to fry them twice- Fry intitially at 350, remove them & turn the oil up to 375. When you fry them the second time they crisp up in under 2 minutes.

                                                                        1. well, i had a huge sweet potato to experiment with tonight. did it three ways:

                                                                          1. in the oven, using the 200 degrees drying time idea. uninspiring. limp. chewy. stick to my teeth.

                                                                          2. in oil, trying to starting with cold oil method discussed elsewhere for french fries. cooked until nice and brown, but not burnt. were good, crisper than any oven ones i have made. but not that exciting, nonetheless. con: only making one batch this way.

                                                                          3. in oil using the cornstarch method suggested here. brilliant! they were almost like a lightly battered tempura. crunchy on the outside, soft and a little fluffy on the inside. my husband LOVED them, even better than regular fries. took less time than any other method.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: dani_k

                                                                            I just used the restaurant cornstarch method outlined by cocktailqueen above, and it worked beautifully...no par boiling, no baking, just cut, soaked in water for about 20 minutes, dredged in cornstarch and fried..in minutes, wonderful sweet potato crunchy goodness!

                                                                            1. re: dani_k

                                                                              dani_k How much oil did you use and what kind please.

                                                                            2. I've never blanched, nothing special to mine. I line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cook at 425-450 which is very important, also separate on the pan too many and they steam. Also I do not cut mine too thick. I dredge in olive oil in a bowl. Important they are all coated with oil, salt and pepper. I use chili powder and cumin too. Fresh herbs sometimes can cause a little moisture. I use dried for these until they are cooked. Bottom rack always in the oven and always crispy ever time. I hardly make regular potatoes any more. Also cutting them thin like regular shoestring fries works too.

                                                                              1. I just made some pretty successful oven sweet potato fries based on some of the rec's from this thread. I mixed a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch with some paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper, and tossed it with medium-width fries and then a couple of tablespoons of canola oil. I preheated a cookie sheet in a 400 convection oven, and then added a couple more tablespoons of canola oil and let the oil get hot. (I saw Tyler Florence do this, and he said that putting the fries in hot oil helped to create a crust and prevent sticking. I don't know if this helped or not). The fries cooked for between 15-20 minutes, and then I turned them and cooked for about 10 minutes more, until browned on both sides. They were crispy and flavorful, and only a few dried out and burned slightly. I'd definitely do this again.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                                  Thank you, thank you, thank you for this entire post & everyone's feedback on trying the various methods!!! I have been trying to get these right for months now & am having a BBQ Sat with BBQ ribs & Jerk chicken both of which sweeet potato fries are fantastic with (even though mine have never quite turned out as I wanted, they still tasted great with the two dishes). I don't have a convection oven (DRAT!) but am going to try the cut, place in water 20 minutes, mix the seasoning with the cornstarch & place the fries in a paper bag and coat them. I'm very enthusiastic that they will come out great thanks to all of your hard work!!! :)

                                                                                2. Do you have a gas oven? one of the bi-products of propane combustion is water. It is a wet heat and can prevent crisping.

                                                                                  1. Hey guys,

                                                                                    The problem with sweet potatoes in that they contain tons of starch. The reason why sweet potatoes often turn brown and mushy is because the heat turns the starch into sugar. The trick to getting them crispy is to get red rid of as much starch as possible. . Follow this method if you want great, light, crispy sweet potato fries.

                                                                                    1. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/4 - 3/8 inch strips.
                                                                                    2. Soak the sweet potatoes in cold water for at least 2 hours. This will get rid of some of the excess. You'll notice that the water will turn kinda cloudy. That's the starch coming out of the sweet potatoes.
                                                                                    3. Blanch the sweet potatoes in boiling hot salted water until the sweet potatoes are tender but, but not mushy. This further gets rid of the starch.
                                                                                    4. Drain the sweet potatoes and let it cool completely.
                                                                                    5. In 325 degree oil. Cook the sweet potatoes for about one minute. Pull the sweet potatoes out of oil and let them cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
                                                                                    6. Turn up the oil temp to 350 degrees. Refry the sweet potatoes again until they are a nice light brown color.

                                                                                    Enjoy!

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tokilicious

                                                                                      This is exactly what I do for regular russet fries, soak them in cold water with a little lemon juice for about an hour. Then towel dry, produces the best french fries. I like the fry to have a creamy inside, and the crispy crunchy exterior, piping hot. This is good to know if I want to fry them.

                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                        no cornstarch?

                                                                                    2. In the Feb/March issue of Cook's Country they go into great depth on how to roast sweet potato wedges. They tried several methods. Their favorite method was to bake the potato, at 2 different temps. First at 325* and then at 475* . You can access it for free on their site.

                                                                                      1. This recipe was recently published in the New York Times. Since then, I've used this technique 3 times with excellent results! the sweet potatoes turned out very crisp. As others have said as well, make sure the pan isn't crowded or else they do turn mushy.
                                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/hea...

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Green Omnivore

                                                                                          Suzie, I think you just need the oven a bit hotter. I do mine at 425 (for fat fries) or 450 (for skinny fries). Mine stick to foil too-- but a regular greased cookie sheet should do fine. This method has worked well for me:

                                                                                          http://www.instructables.com/id/Perfe...

                                                                                          1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                            Try using parchment paper instead of foil. I use this for all my vegetable oven roasting. Nothing sticks to it.

                                                                                            1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                              reynolds also has a no-stick foil that works great. jfood learned about it hear from pikawica

                                                                                          2. I know you're asking about baked fries but just a few days I made sweet potato fries using the cold oil technique (there's a thread on CH). Anyway, using this method in the past, sometimes they came out crispy and other times not. This time they came out divinely crispy and tender, almost fluffy, inside. I think it was b/c I was using an old sweet potato. Well, really just half of a potato - this is significant (I think) b/c being cut in half and languishing in the crisper for a period, it likely lost a lot of its moisture. I only bothered with it b/c it was the only scrap of spud I had at the time.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                              I would think the older potato would have less starch

                                                                                            2. First off, thanks for all the input from everyone! It's helped me to define my own recipe, which I felt would be unfair not to share after everyone here did just the same...For those who are interested in crispy BAKED sweet potato fries, I combined some of the tips I read here and got a pretty awesome result!

                                                                                              Cut them into thick wedges or batonnet (classic fry)...Whichever you prefer. Soak in water for 5, 10 minutes...An hour...As long as they can soak for a bit. After soaking, dry thoroughly and preheat oven to 450F. In a bowl, combine 2 parts flour to 1 part cornstarch. Season with whatever you like...Chili Powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, jalapeno powder, salt, etc...In another bowl wide enough to fit your cut of fries, lightly beat together 3-4 egg whites (or more, depending) with some salt. Through some tabasco in there too if you like the heat.

                                                                                              Dredge the fries in the flour mixture - Shake off excess - Roll in egg whites and full cover. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and leave enough space between the fries. Bake and watch...10, 12, 15 minutes. Might have to turn them. If you're doing wedges, bake them skin side down on the pan and you shouldn't have to turn them at all.

                                                                                              End result should come out with a crisp exterior and soft flavorful interior :-)

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: LeeHowell

                                                                                                Previous attemps at making sweet potato fries have always left me disappointed. After reseaching many ways to make sweet potato fries I decided to follow your recipe last night. They were fantastic!!!! Thank you!

                                                                                              2. I once went to make some fries so I cut, prepped and salted them then found it wasn't a convenient time to bake them as the oven was occupied by someone else so I left them for a bit and the salt drew out most of the moisture, more of a syrup really.

                                                                                                Upon baking like usual coated with some oil they tasted "starchy" and more like a regular potato, were also crispier.

                                                                                                Love making sweet potato fries and have been for a long time, but never managed to get them very crispy.

                                                                                                1. I found this addition to the recipe from a weight watcher's cook book. Soak your cut yet unseasoned fries in a brown sugar water mix for about 10 min. This is supposed to help draw out the water in the potato. Drain, pat dry, and season the way you like!

                                                                                                  1. Never ever use foil! i know its a mess when you dont but you wont get the crispy fries if you do and they stick like crazy even if you spray first. hot "preheated" oven 450 or so for about 20-30 minites total. youll want to watch carefully and turn them over when the ifirst side is browned. DONT CUT THE SLICES TO THIN.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: cvennell

                                                                                                      And it helps to preheat the cookie sheet so that the oil is hot when the fries go on. Much less likely to stick. (Thanks to Tyler Florence for that tip.)

                                                                                                      1. re: cvennell

                                                                                                        Have you tried the reynolds wrap release? I'm a big fan.

                                                                                                        1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                          or parchment paper

                                                                                                      2. I read all the posts yesterday as I was having a dinner party and wanted to make sweet potato fries...they had to turn out great! Since there were so many different ideas, and seasonings, I took what made sense to me and did my own thing.
                                                                                                        I cut one large sweet potato(as opposed to Yam, which is darker and orange), scrubbed it clean, cut the pointy end off, and cut in half, making two smaller potatoes. Then I cut each of these in half, half again, then thirds(24 pieces altogether). It is important to expose the center of any potato to the heat so it can cook evenly. I then put all the potatoes in ice water for about 45 minutes. I dried each one off with a paper towel, put in another bowl, drizzled some safflower oil over and tossed to coat. Needed much less than I thought! I put them on a cookie pan that had been sprayed with non stick oil, skin side on the bottom, lightly sprinkled them with season salt. I put them on the top rack of my outdoor grill while it was being preheated for steaks...it got to 450 and stayed there for about ten minutes or so, then grill was opened and steaks on, and cut to about 375 for the 12 minutes for the meat to cook. All came off together. They were crispy, done perfectly, some darker spots but nothing burnt. They were a hit!!!

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                                                                                                        1. re: kait

                                                                                                          i use a very hot oven, too hot for olive oil. i use canola (something mix in some olive oil), toss with salt and pepper, and go to 550 degrees or as hot as your oven can get. be vigilent and toss at 5 to 7 minutes, then a few minutes more and they are done. usually crispy enough but not like twice fried in oil!

                                                                                                        2. There are two types of sweet potatoes - the drier, firmer yellow-fleshed ones, and the redder, softer, mushier sweeter ones. In my area the yellow ones are called "sweet potatoes" and the red ones are called "yams".

                                                                                                          Wonder which one would make the more successful fries?

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                            Very useful thread all around. From this, I soaked mine in cold water for an hour and then blanched briefly for about 10 minutes and towel dried. Heated sheet in oven first at 500 degrees and baked in oven for half hour at 450. Mine were dry at least but crispy.

                                                                                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                              tempura always uses sweet potato, the yellow ones. thats deep fried in batter.
                                                                                                              lately i have had success with frozen sweet potatoes, safeway brand. they are the orange kind and seem to have a coating like on burger king fries. they bake up nice and crisp.

                                                                                                            2. Bring your raw sweet potatoes to a boil, drain immediately and toss cornstarch (and any spices you like) onto them to coat. Then fry in hot oil. The corn starch makes the outside crunch and keeps them from breaking apart. They turn golden brown quickly (DON"T overcrowd). Drain well, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot. I haven't tried oven-frying them this way, but he cornstarch makes a huge difference. (I used a lot.)

                                                                                                              1. Just made a few test batches with a gorgeous purple yam I picked up at a Korean supermarket... fried in oil with cornstarch (seasoned with garlic powder, smoked hot paprika and salt) were undoubtedly the best, but I found that if you julienne them (1/8"), they can achieve a really fantastic crunch/inner softness ratio as well. I preheated a foil-lined pan with some canola oil, and when it reached 400 degrees, I tossed a small batch of cornstarch-tossed and a small batch tossed in just a little more canola + seasonings, and they both turned out delish, although (of course) not nearly as crispy as the fried ones. The non-cornstarch batch browned a lot faster, fwiw... probably because of the extra oil.

                                                                                                                1. We took this question to heart here in the CHOW Test Kitchen, and I tried many (count 'em 6) times unsuccessfully to make crispy sweet potato fries in the oven. Among the different methods I employed were: soaking in water first, tossing in egg whites, high heat and broiling, cooking in a lower temp oven for longer, hot pan and lots of vegetable oil, hot pan and less vegetable oil, and tossing in cornstarch or flour. It was a mental rotary.

                                                                                                                  Among these tests, I found that tossing the sweet potatoes in vegetable oil, cornstarch, and s+p, then cooking them on a hot baking sheet at 450F for about 20-25 minutes (flipping once) gave the best results. Granted, they weren't crispy, but they had a nice roasted flavor and didn't look out of place next to a burger.

                                                                                                                  In the end, I just had to get over it and came to the realization that you should just be happy with the sweet potato fries the way they are; sweeter than regular fries, not necessarily healthier, but a fun twist on regular old russet fries.

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                                                                                                                  1. re: lisalavery

                                                                                                                    If you're not sick to death of sweet potatoes, what about drying them out partway in a low oven or boiling and freezing them before baking or frying?

                                                                                                                  2. jvanderh is correct. Slice them thinly and spread them out on a cookie sheet on non-stick Reynold's wrap to dry them out in a 200 oven.

                                                                                                                    In fact, slice them thinly ENOUGH and you get oven-baked crunchy sweet potato strands. I use the Borner julienne grater to get them that thin, then I accidentally over-dried them, and discovered they were crunchy and delicious as is without any further breading or frying or baking, just oven dried. They are great for salad toppings, to add color and crunch to a stir-fry, or you will probably end up doing what I did, which was to eat them by the handful until they are all gone before you even realize it. They have a sweet flavor with just a hint of salt. Delicious!

                                                                                                                    1. Lost my post before finishing.
                                                                                                                      Here it goes again. Cut the sp. in to steak fry size. Then dried them. Then put in bowl and sprinkled them with kosher salt, corn starch(as recommended)fresh ground pepper, corse grd. Garlic and a touch of cayenne. Put on non stick foil lined pan into fridge for 15 min. (Didn't have time for more). Then put them in a 450° oven for 15 min. Then I realized I didn't put any olive on them. Took out of oven and squeezed some, not much over them and continued cooking for another 15 min. They were crispy and oh so good. I think my mistake may be the answer. Putting oil on them first may make them too soggy.
                                                                                                                      I will try it again and see if it still works.