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

Suzie Mar 6, 2007 06:30 PM

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. alex8alot RE: Suzie Mar 6, 2007 06:38 PM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: alex8alot
      Suzie RE: alex8alot Mar 7, 2007 02:30 AM

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

    2. c
      Captain RE: Suzie Mar 6, 2007 06:46 PM

      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. Kitchen Queen RE: Suzie Mar 6, 2007 09:35 PM

        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. Katie Nell RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 04:50 AM

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

          1. t
            tarabell RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 01:56 PM

            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
              thenurse RE: tarabell Sep 20, 2007 08:20 AM

              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
                starlightjulian RE: thenurse Sep 23, 2007 06:02 PM

                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
                  chocohead RE: starlightjulian Jan 23, 2011 05:19 PM

                  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. Katie Nell RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 01:58 PM

              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
                Marianna215 RE: Katie Nell Mar 7, 2007 02:36 PM

                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
                  atomic RE: Marianna215 Mar 7, 2007 03:34 PM

                  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
                    CookieLee RE: atomic Nov 15, 2009 01:24 PM

                    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
                  Suzie RE: Katie Nell Mar 7, 2007 05:49 PM

                  Blanch them in oil or water?

                  1. re: Suzie
                    Katie Nell RE: Suzie Mar 8, 2007 04:25 AM


                    1. re: Katie Nell
                      Suzie RE: Katie Nell Mar 8, 2007 04:38 AM


                3. DanaB RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 02:58 PM

                  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
                    toodie jane RE: DanaB Mar 16, 2008 03:02 PM

                    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. c
                    coconutz RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 03:08 PM

                    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. p
                      piccola RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 06:11 PM

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

                      1. m
                        mellie RE: Suzie Mar 7, 2007 06:15 PM

                        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. Lazy Susan RE: Suzie Mar 8, 2007 06:45 AM

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

                          1. Scagnetti RE: Suzie Mar 8, 2007 07:55 AM

                            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. s
                              shanghaieats RE: Suzie Aug 1, 2007 06:12 PM

                              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. k
                                KappaVi RE: Suzie Aug 2, 2007 10:29 PM

                                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. m
                                  mowarsh RE: Suzie Sep 19, 2007 02:00 PM

                                  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

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mowarsh
                                    EWSflash RE: mowarsh Jan 23, 2011 06:13 PM

                                    Oh wow- sounds fabulous!

                                  2. m
                                    mcastle RE: Suzie Sep 19, 2007 02:05 PM

                                    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 RE: Suzie Sep 19, 2007 04:11 PM

                                      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
                                        pikawicca RE: jfood Sep 19, 2007 04:28 PM

                                        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
                                          jfood RE: pikawicca Sep 19, 2007 05:41 PM

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

                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                            jfood RE: pikawicca Sep 23, 2007 05:15 PM

                                            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
                                              pikawicca RE: jfood Sep 23, 2007 05:23 PM

                                              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
                                                sarah galvin RE: pikawicca Mar 16, 2008 12:00 AM

                                                Couldn't you just use parchment paper?

                                          2. re: jfood
                                            chef chicklet RE: jfood Sep 20, 2007 08:35 AM

                                            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!

                                            1. re: chef chicklet
                                              jfood RE: chef chicklet Sep 20, 2007 09:58 AM

                                              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
                                                chef chicklet RE: jfood Sep 21, 2007 07:36 AM

                                                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
                                                  jfood RE: chef chicklet Sep 21, 2007 08:22 AM

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

                                                  1. re: jfood
                                                    chazzerking RE: jfood Sep 21, 2007 08:56 AM

                                                    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
                                                      chef chicklet RE: chazzerking Sep 21, 2007 02:03 PM

                                                      yikes, it's all good!

                                            2. re: jfood
                                              chazzerking RE: jfood Aug 18, 2008 07:28 AM

                                              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
                                                jfood RE: chazzerking May 20, 2009 02:20 PM

                                                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
                                                  EWSflash RE: jfood Jan 23, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                  I was wondering which prayer Pam preferred..

                                            3. k
                                              katecm RE: Suzie Sep 20, 2007 07:20 AM

                                              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. scubadoo97 RE: Suzie Sep 20, 2007 08:06 AM

                                                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. c
                                                  chazzerking RE: Suzie Sep 21, 2007 07:44 AM

                                                  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
                                                    winkchow RE: chazzerking Sep 21, 2007 06:14 PM

                                                    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. AbdulSheikhMohammed RE: Suzie Sep 21, 2007 05:39 PM

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

                                                    1. r
                                                      Retiredoldcookie RE: Suzie Sep 30, 2007 11:31 AM

                                                      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. m
                                                        mel1963 RE: Suzie Dec 13, 2007 04:12 PM

                                                        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
                                                          meatn3 RE: mel1963 Dec 13, 2007 07:09 PM

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

                                                        2. a
                                                          aebowles RE: Suzie Jan 29, 2008 03:26 PM

                                                          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
                                                            dzdigits RE: aebowles Aug 18, 2008 07:00 AM

                                                            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:

                                                          2. b
                                                            bw2082 RE: Suzie Jan 29, 2008 05:35 PM

                                                            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
                                                              vanity021 RE: bw2082 Mar 15, 2008 11:52 PM

                                                              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
                                                                dedarah RE: bw2082 Aug 25, 2012 07:10 PM

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

                                                              2. c
                                                                ceenote RE: Suzie Apr 3, 2008 06:45 AM

                                                                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
                                                                  AmyZSD RE: ceenote May 13, 2008 04:14 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    Becca Porter RE: AmyZSD May 13, 2008 05:05 PM

                                                                    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".


                                                                    1. re: Becca Porter
                                                                      vanity021 RE: Becca Porter May 15, 2008 04:38 PM

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


                                                                      1. re: vanity021
                                                                        Becca Porter RE: vanity021 May 15, 2008 04:50 PM

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

                                                                        Thanks, Becca

                                                                        1. re: Becca Porter
                                                                          vanity021 RE: Becca Porter May 15, 2008 09:00 PM

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

                                                                    2. re: AmyZSD
                                                                      repthe480 RE: AmyZSD Aug 11, 2008 07:02 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        ladiblu RE: AmyZSD Feb 4, 2010 11:42 AM

                                                                        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. cocktailqueen77 RE: Suzie May 15, 2008 10:36 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        dedarah RE: cocktailqueen77 Aug 25, 2012 07:22 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          cocktailqueen77 RE: dedarah Sep 11, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                                          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. t
                                                                        Teraesa22 RE: Suzie May 16, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                                        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. dani_k RE: Suzie Nov 14, 2008 07:17 PM

                                                                          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
                                                                            teneya RE: dani_k Feb 4, 2009 05:57 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                              dedarah RE: dani_k Aug 25, 2012 07:24 PM

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

                                                                            2. kchurchill5 RE: Suzie Feb 4, 2009 06:06 PM

                                                                              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. b
                                                                                bear RE: Suzie Feb 25, 2009 04:17 PM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  BRichar RE: bear May 20, 2009 01:50 PM

                                                                                  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. ike04 RE: Suzie Jan 6, 2010 03:20 PM

                                                                                  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. t
                                                                                    tokilicious RE: Suzie Mar 6, 2010 07:09 PM

                                                                                    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.


                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tokilicious
                                                                                      chef chicklet RE: tokilicious Jun 20, 2010 08:51 PM

                                                                                      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
                                                                                        dedarah RE: chef chicklet Aug 25, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                        no cornstarch?

                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                      Phoebe RE: Suzie Mar 8, 2010 10:15 AM

                                                                                      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. Green Omnivore RE: Suzie Mar 8, 2010 11:15 AM

                                                                                        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.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Green Omnivore
                                                                                          jvanderh RE: Green Omnivore Mar 8, 2010 05:48 PM

                                                                                          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:


                                                                                          1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                            scubadoo97 RE: jvanderh Apr 16, 2010 03:35 PM

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

                                                                                            1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                              jfood RE: jvanderh Apr 16, 2010 04:55 PM

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

                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                            cinnamon girl RE: Suzie Mar 8, 2010 09:01 PM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                              scubadoo97 RE: cinnamon girl Apr 16, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                                                              I would think the older potato would have less starch

                                                                                            2. l
                                                                                              LeeHowell RE: Suzie Apr 15, 2010 11:49 AM

                                                                                              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
                                                                                                SColombo RE: LeeHowell Nov 17, 2010 06:19 AM

                                                                                                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. BamiaWruz RE: Suzie Apr 16, 2010 06:29 PM

                                                                                                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. s
                                                                                                  scillawtp7 RE: Suzie Apr 30, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                                                                  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. c
                                                                                                    cvennell RE: Suzie Jun 14, 2010 03:12 PM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                      bear RE: cvennell Jun 14, 2010 03:55 PM

                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                        jvanderh RE: cvennell Jul 26, 2010 12:58 PM

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

                                                                                                        1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                          scubadoo97 RE: jvanderh Nov 17, 2010 01:15 PM

                                                                                                          or parchment paper

                                                                                                      2. k
                                                                                                        kait RE: Suzie Jun 20, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                                                                        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!!!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: kait
                                                                                                          soulfulfood RE: kait Jul 24, 2010 02:00 PM

                                                                                                          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. s
                                                                                                          Sharuf RE: Suzie Jul 25, 2010 07:34 AM

                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                            deabot RE: Sharuf Dec 17, 2010 06:00 PM

                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                              divadmas RE: Sharuf Nov 19, 2011 02:55 AM

                                                                                                              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. b
                                                                                                              BCWrangler RE: Suzie Nov 26, 2011 03:32 PM

                                                                                                              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. n
                                                                                                                nsjjhp RE: Suzie Dec 17, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                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. l
                                                                                                                  lisalavery RE: Suzie May 2, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: lisalavery
                                                                                                                    jvanderh RE: lisalavery May 2, 2012 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                    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. KitchenBarbarian RE: Suzie Sep 12, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                    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. t
                                                                                                                      Teno1010 RE: Suzie Sep 8, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                      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.

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