How to keep fries warm, how long?
I plan to fry up a big batch of fries tonight as a special request for my weekly football party. I'd rather not have to miss the game to cook them in multiple batches as people come and go. I know fries are best fresh, but in attempt to have them edible for a bit longer, what would be best to keep them warm? I planned to do put them in a low oven at 200F. Would that work? How long would they stay "fresh?"
I would lay them in a single layer on mesh rack over a cooking sheet in low oven as laying them on a cookie sheet alone could results in soggy fries, or fries too crispy on one side if they had to stay for longer period time,
Honestly I wouldn't keep them in there too long. Ideally no more than twenty minutes or so otherwise they are are going end up no better frozen fries (which I find some brands to be completely acceptable when fries are not the star of show.)
If reheated I do toaster oven or hot cast iron skillet.
Fries are not a "cook and hold" or really evn a "reheat" type of food.
Even under the "heat lamp" once pulled out of the fryer they go flacid pretty quickly.
And that's not even on your plate yet.
Reheated they loose a lot of oil which is not bad, but are seldom as good as hot out of the fryer.
Nature of the beast.
Just like trying to reheat a veal or chicken parm. dinner.
Oven/dry heat dries it out.
Microwave makes it soggy.
Same goes for reheated General Tso's chicken and Sesame chicken as well as veal saltimbucco.
.What is once cooked crunchy delicious and then sauced is doomed for reheating failure.
BTDT x 1000
The oven is not a bad idea, but I would give it no more than 10 - 15 minutes of holding time. Another good way to resurrect cold fries is to toss them into a dry skillet with some coarse salt on medium heat. No oil is needed as the fries will exude plenty of grease on their own. Gently stir and toss the fries so they don't break or burn, and you'll have fries that are almost good as new in 5 - 6 minutes.