Despite being working parents of two young children (read: chronically exhausted!), my husband and I have been entertaining a lot more than usual lately. The reason: frozen oven fries! Seriously. While some dishes and drinks are worth preparing from scratch (such as hot chocolate and salad dressing), fries are another story. Between cutting perfect matchsticks and double-frying, they’re time-consuming to make. Yet, they’re an instant way to make any meal a fun party.
For the October 2012 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine, I sampled 47 different frozen oven fries (scoring me serious points with my preschoolers!). The winners featured in the article include: Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries (Best Thin-Cut); Wylwood Crinkle Cut Fries (Best Crinkle-Cut); Ian’s All Natural Sweet Potato Fries (Best Sweet Potato); Alexia Parmesan Lemon Waffle Fries (Best Seasoned); and McCain All Natural Steak Cut Fries (Best Steak Cut).
Other noteworthy products include:
Thin-Cut/Shoestring/Julienne: Trader Joe’s Hand-Cut Fries, Mr. Dee’s Natural-Cut Skin-On Fries with Sea Salt, Ore-Ida Shoestring Fries
Thick-Cut/Steak Cut: Ore-Ida Steak Fries, Target Market Pantry Steak Fries
Crinkle-Cut/Unusual Cut: McCain’s Smiles, Alexia Oven Crinkles with Salt and Pepper
Sweet Potato: McCain’s Sweet Potato Crinkle Fries, Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Julienne Fries with Chipotle Seasoning
Flavored: Alexia Oven Fries with Olive Oil, Rosemary, and Garlic, Trader Joe’s Garlic Fries
Overall, I was most impressed by the potato products from McCain’s (especially the adorable, fluffy Smiles, plus the frozen whole potatoes) and Alexia (loved everything, including the sweet potato tater tots).