If French fries can be considered a perfect food, one could argue that frozen French fries are the polar opposite. In theory, having crispy and golden potatoes without going to a restaurant or drive-thru should be amazing. But, too often, the convenience doesn't justify the results; even the brands promising the crispiest, crunchiest fries end up limp, soggy, and sad.
But as inconsistent as frozen fries may be, it's hard to live without them. You can't host a backyard barbecue without a bowl of fries on the side. Not everybody has the time or energy to make homemade fries from scratch. And let's be honest: even mediocre fries are better than no fries at all. So if you're going out of your way to buy a bag of frozen French fries, you should at least aim for them to taste as good as the real thing.
That's why we rounded up all the brands we could find and tasted them side by side. Our team of French fry enthusiasts gave their unfiltered opinions to determine which ones are actually worth buying. We tried virtually every iteration you can imagine: from classic to crinkle to steak to sweet potato. So no matter which type of fry you want to try, these picks will take the guesswork out of browsing the freezer aisle.
Best Classic: McCain Extra Crispy Classic Fries
A lot of frozen French fry brands promise a crispy exterior and fail to deliver. McCain is not one of them. Their straight cut fries were one of the few that actually managed to get crispy in the cook time listed on the bag.
The seasoning level? On point. The interior? Soft and fluffy. The outside? By far the crispiest brand in the bunch. One of our tasters noted that they could "eat a scary amount of these."
Best Crinkle: Strong Roots Crispy Crinkle Fries
Strong Roots is a relative newcomer to the frozen fry space, but if their crinkle cut is any indication, they're one of the best brands on the market.
Where other brands faltered, Strong Roots Crispy Crinkle Fries exceeded expectations. These fries actually taste like potato (not stale grease). Our tasters agreed that they have a great crunch—a welcomed surprise after eating bags and bags of soggy fries. They do need some salt, but otherwise they're perfect.
Best Steak: Red Robin Seasoned Steak Fries
Let's be honest: steak fries can be polarizing. The size of each potato already minimizes the crispy-to-creamy ratio. And once you factor in the sogginess of certain frozen brands, you often end up with a pile of mush.
But you can trust Red Robin, the bona fide experts on steak fries, to sell a quality product. Their frozen steak fries have a solidly crispy crust that's amplified with plenty of savory seasoning. It's the one brand that even the steak fry haters on our team enjoyed.
Best Waffle: Ore-Ida Golden Waffle Fries
The best part about a waffle fry is, naturally, the cut. The jagged shape maximizes the surface area of the potato; so when it's made well, it gives you more golden and crispy goodness than any other type of fry.
Ore-Ida's Golden Waffle Fries gave us exactly what we were hoping for. They have enough structure on the outside without sacrificing the fluffy interior. Our only gripe is that it needs an extra sprinkle of salt, which isn't a deal breaker.
Best Sweet Potato: Alexia Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries might not be as beloved as their classic counterparts, but there's certainly a time and place for enjoying these bright orange spuds. We ate a lot of them, and no brand came close to beating Alexia's classic cut sweet potato fries.
They had the ideal texture we were looking for: crispy exterior with a soft and creamy interior. But our favorite aspect of these fries is how well they're seasoned. They don't skimp on the salt here, which offers a nice contrast to the potato's natural sweetness.
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