Never Experience Soggy Takeout Fries Again With This Tip

Few meals satisfy more than a hot, fresh burger and crisp, salty french fries from your favorite fast food joint. Likewise, few moments are more disappointing than arriving home and finding soggy fries and a damp burger. There's not much you can do about the burger, unless you order it with no sauces or the restaurant toasts the bun to avoid the burger getting soggy. But the fries? Those you can save.

Turns out, you only need to buck traditional wisdom and leave the bag open instead of keeping it closed. This is because the steam from hot food gets trapped inside a closed bag. With nowhere else to go, and with fries typically kept in open containers, the easiest way for steam to dissipate is to be absorbed by the fries. Leaving the bag open also lets you snack on a few before you get home. This does mean your food will cool slightly faster, but hopefully you'll be happily chowing down before it starts to matter.

Tricks to keep fries warm

But maybe it does matter. Maybe traffic is always awful, or you live too far from your favorite takeout burger joint, so that leaving the bag open just swaps the soggy problem for a cold one. The usual answer — an insulated food bag — doesn't completely work because you have to keep them sealed to be fully effective. However, you could leave it half open so some steam can escape while still trapping some heat.

Additionally, there are two genius hacks for keeping takeout warm on your drive home involving your car's heating systems. The broadest-available method is to place your fast food bag on the passenger side floor and blast your foot heater on it the whole drive back. This is too uncomfortable to do during the hottest times of the year, though. You can also place the bag on your car's heated seats if you have them, though first make sure the bag's bottom isn't drenched in seat-staining oil.

How to resuscitate dead fries

Whether you kept the bag closed and your fries got soggy or you're trying to reheat leftovers, there are ways to revive a limp fry. And no, microwaving them is not an option because it creates steam, making them worse. Instead, if possible, deep fry them again. This is the messiest and most intensive option, but since the frying oil is a major part of fries' flavor, this method also acts as a mini flavor bomb. For even more flavor, finish them with a fresh sprinkle of salt. You can also air fry them for a similar effect. 

Short of a deep fryer, roasting them on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit is the next best option. This returns the fries to a nice crispy state and it's by far the easiest and cleanest method. You can use a regular oven for large batches and a toaster oven for smaller ones.

Lastly, should you have no other method, you can pan fry them with a nonstick skillet in olive oil over medium heat . This method is similar to deep frying, but instead of being submerged in oil, you fry them up in just a few tablespoons of oil. It's messy, but fast and delicious. Or, as a last resort, turn your leftover fries into crispy hash browns.