If you have a bag of regular frozen oven chips, follow the instructions on the bag when it comes to cooking them. Typically, you have to bake them inside an oven or fry them using a fryer. However, did you know that you can cook them with a microwave?
To the Americans or Non-British out there, when we say frozen chips, we mean frozen French fries or those ever-familiar fried potato strips you get with your burger and cola at McDonald’s.
So can you microwave frozen chips or French fries? Keep on reading to find out.
Can You Microwave Frozen Chips or Not?
Sure. Fair warning, though. The instructions on the bag of oven chips or French fries are for cooking with the conventional electric or gas oven. It won’t give you instructions on how to microwave them. With that said, you can still microwave them.
Just because there are no instructions on the bag for microwaving, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t microwave them. Yes, oven chips or fries are best cooked with an oven (hence the term). You might even err on the side of caution and just cook them there.
However, if you’re curious on how to microwave frozen fries, it is possible to get them cooked and sizzling. After all, if you’re in a hurry and you don’t have time to preheat your oven, then going the microwave route is certainly your best bet.
Just be aware that they may not come crispy delicious and golden brown when compared to normal oven baking or even deep-frying.
Microwaving French Fries for Some Fast Food Action
The main reason why people microwave a bag of oven French fries instead of baking them properly in the oven is that we live in a world of instant gratification. We have Instant messaging, Instant noodles, email, eCommerce, online shopping, and social media preoccupying our lives.
If we can find ways to do things faster we would. Therefore, if you are curious about how to make baked or cooked French fries with your microwave oven, it’s all about cooking them inside your typical microwave in small batches instead of the whole bag.
You’re not cooking a bag of popcorn, after all.
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Should You Microwave Frozen Chips If You Want Them Immediately?
Should you microwave frozen fries or chips if you want to eat them now? Sure, but only if you know how to and only if the end result is worth it. You don’t just stuff them in the oven and microwave them like you’re making popcorn or heating pizza, after all.
The following steps in cooking fries work on 700-watt to 800-watt microwaves. This was the standard wattage of microwaves back in the 1980s and 1990s.
- First, put the chips or fries inside a microwave-safe dish (preferably of the ceramic variety). get something particularly large, since these fries require some room to cook. Spread the chips around for good measure.
- Don’t cover the dish. Doing so will make the French fries lose a little bit of moisture as they’re cooked or nuked inside of your microwave. This is also the best course of action in order to prevent chips that appear soggy.
- Just microwave everything for about 2 minutes on the highest power setting or at about 800-watts in case your microwave can go above that. Afterwards, shake the fries by picking up the dish and tossing them into the air.
- Keep tossing and turning the fries. You can add flavor to your fries as well, ranging from a dash or two of salt to barbecue powder like the ones you can get from McDonald’s.
- If the fries still look uncooked, put them back in the microwave and nuke them for 2 minutes again. Afterwards, do another toss-up of them. Keep repeating this until they’re ready to eat and serve. It will take about 8-10 minutes or 4 repetitions to prep the chips.
Prepping the Chips or Fries is All About Incremental Microwaving
Long story short, prepping your chips or fries involves heating them up in 2-minute increments for 8-10 minutes, with you tossing and shaking them in your microwaveable dish like they’re being cooked on a skillet or wok after every microwaving.
With that said, after incrementally cooking them, you should serve and eat them while hot for the best results. You’ve just cooked fries at the fraction of the prep time and cooking time of an oven that requires preheating or a deep fryer that requires loads and loads of fattening oil.
You should also make sure you get them just right because excessively microwaving them in one go at 10 minutes can result in them drying out like prunes. This renders them inedible or tasteless when push comes to shove. You don’t want to eat paper-tasting fries.
In contrast to oil-cooked or baked chips, microwaved fries should be cooked before they turn brown. If they do turn brown, that might mean you’ve microwaved them too much.
Why Don’t You Just Buy Boxes of French Fries?
First off, they’re easy to microwave. You can microwave yourself a bag twice a week, even. They’re not really healthier than fast food French fries due to many of them being already cooked before being frozen, but they’re a delicious treat regardless.
They’re also super affordable. Regular frozen oven chips cost £0.50 or up to £2 per kilogram in Britain. In the U.S., you can get products like Alexia Sweet Potato Fries with Sea Salt for $3.99 or Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries for $2.79.
Brits prefer their French fries as more chip-like instead of the sticks sold at McDonald’s. So this means they should be wedges a bit thicker than your average “American” potato chips (which are instead called “crisps” across the pond).
You should buy oven chips instead of microwave chips though. You have to pay through the nose for the microwave versions even though you can easily microwave chips or French fries for conventional oven baking and cooking.
What You Need to Know
The secret to microwaving chips or fries is now yours. Rest assured that we’ve tried these techniques out ourselves and it has served our purposes for quick and easy fries cooking without the frying for many, many years.
The thing about microwaving fries or chips though is the lack of a browning effect. The fries will dry out first before you can get it brown, and by that point, you might accidentally burn them to charcoal instead.
- “Can you Microwave Frozen Fries?“, SubstituteCooking.com, Retrieved March 28, 2021
- “Can You Microwave Frozen Oven Chips?” Food Cheats, Retrieved March 28, 2021
- Kate Bourque, “7 Delicious Kinds of Frozen Fries to Buy Right Now“, Good Housekeeping, October 9, 2019