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How To Reheat Loaded Fries [I Test 5 Methods]

Loaded fries should never see the inside of a trash bin. But how do you revive those once-crispy fries to their original, mouth-watering state? I did an experiment to find out.

The best way to reheat loaded fries is in the oven. Take the fries out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature as the oven preheats to 400°F (200°C). Spread the fries out on a baking tray and heat them for 10-15 minutes, or until hot and crispy.

These reheating methods will work for any type of loaded fries you have including chili cheese fries, dirty fries, and nacho cheese fries.

How I Tested Reheating Loaded Fries

Armed with a load of chili cheese fries (the best kind of loaded fries), I stuffed my face for dinner and left the rest in the fridge overnight. The next day, I tested reheating the fries in the:

  • Oven: Decent and reliable.
  • Stove: Okay but a bit messy.
  • Air fryer: Great for re-crisping.
  • Microwave: Really mushy fries, avoid.
  • Waffle maker: Different but tasty.

My criteria was clear: I wanted the fries to emerge crispy, the toppings to be well-heated but not dried out, and the cheese perfectly melted.

Tips For Reheating Loaded Fries


However you’re reheating the fries, give them some personal space. Crowding leads to steam, which leads to sogginess.

If you know you’re going to have leftovers, cook the fries so they’re pretty crispy the first time. They’ll be more robust and can hold up better to the moisture from the toppings. Or, better yet, keep the fries and the toppings separate until you want to eat them.

Adding some new toppings can do wonders for your leftovers. Think chopped spring onions, sliced jalapenos, or a drizzle of hot sauce can help bring the fries back to life.

Reheating Loaded Fries In The Oven

Time: 15 minutes
Rating: 8/10

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. While the oven is preheating, let your loaded fries come to room temperature. This helps with even heating.
  3. Spread the fries out on a baking sheet as much as possible to ensure they all have the chance to crisp up.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and reheat the fries for 10-15 minutes, checking every so often for doneness. Thinner fries may heat through quicker.

Using a toaster oven is ideal if you have one because the fries will get crispier. If you only have a normal oven, you can turn the broiler on for a few minutes at the end for a last blast of heat.

If the cheese or toppings on your loaded fries are already well-cooked or you’re worried about burning, you can loosely cover the fries with foil to protect them. The key word here being loosely! 

You want to make sure steam can escape so you don’t end up with soggy fries.

Results: This was a pretty good method. It’s slower than the other methods I tried, but the fries ended up decently crispy. The cheese and toppings heated through nicely, and the overall flavor was good. I’d use the oven again.

Reheating Loaded Fries On The Stove

Time: 5-6 minutes
Rating: 6/10

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Spread the loaded fries evenly in the pan and sprinkle a little water around the pan.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid and let the fries heat for 4-5 minutes, gently shaking or stirring them occasionally to prevent burning.
  4. Remove the lid for the last minute to crisp the fries.

The key to this method is to use just enough oil to prevent sticking without making the fries greasy. If you fancy really indulging, using bacon grease instead of oil can elevate the fries to a whole new flavor level.

The water is there to create a light steaming effect, which helps to fluff up old dry fries and also makes sure the top of the fries heats through properly.

Results: I thought this method did an okay job, but there were a few issues. The bottom fries crisped up well, but the fries in the middle didn’t fare so well. It was also kind of messy and fiddly because of all the toppings. Overall I’d skip this method if you have access to an oven or an air fryer and use those instead.

Reheating Loaded Fries In An Air Fryer

Time: 4-5 minutes
Rating: 9/10

  1. Place the loaded fries on a wire rack or crumpled foil in the air fryer basket, spreading them out as much as possible.
  2. Add a few drops of water to the fries before heating to introduce a bit of moisture.
  3. Heat at 350°F (180°C) for 4-5 minutes, ensuring the air can circulate freely around the fries.

The key to successfully reheating loaded fries in an air fryer is to make sure they’re spread out enough to allow good air circulation, which is crucial for achieving an evenly crispy texture.

Clumping the fries together will result in uneven reheating, with the outsides burning while the insides remain cold.

You also need to check on the fries fairly often, especially if they’re thin or already well-cooked. Air fryers are harsh heating methods and it’s easy to overdo the heating.

Results: The air fryer was excellent at reheating loaded fries. The fries came out wonderfully crispy (some maybe a bit too crispy), and the toppings were also great. The cheese started to caramelize… yum. I’d recommend adding a bit of extra cheese if you use the air fryer to maintain that balance of crispy and melty textures.

Reheating Loaded Fries In The Microwave (not recommended)

Time: 1-2 minutes
Rating: 2/10

  1. Place your loaded fries in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Heat for 1 minute initially, then continue in 20-second intervals, checking each time until the fries are heated through.

If the toppings seem dry, can add a few drops of water to them before microwaving. But not too much or the fries will become extra soggy (they’ll be soggy anyway, but this will make them worse).

Results: I don’t recommend this method at all. The fries were either mushy or dry as a bone, there was no crisp in sight. Once I mixed everything together it was edible and would have been fine for a quick lunch, but don’t expect anything like the loaded fries you had the night before.

Reheating Loaded Fries In A Waffle Maker

Time: 2-3 minutes
Rating: 8/10

  1. Toss the loaded fries in a bowl and mix everything up. Add in a handful of extra cheese if you have it. 
  2. Shape the mixture into a square or circular shape that fits your waffle maker.
  3. Place the ‘fry patties’ into the waffle maker and gently close it.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the fries have formed a cohesive ‘waffle.’

The extra cheese is to help bind the fries and toppings together, so the ‘waffle’ holds its shape, but you can skip it if you don’t have any.

Results: This was a fun and delicious twist on the original loaded fries. The fry-waffle was crispy and cheesy, and just as delicious as my loaded fry dinner the night before. A great way of reinventing past-saving soggy fries.

How To Store Loaded Fries

Loaded fries are always best enjoyed fresh, but there are a few tricks you can use to save them for later.

As soon as you know you’re going to have leftovers, separate as many of the fries from the toppings as possible then let everything cool to room temperature. Put the toppings in one airtight container and the fries in another, then keep them in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Place a paper towel at the bottom of the container with the fries. This will absorb any excess moisture, helping to keep the fries from becoming too soggy. It will also soak up any excess grease.

After 1-2 days the fries will become pretty unappetizing, but the toppings may last longer depending on what they are. For example, a chili topping could last for 3-4 days.

Can You Freeze Loaded Fries?

I don’t recommend freezing loaded fries. They will turn into mush as soon as you defrost them. If you aren’t going to eat the leftovers in time, throw them out. 

To save time making loaded fries, you can always make the toppings like chili in advance and freeze these. Then all you need to do is make a fresh batch of fries when the craving hits.

How To Reheat Loaded Fries [Tested Methods]

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover loaded fries. They work with all types of loaded fries, including chili cheese fries, dirty fries, and nacho fries.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to reheat loaded fries
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 720kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion loaded fries

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). 
  • While the oven is preheating, let your loaded fries come to room temperature. This helps with even heating.
  • Spread the fries out on a baking sheet as much as possible to ensure they all have the chance to crisp up.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and reheat the fries for 10-15 minutes, checking every so often for doneness. Thinner fries may heat through quicker.

Notes

Using a toaster oven is ideal if you have one because the fries will get crispier. If you only have a normal oven, you can turn the broiler on for a few minutes at the end for a last blast of heat.
If the cheese or toppings on your loaded fries are already well-cooked or you’re worried about burning, you can loosely cover the fries with foil to protect them. The key word here being loosely! 
You want to make sure steam can escape so you don’t end up with soggy fries.

Nutrition

Serving: 350g | Calories: 720kcal

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