How To Keep French Fries Warm and Crispy

January 9, 2023
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Keep Your Fries Crispy Before Serving

French fries are an ideal side dish for BBQs, birthdays, and any other occasion that calls for carbs. These delicious and crunchy treats are cheap to make, easy to keep warm, and a pleasure to serve to friends, family, and guests.

If you’ve ever made delicious homemade fries and transferred them to the party only to find them soggy and cold when you arrived, we’ve got the trick for how to keep french fries warm and crispy. With these methods, you can keep French fries hot and fresh and serve them anytime hunger strikes.

Why French Fries Stop Being Crispy

Before we dive into how to keep fries warm and crispy, it is important to understand the reasons why they get soggy and cold in the first place.

French fries stop being crispy and warm for two major reasons: condensation and reduced temperatures.

Condensation is the water that collects in a takeout box or reusable container from the steaming hot dish inside. As the steam rises in the closed container, it gathers as water droplets. Without holes in the container, those water droplets grow big enough to fall onto your food, dousing them in moisture.

Meanwhile, reduced temperatures are the culprit for causing french fries to stop being warm. As the heat reduces, the waterdrops fall from the roof of the container onto your fries, adding moisture which cools the food down more and steals the crispiness from fries.

As Fries Sit Out In The Open They Will Lose Their Warmth and Become Soggy

How To Keep French Fries Warm and Crispy

Keep French fries warm and crunchy by storing them in special containers, like a hotel pan or tin foil, or reheating them before serving. Below we explain all the methods you need so you can decide which one works best for you.

Thick Cut

One of the ways to make a perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside french fry that stays crispy and warm is to cut the potatoes thick.

Whether you’re making homemade french fries or using frozen french fries, consider using a thick-cut fry instead of long and thin fry. Why? Thicker fries retain heat better than thin ones.

Aluminum Foil

Tinfoil or aluminum foil is an ideal way to store baked french fries. Aluminum foil is, of course, made from aluminum, a metal. Metal is an amazing thermal conductor, and since aluminum foil is reflective, it actually reflects thermal energy keeping the food inside warmer for longer.

The foil will only keep food warm for about 30 minutes after taking them out of the oven, air fryer, or hot oil. So, you may need to use multiple methods to keep your delicious fries warm and crispy if you’ve got a long commute to your get-together.

Hotel Pan

A hotel pan is a rectangular, stainless steel dish that can be covered with a lid, held under a heat lamp, and sat on top of a flame or hot water to keep dishes warm. You’ve likely seen a hotel pan before at a buffet.

A hotel pan is one of the best ways to keep French fries warm and crispy after they’ve been prepped. Like aluminum foil, the metal dish is a thermal conductor. Unlike aluminum foil, a hotel pan may have its own heat sources like a chafing dish or heat lamp.

Not everyone has a hotel pan kicking around in their home kitchen, but this is a worthwhile investment if you regularly need to keep food warm between destinations.


If you’ve made a big batch of fries and want them to stay warm and crispy, simply pop them in the oven.

Even if you used an air fryer, instant pot, or deep fryer to make your fries, popping them into the oven will help keep them warm and crispy until the whole batch is ready to serve.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lay the fries down without any of them touching because the more the fry’s surface area is exposed to the heat of the oven, the crispier your fries will stay. Heat your batch of fries for eight to ten minutes, then serve them steamy and hot.


Just like an oven, you can reheat fries in a skillet or pan. Pan frying is one of the easiest ways to reheat leftover fries and adds a slightly charred taste if you like your fries extra crispy.

Using a pan to keep fries warm and crispy is the top way to ensure you don’t accidentally overcook the fries. Since the pan gives full visibility, you know when they’ve reached their perfect golden-brown and crispy state.

Coat a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and heat it over medium to high heat. Throw in the leftover fries and gently toss them until they are at your desired temperature.

Takeout Container

Just because you can make fries at home doesn’t mean you have to! Keep French fries warm and crispy in a takeout container by poking holes into the top of the lid.

Putting holes in a takeout container lid will help the steam release and reduce the amount of condensation build-up inside. This will ensure your French fries aren’t soggy and covered in drops of water from the hot container.

There Are Many Different Approaches to Reheating Fries

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about how to keep french fries warm and crispy with answers to these commonly asked questions.

Can I use a microwave to reheat French fries?

No, avoid using the microwave to reheat your French fries at all costs, or else they’ll come out soggy.

Why? That soft internal part of the French fry has moisture from oils and water that seeks release when microwaved. However, the moisture is trapped by the crispy outer layer. Instead of zapping that moisture away, the crispy layer absorbs the moisture, coating it in a soggy layer of oil and moisture.

How do you keep fries warm at home?

Keeping French fries warm at home is as simple as popping them in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately ten minutes.

Or, you can use the stovetop and heat a pan medium to high and reheat your crispy french fries by tossing them in a pan with some oil.

If you have an air fryer, you can reheat French fries by putting them into the air fryer for one to two minutes.

How do restaurants keep fries hot?

Restaurants keep french fries hot and crispy by using food lamps. A heated lamp in the kitchen keeps the freshly made fries warm. Depending on the bulb wattage and how close the light is to the food, temperatures from a heat lamp mimic a low to medium heat oven setting.

How do you keep fried food warm for a party?

Keep fried food warm for a party by storing it in aluminum foil, a hotel pan, or poking holes in the container lid to let out the steam.

How do you keep fries warm after air frying?

Air fryer French fries are a delicious and healthy take on the classic french fry recipe. If you air fry your batch of fries only to have someone text or call that they’ll be home late for dinner, you can keep them warm on a low setting in the oven, between 175 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another option is to pop the fries back into the air fryer for one or two minutes to reheat them for serving.

An Air Fryer is a Great Method to Reheat Fries at Home

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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