Homemade Crispy Sweet Potato Fries...& What I Learned.

plate of sweet potato fries

I am in full support of experimenting in the kitchen with food and recipes. It's a really great way to learn about how foods work together (or doesn't work together). My experiments don't always work out but usually I've learned something in the process.

A few weeks ago I came across a recipe claiming you could make crispy sweet potato fries at home in the oven. I was definitely interested. The few times I have tried to make homemade sweet potato fries, I could never get them crispy and could not understand why... until now.

So to make a long story short, I made the fries as directed and sure enough we enjoyed crispy oven baked sweet potato fries. However, the next time I made them I omitted the sugar, believing it was not needed (like seriously what is a teaspoon of sugar really doing?) and thinking the crispiness was a result of how the fries are cooked (on a rack).

While I am sure baking the fries on a rack helps in the crisping process, what really makes the big difference in crispiness is the sugar. After doing some reading on this I learned that sugar dissolved in water on the surface of food makes its crispy during baking, as the water evaporates. So this is a long way of saying don't cut out the sugar of this recipe if you are hoping for crispy sweet potato fries.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. dries thyme 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil (shiny side up) and place a baking rack onto the baking sheet
baking sheet lined with foil and baking rack on top.

  • Peel sweet potato or leave the skin on and given them a good scrub. Cut sweet potatoes in half.
peeled sweet potatoes

  • Slice the sweet potatoes into strips. Try to make them all similar thickness, this will help them to cook evenly.
peeled sweet potatoes sliced

  • Place the sweet potato slices in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, sugar, thyme and ground black pepper. Mix well.
sliced sweet potatoes tossed with oil and spices

  • Place the sweet potato slices in a single layer on the baking rack.
sliced sweet potato on baking rack

  • Bake for 30 minutes or until well browned and crispy.
baked sweet potato fried on baking rack
  • Place under the broiler on low for 3-5 minutes but keep a close eye on them as the sweet potato will burn easily.
baked sweet potato fried on baking rack
Shannon RD
Registered Dietitian

original recipe from: https://bakerbynature.com/extra-crispy-sweet-potato-wedges/