How to Reheat McDonald’s Fries at Home

If you've got leftovers from your last trip to the Golden Arches, here's how to reheat McDonald's fries at home

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Everybody has a favorite item at McDonald’s. Some go crazy for the classic taste of a Big Mac, others can’t get enough crispy chicken McNuggets, and then there are the folks who are devoted to the cult-favorite McRib.

But if there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that McDonald’s fries are a must-order. In fact, french fries are McDonald’s best-selling item (and are some of the best fast-food fries out there). They’re so popular that learning how to reheat McDonald’s fries at home could very well be considered an essential cooking skill.

McDonald’s fries may taste like magic, but there are scientific reasons why many people consider them the french fry ideal. Straight out of the fryer, they’re perfection, but over time, they become soggy and cold. Knowing how to reheat them at home will bring those floppy fries back to life, so you can enjoy your leftovers the same way you do when dining in at the Golden Arches.

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How to reheat McDonald’s fries

You don’t need one special appliance for reheating McDonald’s fries. If you have a microwave, skillet, air fryer, toaster oven or oven (plus a set of metal tongs), you’ll be munching away on your leftovers in no time!

How to reheat McDonald’s fries in the microwave

plate of mcdonalds french fries on a plate with a paper towel near a microwaveTMB Studio

Microwaving is the quickest way to reheat McDonald’s french fries, but be forewarned—the fries will still be soft. This is not necessarily a bad thing! Though most of us only know (and love) McDonald’s fries in ultra-crispy form, soft, fluffy-on-the-inside french fries have their own textural merits, much like mashed potatoes, home fries or baked potatoes.

To microwave McDonald’s fries, spread them out in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate, then cover them with a slightly damp paper towel. Cook on high power in 20-second intervals until the fries are warmed to your liking. It usually doesn’t take more than a minute for french fries to get piping hot, so keep your eye on them.

How to reheat McDonald’s fries on the stovetop

mcdonalds fries in a silver pan on a pot holder on a wood countertopTMB Studio

Heating McDonald’s fries on the stovetop is quick and easy, resulting in crisp, beautifully golden fries that taste like they’re fresh from the fryer. This is because, well, you’re frying them all over again.

Begin by coating a skillet with enough olive oil or cooking oil (like vegetable or canola) to cover, then place over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the french fries, shaking the pan so they settle in a single layer, and cook for anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes, moving them around occasionally with tongs until they’re re-crisped and browned to your liking. Sprinkle with a bit of fine salt and serve immediately.

How to reheat McDonald’s fries in the air fryer

mcdonalds fries in the basket of an open air fryer on a kitchen counterTMB Studio

If you can’t stand soggy foods (even if they’re nice and warm), the air fryer is your go-to here. It’s great for reheating pizza, anything with a crispy coating like chicken fingers or, you guessed it, french fries.

To reheat McDonald’s fries in the air fryer, preheat the air fryer to its highest setting (usually 400 degrees), add the cold french fries and cook for one minute. Give the air-fryer basket a good shake to move the fries around, continue air frying for one to two minutes until crisp, then toss with a pinch of salt before serving. (These are the best things to make with an air fryer, by the way.)

How to reheat McDonald’s fries in the toaster oven

mcdonalds fries in an open toaster oven in a modern kitchenTMB Studio

Preheat your toaster oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fries with just enough oil to coat (about 1/2 teaspoon for a small order of fries; 1 teaspoon for a large order of fries). Spread them out into a single layer on the toaster oven’s crisper tray.

Cook for about two minutes, then flip the fries over with a pair of tongs and bake for another one to two minutes more. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

How to reheat McDonald’s fries in the oven

mcdonalds fries spread out on a baking sheet on a shelf in an open ovenTMB Studio

Reheating McDonald’s fries in the oven isn’t the quickest or most energy-efficient method, but if you have a large quantity of french fries, it’s a good option.

Begin by putting a metal sheet pan into your oven and preheating it to 400 degrees. Toss the fries with a splash of oil, then spread across the hot sheet pan in a single layer. (Don’t forget to put on an oven mitt before grabbing the pan!) Bake for two minutes, then use tongs to flip the fries; cook for another one to two minutes until heated through.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Allison Robicelli
Allison Robicelli has nearly 20 years of professional experience in the worlds of food, lifestyle and parenting. She is the author of three cookbooks and one travel/history book, and she's written for a variety of national magazines, websites and newspapers.