The Only Frozen Sweet Potato Fries Worth Buying, According to a Food Expert

I tasted and re-tasted frozen sweet potato fries from Trader Joe's, Safeway, Alexia, and more. There was a clear winner.

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Ever since I had my second kid, I find myself relying on store-bought options more often to get me through a busy week. After all, there’s a lot going on in my house with a baby, a toddler, and two work-from-home parents to feed.

Enter frozen fries. While we have our favorites in the frozen potato category, like Alexia Crispy Rosemary Fries, I was excited to explore the available brands of sweet potato fries to see if there was any difference between them. After all, how different could they be? Par-fried and frozen sticks of sweet potato can only be so varied. Or so I thought.

As my toddler, husband, parents (they came over to get in on the taste testing), and I tasted and re-tasted the four brands of frozen sweet potatoes I could get my hands on with concentration and furrowed brows, we were able to tease out differences and pick a clear winner (with a caveat).

How I Chose the Frozen Sweet Potato Fries to Taste Test

This was pretty straightforward, actually. I went to three large grocery store chains (Trader Joe’s, Fred Meyer—aka Kroger—and Safeway), and bought what was available. I only went for the traditional fry shape—straight cut, rod-shaped fries—avoiding crinkle and waffle cut varieties to keep the playing field even.

Since all of the fries appeared to be of identical thickness, I prepared them all exactly the same way in my air fryer, at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

Read More: I Finally Bought an Air Fryer and I’m Glad I Did—Here’s Why

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

The 4 Brands of Frozen Sweet Potato Fries We Taste Tested

Our Top Picks

My toddler (age three) wasn’t at all discerning when it came to any of the sweet potato fries. She liked them all! To be exact, her words were, “I like all the fries.” I did see her reaching for the longer fries, though, so if I had to speak for her I’d say the Alexia brand was her top choice, since it had the longest fries and the least short ones of all the brands.

As for the adults, we ended up picking our favorite based on a few criteria. The sweet potato fries needed to:

  1. Be crispy

  2. Be evenly browned

  3. Have a good sweet potato flavor

  4. Have a high ratio of long fries to short, stumpy ones in the bag (no one wants what feels like leftover broken fries)

Trader Joe’s sweet potato fries came out on top in three of four categories. They were the crispiest of the bunch, for one, likely due to the inclusion of wheat flour and wheat starch in their coating. This means that, while they were our favorite, they would not work for anyone with a gluten allergy. We were all surprised to find gluten in a sweet potato fry, and it was a good reminder to check ingredients if you’ve got allergies or sensitivities.

Next on our ranking of favorite sweet potato fries were Alexia’s, the most photogenic of the bunch. Evenly browned and mostly long, they were the second crispiest brand as well.

Third and fourth places were a tie between Roots Farm Fresh and Signature SELECT.  Both had a less crispy coating, and browned very easily—you need to watch them carefully while they cook if you want to avoid the ends darkening too much. To their credit, both had a more sweet potato-y flavor than the TJ's and Alexia. But it wasn’t enough of a difference to push them up in the rankings. Also of note, the Roots Farm Fresh brand is organic, while Signature SELECT fries are made with conventionally grown sweet potatoes.

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Fries

We had turkey burgers with our fries, a classic combination that works really well. Chicken burgers would be great too. As far as what to dip sweet potato fries into, a lemony mayo, spicy sriracha aioli, or tangy white barbecue sauce are my faves.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.