Bathed in beer, these garlicky fries are as easy to make as they are delicious

Try this Belgian-inspired trick to amp up your spuds without splattering your stove

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published November 3, 2022 6:05PM (EDT)

Baked Beer Fries (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Baked Beer Fries (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

I was determined to have as Belgian an experience as possible. I visited the little peeing guy. I ate a waffle smothered in chocolate and chantilly, aka sweet whipped cream. I gawked at a lot of Magrittes.

What I wanted above all, however, for the brief few days I recently found myself bouncing around Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp, was to consume as much beer and as many fries as was socially acceptable. While I left feeling as though I'd given my best to a country that takes its carbohydrate-dense products seriously, when I got home, I wondered if I might have made better progress by doubling up.

Beer fries, I confess, don't pack a particularly beer-ish punch. If you want to feel like you're drinking, I suggest drinking. But if you like the idea of a knockout side dish with a certain savory je ne sais quoi, this is just the ticket.

Soaking sliced potatoes in water is a Martha-approved trick for perfectly cooked, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside oven fries. Adding a level of intensity by using a beer brine instead of water only makes everything that much more flavorful. (The garlic and paprika don't hurt, either.) With a little bit of pre-planning, you're good to go at dinner time in a well-spent half hour.

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I've made my spuds shoestring style here (mostly because I've been feeling as though I don't appreciate my mandoline enough lately), but you can cut yours any way you like. Simply adjust the bake time for variations in the thickness of the potatoes. 

Burgers or brats are an expected accompaniment, but for a relaxed pairing, I served my fries with seared salmon the other evening. Whatever journey you choose, you'll definitely want to pour yourself a good Belgian beer to go along with the works. It's not quite the same as being in Bruges, but it's a decadent enough approximation.

* * *

Inspired by The Beeroness

Oven-Baked Beer Fries
 4 servings
Prep Time
 10 minutes, plus chilling
Cook Time
 30 minutes


  • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 1 12-ounce pale ale (Belgian, if you've got it)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Using a mandoline or knife, cut the potatoes into your favorite fry-sized slices.
  2. Add the potatoes and beer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and stir. Cover with plastic or foil, then refrigerate for at least an hour. (You can also prep the potatoes in the morning and finish this recipe for dinner.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the beer and blot with paper towels. Transfer to the sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Next, dust with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  5. Bake for roughly 25 minutes, turning halfway through. Depending on the thickness of your fries, you may need to bake them longer.
  6. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Feel free to mix it up with your seasonings. Some everything bagel spice mix would be so good here.

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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