When it comes to backyard barbecues, grilling space quickly becomes valuable real estate. This happens to me all the time. Our grill, a medium-sized wood pellet grill, looks big until we start adding whatever meats and vegetables we happen to be cooking. Before we know it, there are usually a couple of platters of veggies and sliced and buttered bread sitting next to the grill, waiting for a spot to open up. Even a good-sized grill can fill up fast, so at times when I know the grill will be busy, I like to have something on the menu that doesn’t take up valuable grilling space.

Crispy oven-baked fries accomplishes this while bringing in rave reviews. This is a big deal mostly because my kids take great care in judging anything I make that is attempting to replicate something they love, and most of my attempts fall short for a variety of their expert reasons. At first when I told them I was making french fries, they both scrunched up their noses, and the 5-year-old asked me to prove it, following up with, “Show me the fryer.” When I explained these are tossed with oil and baked in the oven but are just as crispy, they lost interest and shuffled out of the kitchen less than impressed. I’m happy to report their noses have returned to normal, and they have fully embraced oven-baked fries, one of them declaring, “This is actually a real potato!” while gobbling them up. Can you hear me sighing with relief and exhaustion at the same time?

With this little gem of a recipe that won’t let you down, I thought it only made sense to also share two of my favorite dipping sauces to accompany it. While the ketchup and garlic dip are wonderful with the fries, both can be spread, dolloped and drizzled on any number of savory foods on the table.

Marianne Sundquist is a chef and writer who in 2020 co-founded Stokli, an online general store. Find her on Instagram @chefmariannesundquist, and email her at marianne@stokli.com.

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