Dill Pickle Waffle Fries
Not only do they have amazing pizza combinations in general, but they’re also wildly inclusive. They have vegetarian options including premium “meat” substitutes, and gluten-free pizza.
Not just any gluten-free pizza, but the most ridiculously amazing GF pizza I’ve ever had. It’s a “Detroit Style” deep dish crust, with the glorious fried outside, puffy, airy, and just completely unlike any gluten-free thing I’ve ever had.
Though my husband is not GF himself, we routinely split an order of their GF pizza, and he doesn’t feel he’s missing anything. Yes, it’s THAT good!
I may be ALL about creating gluten-free recipes “As good or better” than the real thing, but honestly... I doubt I’d ever be able to come up with a crust anywhere near as good as theirs.
I’m ok with flying the white flag on that, because I’m pretty sure there was some kind of supernatural deal involved with the creation of their pizza crust, and I’ll keep my soul to myself, thanks 🙂
Mai Pai also does a dish called “Pickle Nick Fries”, which are unfortunately NOT gluten-free. They look and smell wild - and Porter loves em - so I had to make a homemade version.
Bonus? It makes me feel a bit less guilt over the “look at this awesome thing we have here in Hamilton” thing. Friends far, far away can make this themselves.
... and so can you!
Best Way to Make Waffle Fries At Home
While we could have started with frozen retail waffle fries - there are some that are gluten-free - we decided to go completely from scratch... including the use of our Homemade Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning, from our recent “Canadian Popcorn Seasoning Recipes” post.
This recipe would be the reason we posted that recipe, BTW!
Anyway, we started out with 4 main batches of waffle fries, and tried different combinations of treatments and cooking methods.
Remember when we experimented to come up with the best way to Cook Perogies in an Air Fryer? Same sort of nonsense, so expect a TON of tips and information in this post!
How to Make Waffle Cut Fries
In our quest for making waffle cut fries, we tried two different techniques - Using a mandoline, and using a wavy knife.
Both utilize the same basic technique for achieving the waffle cut: First you cut through the potato once, then turn it 90 degrees to make the next cut. Continue turning 90 degrees after each cut.
That said, the two different tools were VERY different:
Waffle Cut Fries with a Mandoline
Pros: SUPER easy to do, foolproof way to consistently cut even waffle fries. Large-sized potatoes are equally easy.
Cons: The mandolines we tried did NOT cut the fries thick enough, so this basically made waffle-cut potato chips, rather than fries.
Verdict: Super cute cut for, say, a fresh veggie platter, not great for actual fries. I do love this particular mandoline in general (especially the way it folds up and stores itself!), just not for this.
Waffle Cut Fries with A Crinkle Cut Knife
Pros: The knife was VERY sharp, and easily cut through the potatoes. Deeper waves/ridges make for a much better waffle fry cut. These turned out PERFECT - after some practice!
Cons: Because it’s freehand, it’s got a bit of a learning curve. It took a little practice to get a feel for how thick to cut, etc. Additionally, larger diameter potatoes were harder to cut right.
Verdict: MUCH better for making fries, but it takes a little practice to get going. Be sure to buy a few extra potatoes, to get into the grove!
Tips for Using a Crinkle Cutter
- The first half of each potato is easier to cut than the second half, as you have more potato to hold on to.
For that reason, longer potatoes are easier to work with. Also: Smaller diameter potatoes are easier to work with.
- It’s nice if you have a backup use for the last ⅓, so you can just “waste” them, rather than fussing with it. Chop them up for breakfast potatoes!
- If your knife is angled, like ours was, it’s easiest to cut so that the side with the longer end of the blade is further away from you.
- If you cut too thin, you loose the set lines, and end up with a grid. Try to cut a little thicker next time.
- If you cut too thick, they will look like ruffled fries, rather than waffles. These taste just as good 🙂
Homemade Coated Waffle Fries
When buying waffle fries - whether frozen or from a restaurant - generally they’re coated in either a seasoned flour mix, or a seasoned combo of gluten-free flours.
Personally, I like the combo of gluten-free flours best, even aside from needing GF. Rice flour, specifically, is great for giving a crispy finish to fried food.
For this Dill Pickle Waffle Fries recipe, the coating is optional. Whether coated or not, you’re going to be seasoning with (more) dill pickle seasoning mix.
When deep-frying - the difference between coated or not, in the end, is negligible. So, if you don’t have rice flour on hand, or just want to simplify the recipe a bit... feel free to skip the coating! I'm actually leaving it off the recipe itself - for deep-fried - so you can add it if you'd like.
When Air Frying... I think you get a little more of a payoff on your effort with coating it.
Pickle Seasoned Waffle Fry Coating
⅓ cup rice flour
¼ cup corn starch
1 Tbsp Dill Pickle seasoning
Mix the ingredients together, store in an airtight container until use.
To use: Sprinkle a bit of coating over fries, AFTER they’ve been soaked and blotted dry.
Gently toss to coat well.
Transfer fries to a different vessel or work surface, shaking off excess coating as you go.
Note: I find that about 1 Tbsp per every potato or two is a good amount, your mileage may vary. However much you end up using, be sure to shake off the excess!
Deep Frying Homemade Waffle Fries
As I mentioned in my Poutine Recipe, when I’m deep-frying any sort of potatoes, I like to do it in 2 rounds:
The first at a lowish temp, to cook the potatoes... The second at a higher temp, to brown and crisp the potatoes. This has always given me the best results, so I’ve done it with this recipe as well.
Due to the nature of the waffle fries - with a TON more surface area - they require only a fraction of the cooking time that regular fries do.
One thing I’d like to mention: Whether coating your fries or not, you really do want to make sure there’s no excess water on the potatoes, before adding them to the hot oil.
The initial addition of the potatoes will always introduce some water - which will cause violent bubbling - but you want to limit excess water.
Too much additional water being added can cause a much more violent reaction and can lead to spraying oil and burns. Safety first!
Air Fryer Homemade Waffle Fries
When we started experimenting with the best ways to air fry homemade waffle fries, we had NO luck. Edges would burn, nothing would cook evenly, etc.
So, we decided to get creative!
We considered the fact that frozen fries always turn out great in the air fryer, so we changed up our strategy. Rather than continuing to try to air fry fresh potatoes, we froze them first!
We tried two different methods:
Raw, Frozen Waffle Fries
This is the easiest way to do it. We soaked and blotted the fries, shook off the excess, and arranged them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, before freezing them.
To cook, we misted the fries with a little cooking oil, and air fried them for about 11 minutes at 400, shaking a couple of times during that time.
Par Cooked Frozen Waffle Fries
This was a bit more fuss, but was done with the aim of being closer to retail waffle fries, which we assume to be par-cooked to some degree. Of course, we could be wrong on that!
This way, we soaked and blotted the fries, shaking off the excess. Then we microwaved on high for 5 minutes.
Then, we carefully picked them apart (they were sticking together!), and arranged them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, before freezing them.
To cook, we misted the fries with a little cooking oil, and air fried them at 400 for 8 minutes, stirring about 5 minutes in.
We liked the par-cooked air-fried waffle fries SLIGHTLY better than the ones that were frozen raw, but probably not *enough* better to both with the extra hassle.
We did prefer the actual deep-fried waffle fries to the air fryer ones, but the air fried ones were absolutely acceptable, far less greasy, and FAR less mess!
Dill Pickle Waffle Fries - Hacks
Now, while we aimed to go as homemade and custom as possible, we know not everyone is going to want to bother with waffle cutting fries from scratch.
So, here are a few time-saving tips:
Use Frozen Waffle Fries
Feel free to use frozen waffle fries, following the manufacturer’s directions for cooking them.
The only issue is with the pickle seasoning: frozen fries are usually already seasoned - and salted.
Be sure to start with only a light amount of pickle seasoning, and season to taste.
Use RESTAURANT Waffle Fries!
Want to really mail it in? Chop your pickles and dill, have your aioli and seasoning on hand, and place an order or two for takeout waffle fries.
You can even order ahead and just reheat in your air fryer, if you want.
Just be careful on the seasoning, as restaurant ones are already pretty salty.
Use Premade Dill Pickle Seasoning
Depending on where you are, you can buy premade Dill Pickle Popcorn seasoning - you may already have some on hand!
Feel free to use it, rather than putting on a batch of homemade.
Note: My recipe for Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning is not as salty as commercial popcorn seasoning, as I wasn’t relying on salt as a cheap filler ingredient.
I do NOT recommend using premade seasoning with pre-seasoned waffle fries, as they will be VERY salty!
Homemade Dill Pickle Waffle Fries
Note: This is less a set recipe, and more of a freestyle set of guidelines to go on. The number of potatoes needed was only specified to be able to let the software come up with rough nutrient info - you can make as much or as little of this as you’d like!
Prepare the Potatoes
Scrub potatoes, clean well.
Using a thick crinkle cut knife, cut potatoes into waffle fries: Cut straight down through the potato, rotate the potato 90 degrees, cut again. Continue cutting and rotating 90 degrees after each cut, until all of the fries are cut.
Soak cut potatoes in cold water for 1 hour.
Once the hour is up, drain the fries and blot dry with paper towels. I like to sandwich the cut fries between layers of paper towel for this.
If you're coating the fries, do that now. (Per earlier info about coating!)
Fry the Potatoes
Once the hour is up, start preheating your oil to 320 F (160 C). You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pot. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 4" deep.
Once the oil is to temperature, fry sliced potatoes - in batches, if necessary - for 5 minutes. This will NOT brown them, merely cook them.
As each batch is finished, use a metal slotted spoon to remove fries from the oil, transfer to a baking sheet or metal bowl.
Once all fries are par-cooked / blanched, turn the heat up to 375, and allow oil to reach temperature.
As you’re waiting for the oil to heat, chop your pickles and dill.
I like to put the roasted garlic aioli into a disposable pastry bag, for ease in drizzling, but this is entirely optional.
Either way, have your ingredients prepped and ready to go, in reach!
In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 2 minutes per batch
Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!
Dress the Fries
Transfer fries to baking sheet lined with paper towels, blot any excess grease.
Transfer blotted fries to a metal bowl.
Season with dill pickle popcorn seasoning, to taste. Transfer to serving dish.
Drizzle with roasted garlic aioli, top with chopped dill and pickles.
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Dill Pickle Waffle Fries
- 4 Large russet potatoes
- Oil for frying
- Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning
- Dill Pickles
- Fresh Dill
- Roasted Garlic Aioli
- Scrub potatoes, clean well.
- Using a thick crinkle cut knife, cut potatoes into waffle fries: Cut straight down through the potato, rotate the potato 90 degrees, cut again. Continue cutting and rotating 90 degrees after each cut, until all of the fries are cut.
- Soak cut potato is cold water for 1 hour.
- Once the hour is up, start preheating your oil to 320 F (160 C). You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pot. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 4" deep.
- As the oil heats, drain the fries and blot dry with paper towels. I like to sandwich the cut fries between layers of paper towel for this.
- Once the oil is to temperature, fry sliced potatoes - in batches, if necessary - for 5 minutes. This will NOT brown them, merely cook them.
- As each batch is finished, use a metal slotted spoon to remove fries from the oil, transfer to a baking sheet or metal bowl.
- Once all fries are par-cooked / blanched, turn the heat up to 375, and allow oil to reach temperature.
- As you’re waiting for the oil to heat, chop your pickles and dill. I like to put the roasted garlic aioli into a disposable pastry bag, for ease in drizzling, but this is entirely optional.
- In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 2 minutes per batch.
- Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!
- Transfer fries to baking sheet lined with paper towels, blot any excess grease before carefully transferring to a metal bowl.
- Season with dill pickle popcorn seasoning, to taste. Transfer to serving dish.
- Drizzle with roasted garlic aioli, top with chopped dill and pickles.
- Serve immediately!