Crispy Grill Fries

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, Plant-based, Vegan, Vegetarian

Here’s another staple to add to your grilling repertoire. These Jojo-Style Crispy Grill Fries are a well-loved summertime staple at our house, and they’re especially popular with kids of all ages. They are well-seasoned and delicious plain, or served with your favorite clean dipping sauce or aioli.

The secret to getting these grill fries crisp and brown relies on a simple par-cooking technique. Tossing the potatoes with olive oil and seasonings, and then partially cooking them in the microwave prior to grilling does two things:

  1. It greatly reduces the grilling (and babysitting, and flipping) time.
  2. It results in a much crispier grill fry.

Isn’t that what we all want? A crispy fry without the deep-fried guilt?

The Trouble with Deep-Fried French Fries

With this clean-and-healthy fry recipe we’re also avoiding the most problematic part of deep-fried foods: highly refined oils. Most restaurants use canola, peanut, and/or soybean oil in their deep-fat fryers. These industrial oils and oil blends have a high smoke point and are shelf-stable, which guarantees an economical way to churn out french fries, onion rings, and chicken wings. The trouble is that these oils have a significant price tag when it comes to your health.

The processing required to get these oils clear, clean-smelling, shelf-stable, and free of sediment requires solvents (like hexane, a known neurotoxin), heat treatment (which causes oxidation and increases free radicals), deodorizers, and even bleaching. Also, consider that these oils are typically created from genetically modified crops. Finally, many of these oils contain a high percentage of Omega-6 fats, which are not bad in certain quantities, but are overabundant in the modern diet and can lead to health complications and inflammation.

A simple rule of thumb when choosing oils is to avoid any refined oils (like vegetable, corn, peanut, soy, or canola). You can read more about this in our Guide to Healthy Cooking Fats & Oils.


The Secret to Crispy Grill Fries

Another thing most people don’t realize is that to make french fries crispy, they’re fried twice: once at a low oil temp (a step called “oil-blanching”), and once again at a high oil temp. Fries that haven’t been oil-blanched tend to be limp, heavy, and soggy with oil. Microwaving these grill fries with a bit of oil achieves a similar effect of a delightfully crispy exterior. And as an added benefit, it further infuses the seasonings into the potatoes. It also makes it easier to hold the potatoes until you’re ready to grill them, without worry of them oxidizing and turning brown. Just follow the instructions and you’re good to go!

Wait, Are Potatoes Allowed?

Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in the diet world, but lately, the tides are turning for this highly nutritious tuber. In fact, JJ Virgin calls potatoes “Nature’s Diet Pill,” pointing to the fact that one potato has more potassium than a banana, and that the resistant type of starch they contain is a champion of good gut health.

For health experts like Virgin and Dr. Oz, the problem with potatoes isn’t the potatoes themselves, but all the junk we add to them, and the processes we put them through. Deep-fat frying, as we already learned, takes all the good out of these healthy tubers and turns them into something harmful. Hence, the need for healthier alternatives like this recipe!

As to whether potatoes are okay for you to eat, the answer to that question, as always, depends on your current dietary needs and requirements. White potatoes have recently become Whole30 approved, and are now considered Paleo by many experts. They are, however, in the nightshade family, so they should be avoided by anyone who is sensitive to nightshades or following a strict AIP diet.

Here’s Some Info About the Thyroid-friendly Nutrients in This Recipe:

5 from 1 vote

Crispy Grill Fries

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 medium russet potatoesscrubbed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprikaor sub. regular paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat grill to medium flame. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into 4 wedges so you end up with 8 wedges per potato.

  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl or baking dish, combine remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Add potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring halfway through. Microwave cooking times may vary. You want the potatoes to be steaming hot, but still firm.

  3. Use tongs to place potato wedges on pre-heated grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes. Use a brush to occasionally baste the potatoes with any remaining oil in the microwave-safe dish. Flip grill fries occasionally until crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Nutritional Info Print
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Grill Fries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 592mg25%
Potassium 888mg25%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 31IU1%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.