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Can You Eat McDonald’s Fries the Next Day?

Can You Eat McDonald’s Fries the Next Day?

We’ve all had some McDonald’s takeout, and it’s not uncommon to end up with some leftover burgers or french fries. 

Some of us toss them, while others keep them for later. But can you actually eat McDonald’s fries the next day? Are these old fries still tasty and edible?

While they typically will be somewhat less tasty and crispy, you can certainly still eat McDonald’s fries the next day. They can be kept in the fridge for 1 to 2 days and then reheated in a microwave or an air fryer. 

If you want to know how to properly store your McDonald’s french fries for later and how to reheat them best, all you have to do is read on!

Are McDonald’s Fries Still Good the Next Day?

Many of us bring McDonald’s food home for lunch or dinner, and there’ll often be some leftovers.

I, for one, tend to order too many fries, and it’s not uncommon that one or two fries boxes remain untouched on the table.

So, what do you do with those leftover McDonald’s fries? Do you force your family to eat them up or simply toss them?

While you can certainly do one or the other (even though example number one isn’t all that appreciated), there is a third alternative: you can eat them later or the next day!

But how will those old french fries taste? Are they still good?

Well, that will depend on your taste buds and your opinion on food in general. I mean, McDonald’s is fast food, and as such, it has its culinary limitations, fresh or a day old!

Fresh McDonald’s fries are totally fine and edible! One-day-old McDonald’s fries can still be decent, but their taste or texture will probably not precisely wow you.

That said, it is possible to make leftover McDonald’s fries reasonably tasty, and if you want to know how to achieve that, you best keep reading.

Can You Reheat McDonald’s French Fries?

a box of reheated leftover mcdonald's french fries

The best way to make your leftover fries tasty again is to reheat them, but you’ll have to do it correctly!

We have tried all possible methods, and to be honest, most will fail to produce decently-tasting french fries! 

Browse the internet, and you’ll find that most people either reheat their french fries in a frying pan or the oven. Don’t do that! 

If you fry your fries in the pan, typically with some oil, you’ll have pretty soggy french fries.

Put them in the oven, and they’ll usually get hard and dry. 

Then, there is the microwave approach. This won’t make your fries dry and hard but can still make them limp and soggy. The result is a little better, but not great!

The one kitchen appliance that has worked wonders for us is the air fryer! 

The air fryer’s moist heat helps reactivate the fries’ oil, making them crispy on the outside and ever so soft on the inside. 

Just follow these steps:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F
  • Put old fries in the basket
  • Air fry for 2 to 3 minutes (4, if you want them extra crispy)
  • Remove, serve, and enjoy your revived french fries!

On really good days, those reheated fries can almost become tastier than fresh ones. Try it out for yourself (and thank me later)! 

Can You Eat McDonald’s Fries Cold?

a box of cold and limp mcdonald's french fries

Okay, so reheating those old fries can really do the trick. What about just eating them cold, though?

If you want my honest opinion, I will tell you that cold leftover french fries are pretty disgusting!

The fact that cold fries generally don’t taste as good as hot ones is just one part of the problem.

After only an hour or so, they’ll already go completely limp and soft, losing their texture and crispiness.

Additionally, old fries also tend to develop an off-turning potato and starch-like taste that reminds of paper. Yuck!

So, what’s the verdict on cold french fries, you ask? They are okay to eat while they still cool down during the meal.

But once a few hours, let alone a day, have passed, cold fries are a big no-no if you ask me.

How Long Can McDonald’s Fries Sit Out?

a portion of mcdonald's fries with a burger on a plate

No matter what type of food we’re discussing, always remember the FDA’s 2-hour ruleDon’t leave food out at room temperature for more than two hoursAnd at 90° F or higher, this time is reduced to one hour. 

After those 2 hours, bacteria can start growing on your fries, and there is a serious risk of food poisoning

Symptoms can range from mild to extremely severe and can include:

  • headaches
  • fever
  • stomach pain
  • stomach and muscle cramps
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite

That box of old fries on the table is not worth risking your health!

Can You Eat a McDonald’s Fries That Have Been Left Outside Overnight?

If you shouldn’t eat fries that have been sitting out for 2 hours, you should certainly keep away from fries that have been left outside overnight!

I wanted to include this section as I see these types of questions
everywhere online.

Younger people especially always wonder if they can still eat that old pizza, hamburger, or box of fries after a night of partying, gaming, or what have you.

The answer is an absolute no! That food is teeming with harmful bacteria and would be extremely risky.

Please don’t touch it! And if you do, just throw it away and buy something fresh.

How Long Can You Keep McDonald’s Fries in the Fridge?

The best way to avoid getting food poisoning is by keeping your leftover McDonald’s fries in the refrigerator until you want to eat them.

But exactly how long do they last in the fridge?

Generally speaking, french fries can be kept refrigerated for about 3 to 5 days before they go off.

However, when it comes to McDonald’s fries, I wouldn’t keep them longer than 1 to 2 days, as they tend to dry out and become pretty much inedible if they stay in the fridge longer than that.

You can keep most of their texture and flavor if you eat them the next day, but only if you store them appropriately!

How Do You Best Store Leftover McDonald’s Fries?

To preserve your leftover french fries in the fridge, make sure to store them in an airtight container.

PRO TIP: Do not, under any circumstances, leave them in their box or put them in a paper bag. That will only dry them out and make them hard and tasteless.

Instead, keep them in a tupperware container or, even better, in a sealable Ziploc bag.

I’ve had the best results with the Ziploc bags, as they ensure a 100% airtight and moisture-free environment for the fries.

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