How to Make the Best Air Fryer French Fries
With minimal oil and way less prep time and mess than traditional fries, these are the crispiest, most craveable homemade air fryer french fries
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French fries are my weakness. If I had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be french fries, hands down. When there are a few fries left on my son’s plate at a restaurant, my family can count on me to finish them. And while those salty, crispy little sticks of potato are my idea of perfection, I know they’re not the healthiest option to munch on. That’s when my air fryer french fries recipe comes to the rescue.
Of all my small kitchen appliances, my air fryer has got to be my favorite gadget of all time, outranking my Instant pot and slow cooker. As a Southern gal, I’m no stranger to fried things, so a tool that makes “fried” things healthier? I’m sold. Pair that with my favorite side dish of all time, french fries, and I’m in heaven.
I had always heard that cooking frozen french fries in an air fryer was a game changer. But what about making from-scratch air fryer fries? Were crispy homemade air fryer fries possible? When making french fries the old-fashioned way, I’d always used the twice-cook method of deep-frying potatoes at a lower temperature, removing them, and then deep-frying them again at a higher temperature. Sure, the result was ultra-crispy french fries with soft, pillowy interiors. But was it possible to have the same result from french fries in an air fryer?
Spoiler alert…it is! And the result is amazing. Try these crispy air fryer french fries and discover that healthy-ish, crispy french fries are attainable. Fair warning though: after one taste, they may become your weakness too.
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Air fryer french fries Q & A
Got questions? I’ve got answers to help you make the best homemade air fryer fries!
What are the advantages of air frying french fries?
Air frying french fries is a healthier option than deep frying. Less oil is needed to make the fries super crispy, meaning the total fat of air fryer fries is reduced. I also love that the total time required to make french fries in an air fryer is much less than if I were deep frying them. That’s a win in my book!
How to make crispy fries in an air fryer?
I have several tips for getting crispy fries in the air fryer. First, be sure to cut the russet potatoes (or Yukon gold potatoes if you prefer) into even, 1/4-inch-thick sticks. Second, soak the potatoes in cold water to remove the excess starch. Third, cook the potatoes in batches, in a single layer so the hot air has an opportunity to circulate around the cut fries to promote the crispiest, most golden brown result.
What oil do you use to air fry french fries?
I like to use olive oil for my air fryer french fries recipe, but you can also use vegetable oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil if you prefer.
What is the best temperature to air fry french fries?
I’ve found that 375°F is the perfect temperature for the best air fryer french fries.
How long to cook fries in the air fryer?
Just 15 to 17 minutes cook time is all you need for french fries in the air fryer.
How to reheat french fries in an air fryer
To reheat air fryer fries, add them to the air fryer basket after the air fryer has preheated to 375°F. (They don't have to be in a single layer.) After 1 to 2 minutes, they’ll be crispy and ready to munch on with your favorite dipping sauces.
How to season air fryer french fries
I love simple seasonings for my homemade air fryer fries. Garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper are all it takes to make these super tasty. Feel free to change it up, though, if you like. Smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and onion powder are all great seasonings options too.
What are your favorite dipping sauces to serve with air fryer french fries?
I’m a traditional gal, so I like to serve my air fryer fries with ketchup. When I’m looking to change it up, garlic aioli, honey mustard, or ranch dressing are all fun alternatives.
How to make air fryer french fries step by step
Now that I’ve answered some questions about homemade air fryer fries, why don’t we make some ourselves?
1. Slice the potatoes
Photo by Ashley Strickland Freeman
Cut russet potatoes into even, 1/4-inch-thick sticks. You can use a mandoline for this step, but I prefer to use a sharp chef’s knife. (A mandoline is great, but I’ve found it’s just another gadget that takes up space in my cabinet, and the prep time for cutting with a chef’s knife is just about the same.)
2. Soak potatoes in water
Photo by Ashley Strickland Freeman
Don’t skip this step! Soak the cut potatoes in a large bowl in cold water to cover for 1 hour. Soaking the cut potatoes in water removes the excess starch, ensuring they’ll cook up to be crispy fries instead of soggy one.
3. Drain and dry
Drain the potatoes and arrange them in a single layer on paper towels or kitchen towels on a sheet pan. Pat the potatoes completely dry with more paper towels or kitchen towels.
Transfer the cut potatoes to a large bowl and toss with the seasonings (garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper) while the air fryer preheats.
5. Air fry in a single layer
Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the air fryer basket. (The basket of my air fryer has a nonstick coating, so there’s no need for extra oil or cooking spray before adding the cut potatoes.) Be sure the potatoes are in a single layer. Overcrowding the air fryer basket will prevent the hot air from circulating which means you’ll end up with soggy fries instead of crispy ones.
I recommend cooking the potatoes in batches for the best results. My air fryer model is wide with lots of surface area. Two batches of air frying is all it takes.
6. Quickly reheat if needed
You may need to reheat the first batch of air fryer french fries once the second batch is done. Instead of heating up the toaster oven (or munching on not-so-hot fries), add the first batch to the just-cooked fries in the air fryer basket. They don’t have to be in a single layer. Let them heat up for 1 minute longer and you’ll have a pile of the crispiest fries.
Get the air fryer french fries recipe
Now that you know how I make my air fryer fries, be sure to snag the recipe and try it yourself. I know these will become your favorite side dish or appetizer to make in the air fryer.
What will you air fry next?
Looking for more air fryer recipes, including main dishes, air fryer veggies, air fryer sweet potato fries, and other side dishes? Be sure to check out these next articles.