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Forget frozen French fries or the greasy deep-fried ones. You can have perfectly fluffy, golden brown, and crispy Air Fryer French Fries faster than it takes to wait in the fast-food drive-thru line. It’s quick and easy to enjoy this all-time favorite side dish in a healthy way!
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Crispy Air Fryer French Fries
Whether my grandma was driving me to get a kids meal or my mom was opening up a bag of crinkle cut ones, fries were pretty much a staple of my childhood. However, nowadays the greasy ones from a restaurant or fast food place just don’t cut it for me.
I love potatoes, but prefer to avoid that heavy feeling after eating something deep fried in lots of oil. But now I have an option to enjoy perfectly crispy, salty, and tasty French fries with a nice, soft, and fluffy middle.
The solution is to use my favorite appliance, the air fryer! And yes, these are homemade French fries from scratch. But it literally only takes four ingredients – potatoes, oil salt, and pepper – and a few minutes of prep time to enjoy hot fries ready for dipping in ketchup and pairing with your favorite meals!
Why Air Fry French Fries?
The air fryer is the fastest and easiest way to enjoy some of your traditionally-fried favorites, from Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets to Air Fryer Donuts, in a healthier way without all the grease and work and mess you need to deep fry them. Plus, if you are gluten free like me, you can make them with gluten free ingredients and you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination from a restaurant.
An air fryer is essentially a high-powered countertop convection oven. The combination of heat and airflow produces food that is just as crispy as frying but with a minimal amount of oil. You can use it for everything from roasting Air Fryer Cauliflower to making nice and crunchy Chicken Taquitos.
What Air Fryer Do I Recommend?
I use the Cosori XL 5.8 Qt air fryer. It has a nice, large and deep basket. While cooking multiple batches does make for crispier fries, in a pinch you can put an entire pound of fries in here and they still cook pretty well. This has a regular spot on my countertop because I use it several times a week.
As long as you have potatoes, you probably have everything you need in your pantry.
- Russet potatoes. These are the best type of potato for that perfect french fry texture, though any starchty potato will work.
- Olive oil. You can also use a neutral oil like avocado oil.
- Salt and pepper. To season those fries.
How to Cook French Fries in an Air Fryer
You are just a few steps away from perfectly crispy and golden French fries.
Prepare the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes, then peel if you prefer. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into ¼ in thick slices, then cut into ¼-inch thick sticks. Place the fries in a large bowl of cold water and soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels or an old kitchen towel.
Season the fries. Preheat the air fryer to 380°F. Drizzle the fries with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat them evenly.
Cook in batches. Place the fries in the air fryer basket in a single layer. You’ll cook about half or a third of the fries at a time. Cook at 380°F for 7 minutes, then toss and cook for another 7-9 minutes to your desired crispiness. Transfer the fries to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in a 200°F oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining batches.
Season and serve. Season with a little more salt and pepper, if needed, then enjoy while they are hot!
The most important question to answer after you’ve made air fryer fries is what to dip them in. Here are some of my favorites:
Make it a Meal
They go great along with the kids’ favorite dinners, like these.
- Every kid loves a plate of chicken fingers and fries. Try these Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Tenders for a healthier option than the frozen ones.
- Sloppy joes make a quick weeknight meal. Make a pan of Homemade Sloppy Joes, and if you are out of gluten free buns, you can always spoon the saucy meat mixture right on top of your fries.
- Gotta have burgers and fries. Basic Air Fryer Hamburgers are perfect. A few simple ingredients make these Onion Cheeseburgers practically gourmet.
Tips for Success
It really doesn’t get easier, but for perfect Air Fryer Fries, remember these few things,
Soak the fries. Yes, you can skip this step if you are short on time. But the water interacts with the starches in the potatoes, so soaking the potatoes and drying them well helps ensure that crisp outside with a soft, fluffy inside. One option to save time is to toss them in a bowl of cold water the night before or in the morning and keep them in the refrigerator. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly.
Make them thicker or thinner. Sure, if you prefer steak fries or wedges, you can make them bigger. Ir you can use a mandoline to cut shoestrings, or even waffle fries if you have an attachment for that. You’ll just have to adjust the cooking time – longer for thicker fries, shorter for smaller or thinner ones.
Cook in a single, even layer. Spreading them out in a single layer, and, therefore, working in batches, ensures every spot gets nice and crisp. Your air fryer might be large enough to put them all in at once, but you’ll want to toss them more frequently and maybe even cook them a bit longer.
Variations for Air Fryer French Fries
From the shape and size to seasonings and toppings, it’s so easy to take this air fryer french fry recipe and customize it exactly as you like.
- Try a crinkle cutter. As I mentioned above, you can make them thinner or thicker. But you can also make crinkle cut fries, which for some reason are just more fun.
- Sprinkle on some seasonings. Instead of or along with the salt and pepper, you can use seasoned salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, blackening spice, chili powder and cumin, or anything you like to make fries that pair perfectly with your meal.
- Add some toppings. Take your air fryer fries to the next level when you drizzle on truffle oil and parmesan cheese to make Truffle Fries, or try gravy and cheese curds for poutine.
- Make them loaded. Whether you spoon on some of the World’s Best Chili and cheddar cheese or try Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries, you are in for some serious comfort food.
How to Store and Reheat French Fries
If you don’t finish all the fries or make a double batch and have extra, you can wrap them tightly in foil or place them in an airtight container. Then refrigerate for up to 2 or 3 days.
To make sure they get crispy again, reheat them in the oven or air fryer. The microwave will just make them soggy. Preheat the oven or air fryer to 400°F. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and reheat in the oven for about 5 minutes. Or warm them up in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes, giving them a shake after about two minutes.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Gluten Free Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Caprese Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Air Fryer French Fries
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly and peel, if desired. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into ¼ in thick slices, then cut into ¼-inch thick sticks.
- Place the fries in a bowl of cold water and soak for 30-60 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels or an old kitchen towel.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F. You can also preheat your oven to 200°F at this time so you can keep the fries warm if you are cooking multiple batches.
- Drizzle the fries with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and place the fries in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You will have to work in batches.
- Cook at 380°F for 7 minutes. Then flip the fries around and cook for another 7-9 minutes to achieve desired crispiness. Transfer the fries to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in the warm oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining batches.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.