- An air fryer can make crispier french fries than an oven, and in half the time.
- Aim for fries that are uniform in size, coated in just enough oil, and spread out in a single layer.
- The air fryer can also crisp up frozen french fries, and chefs advise seasoning them after cooking.
It’s a common misconception that you need a
to achieve perfectly crispy, golden french fries. Thanks to the constant circulation of super-hot air, an air fryer can produce fries that rival your favorite restaurant’s. According to Jose Mendoza, head chef of the Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga Resort Casino, there plenty of perks that come with air frying your fries.
- Quicker than the oven: The air fryer doesn’t require reheating, and the fries only take 20 minutes to cook, which is about half the time they’d take in the oven.
- Super crispy results: Hot air is blasting the potatoes from all sides in the air fryer, which can make them crispier than when they’re baked on a sheet pan in the oven.
- Less oil: Air fryers rely on the circulation of hot air rather than hot oil to produce crispy fries — meaning you can use way less fat to get just as much crunch factor.
- Cook more evenly: Conventional ovens have hotter and cooler spots throughout, which can cause the fries to cook unevenly — but since air fryers are much smaller, you’re more likely to get consistent results.
How to cook frozen french fries in an air fryer
You can also cook frozen french fries in the air fryer for even crispier results than you’d get in the oven.
Manalang advises lightly spraying them with oil, then spreading them out in a single layer and air frying at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes total, tossing or flipping at the halfway point.
If you want to kick the flavor up a notch, Mendoza suggests tossing your frozen fries in a seasoning blend — like garlic parmesan or spicy cajun. Be sure to do this after cooking them so the spices stick.
Tips for the best air fryer french fries
- After washing and soaking the potatoes, you can place them in the microwave for one to two minutes to soften them so they’re easier to cut into fries, says Mendoza.
- While ketchup, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and malt vinegar are more popular dipping sauces for french fries, experts recommend trying ranch, sriracha ketchup, spicy mayo, blue cheese, hummus, french onion dip, or sweet chili sauce. For an indulgent gourmet twist, add a drizzle of truffle oil after the fries are done cooking.
- Got leftovers? Mendoza recommends reheating by popping them in the toaster oven (or conventional oven) on a layer of foil coated with cooking spray, closing the sides of the foil to form a tent without sealing it, and then baking them for seven to nine minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the texture of fries can change after they’re refrigerated, Manalang suggests using leftovers in omelets and frittatas.
Experts agree the air fryer is one of the best cooking methods you can use to make ultra-crispy homemade french fries. Opt for russet, Yukon gold, or sweet potatoes for best results, and choose an oil with a high smoke point. While peeling the potatoes is optional, don’t skip washing and soaking them to help eliminate some of the extra starch. By cutting fries the same size and avoiding overcrowding the air fryer basket, you’ll ensure they all cook consistently and attain that sought-after crunchy exterior.