I have tried for years to make crispy French fries at home. I made some good fries over the years, but nothing got quite as crispy as I hoped. When we bought our air fryer, crispy French fries were one of the first things I tried to make. And y’all, I think I found the answer to my years-long quandary: Air Fryer French Fries.
I’ve tried so many times to make homemade French fries that met my standards. I hate deep frying things, so I really didn’t want to resort to that. Baked French fries were only okay. They were crispy-ish right out of the oven, but lost it after a minute or two. And they reheated terribly as leftovers.
I won’t lie: I liked our air fryer a lot when we first got it, but I started really loving it once I figured out how to make crispy Air Fryer French Fries. Absolute game changer. French fries made in the air fryer are the best of all things I love about fries: crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside after cooking.
So why does an air fryer work so well for making crispy French fries at home? Well, air fryers cook using convection, in which fans circulate hot air all around the inside of the oven. This is compared to a regular oven that cooks via conduction: hot air heats the outside of the food, and the inside is cooked when the hot air is conducted through it. In this case, the convection allows the outside of the food to cook faster and crisp up, while keeping the inside soft and fluffy, but fully cooked. (You can read more about convection vs conduction cooking here.)
What kind of potato should you use for Air Fryer French Fries?
Russets are the best option for homemade French fries. They’re high in starch (but not the highest), low in moisture, structurally hold up to the cooking process, and they’re large enough to easily cut into your desired fry shape. You could also use Yukon Gold potatoes, but avoid waxy potatoes, like red ones, since they have lower starch content and higher moisture content. Those are best for boiling and roasting.
How to Make Air Fryer French Fries
To make them, you will need:
- Russet potatoes
- Avocado or olive oil
- Starch (corn or arrowroot)
- Seasonings or spices of choice
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs to garnish (optional; rosemary is really nice)
First, prepare the potatoes. Wash your potatoes, and roughly peel them if desired. Then slice them into your desired size. I slice mine between 1/4″ – 1/2″. Whatever size you choose, try to keep them all uniform so they cook and crisp evenly.
Soak the potatoes. Once they’re all sliced, fill a medium-sized bowl with cool water. Let the sliced potatoes soak in the water for 15 minutes. This will remove excess starch and moisture, prevent the potatoes from sticking to one another, and help the potatoes cook evenly. (More info on this soaking process here.) After soaking, drain the water off and dry the sliced potatoes.
Season the potatoes. Add the sliced potatoes to a new bowl. Drizzle with your desired oil (I always use avocado oil for its high smoke point) and season as you’d like. I’m a big fan of this truffle & parmesan seasoning from Costco. Lastly, sprinkle a little starch over your potatoes; corn or arrowroot starch will work fine.
But wait, didn’t we just wash all the starch off the potatoes? Yes, but adding just a tiny bit back will help the outsides stay crispy, while keeping the inside soft. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Air fry the potatoes. Arrange the potato slices on the wire tray or basket, making sure they’re not touching. You want to give them space for the air to circulate! You may not fit all the slices on the tray at once; that’s okay, two batches is fine. Then air fry at 380ºF for 10 minutes. Remove the basket and give the fries a little shake, and air fry a second time for 7-10 minutes, depending on how thick they are and how crispy you want them.
Serve while warm. When they’re done air frying, remove the fries and transfer them to a bowl. Season with salt and chopped herbs (if you’d like) and toss to coat. Put the fries on a plate or a serving bowl, add your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy.
Did you enjoy this recipe? You might also like:
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Herby Ranch
- Homemade Pesto
- Baked Zucchini Nuggets
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes
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Air Fryer French Fries
- 1-2 Russet potatoes (depending on size)
- 1 tbsp Avocado or olive oil
- 1 tbsp Starch (corn or arrowroot)
- 2 tsp Seasonings or spices of choice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash your potatoes, and roughly peel them if desired. Then slice them into your desired fry size. Try to keep them all uniform so they cook and crisp evenly.
- Fill a medium-sized bowl with cool water. Let the sliced potatoes soak in the water for 15 minutes. After soaking, drain the water off and dry the sliced potatoes.
- Add the sliced potatoes to a new bowl. Drizzle with your desired oil and season as you'd like. Lastly, sprinkle a little starch over your potatoes; corn or arrowroot starch will work fine.
- Arrange the potato slices on the wire tray or basket, making sure they're not touching. Then air fry at 380ºF for 10 minutes. Remove the basket and give the fries a little shake, and air fry a second time for 7-10 minutes, depending on how thick they are and how crispy you want them.
- When they're done air frying, remove the fries and transfer them to a bowl. Season with salt and toss to coat. Put the fries on a plate or a serving bowl, add your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy.
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