Making homemade French fries is a breeze when you use your air fryer. Plus, you don’t need to use so much oil. Your family will love them.
These homemade air fryer French fries are reason enough to buy an air fryer (like this one), although we know you’re going to love all our air fryer appetizers. You end up with fries that are crispy, golden brown on the outside, and soft on the inside, in no time at all. There are three key steps to making crispy French fries in the air fryer.
Soak the Potatoes
Soaking the potatoes in a bowl of cold water draws out the extra starch from the potato, which means the fry is able to get crispier without burning. We tested not soaking them and soaking them for various lengths of time, and found 40 minutes is the minimum amount of time needed. If you don’t have the time to soak them, the air fryer method will still result in crispier fries than oven baking them, but soaking them takes them to the next level. (By the way, check out our scoop for making the best Oven Baked French Fries.)
Lower Heat, then Increase it
We found that when you cook the whole batch of french fries at a higher temperature, the outside burns and the inside doesn’t quite get soft enough. When we cook the potatoes at a lower temperature, and then crisp them at a higher temperature, the inside is soft and the outside is crispy – just how we want it.
Don’t Crowd the Air Fryer
This rule also applies to baking things in the oven. If you want crispy food, you can’t have food touching in the air fryer as it relies on the air circulating around the food. If the air can’t fully circulate, the desired crispiness won’t happen. It will depend a little on the size of your air fryer and the size of your potato, but one medium potato is a full batch of french fries in the air fryer. You want to make sure that none of the fries are touching each other in the basket.
Then all that’s left is to enjoy them with your family. Burger night will never be the same.
- 1 medium russet potato
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- Wash and scrub potato clean. Peel if desired. Cut potato in half lengthwise and then cut each half in half again, so that you end up with 4 strips of potato, about 1 /4 – 1 /2 inch thick. Then cut the strips into fry shapes. If your potato is longer, you may want to cut it down the middle crosswise and then cut lengthwise. Place cut potato strips in a bowl of cool water. Soak for at least 40 minutes.
- Carefully lift the potatoes out of the bowl, so that you don’t disturb the starch that has settled at the bottom of the bowl. Pat dry with a paper towel and toss potatoes with olive oil until coated.
- Spread out fries in the air fryer basket and cook at 370°F for 10 minutes. Shake basket and increase temperature to 400°F for another 10 minutes. If you want them a little darker, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes at 400°F. Season with salt to taste.
This post originally appeared in December 2018 and was revised and republished in June 2020.