There’s nothing quite like a delicious batch of hot, golden, crispy French fries. But what if you want to make fries at home? That’s where things get complicated.
Usually you can go one of two routes:
- Baked fries. You’ve no doubt laid out a layer of frozen fries on a cookie sheet and baked them in the oven, only to discover the fries cooked unevenly and lacked that satisfying crispness found in restaurant-style fries.
- Fried in oil. Or maybe you’ve gotten adventurous and placed fresh or frozen fries in oil, but were disappointed when the fries came out too soggy and full of oil, or were overly crisp.
The reality is, restaurant-quality fries are tough to come by. But they’re don’t have to be with an air fryer.
Make crisp, delicious fries with an air fryer
If you own an air fryer, you know how amazing these devices are for preparing food quickly. If you’re new to the air fryer game, what are you waiting for? Get one now! Seriously, you won’t regret it. We love ours so much we recently purchased a second (larger) air fryer so we can prepare whole meals with sides at once.
One of the first things we cooked in our air fryer was frozen French fries. This is something an air fryer excels at. The fries come out hot, golden, and crispy—just the way you want. While that’s satisfying, I don’t want to always have to buy frozen fries. For starters, they’re not always affordable, and they’re not terribly healthy.
That got me to thinking: could I make homemade French fries in the air fryer? The short answer? Yes!
Homemade air fryer French fries
- 4-6 medium potatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
To get started, wash and peel your potatoes. You can try different potato varieties, but the standard russet potato works well and you can usually buy large bags for cheap at the grocery store.
Cut the potato in half lengthwise. Then cut each half in half again lengthwise (for really thick potatoes you may need to make two cuts).
Lay the half potato flat on the cutting surface and make 2-4 lengthwise slices to create fries. Each fry should be about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries.
Place your cut fries into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper, and mix well. Pour the fries into your air fryer’s basket.
Each air fryer has a different capacity and cooking times, so be sure to consult your air fryer’s guide to avoid overcooking and overcrowding. You may have to cook in batches. My larger air fryer (6 quarts) can handle about 6 medium potatoes worth of fries, while my smaller air fryer does well with about 4.
The exact cooking time may depend on your air fryer model, but generally speaking 20 minutes at 400 degrees should do the trick. I usually set my air fryer for 23 minutes to accommodate for preheating, but if your air fryer has already been preheated, 20 minutes is perfect.
The secret to crispy homemade fries
Now for the most important part: tossing the fries. Every 5 minutes, pull out the air fryer basket and shake the fries. This keeps them from clumping together and cooking unevenly. Don’t skip this step! This is what makes all the difference and gives you crispy fries.
When the fries are fully cooked, transfer from the basket to a plate and sprinkle on some more salt.
That’s it! From start to finish, it takes about 30 minutes and you end up with hot, golden, crispy fries.
Want to level up your fries? Add some shredded cheese and microwave until the cheese melts. Yum!
We seriously make these homemade fries at least once a week. My kids love them and I would rather feed them these homemade fries than frozen fries or oil-fried fries.
And just because you’re making fries doesn’t lock you down to other unhealthy food pairings. Fries work well with roast and/or vegetables.
If you’re a fry lover and want to bring that goodness into your life more frequently without all the extra unhealthy side effects, give these homemade air fryer fries a try.