Are you ready to make perfect air fryer French fries at home? Today I’ll show you how to get perfectly crispy results every time!
All you need to make crispy, relatively healthy french fries is a potato, a drizzle of olive oil, and your favorite seasonings. You basically prepare them exactly like you would oven-baked french fries, but the air fryer cooks them faster, and with crispier results. It’s a total win-win!
Bonus: Make your own healthy ketchup as a dipping sauce.
Which Air Fryer is Best?
The best air fryer for making crispy french fries is a basket-style air-fryer. After reading lots of Amazon reviews, I landed on buying a NuWave model about 3 years ago. (This model is not currently available, but my Instant Vortex below is similar in both price and function.)
Here’s how the other air fryers I’ve tried compare:
- Instant Vortex. This basket style air fryer is great for making “crispy” french fries. The only con is that most basket-style air fryers like this one smell like hot plastic the first few times you use it. (This was the case with my NuWave model, too.) Luckily, the smell goes away, and I find myself using the basket-style air fryer more than the others I own, especially with the fast reheat button.
- Breville Air Fryer. This is my second-favorite air fryer, mostly because of all the other functions it offers, like dehydrating, proofing, keep warm, bake, etc. It doesn’t get things as crispy compared to the basket-style air fryer, but that’s a benefit when it comes to roasting vegetables, I think. (If you’re looking to avoid a non-stick coating, this oven still has one on the inside walls, but it doesn’t have to touch your food.)
- Cuisinart Air Fryer. This one is slightly more affordable than the Breville Air Fryer, but it tends to run very hot– you might want to adjust the temperature by as much as 50ºF lower than what recipes call for. As a result, it does tend to get food slightly crispier than the Breville does.
When my first air fryer arrived in the mail my initial reaction was, “Wow, this is huge!” It’s roughly the same size as my 8-quart Instant Pot, so it’s not a small appliance that will live on my countertop permanently. (The Instant Pot, on the other hand, has earned its spot because I use it almost every day.)
How to Make Crispy Fries
Step 1. The key to getting ultra-crispy french fries is to soak the cut potatoes in water for 10 minutes, to help remove some of their starch content. This helps the centers get tender, and the outsides get crispy!
The air fryer does an exceptional job of helping the process along, though, so if you don’t have time to soak your sliced potatoes, it’s not a deal-breaker when you use the air fryer. They really do get crispy regardless!
I tested them both ways, just to be sure. (On busy weeknights, I always skip the soaking process.)
Step 2. If you soaked the fries, be sure to dry them well, then toss with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite seasonings. I use garlic powder and salt to keep things easy.
Step 3. Arrange the seasoned potato slices in a single layer in the air fryer. Don’t try to make more fit, or they will end up soggy! I usually have to cook these in two batches, but you can throw them all in together at the end to make sure all of the fries are piping hot when you serve them.
What Makes Them Healthy?
Air fryer fries are made with significantly less oil than the deep-fried version, so they are lower in fat and calories when compared to the traditional variety. In theory, you can even make them with no oil at all, but I think using a little oil helps with texture and mouthfeel
If you think oven-roasted potatoes are healthy, these are the same thing– just crispier! In fact, you should try my crispy air fryer potatoes if you haven’t. They are addictive! You can also make baked potatoes in the air fryer, and baked sweet potatoes.
Can You Use Sweet Potatoes?
If you would rather use sweet potatoes for fries, be sure to check out my Air Fryer Sweet Potato French Fries tutorial. They require a slightly different cooking method to become crispy.
Air Fryer French Fries
- 1 pound Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes , scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the air fryer to 375ºF, then slice the potatoes into french fry shapes, about 1/4-inch thick. Place the raw potato slices in a bowl of warm water and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, pat dry, and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil, then season with the salt and garlic powder. Toss well to coat the potatoes.
- Arrange the seasoned potato slices on the bottom of your air fryer basket, in a single layer, if possible. (I have to do this in 2 batches with my basket-style air fryer.) The more separated the potatoes, the crispier they will be.
- Cook the fries at 375ºF for 10 minutes, then shake the basket to help them cook evenly. Return the basket to the air fryer to cook for 5 more minutes, or until the fries are golden and crisp.
- Serve warm right away, as the fries will get softer as they cool. If you ever need to reheat the fries, most air fryers have a 4-minute "reheat" button that will help them crisp up again!
More Air Fryer Recipes
Need more ideas? Try one of these recipes below!
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts (the best way to cook it!)
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
If you try these Air Fryer French Fries, please leave a comment below and let me know how you like them! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: Have you used an air fryer before? Let me know if you have any recipe requests.
Questions and Reviews
Do you have a recipie for salt water fish like red snapper, red drum or speckled trout.
I use leftover fries in the mornings sometimes to make a hash with! We own the tfal. It has an additional snack plate where we can throw in things like chicken or fish. My husband likes to make dry ribs with it a lot. It’s also nice for the summertime because I can throw stuff in it and let it work on our back deck!
Iwould Love a ginger beef recipe. Similar to what you find in Chinese takeout. It’s deep fried usually and covered in a sticky gingery syrupy sauce. But I bet you could use cauliflower instead. And then figure out some kind of sauce that is similar . Gingerbeef is my favourite thing ever
The air fryer absolutely makes the friend fries more cripsy. Back to the year that I worked part-time for a Texas Chicken restaurant, they also use the bigger fryer to make the fries, so that’s the way it works 😉
– Natalie Ellis
Bought the NuWave fryer last week per your recommendation. I finally had the opportunity to try the fries tonight. You’re right — so creamy and tasty, only it took more like 35 minutes to get the brown, crispy texture we like. I did use Yukon gold. My next try will be with the sweet potatoes, then maybe chicken. I hope you keep posting recipes that work with the NuWave Fryer
Yum! I just got an air fryer, so I am excited to try out this recipe!
How can you give this recipe 5 starts when you haven’t even tried it?
Muchas gracias por la receta me salió perfecta.
Thank you so much for the recipe. It came out perfect!!
Has anyone used Russet potatoes? I have quite a few at home and would like to use them rather than purchase Yukon.
Yes and they worked just fine and tasted perfectly. I also added some season all seasoning salt which made it more flavorful!
Hi! I am wondering what your thoughts are on the nonstick coating on the base of the airfryer where the basket sits. I had an XL Power Airfryer and I just wasn’t comfortable with the nonstick coating, so I am considering a glass airfryer by Big Boss or a ceramic coated model by Louise Sturhling. I’m inquiring because I read your response to a comment on your egg it’s recipe where someone inquired about Teflon in the Instant Pot 🙂 Thanks!!
I’m not a fan of this particular air fryer for that reason. I thought it smelled really bad while it was cooking, so I’m looking into some stainless steel options next!
Is it safe to assume the instructions you gave for french fries will be usable for my Emeril 360 oven?
Is french fries healthy using aircor fryer?
I’m curious – do you soak the sweet potatoes too?
I just tried it with the fryer you recomended. They taste like the fries we made as a kid in our deep well on our stove. Amazing. Love love love it Thanks Megan once again!
I have the nuwave oven and would like to have fries tonight. Can frozen fries be cooked in this oven?
It is an excellent recipe just what I was looking for to enjoy some good fries
Looking forward to more recipes! Potatoe soak time excellent suggestion.
you have the vent on the frier open or closed when you are cooking fries and other ghings
My air fryer doesn’t have a vent that I’m aware of.
Really enjoyed the French fries and the delicious special sauce
Can I use air fryer to cook fried chicken?
What left over fries???
I used russet potatoes and they came out just as well. However, it took several minutes longer than 15 mins to get them crispy. Great trick with the soaking, though!
Yes you can do full meals I’m not exactly sure yet but I’ve seen some recipes on line
There is a screen to hold other items
First time to this blog. Looks like it’s sensible with understandable instructions. I had my air fryer about two months before I even opened it. Another month after opening it before I used it. It was very intimidating but it turned out delicious. To justify the cost and the space I should use it a few times a week. Thanks for the potato recipe. I didn’t soak them but I will next time
I make something very similar and freeze it. The trick is to reheat it in the oven and not the microwave (which makes it weird and soggy).
Megan, have you had the chance to try the air fryer adapter for the instantly pot? Would love your input!
It was so funny to see this post because I was just thinking I have never seen a air fryer recipe on your blogs.
My hubby tried this recipe, used our Black & Decker 3 in 1 oven, and the prepped the fries according to the recipe. He stucked them in the mini oven (air fryer option) for 10 minutes and they were not cooked. It took another 30 minutes for it to be cooked 🙁 we ate dinner extra late. Aren’t all air fryers the same? We’re so disappointed and wonder if there’s something wrong with our new appliance.
Do you know what the wattage is on your Black & Decker? The two basket-style ones I own are 1800 watts, but air fryers definitely vary between brands. The Cuisinart one, for example, cooks food much hotter than any other air fryer I’ve tried. Maybe the Black & Decker needs a hotter temperature next time? Let me know if you give it another shot!
Thanks for your reply Megan. Honestly I don’t know the watts of mine but I’ll ask my husband. On a similar note, I see you got two different air fryers actually. The one in the video is different from the one in the picture. One is a basket and the other one is not. Is this correct?
Yes, I actually own 4-5 different air fryers so I can test my recipes as accurately as possible, and see how they compare! The oven-style air fryers do not get things as crispy as the basket-style air fryers I’ve tried, and each model is a little different with its own quirks, so it definitely takes some experimenting to see how each one will handle recipes.
I was impressed with this French fries. I didn’t have time to do the soaking, but they were crispy! It took me around 18 minutes because I like then really crunchy. Thanks Megan for another great recipe
I used a French fry cutter and cooked 10 mintutes – perfection!
Just now got around to doing french fries in my air fryer after having it a few months. Why oh why did I wait so long? Hubby & I ate the whole recipe! We couldn’t stop! Thank you for advice on soaking and advice on Cuisinart (what I have). You are awesome!
These turned out perfectly!!!! Better than restaurant. Soo good. My 10 month old baby had her first “French fry” from this recipe (minus salt for her)!
These turned out great. Crispy, less greasy, delicious. Thank you for another amazing recipe!
Oh, I forgot to mention, small batches of presoaked-dried Yukon gold for about 13 mins turned out perfectly for us. (Ninja air fryer)
Thank you for the air fryer chip recipe for vortex air fryer . Which setting do I use air fryer or roast ?
This is a very easy recipe. My kids love air fryer French fries! Megan’s ideas are awesome.