Homemade Air Fryer French Fries are easy to make extra crispy with this simple recipe! Fresh russet potatoes are cut into fries, tossed in a little oil and salt, and then quickly air-fried to golden brown perfection. Serve this quick side dish with your favorite dipping sauces for a healthier snack or dinner recipe!
The number one reason I purchased an Air Fryer was to make ultra crispy French fries. (And Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, of course!)
I was tired of either having to deep-fry them in a bunch of unhealthy oil or end up with soggy fries after baking in the oven.
So as soon as my 6-quart air fryer arrived, you better believe I was attempting a homemade fries recipe.
But that first batch was nothing like I imagined.
Naively I thought I could just plop 2 pounds of fries into the basket, press cook, and voila!
No, no, no. That simply did not work. I ended up with some fries that were burnt to a crisp and others that were still soggy.
After a few rounds of recipe testing and tweaking I realized there are a few key steps you’ll need to follow to get the crispiest edges and best French fries in your air fryer.
And that’s exactly what you’re going to learn below – how to make the BEST Air Fryer French Fries!!
The 3 simple ingredients you need to make this Air Fryer French Fries recipe include:
- Potatoes. But not just any kind of spud will do. You want to make sure to get russet, or baking potatoes, for the most authentic tasting French fry. While Yukon gold potatoes will work, they’re a waxier variety and won’t crisp up as easily as russet potatoes do.
- Oil. You won’t need much, about 1 tablespoon per pound of potatoes, but you do need a little bit. Avocado oil is best since it has a higher smoke point and is mildly flavored, but olive oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil are other options.
- Salt. A little bit goes a long way. I’d suggest starting with just ½-teaspoon per pound of potatoes then add more after cooking, if needed.
How to Make Air Fried French Fries
The basic steps for making Air Fryer French Fires are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.
Cutting the Potatoes
Much like when making other French fry recipes, cutting the potatoes into the correct shape is a key component of making the perfect fry.
You also want to try and cut all of your fries the same size. If you cut them in different sizes some will get super crispy, and even burnt, while others will not cook up fully.
The perfect size to cut fries:
- 4-6 inches in length (look for potatoes about this size when selecting them at the store)
- ½-inch wide
- ¼-½-inch thick
How to Cut Potatoes into Fries
Scrub the spuds clean. Potatoes can be REALLY dirty, so make sure you clean ’em up since you’ll be eating the skin.
Make slices about ½-inch apart in one direction.
Rotate the potato and finish cutting potatoes into long, thin strips about ¼-½ inch in width.
Soak the Potatoes
Now that the potatoes are cut, you might have the urge to skip right to cooking them in the Air Fryer.
But RESIST THE URGE. This next step is KEY to getting those crispy edges.
Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and fill it up with cold water. Let them soak for at least 20-30 minutes.
Doing this helps to remove the starchy outer coating on the fries. Without the extra starch they’ll crisp up easily in the fryer.
Drain the water from the fries and dry them thoroughly with a dish towel. If any water is left on the fries they will come out soggy instead of crispy.
Oil and Seasonings
Add fries to a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Add just enough salt, but not too much. About ½-teaspoon per pound of fries is enough to start with. You can always add more later.
Toss fries until completely coated in the oil and salt.
The air fryer is sort of like the oven in that it needs a little bit of time to heat up. At a minimum, you always want to heat your air fryer for at least 3 minutes before adding in your food for the best results.
A key component to getting crispy air fryer French fries is to place them in a single layer with none of the fries touching. Any area where the fries touch will not crisp up fully.
If you’re using a 6-quart air fryer you’ll need to cook the fries in 2 batches in order to have enough room to do this.
Cook the fries at 375°F for 12 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
Shake the basket and air fry for an additional 1-2 minutes to create extra crispy fries.
Dipping Sauces for Fries
You probably already know how to serve and eat fries – pick up with your hand and shove in your mouth.
Pair with your favorite dipping sauces including:
- Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard
- Sriracha Mayo
- Remoulade Sauce
- Tartar Sauce
- Secret Sauce
- Chick-fil-a Sauce
- Cocktail Sauce
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Cut and soak the fries for up to 24 hours in advance.
- To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.
- To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Return to a 350°F air fryer until heated through.
If the air is not hot enough, or if you overcrowd the basket, your food will not come out crispy. Preheat the air fryer for at least 3 minutes, and work in batches if you need to.
Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven until ready to eat.
Yes, they are! Because you use much less oil, air fried fries have less fat making them healthier than traditional fries.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Make them uniform. Cut the fries a similar size to ensure even cooking and crispiness.
- Give ’em a bath. Soak fries in cool water for at least 20-30 minutes to remove the excess starch.
- Don’t overdo it. Toss with just enough oil and salt to coat the fries. Too much oil and they will get soggy.
- Avoid overcrowding. Place the fries in a single layer, with little to no touching, so the air can reach all sides.
- Toss halfway. Flipping the fries over will allow the fries to crisp up fully.
- Keep them hot. When working in batches, place the cooked fries in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.
Easy Air Fryer Recipes
Did you just get an air fryer, too? Here are a few more super quick and easy beginner recipes you can try out:
Air Fryer French Fries Recipe
Homemade Air Fryer French Fries are easy to make extra crispy with this simple recipe! Serve with your favorite dipping sauces for a healthier snack or side dish.
- 1 lb. russet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive
- ½ – ¾ tsp. salt to taste
Heat air fryer to 375°F for at least 3 minutes.
Cut potatoes into long strips (4-6 inches in length) that are ½” wide by ¼” thick.
Place cut fries in a large bowl of cool water and let soak for 20-30 minutes. This step helps to remove the starchy outer coating so they crisp up perfectly.
Drain the cut potatoes and thoroughly dry off with a dish towel.
Add fries to a large bowl. Drizzle oil and sprinkle in salt. Toss fries until completely coated.
Place fries into the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they do not touch on any of the sides. If using a 6-quart model, you will need to cook the fries in 2 batches in order to do this.
Cook fries for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
For extra crispy or larger fries: Shake the basket and return the fries to the fryer for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- If you’re cooking fries in batches, heat your oven to 250°F. Add the first batch of fries to a baking sheet and pop them in the oven to keep them warm while the second batch is cooking.
- To Store: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.
- To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.