Mmm, french fries.
Seriously, who doesn’t love them? But, they aren’t exactly healthy for us. I have had an air fryer for about a year and a half now, and the first (and just about only) thing I make in it is homemade fries. Hand cut, seasoned, light on oil, crispy, homemade fries – made in the air fryer!
My air fryer is a Farberware 3.2-quart, like this. I like the size of it, as it’s just my husband and I in our home. If you have more people to cook for in a meal, you may want a larger size. I can cook more fries than we can eat in one batch, so it’s large enough for us!
Unrelated random thought: I think it looks like a spaceship.
So … the first thing you do in order to make these babies is wash the potatoes you are going to use and cut them with the fry cutter (or knife) of your choice. I have a Pampered Chef fry cutter, but it appears that they are no longer making them. I’m really glad I got mine when I did, because I use it all the time. I’m sure there are comparable cutters on the market – feel free to share in the comments if you have one you love!
As you cut the fries, put them in a bowl of filtered water. This part is VERY important, as soaking them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to proceeding is very important – it removes starch, which makes them not stick together and also get crisper than if you don’t soak them first.
When they are done soaking in water, drain the water off in a colander (I love my vintage Mirro aluminum ones, once in awhile you can find one on a yard sale, otherwise EBay is your friend. Or whatever colander you own will work fine.)
At this point, I like to start my air fryer up and get it pre-heating. I cook these at 400 degrees, which is as hot as mine goes. Preheating isn’t a necessary step, but it helps it get ready to go while you aren’t quite ready to go yet, so once you get the food in there it can start cooking it right away. I guess that is probably the actual definition of preheat … but anyway. Not a necessary step in air fryer cooking, but one I like to do!
Let them drain as much as you can, shake them off, towel dry, whatever you can do to get all of the extra moisture out. Then, toss them in a bowl with about 2 teaspoons of canola oil, and a mixture of seasonings of your choice. In the batch I’m showing you here, I used Penzey’s seasoned salt, black pepper, paprika, Penzey’s FoxPoint seasoning, and chives. Toss to coat.
Put the potatoes in the preheated (unless you are a non-preheating rebel) air fryer basket at this point, and set the timer for 25 minutes. This is a loose guideline for total time needed, as it will depend on if you preheated or not, how many potatoes you are making, and likely which brand your air fryer is.
For me, I set it for 25 minutes and just check it every 5 minutes or so, shaking them around in the basket each time I check them.
After the first 5 minutes, pull the basket out of the bottom tray and dump the water that has collected out. I know, there is seasoned goodness in there, I know. But you don’t want that water in there, I promise. Be generous with your seasonings, and it won’t matter. (I suppose you could actually cook them for the first 5 minutes with oil only, drain the liquid off, and then add seasonings – that would prevent the sad dumping of the seasoning. Maybe I will try this next time.)
Anyway, after that first 5 minutes and the dumping of the moisture, you should be good to go to keep checking and shaking them every 5 minutes or so. After 25 minutes (again, give or take), you should have tender, crispy, delicious homemade Air Fryer Fries!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are “healthy,” but they are healthier than the frozen kind you buy at the store, and healthier than cooking in a traditional deep fryer. So, they are healthier fries, anyway – which counts for something!
My husband says they taste “just like fair fries,” which I take as a compliment. We serve them with our homemade ketchup.
For this dinner, we served the fries with steamed broccoli seasoned with Penzey’s Florida Pepper, and pan-fried walleye and white bass that was very lightly breaded and cooked in a bit of butter and lemon olive oil, with Penzey’s FoxPoint seasoning, black pepper, and parsley.
(Yes, you are seeing a pattern here. Penzey’s rocks. They run amazing promotions often, and all of their seasonings are top notch. And, they aren’t paying me to say that. I actually did a Facebook live video of me opening my very first Penzey’s order, if you want to check it out! While you are there, like my page too!)
My husband loves to fish, and we love to cook. There isn’t much that’s better for dinner than fresh, hand-caught fish cooked at home!
Shameless plug for his side business, he makes amazing fishing lures! You can check them out at MarshallsMinnows.com.
Anyway – back to the fries, I have just a couple more things to say.
You can also cut wedges from fresh potatoes and follow this same process, though usually I cook them at 350 degrees for the first 10 minutes or so before turning up to 400 degrees, and they take more like 30 minutes total (again, give or take) to get done.
And, if you are making fries for a crowd, I like to cook them until they are almost done, and then dump them out onto a cookie sheet. Proceed with 2nd, 3rd, etc. batches (I don’t think I’d mess with more than 3 batches, but that’s up to you.) When they are all done and just before serving, you can put them back in the air fryer a batch at a time for a few more minutes – this prevents them from all getting soggy while you wait (and prevents some guests from hovering over the air fryer waiting for the fries to get done.)
I also like to make kale chips and chicken wings in my air fryer. Stay tuned for those at a later date.
If you give these fries a try using my directions above, give me a shout in the comments and let me know what you thought! I hope you enjoy!