Get your french fry fix with this easy and delicious recipe for homemade air fryer french fries! Perfectly crispy and golden, these homemade french fries are a simple and healthy alternative to deep-fried ones.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Get perfectly crispy and golden french fries without deep frying
- They are quick and easy to make from simple ingredients
- They are versatile – french fries are the perfect side dish to so many meals, they are certain to become a staple in your meal rotation.
Air frying is a great way to cook potatoes for a quick and easy side dish. For some of our other other popular air fryer potato recipes, try air fryer roast potatoes, air fryer smashed potatoes or air fryer baked potatoes.
Note: If you are looking for directions to cook frozen french fries in your air fryer find them here: Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
Scroll down for the recipe card for these crispy homemade air fryer french fries, or read on for all the details.
What do you need?
For fries that are fluffy on the inside with a crisp outside then you need to choose a starchy variety of potatoes. Choose yellow or gold varieties or all-purpose potatoes. Any of the following will be great:
- Russet potatoes
- Yellow varieties
- Maris Piper
- Red gold
- Yukon gold
Choose large potatoes that are elongated in shape, as these will be easier to cut into even sized fries.
You will need some oil to get these fries really crispy. I use light olive oil, but avocado oil, vegetable oil are also good options.
When air frying, choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.
The amount of oil you use will determine how crispy your fries get (but also how healthy they are), so use less oil for a healthier (though maybe less crispy) version, or lots of oil to crisp them right up!
For extra healthy air fryer french fries you just use a tiny spray of oil. However, try to use the type of oil spray that spritzes rather than an aerosol, and avoid using generic ‘cooking spray’ – both can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer.
After cooking, season the fries with salt. You can add other seasonings, too, if you like. Try some cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of paprika, or some chili flakes.
How to make french fries in the air fryer
It is very simple to make homemade french fries in the air fryer, there are just a few key steps to getting it just right:
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch / 5 cm long fries around ½ inch wide.
- Soak the potato fries in cold water for at least 20 minutes. This is to remove the potato starch that forms on the outside of the potato pieces when they are peeled and cut. This is important if you want to get really crispy fries. If you are really short on time, you can just rinse them under running water, but you’ll get the best results from soaking them.
- Dry them thoroughly. The fries need to be dried thoroughly before air frying. This allows the cooking process to start straight away, without waiting for the surface moisture to dry out first. If you want really crisp potato fries don’t skip this step!
- Place dried fries in a large bowl, drizzle with the oil, and toss potatoes to coat thoroughly. Note: don’t add the salt yet, as it can draw moisture to the surface of the raw fries, making them soggy.
- Place french fries in air fryer basket, and air fry for 10 minutes, then give the basket a good shake to redistribute the fries. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy. Add the salt to the cooked fries, and shake the basket to season the fries.
How long to air fry french fries
The exact cooking times for this recipe will depend on a few factors, including how large you cut the french fries, how powerful your air fryer is, and how full the air fryer basket is.
Homemade french fries will usually take between 25 and 35 minutes to cook in the air fryer. Monitor them closely towards the end of cooking time, and add an extra few minutes air frying time if required.
Tips for getting really crispy air fryer french fries
- Rinse them well after cutting. Rinsing removes the surface starch remaining on the surface of the fries after cutting, which prevents them from getting crispy if not removed.
- Dry them well. If the potatoes are damp on the outside when you add the oil, moisture will be trapped on the surface, which, again, will prevent them from getting really crispy.
- Use lots of oil. You may be looking for a healthier version of fries by cooking them in your air fryer, but more oil is going to give you crispier fries. Hey, at least you are not cooking them in a vat of oil!
- Don’t overload the air fryer. If the basket is too full, the air can’t circulate, and you will find it difficult to get really crispy fries. Cook them in batches if necessary (even just for the first 15 minutes of cooking).
- Shake the basket often. Shaking the basket redistributes the fries, helping them to cook evenly, so all sides of the fries can get crispy.
- Add extra oil. If you have tried all the above and still want crispier fries, add an extra spritz or two of oil during cooking.
Serve these fries with your favorite dipping sauces, or take them to the next level with one of these tasty ideas:
- Chili cheese fries: Top fries with chili and melted cheese for a hearty and satisfying meal.
- Loaded fries: pile up bacon, sour cream, chives, and other toppings for a loaded and delicious treat.
- Poutine: fries with gravy and cheese curds for a classic Canadian dish.
- Truffle fries: Drizzle truffle oil over fries and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese for a luxurious and indulgent flavor.
Storing and heating
Store any leftover fries in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within three days.
You can reheat fries in the air fryer. Air fry for 5-6 minutes until heated through. You may need to add a quick spritz of oil to help them crisp up again, but it will be worth it as double air-fried potato fries are amazing!
Air Fryer French Fries (Homemade)
- 1 lb russet potatoes [Note 1]
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- fine sea salt to taste
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F / 180°C.
- Peel potatoes and cut into fries, around 2-inches long by ½-inch thick.
- Place fries into a large bowl of cold water and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
- Drain, and pat fries dry with a paper towel.
- Place fries in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and toss to coat.
- Place french fries in air fryer basket, and air fry for 25-30 minutes, shaking the basket every 10 minutes to redistribute the fries so they cook evenly.
- Air fry french fries until they are golden brown and crispy. Then sprinkle salt over the fries and shake to season them evenly.
- Or substitute Idaho potatoes, Maris Piper, Red gold, Yukon gold, or an all-purpose potato variety.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.