These air fryer French fries are super crispy and have a wonderful crunch as you bite into them. Nobody likes soft, soggy fries. These fries won't disappoint, I guarantee it. After trying these it will be very hard to go back to restaurant fries. No mess, no grease, no extra added calories. These fries are as healthy as they can get and they taste better than traditional fries.
How thick to cut your potatoes
I experimented with three thickness levels: 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2". After 20 minutes in an air fryer at 400F, all three sets of fries were perfectly cooked and nicely crisped up, with a beautiful golden brown exterior. However, there were a few notable differences. 1/4" thick fries had a slight crunch to them while the interior was quite well-done. The 3/8" thick fries had little crunch while being a little more creamy on the inside. The 1/2" thick fries had barely any crunch but had a nice creamy interior.
Trying to find a perfect balance of color, browning, crunchiness and creaminess, I ended up liking the 1/2" thick fries that were cooked a little longer - 25 to 30 minutes. These French fries also retained their crunch for much longer, for at least 10 minutes after being pulled out of the air fryer. The thinner fries lost their crunch within minutes.
To soak or not to soak
I hear a lot about how soaking potatoes in cold water for at least 15 minutes prior to frying improves crispiness and reduces sogginess. I cooked both kinds side by side and found no noticeable difference when it comes to air frying.
How many fries can you cook at the same time?
In my 6.8 qt Chefman air fryer, I can fit two medium Russet potatoes cut 1/2" thick in a single layer with some space in between for air circulation.
I've also experimented with piling fries on top each other and cooking them that way, and was quite happy with the results. I would say that you can easily double the amount of fries by layering them. Only when you do that, make sure the fries are not lined up flat on top each other. You want them to be scattered around in a random pattern, leaving gaps around the fries for air circulation.
How long to fry?
This really depends on the thickness of the fries and the temperature. I like to fry my fries at a higher temperature of 400F for better crispiness and the crunch I get on the fries. 1/4" thick fries will need about 20 minutes, while 1/2" thick fries will need 25-30 minutes. I also flip the fries once halfway.
Last but not least, let me add a few words about seasoning French fries. When you get fries at a local fast food place, they are going to be seasoned with just salt. Maybe some pepper will be added. That's unfortunate as you can really take your fries to the next level by adding some simple seasonings.
Potato-olive oil-garlic combination is an unquestionable winner, hence I use it as the base for seasoning my fries. Lemon zest and various herbs work very well too as an addition. I like using parsley since I like its flavor and it's always available. In this recipe, I've also added some freshly ground nutmeg. I don't see potatoes and nutmeg paired up together often but I personally like this combination a lot. The aroma they give the fries is so earthy, complex and captivating.
Looking for more tasty air fryer recipes? Make sure to check these out:
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Sesame Chicken Breast
- Steak In an Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Crispy Air Fried Brussels Sprouts
Equipment used and shown on the pictures above: Chefman 6.8 Quart Air Fryer.
- 2 Russet potatoes (medium to large)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly ground recommended)
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp granulated garlic (or powdered garlic)
- Peel the potatoes, cut in 1/2" thick sticks. Place in a medium size bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the potatoes and mix well by hand. Make sure each potato stick is evenly covered with oil and seasonings.
- Rub the air fryer rack with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Transfer the potatoes to the air fryer. Make sure the fries are not lined up against each other and there is some space in between. You can layer them but make sure the sticks are scattered randomly to leave spaces around fries for air circulation.
- Fry at 400F, without preheating, for 15 minutes. Flip the fries and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
- Transfer the fries to a serving platter and serve while they are hot.