Crispy and golden, homemade air fryer French fries are simply the best. 

Air fryer french fries, taken from above. Two small metal cups of ketchup are also pictured.

Guess how many ingredients are in these air fryer French fries? Two! One large potato and a half tablespoon of olive oil. All right, if you want to add salt and pepper, that’s two more but do they really count? Nah. 

Guess how many ingredients are in a popular brand of store-bought frozen French fries? Just a minute, let me count: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Cottonseed, Soybean, And/Or Canola), Modified Food Starch, Rice Flour, Salt, Dextrin, Cornstarch, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Annatto (Color), Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate. Twelve

Guess which French fries I would rather eat and serve my family? 

Do homemade air fryer French fries taste great? You be the judge, but I know we find them absolutely irresistible, especially with this homemade fry sauce or homemade ranch dressing

Crispy french fries made in an air fryer, on a metal tray with a cup of ketchup also pictured.

About these Air Fryer French Fries

I love the air fryer when it comes to making crispy and healthy “fried” food. This countertop appliance is similar to a convection oven in some ways. I have the Phillips Air Fryer, but there are a lot of great brands to choose from.

Hot air is circulated around the food on a rack, producing a crispy product without the added oil and extra calories of deep frying. Just a bit of heart healthy olive oil is added to these French fries for flavor, saving a ton of calories. 

Best kind of potato for fries

For my air fryer French fries, we recommend Yukon gold potatoes because we find the flavor to be superior;  however, Russet potatoes are most commonly used for fries, so if you’re looking for that classic flavor, choose Russet.

How to make them

Scrub and slice

Slice scrubbed potatoes into one-quarter inch French fries. These are skinny fries similar to fast food restaurant fries. A mandolin works best to cut evenly sized fries. Be careful of your fingers!

Soak potatoes

This next step is important for crispy fries–don’t skip it! Soak the cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water for at least 20 minutes. Soaking removes some of the starch.

Dry & season

After the potatoes have soaked, rinse them, drain them and dry them thoroughly. I spread them out on paper towel or a lint free dish towel and pat them dry. Wet potatoes equals soggy fries! 

Put the potatoes into a dry bowl, add oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like.

Air fry in batches

Preheat the air fryer and “fry” those fries. Don’t overcrowd the fryer. You want to have space between the fries so they crisp up. That means you probably will have to do the fries in batches.

Cook time will depend on the thickness of your fries. Skinny fries like the ones pictured take about 10-15 minutes, thicker ones will take closer to 20 minutes. Check them often near the end of the cooking time to see how brown they’re getting. 

You can make as many fries you want–just double or triple the recipe and continue to air fry in batches. 

Keep cooked fries warm

Spread the cooked fries on a wire rack in a warm oven (see recipe notes) to keep them warm and crisp. You can also toss them all back in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes to rewarm them immediately before serving.

FAQs

How long do you air fry french fries?

It depends on how thick your potatoes are cut. If you cut them thin, like the ones pictured, they’ll take 10-15 minutes to become golden brown. If your fries are thicker, they’ll take a little longer. Prepared frozen fries will take up to 25 minutes.

Are french fries healthier in an air fryer?

Yes, definitely! You need much less oil to air fry fries than you do to deep fry them, so they’re lower in fat and calories.

Why do you soak potatoes before air frying?

Soaking potatoes draws out some of the starch which will result in a crispier fry. A 30 minute soak should do the trick, but a longer soak (2-3 hours) could get you even better results.

Overhead view of fries on parchment paper with a small cup of ketchup.

How to make these your own

  • Experiment with potato varieties. There are lots of different kinds of potatoes, each with unique properties. See which one you like best. Maybe you can have a French fry tasting party. Make sure you try Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, too.
  • Peeled or unpeeled? It’s up to you. I like to leave the peelings on.
  • If you want, these fries can be made with no oil whatsoever. Olive oil does add good flavor, though, and helps them get crispier. Other types of oil can be used. 
  • Try different spices. While plain salted fries are great, you could try adding black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika, chili powder, and so on. Raid your spice cupboard. 
  • Add grated Parmesan cheese for a real treat!
  • Don’t want to bother cutting the potatoes? Make air fryer baked potatoes! They are so good and are perfectly baked in 40 minutes.

Serve air fryer French fries with your favorite dipping sauces, including ketchup, homemade ranch dressing, or homemade barbecue sauce. Or douse them in your favorite chili, smothered with cheese sauce.

Overhead view of a try of french fries and ketchup.

Make Ahead Ideas

If you’d like to prep ahead, you could cut the potatoes, submerge them in water, and store them in your fridge for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to cook them, drain the water off, rinse them, dry them well, and continue with the recipe.

Storage Tips

Air fryer French fries are best eaten fresh. If you have leftovers (can’t imagine that scenario, but you never know), store in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Reheating Suggestions

The best way to reheat these is to pop them back in the air fryer to crisp them up again when you’re ready to serve them. Other methods (oven, microwave, etc) won’t make your fries crispy again.

Overhead view of crispy fries with dipping sauce.

Other air fryer recipes

Don’t let your air fryer sit in the pantry unused! Check out these delicious recipes:

French fries that have been made in an air fryer, served with a small metal cup of ketchup.
Close up of french fries and small metal cups of ketchup.

Air Fryer French Fries

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Crispy and golden, homemade air fryer French fries are simply the best. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, scrubbed (and peeled if you prefer) (about 6 oz)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, more or less to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the potatoes into french fry shape, about 1/4-inch thick (if you have a mandolin, you may wish to use that). Submerge cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water and let soak for 20 minutes. 
  2. When the fries are almost done soaking, preheat air fryer to 375ºF. 
  3. Drain potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel or a lint-free tea/dish towel. Dry bowl and place fries back in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper 
  4. Place a single layer of fries in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Keep an eye on them towards the end.
  5. Serve immediately, or see notes to keep warm while air frying additional batches.

Notes

  • This recipe is a good guideline for proportions. It’s easy to double or triple, but you’ll still want to cook them in batches so the air can flow around them and make them super crispy. 
  • If you choose to make a large batch, put cooked fries on a wire baking rack placed on top of a sheet pan in a warm oven (175-200ºF). This will keep the cooked fries warm and crispy while you finish cooking the rest. 
  • You may also try adding other seasonings to the fries, like 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika. Grated Parmesan cheese is good, too.
  • Fries can be made with no oil. Spray air fryer rack lightly with cooking spray so fries don't stick.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 2 ounces fries
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram