Golden brown homemade air fryer French fries are simply the best. You won’t believe how crispy and flavorful they are, with hardly any oil!

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: You’ll find yourself making these fries again and again. They are delicious and easy (and pretty irresistible).

How long it takes: 15 minutes (plus soaking time if desired)
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, air fryer
Servings: 3 (but it’s easy to make more)

Overhead view of air fryer french fries with two dipping sauces.
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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 to my family? 

Do homemade air fryer French fries taste great? You be the judge, but I know we find them absolutely irresistible.

Close up view of fries in a white dish.

About these 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.

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, eliminating most of the fat and calories that deep frying adds.

air fryer product image

My Favorite Air Fryer

I have tried three different air fryers and the Cosori is my favorite. It has a big (square) basket and is easy to clean.

What you’ll Need

The ingredients are so simple! You might already have them on hand. You’ll need:

  • Potatoes – choose a Russet potato for a classic restaurant french fry flavor and texture (keep reading for more info on this).
  • Oil – We use olive oil but avocado oil would also work well.
  • Salt & Pepper – Salt and pepper are optional seasonings. Is salt really optional, though? What’s a french fry if it’s not salty? Use as much or as little as you’d like, but we give you a starting point in the recipe card below. Check out the “Make it Your Own” section for more seasoning ideas.
Ingredients needed: potato, oil, salt, pepper.

How to make Air Fryer French Fries

Scrub and slice. Slice scrubbed potatoes into one-quarter inch French fries. These are skinny fries similar to fast food restaurant fries. If you prefer thicker cut fries, that’s fine but they’ll take a bit longer to fry. A mandolin works best to cut evenly sized fries but a sharp knife is fine, too. Be careful of your fingers!

Potato being sliced with mandoline.

Soak potatoes. This step is important for crispy fries–don’t skip it! Soak the cut potatoes in a large bowl of cold water for at least 20 minutes. Soaking removes some of the starch. The potatoes can be soaked longer than that if you want, even overnight in the refrigerator.

Uncooked fries submerged in a bowl of water.

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

Uncooked fries being dried.

Season them. Put the potatoes into a dry bowl and add oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like. Stir well until they are coated.

Uncooked fries with seasoning.

Air fry in batches. Preheat the air fryer and “fry” those fries until they are golden brown. 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. You can make as many fries as you like. Just double or triple the recipe and continue to air fry in batches.

Before and after of fries in air fryer.

Keep cooked fries warm. If you’re not serving the fries immediately, spread the cooked fries on a wire rack in a warm oven (175-200ºF) to keep them warm and crisp (see recipe notes). You can also toss them all back in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes to rewarm them immediately before serving.

How Long To Air Fry French Fries

Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fries.
  • Skinny fries (1/4-inch) like the ones pictured take about 10-13 minutes
  • Thicker fries (think steak fries – 1/2-inch or so) will take closer to 20 minutes.
  • Frozen store-bought French fries take about 25 minutes, depending on the variety.
Check your fries often near the end of the cooking time to see how brown they’re getting.

The best Potato for French Fries

You might be wondering what the best kind of potato for French fries is. The choices at the store might feel a little overwhelming. We tested multiple types of potatoes and what we found is this:

Russet potatoes

Russet potatoes are most commonly used for fries so if you’re looking for that classic flavor and texture, choose russet. They also tend to be larger, yielding a longer french fry. When cooked, they have a fluffy texture on the inside and a crispy exterior.

Yukon gold potatoes

We also like Yukon gold potatoes because we find the flavor to be slightly superior to Russets, but they don’t have that classic fry texture.

The verdict

Overall, we recommend russet potatoes for this recipe, but we suggest trying the recipe with different types of potatoes. Do side-by-side taste tests to determine which variety you like best. The good news is, both types are really delicious, as are red skinned potatoes (but they can make it slightly harder to achieve that fry shape).


Why do you soak potatoes before air frying? What does soaking in water do to potatoes?

Soaking the potatoes after they’re cut draws out some of the starch which is naturally present in potatoes. This will result in a crispier fry. A thirty minute soak in cold water does the trick but you may soak them longer if you want.
After soaking, be sure to dry the potatoes before you fry them. Drain off the water and dry the potatoes on a clean lint-free dish towel or paper towels.

Fries on a lined baking sheet.

Make It 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. We like to leave the peelings on. Be sure to scrub the potatoes thoroughly.
  • 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. They’re delicious with our all-purpose seasoning.
  • 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. We also love crispy air fryer halved baby potatoes.
  • Looking for something green instead? Try air fryer broccoli or air fryer Brussels sprouts. So delicious!
Fries with fry sauce.

French fry Dipping Ideas

While ketchup is always a great option, consider expanding your dipping repertoire.

  • Fry Sauce (pictured)– easy French fry dipping sauce
  • Healthy Ranch Dressing (add a teaspoon of chili powder to a half cup of ranch dressing to make it chili ranch dressing).
  • BBQ Sauce Recipe – easy homemade barbecue sauce
  • Mexicali Dip – so irresistible
  • Make your own sriracha mayo! Simply mix together mayonnaise, sriracha (add a little or a lot, depending on how hot you like it), and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Easy Cheese Sauce – microwave or stovetop
  • Douse your fries in your favorite chili, topped with cheese sauce.

Make-Ahead Ideas

If you like to prep ahead, 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 & Reheating Tips

Air fryer French fries are best eaten fresh. If you have leftovers (can’t imagine that scenario, but you never know), store them in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. They can be frozen in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months.

The best way to reheat fries 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. If your fries are frozen, there’s no need to thaw them first but they may take a minute or two longer to reheat.

More Air Fryer Recipes


Air Fryer French Fries

4.50 from 163 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Crispy and golden, homemade air fryer French fries are simply the best. 
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  • 1 medium Yukon gold or russet (Idaho) potato, scrubbed (peeled if you prefer)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon black pepper, more or less to taste


  • Slice the potatoes into french fry shape, about 1/4-inch thick (see note). If you have a mandolin, you may wish to use that. Thicker cuts (1/2-inch) are fine if you like that better. Cook time will increase (13-15 minutes). Submerge cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water and let soak for 20 minutes (or up to overnight in the fridge).
  • When the fries are almost done soaking, preheat air fryer to 380ºF (4-5 minutes).
  • 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. Toss to coat.
  • Place a single layer of fries in the basket of the air fryer (you can also get away with a double layer) and cook for 10-13 minutes, shaking basket occasionally, or until fries are crispy and golden brown. You can pile them up a little bit but remember that the more air flow, the crispier your fries will be.
  • Keep an eye on them towards the end. They brown quickly.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm in oven (see notes).


  • Yukon gold potatoes have a creamier texture; russet or Idaho potatoes are more like restaurant fries, fluffier and more mealy. 
  • Thicker cut fries (1/2-inch) are fine if you like that better. Cook time will increase to 13-15 minutes.
  • Double or triple the recipe but cook them in batches.
  • To keep fries warm: 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 of the fries.
  • Leftover fries will keep in a covered container (cool completely before sealing) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat briefly in the air fryer for best results. Frozen fries do not need to be thawed before reheating.



Calories: 64kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 197mg, Potassium: 240mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.50 from 163 votes (159 ratings without comment)

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  1. Ellen says:

    5 stars
    My husband snarfed down the first batch. That pretty much sums up my rating. I mixed a couple of catsups- one with added truffle hot sauce and another with added sriracha. My big recommendation– make sure you make enough- they’ll go quickly!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      That dip sounds amazing! Thank you for leaving a review!

  2. william says:

    Were does it state temp of air fryer?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      In step 2 of the directions, it states 380 degrees F.

  3. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    I’m super happy right now! Decided to try out making fries in the air fryer and found your recipe . I pre-made a couple in advance, to try, before I made some for my husband. These are hands down way better than frozen fries!!! I think he’ll LOVE them! Thanks for the recipe and ignore the haters. Some people are just miserable no matter what.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Your comment made my day! I’m so glad you enjoyed the fries!

      1. Roxanne says:

        5 stars
        I just made them and it came out great best ever. Thank you

        1. Rachel Gurk says:

          Oh I’m so glad! Your comment made my day. :)

  4. Ayden says:

    This recipe was super helpful thank you :)

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  5. Samantha says:

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe. Come out crispy and we’ll seasoned when I added suggested spices and of course, the parm cheese!!! Make them all the time and haven’t bought frozen since!!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked them! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, it means a lot to me!

  6. Bill Columbus says:

    This is similar to other recipes for “crispy” fries in an air fryer. I just got an instant vortex plus 7 in 1. It comes with a rotisserie basket. I have a potato cutter for fries so that’s the first thing I wanted to try. First try soaked for 30+minutes and dried, seasoned, and rotated. They came out looking fantastic and cooked inside but not crispy. Second try was on a tray and again done but not crispy. The outside is more like a skin. What am I doing wrong? Everybody’s recipe says their’s are crispy but I can’t achieve nirvana unless they are crispy.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Did you do them in a single layer? They’re not just like deep fried fries, of course, but they should be crispy! Maybe cook them a little longer?

  7. Emon says:

    very delicious recipe.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked them, Emon!

  8. Laura says:

    These came out crispy and delishious! I used Yukon golds, and added some garlic powder, onion powder, s&p. I forgot to soak them, but still crunchy tender! I have a sprayer for oil, so I spritzed a little olive oil. Next time, grated parmesan! Thank you!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Love the added seasonings, and parmesan is a great call! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

      1. mary eileen mcsorley says:

        horrible and soggy

        1. Rachel Gurk says:

          Sorry to hear these weren’t a success! Did you cook them long enough?