Air fryers have gained a lot of popularity for their ability to cut calories while delivering dishes that taste great and have the signature crunch of fried foods, especially potatoes. Mastering the air fryer potato couldn't be any easier.
We've scoured countless recipes, and while particulars may vary, the basic air fryer potato technique comes down to these simple steps:
- Wash your potatoes well to remove any dirt.
- If peeling, do so now, and cut your potatoes into the desired shape.
- For deep-fryer style dishes like french fries or hashbrowns, soak the potatoes in cold water for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (depending on the recipe).
- After soaking potatoes, pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth.
- Preheat your air fryer.
- Season potatoes per recipe's instructions and spray or toss with a small amount of cooking oil.
- Put potatoes in the air fryer basket, leaving space between them for the best results.
- Cook the potatoes for the time directed by the recipe, shaking the basket periodically to promote even cooking.
Of course, these steps are just the basic guidelines for making potatoes in your air fryer. Read on to see some of the best air fryer potato recipes for everything from french fries to samosas, as well as general air fryer tips and recommendations.
10 Best Air Fry Potato Recipes
1. Crispy French Fries
Soaking your potatoes in cold water will help pull out some of the potatoes' starch, resulting in french fries that are crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Just be sure to pat potatoes dry after their soak! Master the art of The Best Easy Air Fryer French Fries at Sweet C's.
2. French Fries from Frozen
Want french fries fast but don't want the hassle of cleaning, cutting, and soaking potatoes? Those frozen french fries at the supermarket might be disappointing when baked in the oven, but they are a great staple for your air fryer. Learn how to prepare Air Fryer Frozen French Fries in no time flat over at 40 Aprons.
3. Sweet Potato Fries
A more nutritious alternative to your standard french fries, these sweet potato fries have a rich flavor, complemented perfectly with garlic and paprika. When air frying sweet potatoes, be extra careful not to crowd the basket, or they might lose their bite. Get the full recipe at Feel Good Foodie.
4. Crispy Hashbrowns
These hashbrowns are not only crispy and golden-brown delicious; they can be made completely oil-free. If that weren't enough, they only require three ingredients, making them an easy go-to when your cupboard is getting bare. Check them out over at This Healthy Kitchen.
5. Potato Chips
Crunchy, salty, and always tempting for more, potato chips taste even better when made fresh at home. Get the recipe at A Taste of Home.
6. Baked Potatoes
While it's no surprise that air fryers are good for traditionally fried potatoes, they can also work like a convection oven, making awesome side dishes like these baked potatoes. Learn how to make Air Fryer Baked Poatotes at Simply Made Recipes.
7. Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
Another departure from the typically fried fare, these rosemary potatoes can hold their own against their roasted counterparts and save time in the process. The fresh rosemary smells and tastes great on these potatoes, and they would look right at home even with a fancier fare. Find out how to make them yourself at Eat the Gains.
8. Loaded Potato Skins
Whether you're having friends over for the big game or wanting to add an indulgent appetizer to your meal, these potato skins full of cheese, bacon, and green onions are sure to please. Click here to get the recipe from Fit Slow Cooker Queen.
9. Patatas Bravas
You don't have to fly to Madrid to enjoy this classic Spanish dish. The air fryer gets the perfect texture for these potatoes to keep their crunch, even when coated in the signature, spicy paprika sauce. Learn how to make this traditional Spanish tapa at Cucina di Carolina.
10. Potato Samosas
The humble potato has traveled far from its origins in the Andes, and it features beautifully in these Indian samosas. Pastry pockets filled with beautifully seasoned potatoes and peas are surprisingly fun and easy to make. Find out how at Belly Rules the Mind.
The Best Tools For the Job
There is more than one way to peel a potato, and making different potato dishes calls for plenty of different cuts. While it may be possible to do it all with a knife, even the best chefs use specialized tools to make the process faster and more efficient.
While some like skin-on potatoes, many dishes call for them to be fully peeled. This y-peeler is great for the job and will stand the test of time.
To see even more options and get the full scoop on peeling your potatoes, check out our post "8 Types of Potato Peelers."
To make thin and consistent potato chips, you can use a mandolin, like this one by OXO. It even includes julienne blades you can use to make french fries!
To speed up the process, you can use a food processor for the job. Learn all about it at our post "Can You Use A Food Processor To Slice Potatoes?"
Are Air Fried French Fries Healthy?
The humble potato sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to nutrition. Even deep-fried french fries contain several vitamins and minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Eaten in moderation, they can be part of a balanced diet.
Moderation is difficult with the imminently snackable potato, though. Because of its high carbohydrate content, the starchy tuber is calorie-dense compared to other vegetables. One-hundred grams of potatoes contains five-times the calories of the same portion of broccoli. Adding oil to the equation increases the calorie load of each bite.
Air fryers won't turn french fries into a weight-loss food, but research has shown they can reduce the amount of oil in french fries by a whopping 70%! Furthermore, the oils in air-fried foods are less degraded. So, while maybe not the healthiest snack, they clearly beat out their deep-fried counterparts.
To make your fries even more nutrient-rich, you can opt for sweet potatoes, which contain more dietary fiber and beta-cerotene. Recent research showed that air fryers maintained beta-carotene better than conventional ovens when making sweet potato chips.
Why do you soak potatoes in water before air frying?
It's common practice to soak potatoes before frying or air frying them, especially for crispy preparations like french fries and chips to get the perfect texture. This is because potatoes, especially varieties like Russet, contain a large amount of starch. If left to their own devices, these starches will trap water in the potatoes during cooking, resulting in limp, soggy potatoes.
By soaking them before cooking, you pull some of the starch from the potatoes. This way, the water can evaporate and escape as they cook, so the inside of the potato steams and gets fluffy while the outside dries out, getting crunchy and golden brown.
Just be sure to dry your potatoes well after soaking them. Otherwise, the extra water will cancel out the benefits of the starch loss.
Can you use batter or coating in an air fryer?
While air fryers are great for getting a crisp crust on potatoes, chicken wings, and other typically fried foods, they cannot be used for battered foods. The batter will not cook quickly enough and will drip through the basket, collecting in a mess on the bottom.
While your beer-battered fish and chips may be off the table, drier coatings are great to use in an air fryer! Crusts made with breadcrumbs or cornmeal will crisp nicely, such as these scrumptious fish fillets.
How does an air fryer work?
There are a lot of air fryer models on the market, but they all operate on the same basic principle: convection. Convection is when the heat is transferred through the rapid movement of molecules in a fluid. In deep fryers, that fluid is oil. In air fryers, the heated and circulated fluid is actually air that moves quickly through the device.
Best Air Fryer Models
The Chefman TurboFry
This air fryer is a popular option with a budget-friendly price tag. It has a dish-washer safe basket, making clean up quick and easy. It is smaller than many other models, meaning it will save space on your counter, but it will also be better suited for couples than families.
Another popular and affordable option, the Corosi XL, features a 5.8-quart basket, meaning you'll be able to put more tasty taters on the table and faster.
The Ninja Foodi
The Ninja Foodi is not just an air fryer; it's also a pressure cooker, slow cooker, dehydrator, and more. It's also larger than the others on this list, making up for the fact that many models can only make small batches at a time.
Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid
This is not a stand-alone air fryer. However, if you already have the popular and useful Instant Pot or are considering getting one, this lid will turn it into an air fryer too.
What type of cooking spray is best for air frying?
Air fryers might not need much oil, but it's best to be careful with what oil you do use. Aerosol sprays contain more than just oil; they also use propellants, emulsifiers, and anti-foaming agents that can build up on the cooking surfaces in the air fryer and damage them.
Another quality to be mindful of is the smoke point of your oil. Air fryers heat the oil on the surface of foods faster than conventional ovens, so oils with lower smoke points, like olive oil, should only be used at lower temperature settings.
This avocado oil spray is non-aerosol and has a high smoke point, good for even high-temperature air frying.
Or you can always use your favorite cooking oil in a spray bottle, like this one:
The craze for air fryers is easy to understand. These high-tech kitchen appliances make it easy for the home cook to have crunchy potato chips, perfect french fries, and even some surprising dishes like samosas, all while cutting back on calories. The few tips, techniques, and tools you found here should get you well on your way to becoming an air fryer potato expert in no time. Happy air frying!