The Best Air Fryer French Fries Recipe

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Crispy crunchy air fryer fries can be tricky to get perfect, every time – this air fryer recipe was designed to work – every time – for a side your whole family will crave.

I came up with this recipe when I was frustrated with french fry recipes that were confusing and lacked that perfect, double-fried crunch my kids and I were craving.

This recipe is one that just always works – and we’re going to share why!

Air fried french fries in a glass jar.
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Don’t want all the extras in a recipe post? We provide a skip to recipe button in the top left corner, as well as a clickable table of contents, just below, to help make this page easier to navigate.

We add lots of tips in our recipe – so you can make this dish, understand why it works and what each ingredient means to the flavor of a recipe. I also answer questions my friends and family have asked about my recipes, to help home cooks of any skill level better understand the processes we use and why!

crispy fried french fries in a red paper sleeve

Crunchy Air Fryer Fries

This recipe will get you delicious crispy fries that cook in about 15 minutes – right in your air fryer basket for easy cleanup!

If you can cut potatoes, you can master this easy method to cook the fries in an air fryer – without deep frying.

This recipe is one of my favorite recipes to use with my Ninja Foodi – just like my popular air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe, and Air Fryer Steaks recipe, Air Fryer Tri Tip Steak, and Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak that all do really well in an instant pot with a crisping lid! For another take on these fries, be sure to check out my Lemon Garlic Air Fryer French Fries – the lemon pepper and garlic seasoning can’t be beat!

I also LOVE to dip these fries in my Zhoug (Skhug) Sauce – its a spicy, tangy, totally addictive sauce I fell in love with in Israel.

An air fryer is a medium sized kitchen appliance that is easy to use with a ton of different foods. Air fryers provide lightning quick cook times and easy cleanup – with about 2 tablespoons of oil instead of quarts like a traditional deep fryer.

They are a bit of a misnomer – as they don’t actually fry anything – and instead work more as a small convection-like appliance.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

crispy air fried french fries in a jar

How To Air Fry French Fries

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 3 large russet potatoes – we love russets for their rich, buttery taste, and how the starch works to puff and crisp perfectly in the air fryer. Russet potatoes have the classic, rich, potatoey flavor everyone loves. You can peel the potatoes or leave the peel on – but be sure to wash it well.
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil – use a good quality olive oil that you love the flavor of. You can change up the flavor of your fries by using flavored oils like garlic oil, chile oil, etc.
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste – I like to finish fries with either maldon salt or powdered salt for the light, salty flavor that distributes evenly.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Prep. Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes into fries. I don’t worry too much about the size of fry I am making- some are bigger, and some are smaller. That’s fine!
  • Soak. Next, place your spuds in a nice cool water bath. Completely submerge the fries in water. Let fries sit one hour. This helps to remove excess starch and will help the fries crisp up more in the oven.
  • Preheat. Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees. After an hour, drain the water, and pat fries dry with a paper towel.
  • Season. Toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Air fry. Add fries to bottom of air fryer basket, making sure they are all on the same level (don’t stack them on top of each other.) Cook 13 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and a cooling rack over it. Place in warm oven (set to the minimum temperature, not over 250 degrees) and let rest while other batches of fries are cooking.
  • Enjoy! Serve hot, with French Fry Sauce!
french fries in a glass jar

Tips to Perfect Air Fried French Fries & FAQs

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Season fries. This recipe is so delicious because it can be made with all sorts of different flavors and seasonings to customize to your preferences – try some of these easy ideas, or come up with your own!

  • Onion powder or garlic powder over oiled fries for a bit more flavor.
  • Herbs de provence salt for a rustic French twist.
  • Cajun seasoning sprinkled over fries gives a spicy Five Guys like french fry flavor – straight from your air fryer.
  • Brush fries in the final 15 minutes of baking time with butter, diced garlic, and finely diced parsley for sinfully rich garlic butter fries.

Use Russet Potatoes. Russet potatoes give a classic french fry flavor. Leave skins on, but be sure to wash potatoes well and scrub off any excess dirt, remove any eyes or bruises.

Use a mandoline to cut fries. Cut potatoes with a mandoline for easy, perfect sticks that will crisp up well.

Soak fries. Make sure your fries soak for at least one hour in a large bowl of cold water – preferably changing the water after 20 minutes or 30 minutes with fresh new cold water. Soaking in water helps remove some of the starch, which will help them crisp up better!

Dry fries well after soaking. Make sure your fries are very very dry after soaking. Pat them with paper towels or a clean dish towel to be sure there is no residual moisture. Wet fries = soggy fries.

Cook in Single Layer. Allowing fries to have room away from each other while air frying helps them cook faster and get crunchier. Fries that have plenty of space to cook should not stick to the air fryer basket and should come out with a gentle shaking of the basket. Sometimes I will add more fries to the basket and simply increase cook time a few minutes, shaking often to make sure the heat is evenly distributed.

Adjust cooktime as needed. I watch my french fries closely while cooking, and make adjustments as needed. Every oven and air fryer is different, and I’ve noticed a ton of things impact cook time and even something as small as the humidity in the air can impact cook time.

Rest air fries in warm oven. I line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a cooling rack over it. When each batch is done from the air fryer, I toss them on the cooling rack and pop the baking sheet in the oven. I set the oven as low as possible – about 200-250 degrees at the most- to keep the fries warm.

This also lets any excess oil drip off, and prevents fries from becoming cold or soggy.

What Air Fryer To Use. As far as what kind of air fryer you can use to make french fries, it truly is anything goes – but the hotter you can get your air fryer, the better! I have a Phillips Air Fryer I got from my parents – and we’re loving it! Click here to buy a crisping lid for your instant pot. If you need to buy an Instant Pot Duo Crisp click here – to buy a crisping lid, click here.

Serve with dipping sauce! Whether its ketchup, Spicy Whipped Feta, mayo, Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dip, or French Fry Sauce – fries are delicious when you dip them into something!

Crispy air fried sweet potato fries in a bowl on a wooden table.

FAQs

How long to air fry french fries?

Air fryer french fries take about 20 minutes to cook.

What air fryer should I use for crunchy air fryer fries?

This recipe was designed after testing in the Instant Pot Air fryer, Instant Pot with Crisping Lid broiler function, Ninja Foodi + Broiler lid, and the Phillips Air Fryer. Cooktime was slightly different with each appliance, but each resulted in perfect air fryer fries. Check fries as you cook to make sure they are done to your preference!

What type of potatoes should I use for air fryer french fries?

We personally love the classic potato flavor of russet potatoes for this recipe, but Yukon Golds work well too.

Can I skip soaking potatoes?

While you can skip soaking your potatoes before frying, the potatoes will have a harder time crisping up since they won’t have given off some of their starch. Letting potatoes release starch helps them crisp and allows the outside to get crunchy while still light and airy inside!

Do I need to dry potatoes before air frying?

For this recipe it is essential to pat potatoes dry of any water so that the olive oil can stick to the potatoes and help crisp them up without getting soggy.

Do I need to peel the potatoes for air fryer French fries?

It’s a matter of personal preference. You can leave the skin on for added texture and flavor, or peel the potatoes if you prefer a smoother texture.

Can I season the fries with spices and herbs?

Absolutely! Season the fries with your favorite spices such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, or herbs like rosemary or thyme before air frying for added flavor.

How do I keep the fries warm and crispy before serving?

You can place the cooked fries on a wire rack in a single layer in a warm oven (around 200°F or 93°C) to keep them warm and maintain their crispiness until serving.

What dipping sauces go well with french fries?

Common dipping sauces include ketchup, mayonnaise, aioli, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or cheese sauce. You can also get creative with homemade sauces or seasonings. We also love our French Fry Sauce.

What temperature and time should I set on the air fryer for French fries?

Preheat your air fryer to 375-400°F (190-200°C). Cook the fries for about 15-20 minutes, shaking or flipping them halfway through, until they are golden brown and crispy.

Can I make this recipe with sweet potatoes?

These French fries are simple and delicious – and can be used with sweet potatoes, too! You will need to adjust cooking time for crispness with the sweet potatoes for sweet potato fries, but the rest of the recipe can remain the same.

Are potatoes healthy?

Potatoes, while a starch, contain many health benefits when eaten in moderation. For more information on the health benefits of potatoes, consider this potato nutrition guide.

Crispy sweet potato fries served in a bowl on a table.

What to serve with air fryer french fries

If you’re looking for other delicious, easy air fryer sides like these french fries, be sure to check out our Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak Recipe, Air Fryer Cinnamon Raisin Bagels, The Best Air Fryer Baked Potato Recipe, Air Fryer Pumpkin Bundt Cake, Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders, Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs Recipe, The Best Air Fryer Bacon Recipe and some of our recent favorite air fryer recipes below:

To find our entire air fryer recipe index, click here.

Glass jar filled with crispy air fried french fries.

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crispy air fried french fries in a glass jar

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Crispy sweet potato fries in a black bowl.
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The Best Crispy Air Fryer French Fries

Crispy, crunchy, healthier than deep fried air fryer french fries are a perfect, delicious, easy side dish everyone loves!
Course Side dishes
Cuisine air fryer
Keyword air fryer french fries, easy french fries, healthy french fries, homemade french fries, instant pot french fries, potatoes, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soaking Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 205kcal
Author Courtney ODell

Ingredients

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into fries. I don't worry too much about the size of fry I am making- some are bigger, and some are smaller. That's fine!
  • Next, place your spuds in a nice cool water bath. Completely submerge the fries in water.
  • Let fries sit one hour. This helps to remove excess starch and will help the fries crisp up more in the oven.
  • Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees.
  • After an hour, drain the water, and pat fries dry with a paper towel.
  • Toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Add fries to bottom of air fryer basket, making sure they are all on the same level (don't stack them on top of each other.)
  • Cook 15-20 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and a cooling rack over it.
  • Place in warm oven (set to the minimum temperature, not over 250 degrees) and let rest while other batches of fries are cooking.
  • Serve hot and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 70mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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67 Comments

  1. Theresa says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe! My first time cooking fries in my air fryer. They look delicious! Thank again!

  2. Janice Sailor says:

    AAAAAMMMMMAAAAAZZZZZIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!
    I added Lawery’s seasoning also….
    So So So Good
    Great start to the weekend.
    Friday night:
    Veggie Burgers
    Your amazing recipe for fries
    Cold Modelo Beer…
    Hubby and I are happy.
    Keep posting sister!
    Blessings

  3. Foodie says:

    I didn’t think this was a dissertation at all and enjoyed reading it while eating an in n out burger and lamenting at the fact my well done fries were inhaled too quickly. 🙁

    I am a air fryer maven and I vaguely remember this recipe for some delicious air fried french fries along with delicious sweet potato fries.

    I like my fries spiralized, thin, and curly so I’ll buy russets next time and whip up a batch of these bad boys

  4. Boris says:

    Okay, sorry, that was a bit rude. Sorry about that.

  5. Emily says:

    Great recipe, Courtney! Don’t pay attention to the negative comments on this post; I can only imagine the amount of time you spend working on your free recipes. I believe that the vegetable slicer I used made my fries a little too thin for my liking (but you obviously had nothing to do with that!), other than that, your recipe’s guaranteed crispiness and tastiness definitely delivered! I’ll be looking forward to trying out more from your blog. Have a great evening. 🙂

  6. April says:

    Made these tonight. They were perfect. Thank you so much for the recipe and the extra tips! I had no idea I needed to soak the potatoes in cold water beforehand. It made a huge difference! Thanks again!