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Air Fryer Homemade French Fries

These easy Air Fryer Homemade French Fries are lightly golden brown and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and sooo good. We can’t get enough of them!

I’m not sure if you can ever call fries healthy, but I definitely think you can say that these air fryer French fries are healthier than their deep-fried counterpart. There’s only two teaspoons of oil in the whole batch, and you’d never know it!

I’ve mentioned my love for potatoes more than once here on the blog, and French fries are one of my most favorite ways to enjoy them. I mean, really, who can resist them?

I’ll take ’em any way…frozen, from the fast food drive-thru, on the boardwalk, at a fair or an amusement park. But tops on my list and what I always crave more than anything are homemade French fries.

That’s thanks to my gram. She made the best homemade fries ever, and they were such a yummy treat!

And yep, they were fried in lots of oil.

Since I don’t love the messy, smelly, greasy process of deep-frying, the number of times that I’ve made real-deal fries like Gram’s has been few and far between.

But that all changed when I got my air fryer! I’ve been making homemade fries in the air fryer probably once a week (and I will freely admit to planning my menu for one day on something that goes with fries), and I have zero guilt.

Did I mention that there’s only 2 teaspoons of oil in the whole batch?

Now, I won’t claim that these are an exact duplicate of deep-fried fries, because they’re not. BUT, wow, they’re so delicious in their own right (and pretty darn close) that it doesn’t even matter!

two glasses filled with air fryer homemade French fries and a small bowl of ketchup on the side

Ingredients you need:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Olive oil (I use light-tasting olive oil meant for frying)
  • Kosher salt

Here’s a look at how to make Air Fryer Homemade French Fries:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of potatoes cut into slices on a cutting board with text that says cut potatoes evenly into slices one quarter inch to one half inch wide; the other of the potatoes slices cut into strips on a cutting board with text that says cut slices evenly into strips one quarter inch to one half inch wide
2 images; one of potato slices in a bowl of water with text that says soak potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes' the other of the potato slices in a colander with text that says drain the potatoes
2 images; one of the potatoes on a towel with another towel on the side with text that says dry potatoes very well; the other of the potatoes in a bowl with a spoonful of oil being added with text that says place potatoes in a bowl, add olive oil
2 images; one of the potatoes in a bowl with a spoonful of salt being added with text that says add salt; the other of the potatoes being tossed in the bowl with a wooden spoon with text that says toss until well combined
2 images; one of an air fryer with text that says preheat air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit; the other of the potatoes in the air fryer basket with text that says place potatoes in air fryer
2 images; one of an air fryer with text that says air fry at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 18 minutes; the other of the potatoes being tossed in the air fryer basket with tongs with text that says toss/shake at least once halfway through
2 images; one of the cooked French fries in the air fryer basket with text that says until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through; the other of a salt being added to the cooked fries with text that says sprinkle with more salt if desired, enjoy immediately

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Russets are the best potato to use for that wonderful fluffy interior. Yukon golds work well also, but the inside will be a bit more creamy. Waxy potatoes like red or regular white potatoes won’t give you the same results.
  • Pick potatoes that are roughly the same size, and cut the fries all the same size so that they cook evenly.
  • You can peel the potatoes or leave the skins on, whichever you prefer.
  • Don’t skip the soak! It removes some of the excess starch from the potatoes and helps ensure crispier fries.
  • Dry the potatoes really well after soaking. Not only will oil not stick to wet potatoes, but the potatoes will steam rather than fry, and they won’t get crisp.
  • You could also use vegetable oil, avocado oil, or any other neutral-tasting oil that has a higher smoke point and can be used for frying at higher temperatures.
  • Feel free to season up your fries any way you’d like (add any spices or seasonings along with the oil).
  • All air fryers cook differently, so the cooking time given is just a suggestion. Check the fries frequently and adjust the time, as needed, for your air fryer and the thickness of your fries.
  • I like my fries on the lighter side. If you want them darker, just cook them a little longer.
  • Serve these fries immediately, as that is when they are at their crispy, fluffy best! They will lose their crispness as they begin to cool down.
  • The only bummer about most air fryers is that, for good results, you can only do one small batch at a time. If you need to make another batch, you can keep the cooked batch warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven.
    • If the fries lose their crispness in the oven, once the second batch is done, add the first batch back to the basket and reheat them all in the air fryer at 325°F for a minute or two to crisp them back up.
air fryer homemade French fries on a white plate with a small bowl of ketchup on the side

These fries go great alongside just about anything, from burgers and chili dogs to club sandwiches, hot turkey sandwiches, steaks, chicken nuggets, fish, shrimp, and more. And they’re also good just for snacking, dipped in ketchup or your favorite fry sauce.

I hope you try this recipe for Air Fryer Homemade French Fries and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Air Fryer Homemade French Fries

These easy Air Fryer Homemade French Fries are lightly golden brown and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and sooo good. We can't get enough of them!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Soak Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes
Servings: 2 (generous)
Estimated Calories: 208

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, about 1 to 1¼ pounds total, scrubbed and peeled (or you can leave the skins on)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, I use light-tasting olive oil meant for frying
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more, for serving, if desired

Special Equipment

  • Air fryer (I use a 6-quart basket-style air fryer)

Instructions

  • Cut each potato lengthwise into even slices that are ¼ inch to ½ inch wide (depending on the size fries you want; I cut mine ⅜ inch wide); Then cut each slice evenly into sticks that are the same width as you made the slices (so I do ⅜ inch wide).
    Note: See the step-by-step photos in the post, if needed. You will probably get a few smaller pieces from the ends of the potatoes, but most of the sticks should be the same size so that they will cook evenly.
  • Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and cover them with cold water by about an inch. Let them soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels, and dry them very well (if needed, change the towel or paper towels to get them completely dry).
    Note: If the potatoes are not dry, not only will the oil not stick to the potatoes, but wet potatoes will steam rather than air-fry, and they won't crisp up.
  • Rinse and dry the bowl that you soaked to potatoes in, and place the potatoes in the bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Toss until the potatoes are evenly coated with the oil and salt.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 380°F.
    Note: If your air fryer doesn't have a preheat cycle, just run it at 380°F for about 5 minutes to heat it up.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, add the potatoes. Give the basket a little shake to make sure there are no fries that are stuck together so that the air can circulate between them (it is okay if the potatoes are in 2 layers/overlap a bit).
  • Air fry at 380°F for 15 to 18 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly golden brown, crisp, and cooked through, carefully shaking the basket and tossing the fries at least once halfway through the cooking time (you can toss them a few more times after that first toss, if desired).
    Note: Since all air fryers cook differently (and depending on the thickness of your potatoes), the cooking time can vary; I suggest that you check them starting at about 12 minutes, especially for thinner fries, to make sure they don't overcook. Also, I like my fries on the lighter side. If you prefer darker fries, you will need to cook them a bit longer.
  • If desired, sprinkle the fries with additional salt. Serve immediately (they will lose their crispness as they begin to cool).

Notes

  • Russets are the best potato to use for a fluffy interior. Yukon golds also work, but the inside will be a bit more creamy. 
  • You can also use vegetable oil, avocado oil, or any other neutral-tasting oil that has a higher smoke point and can be used for frying at higher temperatures.
  • Feel free to season up your fries any way you’d like (add any spices or seasonings along with the oil).
  • If you need to make more than one batch, you can keep the cooked batch warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven. If the fries lose their crispness in the oven, once the second batch is done, add the first batch back to the basket and reheat them all in the air fryer at 325°F for a minute or two to crisp them back up.
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