Air Fryer French Fries

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We’re walking you through how to make the crispiest air fryer french fries with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, plus giving you 4 delicious flavor variations to try! 

crispy french fries in an air fryer basket

FRENCH FRIES! CRISPY FRENCH FRIES! Need I say more? I am all about a good french fry. In fact, when they’re on the menu (AND paired with a juicy burger), that’s what I’ll order 9 times out of 10. I need crispy french fries in my life more often though – I need to be able to whip up these bad boys any day of the week…busy weeknights included! While the oven can certainly do the job, it often takes 40+ minutes to get a crispy result, and I don’t always have that kind of time to spend! Enter the AIR FRYER! These air fryer fries take 20 minutes to crisp up and are everything your french fry dreams are made of (am I the only one who dreams about fries?!)

While you can absolutely use a regular air fryer, we used the Instant Pot Duo Crisp with the accompanying air fryer lid. We LOVE this new appliance (an upgrade from our 6-quart Duo model – read our full review here) and it has officially converted us to air fryer superfans…watch out, world!

What is an Air Fryer?

Essentially, an air fryer results in the same crispy, yummy end product as deep-frying, but with a whole lot less oil and mess. How does it do this? Air fryers are basically a super rapid version of a convection oven – the top of an air fryer holds a heating mechanism and fan, and when in use, said fan circulates hot air around the food at a fast speed, resulting in a crispy outside layer. An air fryer also typically has a basket to cook your food in, rather than the typical sheet pan, so air can reach both the top and bottom of the food – meaning it crisps all the way around!

Are Air Fryer French Fries Healthy?

While this largely depends on who you are and what *your* body can tolerate, we say, yes, air fryer french fries are healthy! Potatoes are one of our favorite ways to get in a good starchy carb, and air fryer french fries are essentially sliced potatoes tossed in a bit of olive oil (hello, healthy fat!) and crisped up using circulating air! If you feel good when you eat oven-baked fries, air fryer fries should be no different.

Ingredients

What do you need for perfectly crispy air fryer french fries? Honestly, not much! Hallelujah! Here’s what to add to your next grocery list:

  • Potatoes – an obvious first ingredient, right?! To make these air fryer french fries, you’ll definitely need potatoes! About a pound to be specific, and any variety of potato will work (including sweet!), but russets are our favorite. Why? They have the perfect amount of starch, whereas other varieties, like red potatoes, are waxier. This means you get a fry that's crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
  • Olive Oil – 2 teaspoons of olive oil is ALL you need to get a good crisp on these fries. Not much, right?! That’s the beauty of air frying! 
  • Sea Salt – we’ll season the french fries with salt before they go in the air fryer…because the only thing better than a crispy fry is a salty, crispy fry (am I right?!)
  • Other Seasonings of Choice (optional) – I finish my air fryer french fries off with a bit of cracked black pepper, and we’ve got 4 flavor variations below to choose from if you want to jazz your fries up even more!

crispy french fries in an air fryer basket

How to Make Air Fryer French Fries

I don’t know if you’re ready for this…it is SO easy, you guys! Here’s how to make them:

  1. Toss the potatoes. Toss the sliced potatoes with olive oil and salt.
  2. Add the fries to the air fryer. Place the air fryer basket in your Instant Pot Duo Crisp, inside of the metal insert, then place the fries in the basket in as even a layer as possible (this is important – the less overlap between the fries, the crispier they will be!)
  3. Set the temp + time. Place the air fryer lid on the Instant Pot, then set the temperature to 380°F for 20 minutes. At the halfway mark (about 10 minutes in), give the french fries a good toss.
  4. Remove + enjoy! After 20 minutes, remove the fries from the pot and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce (this ranch + this honey mustard are two of my favs!)

Tips For Perfect Crispy French Fries

These are our best tips for getting perfectly crispy air fryer french fries EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

  1. Layer your fries like a lattice. We got the crispiest fries when we layered the sliced potatoes in the air fryer like a lattice (alternating directions with each layer – think: like the lines on a # sign)
  2. If you’re having any trouble with the fries sticking, these perforated parchment paper liners are GREAT! 
  3. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer! Air fryers work by circulating air all around your food, and when an air fryer is overcrowded, it can’t do that, resulting in a not-so-crispy (and maybe even a little bit mushy) end product.
  4. If you’re using the Instant Pot Duo Crisp (like we are), be sure to press ‘start’ AFTER setting the cook time. This is different than how the IP typically works – you usually set the cook time, and it starts on its own. If you’re having trouble getting your IP air fryer to start, this could be why!
  5. Place the fries in the bottom of the air fryer basket that comes with the IP Duo Crisp, and *not* in the stainless steel insert.

French Fry Seasoning Ideas

While a classic salt + cracked black pepper fry is one of my favorite variations, these variations will, quite literally, spice up the old classic! We recommend adding these spice + seasonings once the french fries are finished cooking!

  • Chili Powder + Lime – about 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and a squeeze of fresh lime juice will give your french fries a deliciously Mexican-inspired spin! They're especially good with some chipotle lime mayo!
  • Bagel Blend – ah, the king of seasoning blends in my world! With poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, dried garlic + onion, and salt, it’s easy to see why this blend would be a definite french fry winner! Just sprinkle on one teaspoon before cooking.
  • Ranch – if you're a ranch fanatic like me, you'll LOVE these fries! Combine 1/4 teaspoon each of dried dill, parsley, chives, garlic powder, coarse salt, and black pepper, plus one tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Truffle Oil + Parmesan – a nearby restaurant serves the MOST delicious parmesan truffle fries, so this variation was an obvious must-try for me! If you’re looking for a ‘fancier’ fry, this is it! Once your fries are done, simply toss with 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil (this is powerful stuff!) and about 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan.

Our Favorite French Fry Dipping Sauces

Another great part of french fries? The dipping sauce! Here are some favorites:

  • Ketchup – we always say it's a classic for a reason! Whether you go traditional or spicy is up to you.
  • Ranch – We love our simple 5-ingredient ranch for dipping. You could also take things to the next level with our jalapeno ranch!
  • BBQ Sauce – A close cousin to ranch, BBQ sauce makes for a super yummy dipping option.
  • Honey Mustard – To be honest, I'd eat this honey mustard on just about anything, and it is my go-to pick for fries!
  • Creamy Chili Sauce – This creamy sauce has just a bit of a kick and would pair perfectly with the chili lime seasoned fries.
  • Thousand Island Dressing – Did you know that most restaurants' ‘special sauce' is actually just thousand island dressing? This sauce is easy to whip up and totally addictive.
  • Cheater Garlic Aioli – If you're planning on making the truffle fries, this is the perfect sauce for them!

crispy french fries in an air fryer basket

What to Serve with French Fries

I’m game to serve french fries with *just* about anything, but these are my very favorite main courses to serve alongside them:

  • Roasted Mayo Chicken – a perfectly cooked, crispy oven-roasted chicken + crispy air fryer french fries…need we say more?!
  • Beef Sliders – the chipotle lime mayo that tops these juicy burgers is TO DIE FOR – the chili powder + lime air fryer french fries would pair *so* perfectly with these sliders!
  • Chipotle Brisket – this chipotle brisket is SO easy and delicious, and would be the perfect main dish to serve alongside some crispy fries!
  • Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wings – what are chicken wings without a side of fries?! Air fry your french fries while the chicken wings cook and crisp in the oven…no-fuss at its finest!
  • Filet Mignon with Herb Butter – our take on steak frites and absolutely perfect for a date night in! The truffle oil + parmesan french fries would be superb here!

How to Store + Reheat

The best way to store your fries is in an airtight container in the fridge. We really like storing our fries in a large Ziploc simply because it’s easy, takes up less room, and tends to hold more than a container would. If you’re looking for a reusable container option though, these glass airtight containers are our favorite! 

To reheat, simply toss the fries in a bit more olive oil, and throw them back into the air fryer for a quick reheat + crisp (this should only take about 5-7 minutes). Alternatively, after tossing in olive oil, spread the fries out onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and let the fries reheat + crisp in a 400°F oven for about 10 minutes. 

We hope you love these crispy air fryer french fries as much as we do! 

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Air Fryer French Fries

crispy french fries in an air fryer basket

Get crispy air fryer french fries that are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside in just 20 minutes!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch thick fries
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

For the Instant Pot Air Fryer:

  1. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the air fryer basket in your Instant Pot, then place the fries in the basket in as even a layer as possible. The less overlap between the fries, the crispier they will be.
  3. Place the air fryer lid on the Instant Pot, then set the temperature to 380 F for 20-22 minutes, tossing halfway through when the Instant Pot beeps.
  4. Once thoroughly browned and crisp, remove the fries from the pot and enjoy!

For Other Air Fryers:

  1. Pre-heat the air fryer to 380 F.
  2. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Once your air fryer is pre-heated, add the potatoes to the air fryer basket and set to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Toss the potatoes halfway through cooking, then cook until crisp and golden brown, adding a few more minutes if needed, then remove from the air fryer and serve immediately.

 

Keywords: air fryer, instant pot, crispy, fries, potatoes

Comments

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  1. Katie says:

    “Mom, you ordered McDonald’s fries!” What my kids said when I served these tonight. High praise in this house!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’s AMAZING! Thank you for sharing this with us!!