Who doesn’t love french fries? Making them at home isn’t something that’s on my top-ten list of favorite things to do, though, because of the oil spatters that get all over my stove and counters, not to mention the….ahem….less-than-healthy nature of those greasy, golden beauties. So despite the fact that I love to eat fries — at restaurants (I enjoy Ore-Idas from the oven every so often, but it’s just not the same as good ‘ole oil-fried fries, if you know what I mean), I don’t have them very often.
Enter my air fryer! Don’t know why it never occurred to me to make french fries in my air fryer from actual fresh potatoes. I use the air fryer a lot to make my Ore-Idea fries because they are ready quicker and they get more crispy, so I decided to try making french fries in the air fryer.
We peeled the potatoes first this time, but sometimes we like to leave the skins on. Either way, cut the fries into thin strips. You decide the length: I like shorter fries because then when the kids count them, it seems like they have a lot more. 😀
To soak or not to soak? That is the question:
The handful of times I’ve made “real” french fries at home, I have experimented with soaking them in water vs. not soaking them in water. I find that the fries turn out a little more crispy when you do soak some of the starch out, but unless you soak them for quite a while (like more than an hour), there’s not much difference. Personally I don’t have the patience or time to soak potatoes for hours: I need to slice them up and get them cooked so we can E-A-T and then start homework, chores, and all of that other good stuff that happens at night. So, for this recipe I only soaked the potatoes 30 minutes. Feel free to soak them longer for fries that are even more crisp!
If you do soak the fries first, be sure to pat them dry with a clean dish towel (or paper towels) so they’re dry before you mix in the oil and seasonings.
Here is the recipe I used. It’s based on about 4-5 other online recipes I found and includes my 8-year-old son’s favorite “secret” ingredient: chili powder. He puts it in everything: even an apple cobbler he made. Surprisingly enough, it was really yummy in that cobbler!
The image below will give you an idea of about how much chili powder we used. There is a nice sprinkling of chili powder on each fry, but they’re not completely coated with it. You can adjust this based on your tolerance for and enjoyment of chili powder.
Jen’s Easy Air Fryer French Fries with Kid-Friendly Remoulade Sauce
AIR FRYER FRENCH FRIES
- 3-4 large potatoes (peeled or not peeled), cut into thin strips
- 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil (or your choice oil)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chili powder to taste
- Place sliced potatoes into a large ziploc bag or a large bowl.
- Add coconut oil (if the oil is not liquid, zap it in the microwave until it’s just melted) and toss.
- Add salt and pepper and chili powder and toss to combine.
- Add fries to the air fryer basket (I cooked all of mine in one shot, but if they don’t fit in your basket you might need to do a few batches).
- Fry for 15-20 minutes, stopping halfway through (somewhere between 8-20 minutes) to shake the fries. When they’re done, check to see if they are crispy enough for you: if not, fry them a few minutes more.
- Try a fry and see if you need to add any more salt, pepper, and/or chili powder.
These babies are SO delicious and crispy! One tip I have is to make sure you don’t overdo it on the oil. Too much oil will keep the fries from crisping up. A good rule of thumb is to add about one tablespoon of oil per medium-to-large sized potato.
Another tip I have is to dip the fries in your favorite sauce. At our house, we like to eat these fries in barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or even just sprinkle them with a tangy vinegar. We also love to make this kid-friendly remoulade dipping sauce that is mainly kid-friendly because it doesn’t have chopped up onions, celery, or parsley in it like a lot of remoulade recipes. No onions is one of the key components of something being “kid-friendly” at our house. In addition, this sauce is on the mild side. This sauce is also great with chicken fingers, tater tots, on burgers, and pretty much any other place where you’d find a good sauce hanging out.
KID-FRIENDLY REMOULADE DIPPING SAUCE
- 1 cup mayonnaise (we used the Olive Oil Hellmann’s kind)
- 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 to 1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper
Mix up all of these ingredients and add more red pepper as needed until the sauce is as spicy as you can get it and have your kids still want to eat it (if they’re like mine and don’t want really spicy things). Or, if your fam-bam loves the spicy stuff, by all means, add more of that cayenne pepper!
I like to serve these fries with lemon wedges. It’s pretty and I like the taste of a little lemon on my fries.
I think I like the way these fries turn out even better than when I fry them in oil in a pan on the stove! I definitely like the fact that cleanup with the air fryer is so easy. My basket is dishwasher safe, but I’m too afraid to put it in my dishwasher so I just wash it by hand. It takes all of about 2 minutes.
I am continually surprised at how awesome air fryers are! I definitely use mine more than I thought I would. These french fries are another great example of how something previously time-consuming and messy to make turns out much more easy, and healthy, with my air fryer. Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on these links may result in my earning a small commission. As always all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.