Making French fries from scratch can be a bit labor intensive. Classic homemade fries involve a 4 step process to make. First, you cut the potatoes. Then, you and blanch them, shock them, and dry them. Next, you deep fry them for approximately 5 minutes and set them aside to drain. Finally, you deep fry them again right before serving. And after all that, they are gone in 5 minutes because they are so good. However, they are calorie dense and loaded with fat.
Making French fries in an air fryer removes some of the steps and the fries are so much healthier because they aren’t deep fried in lots of oil 2 times.
The best potatoes to use for French fries are Russets or Idahos. These are dry fleshed baking potatoes that result in crunchy exteriors with soft interiors. I prefer organic potatoes. If you can’t find organic, you really should peel the skins from the potatoes to get rid of any pesticide residue. If using organic, you can wash them really well and leave the skin on, if desired.
It is recommended that you soak the potatoes in water prior to frying. This helps to remove some of the natural starches so that the potatoes are sure to be crispy and not soggy.
Serve the fries with one of the dipping sauces included here. Or, make poutine with them. Poutine is a popular Canadian comfort food where crispy, seasoned fries are served with cheese curds and hot gravy. You definitely need a fork to eat poutine. If you can’t find cheese curds you can substitute 1/2 shredded full-fat mozzarella and 1/2 small cubes of cheddar cheese.
This substitution of regular cheese for curds hails from the New Jersey diner staple that is called Disco Fries. Disco Fries are famous for being served after midnight to a crowd of partiers who need a meal to feel better.
Easy Air Fryer French Fries
- 2 large Russet potatoes
- Cold filtered water
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1 TBS coconut oil or grapeseed oil
- 2 tsps sea salt
Total time:23 min – Prep time:10 min + 30 minutes of soaking – Cook time:13 min – Serves:2 people
1. Wash the potatoes well. Peel the skins off. Cut the ends off of the potatoes so that they are evenly shaped. Cut one side thinly so that the potatoes can sit flat on the cutting board. Slice the potatoes into 3/8 inch x 3/8 inch rectangular sticks.
2. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Cover with water and add the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
4. Drain the water from the potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels. Dry the bowl as well. Put the potatoes back in the bowl. Pour the oil over the potatoes and add 1 teaspoon of the salt. Toss to coat evenly.
5. Place the potatoes into the air fryer basket or on the crisper plate. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, tossing at 6 minutes, until golden, crispy, and cooked through. Test one to make sure they are cooked through.
6. Season the cooked fries with the remaining sea salt. Serve the fries with ketchup or one of the dipping sauces. Alternatively, make these into poutine. Recipes follow.
Air Fryer French Fries Variations
- Season the fries with truffle salt before and after cooking.
- Substitute extra virgin olive oil for coconut oil or grapeseed oil.
- Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the cooked fries while still hot.
- Make spicy fries with Cajun seasoning before cooking and finish with sea salt.
Creamy French Fry Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 2 tsps turbinado or granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Total time: 5 min – Prep time: 5 min – Serves: 2 to 4 people
1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until creamy and smooth.
2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Serve in individual ramekins with the French fries.
Cheese Dipping Sauce
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 TBS all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
Total time: 10 min – Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 5 min – Serves: 2 people
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until the flour is golden and smells a little nutty, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Add the milk slowly, whisking continuously. Cook until the flour and milk are well combined and the sauce starts to thicken. It should just come to a simmer in approximately 3-1/2 minutes.
3. Add the cheese and stir until the sauce is creamy and smooth. Stir in the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into individual ramekins for dipping.
4. Serve immediately with the French fries.
- 2 servings of air fryer French fries
- 1 TBS bacon fat or butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1-1/2 TBS all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1-1/2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1-1/2 cups cheese curds
Total time: 35 min – Prep time: 15 min – Cook time: 20 min – Serves: 2 people
1. Make the fries as described in the first recipe. While they are cooking, make the gravy.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the fat or butter. Add the shallots and cook until almost translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
3. Whisk in the flour, stirring continuously. Cook until the flour starts to turn golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Continue whisking while you add the stock slowly. As soon as the liquid and flour are combined, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring until the gravy thickens but is still pourable, approximately 4 minutes.
4. Place the fries on serving plates. Top with the cheese curds. Pour the gravy over the curds and serve immediately with forks.