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This simple air fryer French fry recipe will give you the perfect homemade side dish

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French fries are the perfect side dish. They hardly ever disappoint. I contend even a bad French fry is pretty decent. But a really good french fry? A really good fry is unmatched. It puts a bad fry to shame.

Now the problem with cooking fries at home is that it typically requires deep frying. And that involves a ton of oil, which creates a mess and takes a long time. But don’t worry my pals: You can actually make quite good French fries in the air fryer. They’ll taste delicious and require a minimal amount of work. And you won’t have a vat of oil to discard at the end of the process.

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Here’s what you need to know.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Using a knife, cut your potatoes into French fry shapes. I wanted boardwalk-style fries, so I left the skin on. I cut each potato lengthwise into planks, then sliced those planks into thin fries.

  2. Drop the cut fries into a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge. This will draw starch out of the potatoes and should result in crispier, fluffier fries.

  3. When you’re ready to air fry, remove the fries from the water and thoroughly pat them dry.

  4. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, coat fries in oil then season very generously with salt and pepper. Seriously, I would like to meet the person who over-salted a potato. It is very hard to do.

  5. Once the air fryer is preheated, cook the fries for about 16 minutes or until they begin to brown and become crispy. You can shake the basket a few times during the cooking process to ensure the fries cook evenly.

The details

I honestly think the single most important thing about making this recipe is cutting the fries correctly. It’s not difficult, so don’t stress. The first thing I’d tell you to do is cut a small sliver, going lengthwise, off the potato. This creates a flat bottom on which you can rest the potato. Then you go about cutting planks. I like thin fries so I cut thin planks and then sliced those planks into fries.

As you cut the fries drop them directly into a bowl of water. I let mine soak for about an hour or so. You can basically do all the prep you have to do, set the fries aside, clean up a bit then get right to making the recipe. If you don’t have time to soak your fries, don’t stress, they’ll still turn out fine.

From there, you dry the fries, glug them with oil — just enough to coat — then season heavily with salt and pepper. It’s simple stuff.

SEE ALSO:

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Here’s how my raw fries looked going into the air fryer. You want to fill up the basket enough so that you have a bunch of fries to eat but not so many that air can’t circulate. The hot air touching all sides of the fries is what will get you a crispy result.

seasoned, raw fries in an air fryer

Raw fries about to get air fried.
Credit: Mashable

Then you air fry at 400 degrees for 16 minutes. You can go for a longer or shorter time, depending on how you like your fries. Here’s how my final product looked.

cooked fries in bowl with ketchup on side

Fries. Very good fries.
Credit: Mashable

The end result? You should get crunchy fries that have a fluffy, hot interior. My end product tasted a lot like boardwalk fries, which are some of the best fries on Earth. Do I think you could make a tastier product in a deep fryer? Sure. I think the most delicious way to make fries is to double-fry them in a vat of oil. But that takes a ton of work and a bunch of oil. This air fry method makes a wonderful side dish with very little work.

I think for the vast majority of normal people this is the best way to make French fries since most folks have neither endless time nor the desire to deep fry. It’s way better than frozen fries with only a bit more work. So next time you fire up burgers on the grill, break out the air fryer and make a delicious, easy side.



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