Turn fresh russet potatoes into the most delicious homestyle, seasoned French fries with this easy recipe. The perfect way to make homemade fries in your air fryer!
There’s lots of different kinds of French fries out there… crinkle cut, curly, seasoned, thick, thin, you name it. My favorite fries are the ones with the potato skins still on, and a light coating of seasoning. I’ve seen places where they have a potato slicing machine which drops the fresh cut fries directly into the hot oil. I LOVE those!
You always hear how great the air fryers are at making all kinds of food without the need for deep frying. So let’s make the most popular deep fried food of them all, French fries, without deep frying at all. Just wait until you taste the results!
What are Homestyle French Fries?
Homestyle French fries simply refer to the kind of fries in which the potatoes aren’t peeled. These are the perfect fries to make in the air fryer as the skins actually help to provide crispness and extra flavor.
What kind of potatoes for French Fries?
Most French fries are made from russet potatoes, which are favored for their high starch and low moisture content. This helps the inside of the fry to have it’s light and fluffy texture. A high moisture or waxy potato such as red potatoes or fingerling potatoes will be too tough for making into French fries.
We’ll start with the main ingredient, the russet potatoes. An average, medium sized russet potatoes is around 6-10 ounces.
For the seasoning, we’ll use a seasoned salt such as Lawry’s. It’s the perfect blend of seasonings and is readily available almost everywhere. Then we’ll add just a bit of paprika for additional flavor depth as well as color. That’s it!
We’ll slice our potatoes into slices which are about ¼″ thick. Simply place the potato on a cutting board and use a sharp kitchen knife to make slices lengthwise along the potato. If it helps, you can slice off a piece, then lay the potato flat sized down and continue doing the cuts. Once we have all the slices, then cut each slice lengthwise, also about ¼″ wide, giving us the final French fry sized piece of potato.
To Rinse, or not to Rinse?
Some French fry methods call for the fresh cut potatoes to soak in water or be rinsed before frying. There’s all sorts of science as to the reason why, but let’s just say that for our air fryer fries, you’ll get the best results by rinsing them in cool water first. I just place them in a bowl and place it under a running faucet for about a minute and move them around with my hand. This basically washes away some of the excess starch from the surface.
Next, be sure to dry those raw fries as best possible! Put them on a plate with some paper towels and dry them by hand. You can even leave them out for a while to air dry.
Now we’ll place the raw fries into a large zip-top bag or a large bowl and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Shake the fries around and get them well coated with the oil. Next, sprinkle the seasoning over the raw fries and toss some more. Get that seasoning well distributed over all those potatoes.
We all like a little personal space, right? Well our potatoes are the same way and they’ll want some personal space while in the air fryer. It’s important to NOT stack the fries on top of each other and also best to separate any fries that may be stuck together. We’re not going to get too crazy with this – you don’t need to be in there with a ruler and individually measure the distance between each fry, but give them as much space as reasonably possible. If you’re making a lot of fries, you may need to do this in multiple batches.
Air Fry at 380°(F) for 15-18 Minutes
Make sure you preheat the air fryer first. Once it’s preheated, the fries go into the air fryer basket or air fryer tray (depending on the type of air fryer you have). Again, spread the fries out as best possible and use the air fry setting for about 15-18 minutes at 380°(F). The time will depend on how thick your fries are, but you’ll generally find the best results at 15-18 minutes. Pull the basket out every 3-4 minutes and give it a shake or use tongs to move them around a bit in order to get the best possible results. Again, no need to get crazy here. Just make sure they’re not stacked up on each other or stuck together.
Now your homestyle seasoned fries are ready to enjoy! Just like regular fries, I like to dump them on a plate or basket lined with a paper towel and let everyone dig in.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Why do we need any oil at all?
A: While we don’t need to deep fry the potatoes in vats of oil, a little oil is still necessary to aid in the process. This is true with most air fryer recipes. 1tbs of oil vs. 1 quart of oil… I’ll take that trade off any day!
Q: Does it have to be vegetable oil?
A: You can use extra virgin olive oil or pretty much any other cooking oil, but I’ve found that regular vegetable or canola oil offers the very best results while keep the flavor of the potato as true as possible.
Q: Can this recipe be doubled?
A: Absolutely! I’ve kept it at 1 potato to keep it simple. Again, we do NOT want to crowd the potatoes into the air fryer, as that would make the fries be way less than optimal. Go right ahead and double, triple, quadruple the recipe! Just be sure to do the air frying in batches.
Q: I don’t have seasoned salt. What else can I use?
A: No problem. Substitute with ½tsp salt, ¼tsp onion powder, ¼tsp garlic powder. While there are a few other ingredients in seasoned salt, this is the easiest and most basic substitution.
Q: How to reheat French Fries?
A: We can reheat the fries again right in the air fryer. Use a low temperature – about 320°(F) for 3-4 minutes. Just keep an eye on them to not overcook. And again, give them some space in the air fryer.