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These Air-Fryer French Fries Are Just as Good as Deep-Fried

I was always an air fryer skeptic, but these fries helped me see the light. 
By Published Aug. 17, 2022

Nothing beats hot, crispy french fries that are fresh out of the deep fryer. And while I love our recipe for Easier French Fries that uses the cold oil method, sometimes I want something even easier to make at home, without sacrificing deliciousness. I didn’t think it was possible. 

Then I started using an air fryer.

I know many people are air-fryer skeptics, and I used to be one as well. Then I spent months testing them, and part of that test was making batch after batch of our Air-Fryer French Fries. My mind was changed.

These fries are crispy, fluffy, and salty in the best way, and they taste just like they came out of a deep fryer. 

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I’ve made these fries dozens of times at this point, and their deliciousness comes down to a few key steps: 

1. Rinse and soak the fries

Rinsing and soaking the fries is essential for removing pesky extra starch, which can impede crispiness. But we found that you only need a brief rinse and a quick 10-minute soak to reap the benefits.

2. Coat the fries in oil and parkcook them

After a quick toss in only 1 tablespoon of oil, the fries go into the air fryer at 350℉ for a total of about 15-20 minutes to parcook, tossing halfway through. This heats and softens the insides, ensuring a fluffy interior for the finished product.

3. Toss the fries in a bowl partway through cooking

The recipe has you toss the fries a few times throughout the cooking process. This redistributes them for even cooking, ensures they won't stick together, and sets the stage for perfect savory crispiness. It's best to do this in a separate bowl (rather than directly in the air fryer basket) to ensure the fewest broken fries.

4. Give them a final "fry"

After the initial parcook, you'll crank up the temp to 400℉ and cook the fries for another 15 minutes or so. This will give them a perfectly crispy exterior. And keep tossing: You'll want to toss the fries (still in a separate bowl!) every 5 minutes until they're ready.

The fries emerge from the air fryer hot, salty, and with the perfect crispy-fluffy texture. Good luck even making it to the table before scarfing them down.