7 Top Tips for Cooking Frozen French Fries in an Air Fryer

Delicious potato fries with tomato ketchup on white

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French fries

Fry, Fry Again

French fries are universally loved for a reason: Their crispy exterior and soft interior make for the perfect combination of textures; hit them with some salt and you've got yourself a classic. French fries are the perfect side dish for nearly everything, too — from burgers and hot dogs to steaks and salads. While going to a drive-thru to satisfy a french fry craving is quick and easy, most fast-food restaurants' fries are cooked with unhealthy oils and often under- or over-seasoned. 

By making them in an air fryer at home, you can enjoy the taste of deep-fried french fries without the added fat, and save money in the process. Follow these steps to learn how to make frozen fries in an air fryer that are easy and delicious. (Pro tip: Serve your fries with a side of spicy mayo and sprinkle with parmesan cheese for a perfect bite of creamy, tangy, and savory deliciousness.)

Related: The Chain That Beats McDonald's in a French Fry Showdown

Air fryer machine cooking potato fried in kitchen.  Lifestyle of new normal cooking.

Preheat Your Air Fryer

Start by preheating the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure an even cook throughout the fries and help them reach that golden crispy exterior while still retaining a soft, fluffy center. Once your air fryer is done preheating, throw in the fries and seasonings and air fry for about 25 to 30 minutes; toss a few times between cooking to prevent them from sticking together. 

pouring hot water into the bowl

Try Soaking Them

Soaking french fries in hot water before cooking helps remove excess starch, resulting in fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. When the starch is removed, the surface of the fries are also less likely to stick together and will cook more evenly. To soak your fries, place them in a bowl of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes; drain them and pat them dry. 

Air fryer with french fries on the worktop

Use a Cooking Spray

Spray a cooking oil (avocado or olive oil are healthiest) to coat the fries lightly before cooking — it helps them crisp up. It's also recommended to spray the bottom of the air fryer, which prevents residue from building up. Be mindful not to overspray your fries; too much oil can make them soggy. 

Chef seasoning french fries with salt in a bowl flipping them
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Toss With Cornstarch

For extra crispy fries, try coating them with cornstarch before air frying. You can also experiment with seasonings such as garlic, onion powder, cheese, or a Cajun mix to add even more flavor. (Sometimes salt and pepper just isn't enough. There's no shame in that!)

French fries in a row on white background

Don't Crowd Them

Try cooking fries in a single layer to ensure they cook evenly and get crispy on all sides. Adjust time and temperature according to the thickness and brand of your frozen french fries, as cooking times may vary. For extra crispiness, keep the fries in for a few minutes longer than the cooking time recommended on the package. 

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Separate and Allow to Cool

Once the fries are done, remove them from the air fryer and let them sit for a couple of minutes before serving — this will allow them to firm up as their internal temperature cools. Use a fork to separate fries that stick together. 

child eating french fries or potato chips.

Reheat Away

In the unlikely event you have leftovers, reheating frozen french fries is easy to do. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook your leftover fries for 2 to 3 minutes until they are hot and crispy.