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Air Fried French Fries
Air Fryer French Fries Header

These Air Fryer French Fries are very light with a crispy crunch. I was surprised at how well these turned out and maybe my go-to for French fries for a few reasons. The real trick to it all to produce Air Fryer Fries almost the same as Deep Fried is the frequent tossing and recoating of Fat.

Types of Fries

Any cut of Fries will work at about 1 lb of Fries with 1/4 C of Fat and about 3/4 tsp of Sea Salt. A little less or more for taste. If you plan on seasoning the Fries with a special blend or additional Herbs & Spices, then season the Fries after they have cooked. Just empty back into the steel bowl and add the seasoning to toss the Fries and coat well.

I used to cook shoestring fries using 1/2 lb instead of 1 lb. But have found that frequent tossing of the Fries is sufficient to cook them up crisp. Maybe a bit more tossing than thick cut fries, still really good results, though.

Air Fryer Fries

Thick Cut Fries

Air Fryer Shoestring Fries in lard

Shoestring Fries

Oil to use for Air Fryer French Fries

One of the biggest things I like about the Air Fryer is that it does not require gallons of Oil to go into the deep fryer and cook your foods. It only needs an adequate amount to assist in cooking and keep things coated.

This enables you to use less Oil in the long run and be able to keep it fresher longer since you only use it when needed. For Deep Frying you need gallons of it and once it is heated and has been cooked with, the shelf life dramatically decreases.

Fries or Potatoes in general always need some form of fat. And while we are not deep frying here, you still need Oil for the Fries. It helps to transfer the heat and keep the Fries coated while Crisping the Fries.

A Neutral Oil like Sunflower should be used. But even better is Beef Tallow/Beef Suet. AH! How Fries were made before the ’90s. There are other rendered Fats that can be used too, and this is the beautiful thing about Air Frying Fries.

Beef Tallow French Fries

A long time ago, Fries were deep-fried in Beef Tallow. This resulted in some of the best Fries, hands down.

To do this in a deep fryer, you would need a lot and so isn’t really feasible. But with an Air Fryer, it is! Since you don’t require as much Fat to cook the Fries.

This in my opinion is what makes Air Fryer Fries better than your standard Deep Frying. You can use a little bit of rendered fat, which adds a whole bunch of Flavor to your standard Fries.

Thawed Fries vs Frozen Fries

There is a difference between Air Frying the Fries straight from frozen or letting them absorb the Fat being used and thaw before Air Frying. Although this distinction is almost unnoticeable.

Thawing the Fries will allow a darker cook and crispier fries, even after a rest of 15 minutes, as well as a more cooked inside. I often just let them sit for a few minutes. But wanted to make this distinction. I don’t think it matters all that much, though.

How to Air Fry Fries

This method produces light and crispy with very good color Air Fried French Fries.

Place 1 lb. of store bought Frozen French Fries into a stainless steel bowl with 1/4 C of Fat and about 3/4 tsp of Sea Salt. A little less or more according to taste.

Toss the fries around so that every fry gets coated in some oil. Optionally, allow to thaw for about 30 minutes before Air Frying. This brings down the temperature of the Fries and allows them to soak up the Fat. Which will really crisp the Fries up.

The same preparation is used no matter what type of fat is used. Although, if using other seasonings besides Salt or Pepper, then season after the fries are cooked.

Thawing the Fries
Thawing the Fries

The Fries will cook at 400 F for about 30 minutes. The final 5 minutes of cook time may be required or not. Allow them to cook uninterrupted for 15 minutes until they firm up a bit, which makes it easier to toss them without breaking the Fries.

These are then going to be emptied back into the Stainless Steel Bowl with the Hot Oil that has accumulated at the bottom of the basket to be tossed again and placed back into the Air Fryer. Do this every time the Fries need to be tossed, and at these intervals.

  • 15 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 5 minutes
  • 3 minutes
  • then at 2 minute and 1 minute if needed or just tossed while still in the air fryer.

The last few minutes are give or take. If the Fries look good and Crisp, then a few minutes earlier is fine. If not, then continue to cook for the full 30 minutes.

Empty the Fries back into the Bowl without the excess Fat from the Air Fryer and toss. This redistributes the Fat and is always done when adding in other seasonings so that it can stick to the Fries.

Air Fryer Fries Ideas

Air Fryer French Fries with JAH Meat Oil

Use 1/4 C of JAH Meat Oil in place of the Oil. Still add the salt. This offers a subtle flavor to the Fries that is quite nice.

It’s a lightly flavored oil without any salt, typically used to brush meats with. It works really nice for Air Fryer French Fries too.

Air Fryer Fries with JAH Meat Oil
Air Fryer Fries with JAH Meat Oil

With Bacon Fat and Beef Powder

Use 1/4 C of melted bacon fat with 1 tsp of beef powder and 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp of sea salt.

Air Fried Fries in Bacon Grease and Beef Powder
Air Fried Fries in Bacon Grease and Beef Powder

With Rendered Lamb Fat

Use 1/4 C of rendered lamb fat with 1/2–1 tsp of Sea Salt.

Air Fryer Fries with Lamb Fat
Air Fryer Fries with Lamb Fat

Fries with Rendered Chicken Fat

Use 1/4 C of rendered Chicken Fat with 1/2–1 tsp of Sea Salt.

Fried in Rendered Chicken Fat
Fried in Rendered Chicken Fat

Tandoori Fries

With 1/2 Tbl of Tandoori Masala added last to toss the fries with before serving.

Tandoori Fries
Tandoori Fries

Salt & Pepper Fries

Seasoned with a Salt & Pepper Blend instead of just Sea Salt. Combine the below to season the Fries.

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper

To add a Vinegar or Tang to the Seasoning, add in 1/2 tsp Citric Acid and 1/8 tsp Malt Vinegar or use the below seasoning which displaces the White pepper with more black pepper.

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tbl Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Citric Acid
  • 1/8 tsp Malt Vinegar
Air Fried Salt & Pepper Fries
Air Fried Salt & Pepper Fries
Air Fried French Fries

Air Fryer French Fries

Store bought Fries covered in Fat & Seasoned with Salt. Air Fried at 400 F for about 30 minutes with frequent tossing until Light & Crispy.
Servings: 2 portions
Prep5 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Thaw Time30 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Air Fryer
  • 1 Stainless Steel Bowl
  • 1 Digital Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb French Fries
  • 1/4 C Neutral Oil - See Notes
  • 3/4 tsp Sea Salt - Depending on taste, about 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp

Instructions

  • Place frozen French Fries into a Bowl and add Oil or melted Beef Tallow or other forms of fat with the Sea Salt. Toss well to ensure every fry gets coated. Optionally let thaw 30 minutes.
  • Place the Fries into the Air Fryer and Air Fry at 400 F for 30 minutes.
  • Do the next step every time you are tossing the fries.
    Empty the Fries Back into the Stainless Steel Bowl with the Hot Oil from the bottom of the Air Fryer basket. Toss to coat all the fries and empty back into the Air Fryer to continue cooking.
  • Toss the Fries at 15, 10, and 5 minutes. The last 5 minutes, toss them around every minute or so. They should be crisp and have good color.
    Sometimes the Fries don't need the last few minutes. At which point, as long as the Fries are crisped up with good color, they can be removed from the Air Fryer.
    Empty the Fries back into the steel bowl without the remaining fat left in the air fryer basket and toss. Optionally Season with other seasonings and serve.

Notes

The Fat can be exchanged with melted Beef tallow/Suet, Lard, Bacon Fat, or other Rendered Fats and can add so much more flavor to the Fries. 
The general idea is to air fry until they can be handled without breaking apart. Then toss frequently with the hot Fat until they are Crisp. It’s this frequent tossing and redistributing the fat to recoat the fries that yield the best results. 
If adding in Seasonings other than Salt & Pepper, save this for when the Fries are done cooking. Empty the Fries back into the Steel Bowl without the remaining fat in the Air Fryer. Then Season and toss the Fries to distribute the seasoning before serving.
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Air Fried French Fries, Air Fried Fries, Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Fries, Beef Tallow Fries, French Fries in the Air Fryer, Fries with Bacon Fat, Fries with Bacon Grease, Fries with Beef Tallow, Fries with lard
Author: JAH

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