Everyone is talking about them – air fryers. And for good reasons too. You see, while the taste of fries made with an air fryer may not be the same as those deep fried through the old way, the fries still taste pretty great. And what’s more? They are absolutely healthy, offering you 80% less oil, fat, and calories than deep fried fries would.
All of these makes the air fryer something you want to use and the fries made with it, something you want to try. But how do use these air fryers to make fries?
Well, that is exactly what I plan to show you in this article; the step by step process you can follow to get your first fries from an air fryer as well the couple of important things you need to take note of while using the air fryer for fries.
Whatever the brand of the air fryer you are about to use, the steps to making tasty healthy fries are relatively the same.
How to Actually Make Those Fries
The first thing you want to do before initiating the entire process of fries making is soaking the potatoes. After you have sliced the raw potatoes into French fry shapes (that is about ½ or ¼ inch thick. You could use a mandolin to slice them more accurately), you should place them into a bowl of warm water and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Some persons even go ahead to boil them for about 10 minutes instead of just leaving them in warm water. Soaking the potatoes ensures that they lose some of their contents leaving them tender in the inside and crispy on the outside after frying.
While you are waiting for the potatoes to soak, you should adjust the temperature on the air fryer to 360°F. This would preheat the air fryer. Usually, most air fryers would preheat in about 3 minutes.
After the 10 minutes have elapsed, you need to properly drain the potatoes and then place them in a large bowl. Then drizzle them with little olive oil or no oil at all if you so wish (you would still get tasty crispy French fries!). Next, with all the generosity in your heart, season the potatoes with all the seasonings you want. Salt, pepper, chili, paprika or garlic powders. Make sure to toss them around properly so that the seasoning can coat the potatoes.
When you are satisfied by your seasoning, you can go ahead and arrange the seasoned potatoes at the bottom of the holding basket. You can make the arrangement in a single layer if it is possible. This is because when foods are separated, they tend to cook better in the air fryer. So in a single layer, your potatoes should come out crispier. But there is no crime in having more layers if there are more potatoes and you intend to cook them all at once. In this case, however, you might need to pull the basket out of the air fryer half-way through the cooking time and flip the potatoes manually (that is for those air fryers that cannot do this automatically). This would ensure a more even frying.
Your fries should be ready in 15 minutes. Using a spatula, pull the fries out of the basket and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
Important Thing to Note When Making Fries
Like every tool or appliance out there, there are certain things you must regard as important if you intend to get the best out of the air fryer especially when you are using them for your favorite fries.
1. Never Forget to Adjust The Cooking Temperature
The air fryer needs to be, before anything else, preheated and then its cooking temperature needs to be adjusted to get the fries cooked just right. An advantage of using the air fryer is that you get to cook your food faster and at a temperature lower than what the food would require when using the traditional way of coking. This means that the established temperature for making fries via deep frying would not be the same temperature you should have preset on your air fryer. The temperature needs to be lowered by about 20°F – 30°F. For example, if the standard temperature for frying your French fries in deep oil is 375°F, then you would need to adjust the cooking temperature on your air fryer to 360°F to achieve the best result.
A similar principle applies to the cooking time. Because the air fryer cooks food faster than regular ways of cooking, lowering the cooking time when using the air fryer is also advisable.
2. You Can Always Use Oil
The fact that you could cook your food without having to bother about oil is essentially one of the best things about the air fryer. Foods cooked with the air fryer are considered generally healthy because they cut about 80% oil off the food. That means you still get your favorite fries but in a more healthy form. Yet there is no harm in using a little sprinkle of oil (olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil; whichever your good heart desires). Not for taste. No! But fries that get a little oil coating always end up looking more attractive, more appealing, and crisper.
Meats, however, do not require oil of any kind, but you should sprinkle some oil on the basket or rack before frying them to prevent them from sticking to the basket or rack after cooking is complete.
3. Filling Up Your Basket
The best way to fill air fryer basket or rack is to arrange your potatoes in a single layer. This gives you evenly cooked French fries as well as eliminates the trouble of pausing the cooking half-way to shake the basket or toss the potatoes around to ensure uniform cooking.
This doesn’t mean you cannot fill your basket to the top if you so want. But you should bear in mind that some of your potatoes will end up less crisp than the others. Plus you have the shaking and tossing to do half-way through the cooking, especially for air fryers that cannot do this automatically.
Some air fryers are designed to pause the cooking timer when you open the drawer to pull out the basket for a good shake while other air fryers will still continue with the cooking even when the basket has been removed (this might affect the overall cooking of the fries).
Using the air fryer for fries is a very difficult concept but you need to understand how the air fryer works and do the necessary things or you might not like what you get.
Also, the steps for making the fries are pretty much straight forward. Feel free to experiment with whatever recipe you can think of but do not forget to take note of the very important things.