How Long Should It Take To Make French Fries In An Air Fryer?

A classic side and snack, french fries have no problem finding their way into many meals. National Geographic states the average American eats 29 pounds of french fries annually — the equivalent of more than 75 large orders of fries at McDonald's. Families with young kids love fries because toddlers love eating food with their hands, and the starchy side is a great way to get complex carbs in kids' diets. Of course, you don't have to be under the age of 10 to enjoy french fries, as the salty, comforting food goes with just about anything: from fast food burgers to steak to vegan wraps. (And be honest, who hasn't tucked into a heaping plate of fries — just fries, thanks — when hanging with friends at a bar or diner?)

Traditionally, french fries are deep-fried in oil, which can make them a bit of a commitment to make yourself. However, thanks to the rise of the air fryer, people can cook just about anything at home with less mess, from chicken Parmesan and filet mignon to cheesecake (yes, cheesecake) and pumpkin pie (via The New York Times). And the pros of using an air fryer don't end at the clean-up. According to WebMD, french fries can be healthier when made in the appliance, and Tech Radar explains they take less time to cook in an air fryer than they do in a convection oven. But just how long should you expect them to cook?

The average time in an air fryer is about 12 to 15 minutes

Looking over a few online recipes, we found that the average time to make perfectly crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside french fries in an air fryer is about 12 to 15 minutes. Kitchn explains that homemade french fries should take around 14 minutes to cook thoroughly in the appliance, while Food Network recommends you cook house-made, ¼-inch thick fries in an air fryer for 14 to 16 minutes. The recipe at Mashed calls for ⅜-inch thick, hand-sliced potatoes to be heated for 15 minutes, while our sweet potato fries recipe takes just 12 minutes in the air fryer.

It's worth noting these cook times are all for homemade fries, rather than frozen ones you bought at the store. In addition to the cooking times, all these recipes say to soak your fresh french fries in water for 30 minutes before coating them in a light layer of oil and seasoning them, which helps them get crisp outside and helps the seasoning stick to the surface.