The Key To Getting The Crispiest Fries From An Air Fryer

If you have an air fryer, one of the reasons is probably that you're looking for an alternative method of preparing deep fried food. Whether it be breaded chicken, onion rings, or anything you want to make extra crispy, an air fryer can deliver a lighter version of it without the oil or added calories. But when it comes to French fries, let's be honest: It's hard to compare the real deal to the kind you get from an air fryer. While air fryer fries do have a certain crispness to them, the texture errs more on the soggy side.

Your first instinct, therefore, may be to add more oil, but according to Cooking Light, this doesn't actually result in crispier fries. Instead the oil just collects at the bottom of the tray and will smoke and burn. At that point you might as well cook your fries the traditional way. Extra oil certainly isn't the answer, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve crispier fries in the air fryer.

Tossing the fries makes more of a difference than you'd think

To make fries extra crispy in the air fryer, you won't need any extra ingredients. Per America's Test Kitchen, you simply need to give your fries a good toss throughout the cooking process. This prevents them from sticking together while also allowing each side of the fry to cook evenly. More importantly, as Bon App├ętit explains, it roughs up the surface of the potato to expose a layer of starch. This starch combined with any oil you may have sprayed onto the fries is what helps them crisp up in the air fryer.

The more you toss, the more starch gets distributed, and the crispier your fries will get as a result. Too much tossing, however, can cause your fries to break, so per America's Test Kitchen's recommendation, don't do the tossing right in the air fryer basket. Just use a separate bowl, and you'll end up with perfectly intact and crisp air fried French fries.