Okay, we get it, people seriously disagree about what a “great fry” is. Listen up, we’ll tell you what it is. That sounds too strong, almost threatening I’ve been told, so let’s try saying we’ll share some of the things we like best and how to get there. Don’t want to scare anybody over silly fries.
The characteristics we like in a quality french fry is a crispy exterior with a fluffy soft interior and a hint of salt. Bam! But to suck the wind out of our own sales, can you achieve making good fries in an air fryer? Similar to a magic eight ball, the correct answer is ‘mostly yes’.
You can get a pretty good fry at home, using the same tricks we used in restaurants. The question remains though, do you still call them French fries since you are indeed not using the French fry process which is actually from Belgium, Belgians speak French so there you go for the original name. We’ll just stick with ‘fries’ for now.
Making the Best Fries
Hand cutting fries is pretty easy. If you have a device that cuts them, the right disk for your food processor or a levered fry maker, feel free to use it. The technique to truly hand cut them is simple. Decide your dimension, let’s say ¼-½ an inch. Slice off that thickness from the broadest side of the spud. That is your base, set the spud on that flat side. Slice the tater into similar thickness slices. Next take a small stack of the slices and cut them the long ways to the same dimension. Presto change you now have potato sticks to cook into fries.
Watch our video for more
Next step is to brine them for 12-24 hours. This pulls the starch and tightens up the structure, that osmosis thing again, so that your end result is a fluffier center to the fry. For this recipe we used 4 quarts of water with ¼ cup kosher salt and 1 Tablespoon sugar. About the salt, use kosher or any non-iodized salt for the brine. The starch in the taters and the iodine react poorly with really bad coloration as a result. As to sugar, it is not for flavor exactly, it helps with more even coloring and caramelization of the fries when they cook. We’d say blame McDonalds, but every fast food or commercially prepared fry is typically exposed to sugar water before cooking…because it works.
Air Fryer Fries
- 3-5 Peeled spuds of your choice
- Vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- ¼ Cup Salt plus more for seasoning to taste
- Cut your taters and put them in brine in a non-reactive container for 12-24 hours
- Drain the taters well, toss with a Tablespoon or so of vegetable oil
- Spread the taters evenly on the cooking racks in a single layer
- Cook for 18 minutes at 380 degrees, at about the halfway point rotate the racks and gently shake to release the fries from the rack. Cook longer of a darker color is desired
- Toss in a bowl and salt to your tastes
- Serve in a dish with a paper liner and the sauce of your choice. Enjoy