I want to loose some weight (like, really some weight…) and cut down on fats a little, so I bought an air fryer some time ago for low fat food preparation. I like french fries a lot (and yes! The Mc Donald’s style ones not those present-time fancy, like, pretentious halved potatoes they try to sell you as fries instead of just oil soaked potato chunks) and I wanted to make my own, reasonably low-fat yet reasonably tasty stuff. The Air Fryer comes in very handy here. After some fiddling around and trying several internet tips I ended up with this recipe.

No, they won’t beat some well-made, twice cooked golden fries from the deep fryer, but they do get close enough for me and they do taste great. I wasn’t sure about the whole soaking-in-boiling-water-approach, but it turns out it’s an obvious plus, so do try it. Unfortunately, it’s therefore also not completely hassle free, but it’s well worth the effort and there’s a little workaround.

Here’s what to do (recipe is for two as a side, or for one as an inglorious dinner 馃檪 ):

Ingredients:

500g primarily waxy potatoes *
1 heaping tsp. salt
1 – 1.5 tbsp. cooking oil

 

* “Russet Potatoes” are popular in the US, and (afaik) “Maris Piper” in the UK. In Germany they’re called “vorwiegend festkochend” for example “Laura”. Longer is better.

Method:

Prep:
Peel the potatoes and cut into fries, either with a knife or with a fries cutter (something like this one – which is fun). Put them in a bowl, add the salt and cover with boilng water. Let them sit for about 30 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to loosen any starch that wants to come off. The water will get cloudy.

Strain the potatoes through a sieve and gently but thoroughly rinse with cold water, washing off all the starch still on the surface. Then place onto some kitchen paper or a clean towel in a single layer and pat them dry, trying to get them as dry as possible.

Once cooled and nicely dry you can now either freeze them for later (the workaround) or process them right away. 

The actual cooking:
This will take about 20 minutes at least, depending on the size of your fries. In a bowl, toss the fries to coat with some (little) cooking oil and preheat your air fryer: I set it to “full whack”, which is in my case 200掳C (~390掳F). Add the fries into the basket, taking care not to overfill it and making sure they’re scattered loosely.

Air fry in five-minute-intervals, shaking them loose in between until done to your liking. Season with salt and whatever you fancy. This is surprisingly good food – crispy enough on the outside, not dry and with a fluffy interior.