Air fryer potatoes: expert tips for making the tastiest potatoes

You’ll never go back to oven-baked spuds after this…

Air fryers are increasingly popular as a quick and cheap way to make healthy meals. However, search for air fryers online and it seems all anyone wants to know is how to cook potatoes in them.

Whether you’re looking to make the tastiest roasted potatoes with less fat, or want to make crispy jacket potatoes in a fraction of time, cooking them in one of the best air fryers is the way to go.

Buying an air fryer just for potatoes may not work out as the most cost-effective purchase, yet you may be surprised at the variety of potato dishes your air fryer can produce.

Four air fryers with different types of potatoes cooked in them to illustrate air fryer potatoesCredit: Exceptional
Your trusty air fryer can cook a whole menu of potato dishes

“Potatoes taste so much better when made in an air fryer because it uses hot air circulation to cook the potatoes evenly and quickly,” says air frying enthusiast and cooking blogger Liana Green.

“The result is a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. Also, air frying requires less oil than traditional frying methods, making the result lighter and less greasy.”

Before you dive into your air fryer potato odyssey, you may want to consider picking up some air fryer accessories to make sure you get the best results.


What potatoes work best in the air fryer?

You can’t go wrong with a Maris Piper

The right potato dish needs the right potato. If you’re cooking chips, wedges or even jacket potatoes, go for a Maris Piper or King Edward variety. When cooked they are nice and fluffy on the inside, but they crisp up well on the outside.

While Maris Piper is a great all-round potato, if you want to be adventurous and try air fryer mash, it’s best to go for one that has a creamy flesh such as Desiree or Marabel.

Finally, for roasties, try a Rooster or Apache variety of potato for that perfect ratio of fluffy in the centre to crispy on the skin.

BUDGET TIP: Don’t discount that tin of potatoes in the cupboard. While they may not taste quite as good as a fresh spud, they’re a great choice if you want to make a cheap and speedy meal. Make sure you drain them well first before placing in a bowl and adding oil and seasoning. Then put them in your basket and air fry for two to three minutes at 190°C (370°F).

Are potatoes healthier in the air fryer?

Less oil means fewer calories

Award-winning health coach Amanda Place says that on the whole air fryer potatoes are much better for you, as there’s less oil used than when you roast or fry them. There’s also the extra bonus of the potato holding on to its nutrients, which can break down over a long period of cooking.

“Air fryers cook food more quickly and evenly than ovens, which means that the potatoes retain more nutrients and have a better texture overall,” she says.

“This is particularly beneficial if you’re trying to eat a healthier diet and are looking for ways to reduce your calorie and fat intake while still enjoying delicious food.”

What types of potato dishes work best in the air fryer?

Best for roasties and chips

When it comes to air fryer potatoes, there are very few limits.

“There aren’t many potato dishes that can’t be made in an air fryer as it’s a versatile cooking appliance,” says Liana Green.

“Be careful with very thinly sliced potatoes as they might cook too quickly or fly around the air fryer and burn. If you have a trivet or similar, you can place that on top to stop them flying about too much.”

How to cook a jacket potato in an air fryer

Pierce before cooking

Jacket potatoes with salt to illustrate air fryer potatoesCredit: Shutterstock/Ivan Danik
Jacket potatoes come out nice and crispy when cooked in an air fryer

While jacket potatoes may not be the quickest potato dish to cook in an air fryer, you can still shave off about 20-30 minutes of cooking time compared to a traditional oven. And if you’re using an electric oven, that’s going to save you money as well as time.

  1. To get the best results, pierce the potato first. “This will allow steam to escape and prevent the potato from bursting during cooking,” says Place.
  2. Then lightly spray it with some oil or use a brush to add a light coating to it. The oil helps it crisp up without becoming dry during the cooking period. Even though you can use tin foil in an air fryer, don’t wrap your spud up with it as it won’t crisp up as well.
  3. Place says that pre-heating the air fryer is important for this dish as it will help your jacket potato cook evenly, with a nice crispy skin. She then recommends cooking the potato at 200°C (400°F) for about 45 minutes.
  4. “Depending on the size of the potato, it may take between 30 and 45 minutes to cook in an air fryer,” says Place. “To check if it’s done, pierce the potato with a fork. If it’s tender all the way through, it’s ready to eat.”

EXPERT TIP: Short on time? You can start the cooking process in the microwave, followed by a blast in the air fryer to crisp it up. The potatoes will probably need about eight minutes or so in the microwave followed by another 10-15 in the air fryer to crisp them.

How to cook chips in an air fryer

Chip off the old block

Lady putting chips into an air fryer to cook themCredit: Shutterstock/Marciobnws
Try and cut potatoes into the same size batons so that they cook evenly

If any potato dish was made for air fryers, it’s the humble chip. Much healthier than the deep-fried version and way tastier than oven chips, once you’ve tried them you won’t go back.

  1. To make them yourself, simply cut your potatoes into batons. Make sure they’re not too thin as they might break; too thick and they’ll take longer to cook. “If you’re making chips, cut them into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking,” advises Green.
  2. Toss the potatoes in oil to make sure they’re evenly coated – one tablespoon should be enough to do this – and season with a good sprinkling of salt or other spice.
  3. Put them in the basket and cook at 200°C (400°F) for approximately 20-25 minutes. They will probably need a little shake midway through to ensure they all cook evenly. If you have a large amount of chips, you may need to cook them in two batches.
French fries cooked in air fryer to illustrate air fryer potaotesCredit: Shutterstock/Yulia Furman
Air fryers give frozen chips a really nice crispy finish as long as you don’t overload the basket

If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own chips, then frozen chips taste lovely in an air fryer. However, they can get a little soggy. The trick, Green says, is to not overcrowd the basket. 

“Try not to overfill the air fryer basket as the frozen chips won’t have a chance to crisp up, and instead get soggy as they defrost slightly before cooking,” she says.

“Depending on the size of the chips, cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket a few times through to ensure even cooking and make sure they don’t stick to each other.”

Tips to make the most of your air fryer potatoes

Soaking potatoes before putting them in the air fryer will result in a crispier fry, which is particularly important if you’re making chips or roast potatoes. This is because the water draws out some of the starch in the potatoes. A 30-minute soak is all it takes, but don’t forget to dry them well before you put them in the air fryer.

“Any water or moisture on potatoes in the air fryer will prevent them from crisping up and risk them turning out soggy,” says Green.

Place says you can make your potatoes even healthier by using less oil and choosing a different oil from regular sunflower.

“Try using heart-healthy oils like olive or avocado oil,” she suggests. “These oils contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Packing in too many potatoes will cause uneven cooking. Place them in a single layer and don’t forget to shake the basket a few times to make sure they cook evenly.

Whatever type of potato dish you’re making in the air fryer, it will benefit from a liberal bit of seasoning. Salt and pepper are the obvious choice, but Place says not to dismiss other seasonings such as herbs, garlic granules or even smoked paprika, as it can help reduce your sodium intake.

Green also suggests adding a dash of vinegar or lemon juice to the potatoes before air frying, for a delicious, tangy twist.

Green warns against ditching the potato peels, as they can be turned into a tasty snack. Drizzle them with oil, add some seasoning, and put them in the air fryer for eight to ten minutes. While they’re delicious on their own, you can also serve them with dips or additional toppings, such as cheese or sour cream.

How to cook roast potatoes in an air fryer

Dream roasties this way

Perfect roasted potatoes with spices and herbs on wood board, just one of the air fryer potatoes you can makeCredit: Shutterstock/Alex Bayev
Parboil your potatoes first if you want crisp, yet fluffy, roasties

A good roast potato – one that’s fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside – can take up to an hour and a half to cook in an oven. Your air fryer can reduce this time considerably, which means you can enjoy them every day of the week and not just on a Sunday.

Green says that crispy air fryer roast potatoes are all about prep. As well as cutting them into evenly-sized pieces, to allow uniform cooking, she recommends parboiling beforehand.

“Either parboil or steam the potatoes for five to seven minutes before drying them,” she says. “If you don’t want to parboil them first, make sure you rinse them well in cold water and then pat them dry before oiling and seasoning them.”

Another tip from Green is to shake the potatoes in a colander. This will rough up the edges, which also contributes to that crunchy outside.

Then coat the potatoes with no more than a tablespoon of oil and your preferred seasonings. Cook in a preheated air fryer at 180°C (350°F) for 20-25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking.

EXPERT TIP: Want even crispier roast potatoes? Green suggests dusting the potatoes before cooking with a little flour. You only need about a tablespoon to add extra crunch.

How to make potato wedges in an air fryer

Spice up your wedges with paprika

Woman cooking air fryer potatoes in wedgesCredit: Shutterstock/Leungchopan
Wedges make a nice change from chips and are easy to cook in an air fryer

Wedges make a great alternative to chips and are easy to make, especially as you don’t even need to peel your spud beforehand.

  1. Once you’ve washed and dried your potato, cut it up into wedges and then in a large bowl mix it up with oil and your favourite seasonings. Salt and pepper are a fine choice, but you can also add a bit of fire with paprika or chilli.
  2. Place them in a preheated air fryer at 180°C (350°F) for about 15 minutes. You will need to turn or shake them midway through. This is also the time to throw in some Parmesan cheese if you love a cheesy potato wedge.

How to cook mashed potatoes in an air fryer

Mash – but not as you know it

Potato mash with olive oil,parmesan cheese and greens in a bowl over light slate or concrete backgroundCredit: Shutterstock/Liliya Kandrashevich
Yes, you can make mash in an air fryer! Add some cheese for a delicious finishing touch

Choose a nice creamy potato like a Desiree, which will help give this mash extra flavour. However, don’t expect it to taste quite like the mash you make by boiling potatoes. It has more of a baked potato taste but is still yummy.

  1. Pierce your potatoes and put them into the air fryer whole, making sure you’ve coated them with oil first. You can also add some salt and pepper.
  2. Cook them at 200°C (400°F) for about 20 minutes. Of course, this all depends on the size of your spuds so, after this amount of time, give them a test. If they’re not tender enough, give them another five minutes.
  3. Remove from the air fryer and mash them up with a tablespoon of butter. The skins are great for adding extra fibre but if you don’t like the texture, then wait until they’ve cooled and the skins will then peel off.
Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her


Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 23 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars.

A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

Jayne lives in Kent with a shepsky, her husband and her son, who is attempting to teach her the ways of TikTok, Aston Villa and anime. A keen neurodivergent ally after her son was diagnosed as autistic five years ago, when Jayne does have some rare downtime she enjoys yoga, reading, going to musicals and attempting to emulate Beyonce (poorly) in street dance classes.

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