Potatoes have been a staple in my life since . . . well, since before I can remember. As a toddler, Mom would be slicing up a bagful and would hand us a piece of raw potato to munch on. Then into the cast-iron skillet they would go, browning in bacon fat until they were soft and delicious.
Thanks, Mom – but now that I have to watch my waistline, I really need a better way to go!
And that’s where our air fryer comes in. We picked one up for a good price a few months ago, and have been trying it out on a number of favorites. These Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes were a huge hit, so I thought I’d share it with you.
There are several tricks to using the air fryer that I’ve discovered that will help you adapt your recipes to this handy gadget
- Always preheat the fryer. I have yet to find a recipe that doesn’t require the maximum heat setting, and with that requirement, you really need to make sure the fryer is hot before you start your roasting. It takes mine a good 10 minutes to reach maximum heat.
- Using an air fryer requires much less oil, but you do need some. Without oil, your food just won’t really brown properly. The water on the surface of the food will prevent it from reaching a high enough temp to brown until well after all the moisture is baked out of it, resulting in dry, tasteless food. Some recipes call for a light spray of cooking oil, and this works for many things. Potatoes, though, are just too full of water for that to work here.
- Speaking of cooking spray . . . Some instructions say that cooking spray can damage the surface of a non-stick air fryer basket. I haven’t found that to be a problem, but if you run into that, an easy fix is to buy a small sprayer bottle and fill it with a high-heat cooking oil (like safflower). Use this instead.
- Shake, shake, shake. Get used to shaking your fryer basket. You need to turn the food to ensure that it cooks evenly – either by shaking or using tongs.
- Place food in a single layer. This is one reason buying a machine with the right-sized fryer basket is important. If you have a family, a larger machine is for you. For a single or couple, a smaller machine is actually better. You don’t want to crowd (which causes the food to steam rather than fry), but you don’t want pieces floating around by themselves either. This leads to uneven frying.
- Mix your herbs and spices with the oil and use that for coating. If you sprinkle herbs on top, they’re going to blow around in the hot air and set off your smoke alarm. (Not that this has ever happened to me.)
Pretty much anything you fry on a stove or roast in an oven can be made in the air fryer, so experiment! Think of it as a super-duper convection oven and see what it can do. (And if you’re looking for another simple but impressive baked potato dish, try my Hasselback Potatoes.)
Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes
- Air Fryer
- 2 lbs Red Potatoes, small or fingerling or other small potato
- 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil avoid low-heat oils like extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 3 sprigs Fresh Parsley or 1 tsp dried
- Preheat air fryer to 400° F
- Wash and cube the potatoes. Dry them with paper towels and place in a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Arrange potatoes in a single layer in basket. Fry for 10 minutes, then toss to expose the opposite sides. Bake for another 5 minutes or until soft to a fork