Best Frozen Fries for Air Fryer: Tested
When it comes to satisfying your cravings for crispy and crunchy snacks, only a few can rival the irresistible allure of French fries! It’s a known secret that fries get the best crunch by submerging them in oil at high heat levels inside the deep fryer. But in recent years, the air fryer has converted a lot of loyal deep fryer lovers. This is because it can give you that similar crunch while still being tender on the inside without the oil!
But does the air fryer cook all types of frozen fries the same? The short answer is no. We tested five common frozen fry brands and discovered the best frozen fries for air fryers.
When choosing the frozen fries to air fry, make sure to choose the fries with these attributes so that you get perfect air-fried fries:
- Uniform cuts
- Thicker cuts
- It has some oil content
Table of Contents
Frozen french fries in the air fryer
Why have so many deep fryer lovers converted to air frying? That’s because there is more than one benefit to using the air fryer to cook your frozen fries.
First up, the health concern of submerging your frozen fries in oil comes to mind with the strong oil taste that comes with deep frying. The air fryer surrounds the frozen fries with hot air that gives them a crunchy exterior.
The next thing on the list is the mess involved with all the splattering oil when using a deep fryer. Not to mention the potential of getting burnt by the splatters. There is no splatter when cooking frozen french fries in the air fryer. The frozen fries are placed in the air fryer basket and pushed into the air fryer, where the cooking happens. When the cooking is done, the only cleaning is to hand wash the detachable parts (usually only the air fryer basket), and you are done. If you are out of time, you could slot it into the dishwasher if your air fryer basket is dishwasher safe.
Less monitoring and effort is another benefit of the air fryer. How often have you wondered whether the oil is hot enough to cook the fries in the deep fryer, only to get it wrong? Then you either get undercooked fries or soggy fries. Not with an air fryer. Set your temperature and timer, then place your frozen fries there and leave them to cook instead of standing over the deep fryer to ensure they are not burnt.
Finally, this point is the one that drives it home for me: what do you do with all that oil used to deep fry the frozen fries? I don’t have this problem with the air fryer. In fact, I don’t even have to use one drop of oil if I don’t want to.
These are just a few benefits of cooking your frozen fries in an air fryer. For a complete list of benefits of an air fryer, be sure to read our other article here.
Tested for the Best Frozen Fries for Air Fryer Crispy Perfection!
The air fryer used in these tests was the Ninja Foodi SP101. This Ninja air fryer is an air fryer and toaster oven combo. Unlike other air fryer toaster ovens, this Ninja air fryer was designed to save space in the kitchen with its compact design and unique feature to be flipped up to be stored. Using this air fryer gives you more surface space to lay your frozen fries on a flat mesh tray, which promotes even airflow around the frozen fries.
The timer was set for 20 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit (199 degrees Celsius) for each of the test batches, and no shaking was done halfway through. There was no oil used either
Let’s look at the results starting from the bottom ranking first. The test batches were ranked on three key metrics: 1. Tenderness, 2. Crunchiness, 3. Even cooking.
5. Alexia Crinkle Cut Sweet Potato Fries
Alexia Crinkle Cut Sweet Potato Fries offer great flavor and a tender bite. Aside from being a healthier option than russet potatoes, they add welcome variety to weeknight dinners and are a great way to add sweetness to your meal.
Tenderness: There was a high level of tenderness from the Alexia fries. In fact, they were so soft that they tended to be a little soggy.
Crunchiness: The Alexia fries did not become crunchy after being air-fried. They were mainly soft and soggy.
Even Cooking: Their uneven cut means it’s hard to get the timing just right, and the edges do tend to burn/caramelize faster than the rest of the fry.
4. Great Value Steak Cut Fries
Great Value Steak Cut Fries are perfect for your favorite meat dish, from steaks to burgers. These are great when you want that extra bite of potato softness in one bite.
Tenderness: These Great Value Steak Cut Fries had the right level of tenderness when air-fried. They were not soggy and were not dry either.
Crunchiness: The fries had a crunch after being air-fried, but it was more of a crisp than a total crunch.
Even Cooking: They have an uneven cut, which means that smaller pieces had more browning than the big pieces; however, they did not have the same level of burn as the Alexia fries.
3. Great Value Thin Cut Fries
Great Value Then Cut Fries are your “classic” French fries, which are great as a quick snack or a side dish to make a complete meal.
Tenderness: These fries were dry after being air-fried in a single layer. This may have to do with the fact that they are narrower than the other frozen fries with less flesh inside. However, when they were slightly stacked, they became soggy, so these fries definitely need to be cooked in small batches.
Crunchiness: Although the fries were dry, they were very crunchy.
Even Cooking: With a gloriously homogenous cut, they were great for even cooking in the air fryer.
2. Ore-Ida Golden Crinkles
These crinkle-cut fries by Ore-Ida are a crowd-pleasing fry and a simple way to spice up your fry choices. Although, they do require a dipping sauce to be genuinely at their best.
Tenderness: Air frying the Ore-Ida fries in a single layer is the trick to get the desired tenderness level. As with the Great Value Thin Cut Fries, they became soggy when cooked in a bigger batch with some stacking.
Crunchiness: They had a good level of crunchiness to them. It was more than crispy but less crunchy than the Great Value Thin Cut Fries.
Even Cooking: These fries have a crinkle cut, resulting in the edges being browned more than the rest. However, they did not get the burn that occurred with the Alexia fries. This could be because the Alexia fries were made from sweet potatoes, so the sweet elements are prone to burning.
1. Checkers Famous Seasoned Fries
It’s hard to beat these mouthwatering Checkers fries. Stand-alone-delicious with a seasoning that does not need a sauce to be enjoyable.
Tenderness: These Checkers fries had the perfect tenderness level after being air-fried. You could taste the tenderness right through to the core of the fry. It was noted that these fries have more oil content than the other fries, which could contribute to the tenderness of the fries.
Crunchiness: Crunch was not a problem for these Checkers fries. Each one comes out perfectly crunchy.
Even Cooking: As these fries are uniformly cut, they are perfect for even cooking in the air fryer.
Best Air Fryer Frozen Fries Goes To…Checkers Fries!
Cooking frozen fries in an air fryer is easy and convenient, but some types cook better in an air fryer than others. We tested five frozen fries brands to see which are the best frozen fries for air fryers.
The air fryer can cook all the frozen fries, but some things were uncovered that would make air frying the frozen fries perfect. Firstly, uniformly cut fries, like the Great Value Thin Cut Fries and the Checkers Fries, would cook evenly, giving them an overall golden brown color. Crinkle-cut fries, like the Alexia fries and the Ore-Ida fries, resulted in more browning (even a bit of burning) on the edges.
Thicker pieces of fries like the Checkers fries and the Great Value Steak Cut fries obtained the right level of tenderness. In contrast, thin and narrow fries like the Great Value Thin Cut fries tend to be dry but very crunchy.
In the quest to find the best French fries for an air fryer, Checkers Seasoned Fries unequivocally emerges as the victorious choice. Its undeniable superiority lies in its exceptional crispiness, tenderness to the core, and even cooking throughout, resulting in golden brown fries.