- Preheat air fryer to 400F
- Prepare potatoes for frying (see below)
- Cook for 15 minutes at 400F (18 mins for extra extra crispy)
- Shake three times during during cooking
The air fryer is such a time saver! If you’re cooking a roast dinner and in a time pinch, your air fryer can cook up fabulous roast potatoes in a fraction of the time compared to your over. Moreover, if you prep your potatoes the right way, you will end up with the perfect blend of fluffy interior and crisp crunchy exterior.
You’ll need more than your air fryer though, mind you all you need is a pan, a lid, water, oil and seasonings. Here’s how…
Roast potatoes prep
Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into small chunks. I like to aim for pieces about the size, or just a little smaller than a golf ball. If you go too small your spuds will crumble, too big and they won’t cook to a fluffy finish. Once the potatoes are cut, submerge them in a pan of cold water to prevent browning. It’s ok to do this a little ahead of time as you can leach some starch from the potatoes, this helps the cooking process for sure. I often do this for 30-60 minutes ahead of cooking.
Next bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they soften. This part is the trick to a great roast potato. Boil the potatoes until they’re soft enough to pierce with a butter knife and a little gentle effort. You don’t want to over cook or under cook…why?
Well the next step is to drain the potatoes (that water can be used in a gravy remember) and return to the same pan over some more heat. Shake the potatoes around so they don’t stick to the pan – we’re trying to dry them up, steaming off any excess moisture. Next, the important step. Being really careful, put the lid on the pan and off the heat shake the pan vigorously so the potatoes smash around in the pan.
The aim is to break the edges of the potatoes. Here’s why the boiling stage is so crucial. If you don’t boil them long enough they won’t break up around the edges. If you over boil, they will be too soft and at this stage crumble into, well, crumbled mashed potato. It’s the crushed edges of the potato that make that epically enjoyable crisp and golden crunch that you’re hoping for.
Lastly, toss the potatoes in canola oil, salt, pepper and your choice of seasonings. I love a hefty dose of garlic powder, a flurry of crushed rosemary and a little flutter of onion powder. I use Rubbermaid plastic food prep containers for this part, they’re really handy in a lot of different air fryer recipes. See our air fryer accessories page here.
I find the air fryer makes for slightly different roasted potatoes compared to the oven. They cook up to a drier, less greasy finish – you might call it a cleaner finish of sorts. Mainly because they don’t sit in a roasting dish of hot oil for 50-60 minutes, like they do when using the oven. This makes for a slightly healthier potato but does come slightly at the expense of crisp – not much though!
Note: the picture potatoes are after 15 minutes of roasting, as the recipe notes, you can certainly cook a little longer for more crisp.