This air fryer home fries recipe is a great way to make delicious, homemade crispy potatoes in just a little bacon fat!
With only a tablespoon of bacon fat, you’ll get two generous servings of home fries cooked fast in your air fryer. Double or triple the recipe as needed for a big brunch.
I have started washing my raw potatoes of excess starch in a simple bowl of cold water, and it has helped tremendously in getting home fries crispy in the air fryer.
Here are the steps we took to get some crisp, tender, and delicious air fryer home fries. Nothing beats homemade air fryer recipes!
Supplies to gather
It may look like a lot of tools, but once you get started, you’ll understand why you need these to make perfect home fries in the air fryer.
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Glass bowl
- Wooden spoon (to swish the cut potatoes in fresh water)
- Peeler (peel all or just half of each potato)
- Small trash bag or compost bin
- Clean kitchen towel
- Measuring spoons
- Air fryer
- Herb shears or kitchen scissors (if you are using fresh parsley)
- Serving dish
- 2 medium-to-large potatoes
- Bacon fat or cooking oil
- Salt (we used fine Himalayan pink salt, but table salt is better)
- Dried chives (I don’t want to say they are optional because they were good but, leaving them out is not a deal-breaker)
- Optional: Fresh parsley
About the potatoes
We used Yukon gold potatoes, which are rounder and more golden than russet potatoes. You can use any potato you want as long as it’s raw, fresh, and mostly blemish free.
You can peel them completely, but these had such thin skin that it provided a nice texture.
The best potatoes are the ones you have on hand, but if you are heading to the store, I’d recommend Yukon golds or red potatoes.
Here you can see the difference between the Yukon gold on the left and the russet on the right. We used a combination of both for this recipe.
Tips to make crispy air fryer home fries
- Gather all of your tools so that you have everything in front of you before you begin. For your “potato station,” you will need a vegetable peeler, a clean kitchen towel, a colander placed in the sink, a large bowl filled with fresh water, a wooden spoon, a cutting board, and a sharp knife.
A countertop composter is great for potato peels, but I also use a small grocery bag folded over to collect them so I don’t have to keep walking over to the trash. If your cutting board doesn’t have a grippy rubber edge, I recommend adding a kitchen towel underneath it to keep it from slipping on your surface.
- If you don’t have a jar of bacon grease on your stove, you can use olive oil or cooking oil. Since you aren’t doing any deep frying or even pan-frying, you only need one tablespoon. The bacon fat adds some nice flavor and holds up well under high heat.
- I do a partial peel on these potatoes because I want a bit of the flavor and texture (and nutrition!). It’s not a perfect eco-friendly scenario, but I do reuse any small plastic grocery bags for trash bags around the house. In this case, fold the handles under to make a “rolled edge” so it stays open and keep it next to you to collect peels and other trash from making this recipe.
- I like to make small dice on home fries for both crunch and flavor. The smaller the potato chunk, the faster they cook, the more crisp texture per bite, and the ratio of potato to flavor is higher. Almost sounds like math, doesn’t it?
- Rinse the potatoes. Rinsing air fryer home fries before cooking helps to get rid of excess starch. It’s as simple as moving them into a bowl of clean, cold water and letting them sit for about five minutes and swishing them around with your hand or a spoon.
- Drain and dry them very well with your kitchen towel. You can pat them dry, but I roll them up in a towel and press lightly.
- When cooking anything in the air fryer, it’s important to keep everything in a single layer, not stacked on each other. It’s tempting to crowd the potato pieces, but leave room in between to allow that hot air to flow through all of them.
- This air fryer home fries recipe will start on moderate heat so they steam at first: 350F for about 5 minutes. Then turn the heat up to 450F without moving the potatoes—this is when they get their beautiful golden brown color and the best part—a crisp texture on their sides and edges.
- Because this recipe calls for an even, ¾-inch dice, you can get these home fries in and out of the air fryer in about 16 minutes of cooking time.
- Fresh parsley really does a lift of freshness to these home fries. You’re not getting much nutritional value, but it definitely adds to the flavor.
Overall these don’t need much more than salt, pepper, a dash of dried chives, and parsley, but you can even leave out the chives and parsley if you used a heaping spoon of bacon fat.
How to serve air fryer home fries
These make really good air fryer breakfast potatoes. In fact, I’d say that’s probably another name for them. Since you don’t have to grate the potatoes, these make a faster option than hash browns, with less oil.
You can season these after cooking with spices like garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder. Pour out some ranch dressing, a side of ketchup, or the hot sauce of your choice.
I really liked how the potato flavor with a hint of bacon fat shined through with just a handful of seasonings.
The bottom line
These air fryer home fries are fully customizable to your tastes. Like crispy home fries even crispier? Give them another two minutes in the hot air fryer. Like them spicy? Toss them with a dash of cayenne pepper.
Store leftover potatoes in an airtight container and keep them cold. They should last for about 3-4 days covered in the fridge.
- 2 - medium potatoes
- Quart or so of fresh, cold tap water
- 1 T bacon fat or cooking oil
- ⅛ t table salt
- ¼ t dried chives
- 2 or 3 turns of fresh pepper
- Scissored fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Prepare your potato station: Set out a glass bowl filled with fresh water, a colander, a clean kitchen towel, a vegetable peeler, a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a small grocery bag or countertop composter.
- Scrub, then dry two large-ish potatoes. Set aside.
- Fill a glass bowl with fresh water and set aside.
- Peel only half of each potato, up one side and down the other.
- Dice potatoes into small cubes, about ¾-inch.
- Add the diced potatoes to the bowl of cold water. Swish with your hand or a wooden spoon. (This helps remove starch.)
- Drain the potatoes, then transfer them onto your clean kitchen towel. Roll the potatoes into the towel to dry them very well. Set aside.
- Empty the bowl of water down the drain, dry it, and set it aside.
- If you have leftover bacon grease, this is a great way to use it. Spoon out 1 tablespoon and add to the glass bowl. Microwave until it becomes liquid.
- Remove the bowl with the fat and add the potatoes to coat. Don’t add the spices yet.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F for about a minute.
- Pause the air fryer and add the diced and coated potatoes to the air fryer basket, ensuring they are spread out with a bit of room and in a single layer. Use your tongs to separate the pieces from each other if needed. You may need to cook in two batches if your air fryer is small.
- Cook at 350F for 5 minutes.
- Without touching the potatoes, turn the heat up to 450F and set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Pause the air fryer, toss or turn the potatoes gently and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Either clean the same glass bowl or grab another large bowl and add your spices and herbs: ⅛ t of table salt, ¼ t of dried chives, and ¼ t of dried parsley, and a couple turns of fresh cracked black pepper. For a kick of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Remove the hot potatoes and add to the bowl with the spices immediately. Toss thoroughly to coat.
- Serve right away, as these will cool quickly.
- To reheat air-fried potatoes, add the leftover air fryer home fries back to the basket and heat at 375F for 3 minutes, toss, then heat for another 2 minutes.