Although deep frying is the traditional method for preparing french fries, dealing with hot oil and messy cleanup at home may not be your speed. The best air fryers for french fries keep mess to a minimum, and they come in a range of sizes and price points to fit your storage and budget needs. Some have upgraded features like the ability to make two recipes simultaneously, while others have a range of presets that make for fuss-free operation. For the most part, the aspects you’ll want to consider will be similar to what you’d consider with any air fryer — but there are some specific features to keep in mind.
What To Consider When Shopping For The Best Air Fryers For French Fries
Cooking Basket Style
The main differentiator between air fryers is the style of cooking basket, which ultimately impacts how much space it takes up and how you interact with your food while it’s cooking. In an air fryer with a deep basket, you’ll stack or layer the ingredients, which means you’ll need to turn and shake them every so often to ensure everything cooks evenly. These machines tend to have a smaller footprint, making them a good option if you’re squeezed for storage.
Air fryer toaster ovens — which literally work as both air fryers and toaster ovens — have boxy bodies that generally tend to take up more space. And, instead of baskets, they feature pull-out trays. The trays allow you to arrange food in a single layer, which requires less shaking and turning, making it a lower-maintenance cooking process. That said, this style of air fryer is a little less practical for fries since setting the potatoes out in a single layer means you’ll get a smaller batch relative to the machine’s size — but it’s still a worthy consideration if you want the versatility of an appliance that also works as a toaster oven.
The best air fryers on the market come in sizes that range from a compact 2 quarts all the way up to a whopping 19 quarts. (For reference, a pound of potatoes will take up roughly 1 quart of space.) If you tend to host crowds and have adequate storage space, a large-capacity air fryer can be a good pick — but keep in mind that one of the benefits of convection heat is that food cooks more quickly compared to traditional methods like the oven, so you can always make back-to-back batches if you only have room for a smaller unit.
Presets & Number Of Baskets
Some options have a pre-programmed french fry setting, but keep in mind that it’s quite easy to make frozen french fries in an air fryer, so it’s not a necessity. As far as versatility goes, you’ll also find other preset cooking modes like roast, bake, and even dehydrate, so think about how specific you want your machine to get. Last, some models have separate ovens that allow you to create two recipes simultaneously, thanks to independent thermostats and timers — ideal if you’re looking to make an entire meal in just one machine.
With all that said, get out the ketchup — these are the best air fryers for french fries on Amazon.
Shop The Best Air Fryers For French Fries
In a hurry? These are the best air fryers for french fries:
- The Overall Best: Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer
- The Best Budget Air Fryer: Instant Pot Vortex Mini Air Fryer
- The Best Air Fryer With A Special French Fry Setting: Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer
- The Best Air Fryer & Toaster Oven Combo: Cuisinart Air Fryer + Convection Toaster Oven
- The Best Dual-Basket Air Fryer For 2 Recipes At Once: Ninja Foodi DualZone Air Fryer
1. The Overall Best
Highlights: Available in a large variety of sizes, this fryer has a wide range of presets and a window that makes it easy to monitor progress.
With a 4.7-star overall rating after 23,000 reviews, this basket-style air fryer from Instant Pot is a hit among reviewers, who have reported it’s perfect for whipping up crispy french fries. What sets it apart from other fryers is the internal light and viewing window on the basket that allow you to monitor the cooking progress of your recipes — there’s also a messaging function that alerts you when it’s time to turn or shake ingredients. What’s more, this machine scores versatility points, offering preset functions like roast, broil, reheat, bake, and dehydrate, making it an all-in-one kitchen tool that can do the work of multiple appliances. There are also a handful of one-touch smart cooking programs for items like cinnamon rolls and wings, as well as digital controls for manually setting time and temperature.
The machine comes in a wide range of sizes — all the way from 4 quarts to 19 quarts — making this the best large-capacity air fryer on the list as well. (You can also pick from a dual-basket version for preparing two different recipes at once, as well as a toaster oven-style air fryer.) Both the nonstick air fry basket and removable perforated cooking tray are dishwasher safe.
A reviewer wrote: “I love the clear view window and light because they make it easy to see what's cooking inside. The best part is that it reminds you when it's time to flip over the food so that it can cook evenly on both sides. It has a wide enough basket for 5 lbs of chicken, and the design is so sleek that it's easy to clean. [...] I also like the design of single basket, giving you more space and easy to clean than double layer baskets. Smart design.”
Capacity: 4 quarts, 5.75 quarts, 6 quarts, 8 quarts, 19 quarts | Number of presets: 6 | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes
2. The Best Budget Air Fryer For French Fries
Highlights: This compact, wallet-friendly air fryer comes in fun colors but has a little less versatility than the first pick.
Whether you're cooking for one or two people, or just don’t want to dedicate a lot of space to a new appliance, you’ll be able to make great french fries and much more in this mini air fryer from Instant Pot — plus, it rings up at a budget-friendly price. The 2-quart fryer is loaded with several one-touch programs and has four unique cooking functions — air fry, bake, roast, and reheat — for cooking recipes and crisping up leftovers. Time and temperature can also be manually set using the digital controls, and the machine notifies you when it’s time to shake or turn ingredients.
There’s no window to check on food progress, and it offers slightly less versatility than the top pick — i.e., no broiling or dehydrating settings. Also, you’ll have to make several batches when cooking for a crowd. That said, you can choose from fun colors like red and aqua that’ll add some style to your kitchen. Both the air fry basket and perforated tray are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
A reviewer wrote: “This is a small machine, so it's not good if you're going to prepare a meal (there are larger ones available), but my only requirement is to eliminate the need for cooking in oil, and it's just for the two of us, so no problem to fry 6 egg rolls or enough fries to go with a meal, and it really crisps them.”
Capacity: 2 quarts | Number of presets: 4 | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes
3. The Best Air Fryer With A Special French Fry Setting
Highlights: Specific modes make it easy to whip up fries and entrees with minimal fuss, but this air fryer has fewer presets than other options.
If you want a specific setting for fries — so you don’t even have to think twice when making a batch — CHEFMAN’s air fryer is a good bet. Besides manual time and temperature controls, it also has three preset cooking programs for chicken, meat, and fish, making it a good pick if you want a foolproof way to make entrees in your air fryer. However, it has fewer highly specific cooking functions (no wings, cinnamon roll, or dehydration presets here), and there’s no window to view cooking progress. In its favor, this machine has a reminder feature to help you remember to turn your food for even cooking.
The air fryer has a sleek stainless steel body, and both the dishwasher-safe air fry basket and perforated insert are shaped like a square to help you make the most of the cooking capacity. It’s available in two mid-range sizes — 5 quarts and 8 quarts — as well as an option that comes with a divider for making two separate recipes simultaneously (but note that there are no independent temperature controls for each side).
A reviewer wrote: “I am not a cook, and found myself using this thing about every night. I make everything in this, just throw your stuff in there, set your mins and temp and then shake and DONE! I love it, I have made chicken nuggets, tenders, bacon, fries, bagels, eggs, French toast, baked potatoes.”
Capacity: 5 quarts, 8 quarts | Number of presets: 4 | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes
4. The Best Air Fryer & Toaster Oven Combo
Highlights: This versatile pick doubles as a convection oven and doesn’t require you to turn ingredients, but it’s pricey and takes up a bit more space on your countertop.
If you want the user experience of a toaster oven with the convection cooking capability of an air fryer, this pick from Cuisinart performs a wide range of cooking functions, including air fry, toast, roast, grill, and broil. The mesh stainless steel air fry basket has a low, wide design that allows you to spread ingredients in a single layer, and upper and lower heating elements cook food evenly, requiring minimal turning. Just keep in mind that it takes up a bit of space (it’s about 4 inches wider than the first pick), and spreading the food in one layer means you might get fewer fries with each batch relative to the machine’s size.
Dials on the front of the unit control time, temperature, and toasting level, and you’ll also find functions for baking, grilling, and warming. An interior light and wide viewing door make it easy to see your cooking progress. An oven rack, baking pan, and grill insert are included with the air fry basket, however note that they should all be washed by hand.
A reviewer wrote: “I didn’t want something so specific taking up space on my countertop. I did, however need a new toaster oven. After research, I saw reviews that this was good for both replacing my toaster oven and adding the air fryer as well. I am pleased with both functions. It’s great as a small oven and doesn’t heat the kitchen like my wall oven. The air fryer feature is excellent. French fries come out crispy without the extra fat. Also great for wings.”
Capacity: 0.6 cubic feet | Number of presets: 8 | Dishwasher-safe parts: No
5. The Best Dual-Basket Air Fryer For 2 Recipes At Once
Highlights: This dual-basket machine replete with independent temperature settings lets you make two recipes at once — and a smart feature ensures they finish at the same time.
Dual 4-quart drawers give this air fryer from Ninja the ability to simultaneously cook two separate recipes at the same time. Each drawer has its own cooking zone and independent thermostat and timer, which are controlled via the straightforward digital display. The unit features six cooking functions — air fry, air broil, roast, bake, dehydrate, and reheat — and a “Smart Finish” setting ensures that food on both sides of the air fryer finish cooking at the same time. One drawback: Unlike most basket picks, there’s no reminder to let you know when it’s time to shake the ingredients.
Keep in mind that this pick is relatively similar to the Instant Pot dual-basket fryer, which does have the benefit of viewing windows. However, this option has a couple things working in its favor. First, it comes two sizes — 8 quarts and 10 quarts — as opposed to Ninja, which only has an 8-quart version. Second, Ninja’s 8-quart version takes up significantly less counter space than the Instant Pot pick — 14 by 15.5 inches as opposed to 18 x 18 inches. All that said, both would serve you well when making two recipes simultaneously.
The rectangular air fry baskets and perforated crisper plates are removable and dishwasher safe.
A reviewer wrote: “The dual zone lets you throw your fries in one basket and your chicken in the other, two different temperatures and two different cook times. Using Smart finish mode they will be done at the same time.”
Capacity: 8 quarts, 10 quarts | Number of presets: 6 | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes
About The Recommender
Vanessa Spilios has been writing about cookware and kitchen appliances for Bustle since 2019. She previously worked in culinary product development and marketing at SharkNinja and consulted for Cuisinart Grilling, and she has extensive experience testing and evaluating housewares. Vanessa has reviewed products and created content for publishers including Bustle, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Forbes Vetted, and America’s Test Kitchen. She received her culinary training at Boston University, and enjoys developing original recipes, which she incorporates into private cooking classes for kids and families.