How to make perfectly crispy potato chips with less oil in the air fryer

Chips take about 20 minutes to crisp up in an air fryer.

While it's easy to reach for a bag of chips, it's fun and fulfilling to make a quick batch at home. And, according to Cindy Gordon, recipe developer at Air Fryer Eats , there are plenty of reasons to use an air fryer to make them.

  • Quicker: Using an air fryer to cook often takes a lot less time than cooking with a conventional oven or deep fryer.
  • Uses less oil: Many air fryer recipes call for no oil or a minimal amount, making them a bit lower in fat.
  • Yields crispier results: When it comes to potato chips specifically, Gordon says that, when the potatoes are cut thin enough, using an air fryer will yield results with more of a "crisp factor" than other cooking methods.

What type of potatoes work best?

Gordon recommends using either russet or Yukon gold potatoes for air fryer chips. Russets are a universal potato that can be used in "so many different ways," she says, while Yukon gold potatoes have more moisture that results in a creamier taste. Both are easy to find and will bring consistent results when cooking.

Quick tip: Because there are so many different air fryer models with different capabilities, it may take some trial and error to find the best temperature and cook time combination. If you realize the chips are still soft after the suggested cook time, Gordon recommends putting them back into the air fryer and cooking for another one to two minutes until they are crisp.

How to make potato chips in an air fryer
Be sure to give your potatoes a good scrub, especially if you leave the skin on.
  1. Prepare the potatoes. Wash the potatoes, scrubbing off any dirt. Gordon says you can leave the skin on if you like, but she peels her potatoes to keep it simple.
  2. Slice the potatoes. Use a mandolin or other sharp knife to very thinly slice the potatoes as uniformly as possible. Gordon stresses that consistent thickness is essential to achieving evenly cooked chips. She says the slices should be "slightly thicker than paper-thin."
  3. Soak the slices in ice water. Soak the potato slices in ice water for about 15 minutes, drain them, then soak in ice water for another 15 minutes. Lay the soaked slices of potato on a towel and pat them dry with a second towel, removing as much moisture as possible. Then, spritz them with a little oil. "This helps draw out the natural starch and helps bring that crunch factor that we're looking for," Gordon says.
  4. Preheat the air fryer. Program your air fryer to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to come to temperature for two to three minutes.
  5. Cook the potato chips. Add an even layer of potato chips to the air fryer basket. Air fry the potato chips at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for three to five minutes to get that extra crisp. Flip the potato chips frequently (around every five minutes) to ensure even cooking.
  6. Season and cool. Once the potato chips start to look golden brown in the air fryer, they're ready to get taken out. Season them generously while they're warm to help the flavor stick. As they cool, Gordon says the chips will firm up a bit more.

Tips for the best air fryer potato chips
Be sure to season this chips well while they're still warm.
  • Season the chips. You can opt for something as simple as salt or more adventurous like everything bagel seasoning, garlic salt, or sea salt.
  • Serve with dip or as a side. Pair the finished potato chips with a dip — like Gordon's cilantro garlic sauce or Dr. Pepper barbecue — or as a side to some air fryer hamburgers .
  • Store leftovers to enjoy later. If you have leftover potato chips, store them in an airtight container for a day or two. Any longer than that, and they will lose some of their quality and crunch.

Insider's takeaway

Sliced thinly enough and cooked at just right, making potato chips in the air fryer can yield especially crunchy and tasty results. Finding the right cook time and temperature can take some trial and error. But, even if the chips turn out soggy on the first try, Gordon states you can still put them back in the air fryer for a few more minutes until they get the right texture. Make sure you're frequently checking the chips as they cook, and turning them over to ensure consistency. Top off with your choice of seasoning and enjoy with some dip or as a side to your choice of dish.

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