Air fryer baked potatoes offer you an ideal snack or finger food to serve all year long. During the summer, you can top them with fresh garden herbs. And in the winter, you can add the traditional heavier toppings.
I always keep baby red potatoes on hand in my fridge. They are a quick cooking potato that can be used to create quick sides. However, the way my household likes them best is to bake them in our air fryer for an added and delightful crispness to the outside.
We often kick back after a long day of work, too tired to cook a heavy dinner—especially during the heat of the summer here in Eastern North Carolina.
Instead, we will fire up the air fryer and have a healthy’ish snack to enjoy with our evening beverages as we sit outside on the patio.
Plus, I can make them in a flash when friends from our neighborhood pull up on their golf carts for an impromptu evening visit.
Why You Should Make Air Fryer Baked Potatoes Versus Deep Fried
An air fryer allows you to cook perfect, golden brown baked potatoes every time but cuts back on your consumption of unhealthy fats.
Instead of using a pan full of heavy oil, you use just a few spritzes of cooking oil pump spray. (Note: never use the aerosol spray because its fine particles can destroy your air fryer!)
An air fryer uses a fan to circulate heat from internal coils evenly to cook your food. This method gives makes your air fried baked potatoes crispy and brown on the outside while allowing the inside of the potato to remain soft and delicious.
You might even surprise yourself to find that you prefer the crispier and lighter texture of the air fryer baked potatoes.
NOTE: If you don’t yet have an air fryer, check out this article on our gardening site on best air cookers.
Tips for Success When Making Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
Here are some tricks I’ve learned. I made several batches of “just okay” air fryer baked potatoes before I was satisfied with the outcome, so I’m passing these along to you to help you get the best results the first time.
Selecting Your Potatoes
Use baby red potatoes. The thin, tender skin fries rapidly and will come out delightfully crispy. And the smaller size helps decrease the frying time (ie: get to munch on them quicker!)
Allow Room for Air Circulation
Even if your air fryer has a large basket, an overly full basket will result in baked potatoes with burnt skins instead of lovely baked potatoes This, sadly, I learned by trial and error.
My Cooks Essentials air fryer has a large capacity basket, but I’ve found that food cooks better with less stuffed into it.
My first attempt at making these baked potatoes was dismal. I popped the potatoes into the fryer, set it, and walked away for a few moments. After the cooking cycle ended, the baked potatoes were cooked.
I pulled them out, tried to smash them down to top them, and was shocked. I discovered the potatoes were raw in the middle. Completely, totally uncooked.
My solution is to par-cook the potatoes until they are just fork tender. By the way, this is also a chef’s trick for making the best home baked fries.
I cut the top off of the potato (just a thin slice off the top) and cut a slit with a paring knife into the middle. Then, I put the potatoes on a large platter with ¼ cup of water and steam them in the microwave.
The par-cooked taters fry up in 12 to 14 minutes and never fail me.
GARDENER TIP: Save Your Potato Slices to Grow Potatoes
GARDENER TIP: If you’re a gardener—or just want to try growing potatoes in a pot—then you can use those potato slices to grow potato slips to plant. Choose to slice a section that has a potato “eye”, from which the new potato can sprout. Place the slice, cut side down, in a shallow bowl of water, leaving the skin mostly out of the water.
Find more on growing sweet potatoes here. The process of growing potatoes from slices of potato is the same for all potatoes.
Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- 10 red baby potatoes
- Olive oil pump spray
- Toppings of your choice
- Scrub the baby potatoes. Use a paring knife and remove the skin from the top side of the potato. Pierce with the knife.
- Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Place the potatoes on a microwave safe platter, add ¼ cup of water to the plate, and microwave for about 8 minutes, until they just reach a fork tender texture. Don’t overcook, the air fryer will take care of the rest.
- Put the par-cooked spuds into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Do separate batches if your basket is small. Stacking the potatoes will result in poorly cooked baked potatoes.
- Air fry at 400 for 12 minutes. My Cooks Essentials has a French fry mode, and that is the default—seems to work very well! Check for doneness after 10 minutes to ensure you don’t burn the skins.
- After cooking, remove the air fryer baked potatoes to a platter. Top with your favorite toppings and serve.
3 Ways to Top Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
My husband and I will often set up a “potato topping bar,” as we have very different preferences. I avoid salt due to hypertension and he loves very salty potatoes.
For this blog post—and let’s be honest, to snack on as I write—I made air fried baked potatoes topped off in three ways:
- Sour cream, bacon, and fresh chives from the garden.
- Brummel & Brown Yogurt Spread, parmesan cheese, and garden fresh sweet basil cut into a pretty chiffonade (thin ribbons – see video at the end of this article).
- Non-fat plain Greek yogurt, rosemary picked fresh from my garden, and sea salt for a Greek-inspired topping.
We like to make our own yogurt in the Instant Pot. Or, if you don’t have an instant pot, you can get a simple inexpensive yogurt maker with a yogurt starter.
We also enjoy a Mexican twist and add salsa from time to time. It all depends on what we have on hand, and what’s in season in our garden. Right now, we have an abundance of herbs to enjoy, and my cooking reflects that.
A Tip on Using Nylon Potato Bags
Many times, your potatoes are packed in a nylon bag. Don’t discard it. Upcycle it into a convenient nylon scrubber.
After you strain potatoes, in this case from steaming them before frying, you leave a starchy film in your sink.
Instead of dirtying up your kitchen sponge, whirl this makeshift scrubber around your sink, rinse, and then toss it.
How Will You Top Your Air Fryer Baked Potatoes?
The air fryer makes these baked potatoes a snap to make. Give them a try! I’m sure you will enjoy the ease of prepping this snack for your friends and family.
Want to try other air fryer recipes? Be sure to read our recipe for air fryer chicken wings served up with hand-cut potato chips.
Air fryer baked potatoes are easy to make. Give them a try! I’m sure you will enjoy the ease of prepping this snack for your friends and family.
How to Chiffonade Herbs and Greens
This super simple technique for creating ribbon-like strands of greens will give your dishes that gourmet chef quality touch, by simple learning how to roll and slice them quickly.
For info on best air cookers.
You may also enjoy this article on oil less fryers benefits and recipes.