How to make baked potatoes in an air fryer

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How to make baked potatoes in an air fryer
Air frying creates crispy skin with fast dry heat.Fudio/Getty Images
  • If it's crispy skin you're after, the air fryer is the best method for making baked potatoes.
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It's no secret that the air fryer has become a popular appliance for cooking everything from eggs and meats to vegetables and flatbreads — but it works especially well for making baked potatoes. Since the air fryer functions by circulating very hot air around the potatoes, they crisp up with very little oil.

According to New York City-based chef Julia Chebotar, there are a ton of advantages to air frying potatoes:

  • It's quicker than the oven. Baked potatoes take about half the time in an air fryer, and there's no waiting time for the air fryer to preheat.
  • There's no need to pierce your potatoes with holes before cooking.
  • An air fryer is more energy-efficient than an oven and won't heat up your kitchen.
  • Air-fried baked potatoes have crispy skin and a fluffy interior, thanks to the circulation of high heat and shorter cook time.
  • You can use less oil on the skin to get it crispy.

Now that you know all the perks of ditching the oven, here's how to make air fryer baked potatoes.

Best air fryers

How to make baked potatoes in an air fryer
Jen Gushue/Business Insider

We tested over 40 models to find the best air fryers. Check out our favorites:

  • Best overall: Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven - See at Amazon
  • Best value: Beautiful Touchscreen Air Fryer - See at Walmart
  • Best toaster oven: Oster Digital Air Fryer Oven with RapidCrisp - See at Amazon

How to bake potatoes in an air fryer

How to make baked potatoes in an air fryer
Sweet potatoes are also great candidates to air fry whole.insjoy/Getty Images

Air fryer baked potatoes are surprisingly simple and can be made with any make or model. Chebotar's step-by-step instructions are as follows:

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  1. Wash your potatoes. Scrub them gently under running water to remove any dirt and pat them dry.
  2. Lightly oil the skin. Spray or brush the skins with a light, even coating of oil.
  3. Season liberally. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper (or any other desired seasoning) all over your potatoes.
  4. Arrange potatoes in the basket. Lay the potatoes in the air fryer so that they are not overlapping and there's space for air to flow between them.
  5. Cook. Air fry up to four potatoes for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, turning them over halfway through.
  6. Do the fork test. Insert a fork into the potatoes to check if they're done. If it doesn't slide in and out easily, they need more time.
  7. Remove the potatoes when done. Your potatoes may finish cooking at different rates, especially if they vary in size. Remove any potatoes that pass the fork test, and return any potatoes that are not finished cooking to the basket for five more minutes or until they're fork-tender.

Tips for the best air fryer baked potatoes

Heed these tips and tricks from Chebotar for the best air fryer baked potatoes.

  • Use russet, Idaho, or sweet potatoes. These have a thicker skin and a light, mealy texture thanks to their high-starch content.
  • Use similarly sized potatoes to ensure they're done at the same time.
  • Rely on the fork test to determine whether they're done. Cook times can vary significantly based on the air fryer model, as well as the size and number of potatoes.
  • Use a cooking oil with a high smoke point, like olive oil, avocado oil, or canola oil. Low-smoke-point oils like coconut oil may burn.
  • Don't overcrowd the basket. Leaving some room between the potatoes allows the hot air to cook them evenly on all sides. A standard 7-quart capacity air fryer will fit a maximum of four potatoes.
  • If you're using especially big potatoes (larger than 8 ounces), or air frying more than four potatoes in a larger capacity air fryer, you may need to add up to 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.
  • Always use tongs or an oven mitt to remove the potatoes from the air fryer basket as they will be very hot.
  • If you don't like crispy skin, skip the oil and wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil before placing them in the air fryer. (Yes, you can put foil in an air fryer.)

Insider's takeaway

There are numerous perks to making baked potatoes in the air fryer as opposed to the oven. This method saves time without sacrificing flavor or texture. Not only that, but you may actually end up with crispier skins while using less oil.

The steps for air frying baked potatoes are almost identical to baking them in the oven — except you don't need to pierce holes into them before cooking, and they'll be done in about half the time.

Choosing uniform-sized potatoes and leaving plenty of room in between them for optimal airflow will ensure that they cook through evenly.

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