Last updated on September 8th, 2021
Cooking frozen sweet potato fries in the air fryer seems enough enough right?
Basic instructions: Pull the bag of frozen sweet potato fries out of the freezer, open the bag, dump them into an appropriately prepared air fryer basket, cook and…. voila! Crunchy, delicious sweet potato fries! Right?
While in theory this is simple enough – there’s a few key things to consider:
How to cook Frozen Sweet Potato Fries in the Air Fryer
Question 1: Which air fryer works the best?
I’ve found that there are two distinct groups of people who prefer different types of air fryers in their kitchen. Me? I… like them all. I work in the tech industry and am a total gadget nerd. If there’s a shiny new toy to be had in the kitchen, I’m probably going to try it, and I probably have.
Below you see a side-by-side image comparison between a large capacity “drop-in-basket” air fryer, and a smaller capacity “pull-out-basket” air fryer. These are (as of now) the longest-running air fryer types that most people I know tend to argue about. Both of these air fryer types are from the Ninja line of companies.
(For the sake of full disclosure this post is NOT sponsored – there are no links, we’re just talking sweet ‘tater fries here.)
The smaller basket on the right looks darker because it’s deeper and much smaller for single layer cooking. This is imperative to note because this affects the quality, texture, and even the flavor of your food. This air fryer is perfect for one or two people, smaller kitchens or people who don’t air fry much. It also is nice because it doesn’t require ‘preheating’. You just push a button and you’re off to the races.
The larger air fryer basket on the left by comparison, requires more work by requiring pre-heating. However, it is much shallower and wider which allows for more food in a single layer. This allows the food to cook much faster while giving it better texture and overall flavor.
Question 2: So how did our two batches of frozen sweet potato fries turn out?
The sweet potato fries in the basket on the left cooked perfectly in 8 minutes at 400 degrees from frozen. No flipping, shaking or turning was required.
On the right, the sweet potato fries using the same cooking methodology had to be “shaken” at 6 minutes. The fries were still not done at 10 minutes and were over-done at 12 minutes. Despite this, they were still a little mushy in the center. You can see the blackened edges in the “zoomed” photo below.
With experimentation and adjustment, these fries in this air fryer would come out better, with an entirely different recipe. This would require selecting “Max Crisp” instead of “Air Fry” and cooking for a different amount of time. The challenge with that is, the maximum temperature for “Air Fry” is 400 degrees, while the minimum temperature for “Max Crisp” is 450 degrees; there are no temperature options in-between. I chose not to vaporize another set of frozen sweet potato fries to test this out, but I may in a different air fryer…
Don’t take my word for it. I have the anecdotal evidence from my entire household to confirm that indeed, the larger capacity drop-in air fryer basket hits the spot when it comes to making frozen sweet potato fries in the air fryer. The pull out basket on the right is good… it’s just, not as good.
The above is a sample of the cooked sweet potato fries side by side under similar lighting.