Believe it or not, reheating fries in the air fryer makes them taste almost better than a fresh batch. It’s as if you double-fried your french fries!
I used to think that french fries were some of the hardest foods to reheat. Every time I tried, they would lose texture or taste. Due to the starchiness of the potatoes, leftover fries tend to turn soggy and mushy. The air fryer draws out this excess moisture while also crisping up the exterior. The resulting fries are hot on the inside and crunchy on the outside as if they had just come out of the fryer.
📝 Why This Works
✔️Waste not, want not – A lot of times when we order fast food or takeout, french fries tend to get left behind. I used to hate throwing out soggy, days-old fries before I discovered that air frying them brings them back to life! Why waste perfectly good leftover french fries when you can heat them up for another meal?
✔️Quick and easy fix – The air fryer is the most hassle-free kitchen equipment I have ever worked with. It takes only a few minutes and no mess.
✔️Healthy option – You need minimal, if any oil when reheating fries in the air fryer. Leftover fries generally have a covering of oil already, and they won’t stick in the air fryer. You may use a little bit of oil to avoid drying out.
🛒Leftover fries – Whether these are leftover curly fries, waffle fries, steak fries, thin fries, sweet potato fries, or fast food fries such as McDonald’s fries; this recipe will work the same.
🛒Spray oil (optional) – Any kind of cooking spray will work. Our main goal is to give a little spritz of oil to the fries to help revive the shiny and crispy exterior. I used olive oil spray as it tolerates high heat well.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
✅Air fryer – I used my Ninja air fryer, but you can use any kind you like. The Ninja air fryer doesn’t have to be preheated for this recipe.
✅Tongs – Tongs are useful in taking the fries in and out of the air fryer basket.
👉Step 1: Spray the leftover fries lightly with a spray oil.
👉Step 2: Lay them in a single layer across the air fryer basket. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F if your model requires preheating.
👉Step 3: Air fry at 375°F and cook for 3-4 minutes while shaking the basket every minute or so. While this is a hands-off way to reheat fries, never leave the air fryer behind as these take such a short amount of time. Your cooking time might vary depending on your air fryer model and the type of fries you are reheating. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: The air fryer temperature might need adjusting depending on the type of fries you are reheating. French fries are thin and will reheat fast so a slightly lower temperature of 350°F can prevent overcooking.
Wedges are thicker so you can start with a lower temperature of 300°F to 325°F for a few minutes then increase to 375°F to crisp the exterior. This gradual temperature increase ensures the wedges properly reheat without burning them.
Curly fries require good air circulation to reheat evenly. Shake the basket more often so the fries reheat uniformly.
Sweet potato fries are prone to drying out. Reheat at a medium temperature (350°F) and give them a light oil spritz. This will keep the moisture inside and help the sweet potatoes crisp up better.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
📌Don’t overcrowd – Having too many layers will block the circulation of air inside the air fryer. Try to leave some space between each fry and heat a single pile each time. Even if it takes multiple batches, the result will be worth it!
📌Room temperature fries – If you have some extra time, try to let your fries come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before reheating them. It will help them heat up faster and avoid condensation inside the air fryer.
📌Avoid dry fries – Adding some oil spray and keeping an eye on the temperature is the best way to avoid drying out your fries while you reheat fries in the air fryer. Make sure to shake the basket often and keep the temperature at a reasonable range – not too high or low.
📌Heat shock method – This is a great way to ensure your fries reheat more evenly, and get a better crisp. Start by reheating the fries at a lower temperature (300°F to 325°F) for the first minute or two.
Then, crank up the temperature to 375°F, and let them crisp for a few more minutes. This works very well, especially for thicker-cut fries like wedges.
📌Seasoning layering – If you want to season the fries, try a two-stage process for a more intense flavor. Lightly season them before reheating to infuse flavor during cooking then add a final seasoning touch once the fries are reheated.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
If you need to store reheated french fries, place them in an airtight container. Depending on how old the fries have originally been sitting in the fridge, you may not have a lot of time left to store them.
Generally, fries can last in the fridge for around 3-5 days without reheating in the middle. If you are in doubt, you can freeze the leftover fries to have them last longer.
✔️ Other Ways To Reheat Fries
Alternative methods of reheating fries are as follows:
👉Oven – The oven is probably the second-best method of reheating fries. Keep in mind it takes longer, draws out moisture, and can often overcook. If you are using a convection oven, line a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350°F in a preheated oven. Depending on how long it takes to heat your oven, this method could take up to 25 minutes including prep time.
👉Skillet – Pan frying leftover french fries is a tricky business. Not every fry will be the same temperature, and you will likely have too little or too much oil. Either case, keep turning the fries inside the pan for about 15 minutes, or until the fries are heated.
👉Microwave – Try to avoid microwaving leftover fries at all costs. It adds extra moisture that will only make soggy fries. If this is your only option, I recommend heating it in 30-second increments in a covered microwave-safe bowl until it is heated.
🍟 Serving Suggestions
⭐Fast food – Other fast food items, such as tater tots, fried chicken, chicken tenders, chicken wings, burgers, egg rolls, and cheese pizza all go with french fries. I like to dip my fries in a milkshake, as well.
If you have leftovers, such as fried chicken or burgers, and need to reheat them alongside, head over to our website for instructions to reheat fried chicken in the air fryer or reheat burgers in the air fryer.
⭐Dipping sauce – You can pair it with any spices or your favorite dipping sauce, like ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayo, or cheese sauce.
⭐Sandwiches – French fries go well with any kind of sandwiches, such as club sandwiches, panini, or grilled cheese.
⭐Air fryer appetizers – You can pair reheated fries with other air-fried appetizers, such as air fryer hamburgers, air fryer bacon, and air fryer quesadillas. You can also have other vegetables, such as air fryer broccolini.
❓ Recipe FAQ
The best way to reheat french fries is in the air fryer for ultimate crispness and least effort. Use a medium temperature of 350-375°F and shake the basket often so they cook evenly.
You can reheat leftover McDonald’s fries. The best way is to reheat fries in the air fryer.
The best way to enhance the flavor of fries after air frying them is to add salt and pepper or other seasonings you like. Also, be sure to not overcook them as they can easily dry out which will also affect the taste.
Reheat Fries in the Air Fryer
- Fries leftover
- Olive Oil Spray optional to make fries crispier
- Lightly spray the fries with a spray olive oil.
- Lay them in a single layer across the air fryer basket, making sure to allow room in between the fries for the air to circulate properly. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F if your model requires preheating.
- Cook for 4 minutes, shaking the basket every minute or so. DO NOT LEAVE THE AIR FRYER as these cook very fast and you need to keep shaking them. Cook for an additional minute for desired crispiness.