Can you cook store-bought frozen oven chips in an air fryer and still get a wonderful crunchy exterior and a light and fluffy interior? The answer is a definite yes. Plus, you do not need to thaw them or use any oil!!
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why you will love this recipe
- The cooking time for frozen chips is reduced by a third, in comparison to the regular oven cooking time. What does this mean? You get to save on time and energy, which we all want, right?
- You still get delicious chips that are crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy when bitten into.
- Uses little or no oil, compared to deep-fried or oven-baked chips, thereby resulting in fewer calories!
ingredient and equipment notes
Here is what you will need to cook frozen fries (ok, at this point I guess you probably know that those of us who are in the UK or in any country that uses British English call them chips):
- frozen oven chips - I used the McCain brand but feel free to use your favorite oven-chips! Also, keep an eye on the ingredients list, especially if you have gluten or other food sensitivities to ensure it is okay to eat. Always speak to your health care practioner if in doubt.
- salt and pepper - or your favorite seasoning for chips!
- an air fryer - while I made mine using my Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 air fryer and pressure cooker, you can use any air fryer brand that you have.
See the recipe card below for quantities and a video showing you how I made mine.
how to cook frozen chips using an air fryer
Cooking air fryer frozen french fries (chips) is actually very easy, plus, you have the added advantage of having fewer calories!! Here is how to go about it:-
- Place the frozen oven chips on the air fry basket. Most frozen fries already come oiled (McCain fries normally have a combination of 5 percent oil and 95 percent potatoes but always keep an eye on the ingredients list, just to be completely sure). You can spray the french fries with some cooking oil, if they seem too dry.
- Air fry at 200° C / approximately 400° F for 10 minutes, making sure to shake halfway through cooking. Taste, increase the time by 4 minutes if not done, and air fryer further until the chips are crispy to your liking. Finally, season with some salt and pepper, or some chip spice.
- Serve while still hot with your favorite sides and dipping sauce or sauces. Basically, that's how easy it is to make frozen french fries using the air fryer!
- You do not have to preheat the air fryer, just bear in mind that you will have to check on the fries halfway through cooking, as the cooking time may be longer.
- Additionally, you do not have to oil your basket or spray the chips with cooking oil but simply keep an eye on the ingredients list and spray on some cooking oil, if they seem too dry. Do not use aerosol sprays as they tend to spoil the coating material of the air fryer basket.
- Toss the chips or fries halfway through cooking.
- Adjust the cooking time depending on how crispy you would like your chips or fries and how thick they are. Thinner and softer fries generally require a shorter time to cook compared to thicker ones.
There are so many ways to serve this recipe with. The obvious ones are some ketchup, barbeque sauce, or mayo! Here is my favorite homemade ketchup recipe, in case you like to make your own dipping sauces.
- Air Fryer Frozen Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Frozen Turkey Burgers
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Low- Carb Air-fried Chicken Tenders
It also pairs up well with chicken and fish nuggets, mozzarella sticks, a side salad, and basically any dish you love! A fan of vegan food? Then why not try this nut roast as dessert, once you are done enjoying your chips!
- Making ahead: I do not recommend making them ahead as the fries or chips will lose their crispiness once cooled. It is better to cook and serve them immediately.
- Reheating: while I do not recommend reheating, reheat the chips (fries) in an air fryer preheated at 350° F /180° C for 5 minutes or until warmed through, and toss midway through cooking if you really have to. Do not reheat them in the microwave as they will dry out quickly and not taste as good. Also bear in mind that you may need to spray them with some oil before reheating, to prevent them from totally going dry.
Air Fryer Frozen Chips
- 300 g McCain frozen chips (or your favourite brand of frozen chips)
- 1 tsp salt and black pepper (or your preferred choice of chips spice, to season)
- cooking oil/spray - optional (do not use aerosol sprays, see notes)
- Place the frozen oven chips on the air fry basket. Most frozen fries already come oiled.
- Air fry at 200° C / 392° F for 10 minutes. Ensure you check and shake the basket halfway through cooking. If not done to your liking, continue air frying for an additional 4 minutes. If you prefer even more crispiness, extend the time in 3-4 minute increments, shaking your basket occasionally. Finally, season with some salt and pepper, or your favorite chips seasoning.
- Serve while still hot with your favorite sides and dipping sauce or sauces. Basically, that's how easy it is to make frozen chips using the air fryer!
- Most frozen chips come pre-oiled but you can spray the chips with some cooking oil if they seem too dry. Do not use aerosol sprays. Instead, fill a sprayer bottle with a healthy high smoke point cooking oil such as coconut oil and use this as a cooking spray. McCain chips normally have a combination of 5 percent oil and 95 percent potatoes but this will vary depending on the type of French fries so always keep an eye on the ingredients list, just to be completely sure.
- Should you choose to use some cooking oil on the chips, then do not spray too much, or they will get mushy. Serve them up immediately as serving them later will only result in soggy fries. They also taste very different once cooled and reheated.
- Also, bear in mind that thinner-cut chips cook crispier than thicker ones. Should you open up your air fryer and establish that they are not as crispy as you would like them to be, then simply air fry for a further 3-4 minutes. I also recommend serving them immediately. If you let them sit for a while, or reheat them, they can go mushy.
- French Fries (skinny chips) – 8 to 10 minutes.
- Curly chips – 10 minutes.
- Crinkle cut/Straight cut chips – 12 to 15 minutes.
- Chunky chips – 18 to 20 minutes.
- Nutritional information is considered an estimate, based on tools that this website uses and excludes any cooking spray, oil, or seasoning. It will vary, depending on the type of frozen chips (french fries) and seasoning you use. It is your responsibility to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information. If in doubt then always speak to a nutritional specialist.
frequently asked questions
Most frozen oven chips come already oiled, but should you choose to use some cooking oil on them then do not spray too much, or they will get mushy. I also recommend serving them up immediately as serving them later will only result in soggy fries. French fries also taste very different once cooled and reheated.
Bear in mind that thinner-cut chips cook crispier than thicker ones. Should you open up your air fryer and establish that they are not as crispy as you would like them to be, then simply air fry for a further 3-4 minutes. I also recommend serving them immediately. If you let them sit for a while, or reheat them, they can go mushy.
You can use your favorite brand of frozen chips but I personally prefer the McCain Oven chips, as they taste amazing and are healthier than most brands. Eating them, you won’t be able to tell that they are not deep-fried! They are also generally low in calories.
Most of the time, I like to have my chips pretty simple by seasoning them with some good old salt, pepper, and paprika powder. To make up for it, I go heavy on my dipping sauces- okay, I am that kind of a person! But don't be like me, get creative with your seasoning as the opportunities are limitless!! Other spices you can use include:
- chip spice- store-bought or make your own!
- sprinkle grated cheese a few minutes before the chips are cooked to make some cheesy fries!
- stir in some ground garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, or chilli pepper flakes for spicy chips, just to mention a few!