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Easy Air Fryer Roast Potatoes 2 Ways! (UK)

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Need to free up oven space, or only cooking a small batch? Tried air fryer roasties before but they don’t compare to oven cooked? This UK air fryer roast potatoes recipe is the answer! Includes the usual FAQs, helpful tips and step by steps, plus 2 easy no fail methods for making excellent air fried roast potatoes! Go on, you know you want to…

Someone taking an air fryer roast potato from a dish

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Why air fry roast potatoes?

You may be a little skeptical, but there are quite a few positives to making roast potatoes in the air fryer!

For starters, it’s much quicker. No preheating the oven for 20 minutes before you can even start – plus I also share a method where you don’t need to par-boil first! And yes, they’re still pretty darn delicious.

It’s also healthier, as a lot of the fat drips through the crisper plate in an air fryer. It’s easier to clean due to the excellent non stick properties, and it frees up precious oven space if you’re making a huge Sunday roast!

Prepped potatoes in an air fryer drawer

Air fryer roast potatoes – two methods

In this post I’ll share my two easy methods for making brilliant air fryer roast potatoes. One is the par-boil method, the other is the tray method. Let’s take a look at each one…

The par-boil method

This is where we boil the potatoes in salted water first. They’re then fluffed up and steam dried. And finally coated in oil and salt before being air fried, straight in the drawer, until golden and crisp.

Yes, par-boiling takes a little longer. But honestly? This gives the best possible flavour, as the salt water seasons the inside of the potato – not just the outside. The texture of the inside is a little smoother too. Plus, fluffing the edges is easier, which gives a brilliantly crisp outer. Exactly what we want in a perfect roast potato!

a saucepan with prepared potatoes

The tray method

The other is the tray method, my cheeky little time hack! This is where we make a little tray using strong tin foil. We then rinse and soak the potatoes in cold water, and dry with kitchen roll. With no par-boiling, the prepared potatoes are then put straight into the air fryer, in our homemade tray with a layer of oil.

To achieve that crispy outer, we fluff up the edges with a fork a few minutes into the cooking time. And as the potatoes are sitting in a tray of fat, they become perfectly golden with minimum effort.

This method works far better than I ever thought it would. Roughing up the edges with a fork is key to their success, and I do recommend basting and salting each time you turn them over for the best results. Although, compared with par-boiling, the texture is slightly grainier, and they don’t seem to get as well seasoned. That being said – they’re still flipping delicious!

A dish of air fryer roast potatoes with a napkin

Why soak roast potatoes before air frying?

In the tray method, I mentioned that we rinse and soak the potatoes before air frying. Potatoes have a lot of excess starch, and starch holds on to moisture. This is not ideal for crispy roast potatoes!

The easiest way to remove this excess starch, is to rinse them well a few times. Then leave them to soak in cold water for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you have longer, even better! Then dry them well using kitchen roll and you’re good to go.

It’s the same trick I use to make perfect air fryer fries too!

A plate of air fryer roast potatoes scattered with parsley

Do you boil potatoes before air frying?

One of the methods I’ve talked about is the par-boil method. Personally, this is my favourite. As it gives the overall best results. The insides of the potatoes get properly seasoned by the salty water, and the outsides are roughed up, which gives super crispy edges.

But if you don’t have time for par-boiling, the tray method (explained in detail later in this post) is a great alternative.

Someone sprinkling parsley over a dish of air fryer roast potatoes

How long do roast potatoes take in an air fryer?

If you are using the par-boiling method, it will take about 35-40 minutes to complete the boiling and steam drying stage, and between 18-22 minutes to air fry.

If you are using the tray method, it will take 10-15 minutes to rinse, soak and dry. Then between 22-26 minutes to air fry.

Do note that air fryers and potato varieties vary, and this may affect the timings slightly. Also, the size you cut your potatoes will have an impact too.

Potato peelings on a board and a bowl of peeled potatoes

How to air fry roast potatoes in a Ninja Foodi

I currently have a Ninja Foodi Max Dual AF400UK air fryer, and I used it to develop this air fryer roast potatoes recipe. So all you need to do is follow the recipe exactly as it is! Whether that’s the par-boil method or the tray method.

Best variety for air fryer roast potatoes?

The answer to this is… the same as oven roasted potatoes! Floury potatoes usually work best for roasties. Varieties like Maris Piper and King Edward are very popular here in the UK, for that reason.

Someone forking an air fryer roast potato in an air fryer drawer

Ingredients and substitutions

Here are a few tips I think you’ll find helpful when choosing your ingredients for air fryer roast potatoes.

  • Potatoes – Choose a floury variety for the best results. Maris Piper, King Edward and Desiree all work well.
  • Oil – Don’t use olive oil if you can help it, as this has a low smoke point. Instead, use sunflower or vegetable oil. We don’t want to set the smoke alarm off do we?!
  • Salt – I like to use sea salt, but honest, any salt will work fine. Even table salt! No need to get unnecessarily fancy.
A roasting tray with prepared potatoes

Air fryer roast potato recipe tips and troubleshooting

Here are tips you’ll find helpful when making this recipe.

  • Remember that roast potatoes will shrink during cooking, due to the loss of moisture. Bear this in mind when planning your portions.
  • The smaller you cut your potatoes, the faster they will cook. The larger you cut your potatoes, the longer it will take for them to cook.
  • Don’t use olive oil as it has a low smoke point (around 190ºC). Use sunflower, vegetable or rice bran oil instead.
  • If using the tray method, soak your potatoes for at least 10-15 minutes first. This will help remove excess starch, which will then allow more moisture to escape. Giving fluffier middles and crispier outsides.
  • If using the par-boil method, spray a little extra oil over them once or twice during air frying. This will help to baste the outers, giving more crisp and golden edges.
  • Don’t overcrowd your air fryer drawer. This will cause the potatoes to steam, rather than ‘roast’.
Someone taking a roast potato from a white dish next to a napkin

Time management

Have limited time? Struggle with recipe timings? Or juggling around other things? Here’s some time managing info for both methods, to make your life easier.

The par-boil method

  • It will take about 20-25 minutes to prep and par-boil the potatoes.
  • Followed by 10-15 minutes to allow them to steam dry.
  • You then need to allow between 18-22 mins for air frying.

The tray method

  • Prepping, rinsing and soaking will take a minimum of 15 minutes. If you can soak for longer, it’s even better.
  • Air frying will take between 22-26 minutes.

Note: Air fryers and potatoes vary. This could affect timings, so use them as a guide.

A pyramid of air fryer roast potatoes in a dish on a stand

If you like this recipe…

…you might also like:

Easy Air Fryer Roast Potatoes – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Ingredients

Here is what you will need to cook roast potatoes in your air fryer. Instructions are given for both the par-boil method and the tray method.

Ingredient quantities will depend on the size of your potatoes, your air fryer, and how many portions you need. I usually go with 1 whole medium potato per person (as they shrink during cooking).

  • Floury Potatoes, peeled and chopped *
  • Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  • Salt

*I cut mine to roughly 4-5cm in size.

Essential equipment

  • Large Saucepan (par-boil method)
  • Tin Foil (tray method)
  • Kitchen Roll (tray method)
  • Air Fryer
  • 2 Forks (tray method)
  • Small Plate (tray method)

Par-boil method instructions

Place your prepared potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Salt generously and give it a stir.

Turn the heat on to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Until you can just push a sharp knife through.

potatoes in a pan of water

Then drain the water and gently shake the pan to fluff up the edges. Leave to steam dry for 10-15 minutes. (This will be a little quicker if you space them out on a cooling rack.)

par boiled potatoes fluffed up in a pan

Next, preheat your air fryer to 190ºC (374ºF). Meanwhile, coat your steam dried potatoes in a little oil and some salt. Use your judgment based on your taste and the number of people you are cooking for.

Fluffed up par boiled potatoes coated in oil and salt

Carefully place the potatoes spaced apart into your preheated air fryer. Don’t overcrowd or they will steam.

prepared par boiled potatoes in an air fryer drawer

Air fry for 18-22 minutes, turning once half way through. You might like to occasionally spray a little more oil over the potatoes during this time.

par boiled roast potatoes part cooked in an air fryer
Air fryer roast potatoes that have been par boiled in an air fryer drawer

And that’s it! Super duper air fryer roast potatoes using the par-boil method. Enjoy!

Tray method instructions

Prepare your potatoes, then rinse them well 3 times in cold water. You’ll notice the water will start out cloudy, but become clear. Then allow the potatoes to soak in cold water for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a tray using strong/thick tin foil. I fold mine into 3 layers, then fold up the edges a little so the oil won’t run off. Check it fits in your air fryer drawer with a little room all round for the air to circulate.

A homemade tin foil tray

Drain the potatoes and dry them well with kitchen roll.

Then preheat your air fryer to 190ºC (374ºF). Once preheated, place your foil tray into the drawer, and space out the prepared potatoes in it. Drizzle all over with oil and salt (or you can do this in a bowl first).

Air fry for 5 minutes.

potatoes in a tin foil tray in an air fryer drawer

Then rough up the edges of each potato with 2 forks. I found it easiest to do this on a plate.

Part cooked potatoes being fluffed up with a fork

Place back into your air fryer, drizzle over a little more oil and salt, and air fryer for a further 8 minutes.

Part cooked potatoes in a foil tray in an air fryer

As you can see, the ‘roughing up with forks’ really helps to get the outsides crispy!

Part cooked roast potatoes in a tin foil tray in an air fryer drawer

Turn each potato over, baste and salt, and air fry for another 5 minutes.

Two thirds cooked roast potatoes in a tin foil tray in an air fryer drawer

Then, for the final time, turn each potato over and baste (salt again if your tastes require it). Air fry for a final 4-8 minutes. Until crisp and golden.

Fully cooked roast potatoes in a tin foil tray in an air fryer drawer

And that’s how you make gorgeous air fryer roast potatoes using the tray method!

How to enhance your air fryer roast potatoes

Adding herbs is a great way to change up the flavour of roast potatoes. Think rosemary, thyme and sage for a fragrant uplift.

You could even spice things up with a few chilli flakes, cayenne pepper or paprika! Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.

Recipes that pair well with air fryer roast potatoes

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A pyramid of air fryer roast potatoes in a dish on a stand. A text overlay says' Air Fryer Roast Potatoes'.
A pyramid of air fryer roast potatoes in a dish on a stand

Easy UK Air Fryer Roast Potatoes - Printable Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This easy air fryer roast potatoes recipe yields the fluffiest golden nuggets of absolute deliciousness! Includes TWO easy no fail methods.

Ingredients

  • Floury Potatoes, peeled and chopped *
  • Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  • Salt

Essential Equipment

  • Large Saucepan (par-boil method)
  • Tin Foil (tray method)
  • Kitchen Roll (tray method)
  • Air Fryer
  • 2 Forks (tray method)
  • Small Plate (tray method)

Instructions

Par-Boil Method

  1. Cover the prepared potatoes in cold water in a saucepan, and season generously with salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 mins. Until you can just push a sharp knife through.
  2. Drain the water, gently shake the pan to fluff up the edges, then allow to steam dry for 10-15 mins.
  3. Coat your steamed potatoes in oil and salt, and preheat your air fryer to 190ºC (374ºF).
  4. Space the potatoes out in your preheated air fryer drawer (don't overcrowd).
  5. Air fry for 18-22 minutes, turning once half way through, until crisp and golden. You may like to spray with a little oil once or twice throughout the cooking time. Serve immediately.

Tray Method

  1. Rinse the prepared potatoes 3 times in cold water. (The water should turn from cloudy to clear.) Leave to soak in cold water for 10-15 mins minimum. Make a tray using foil by folding into 3 layers, then folding up the edges. It should fit your air fryer drawer but leave a gap all the way round to allow air to circulate.
  2. Drain and dry the potatoes with kitchen roll and preheat your air fryer to 190ºC (374ºF). Then put the tray inside and fill with the potatoes. Don't overcrowd. Drizzle with oil and salt.
  3. Air fry for 5 minutes. Then rough up the edges using 2 forks. (It's easier to do this on a plate.)
  4. Place the potatoes back into the tray/air fryer, baste with more oil and salt, and air fryer for a further 8 mins.
  5. Turn the potatoes and baste again (add more salt to taste if required), then air fry for another 5 mins.
  6. Turn the potatoes for a final time, baste again (add more salt to taste if required), and air fry for 4-8 mins more. Until crisp and golden.

Notes

*I cut mine to roughly 4-5cm in size.

Ingredient quantities will depend on the size of your potatoes, your air fryer, and how many portions you need. I usually go with 1 whole medium potato per person (as they shrink during cooking).

See the main post for a more detailed, step by step picture recipe.

Be sure to read the sections Ingredients and Substitutions, Recipe Tips and Troubleshooting and Time Management for lots of helpful information before you begin making this recipe. You can find them in the main body of this post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 745mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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About Emma Mason

Emma is a professional blogger. Utilising over 20 years of cooking experience, she’s passionate about making your life easier, one recipe at a time! Drawing on her 12+ year background in recipe research and development, photography, copy writing and marketing, Emma has turned kitchenmason.com into a successful career. Known as ‘the organisation queen’ among friends, she is passionate about creating easy to follow recipes that anyone can follow and enjoy. She lives in Nottingham (UK) with her husband, daughter and 2 naughty cats. In her spare time she can be found reading a good book, training at the dojo preparing for her black belt grading, or dreaming up the next crazy colour combo for her hair!

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