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The Best Way to Cook a Baked Potato in an Air Fryer

A chef gives a detailed and easy-to-follow recipe for how to cook delicious air fryer baked potatoes.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Potatoes are delicious any way you eat them—mashed, roasted, French fries, hash browns—and one of the most classic and coziest ways to enjoy them is baked. Loaded with toppings like butter, sour cream, chives, or bacon bits, baked potatoes are the perfect side dish for a weeknight dinner or as an addition to your fast-food order when you take a pitstop to a restaurant like Wendy's for their famous Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potato. If you end up cooking one at home, the obvious choice would be to bake one in the oven, but what some people may not realize is that you can also make a baked potato in the air fryer!

The air fryer has many benefits over a standard oven, including the fact that it gives food a crispy texture and that it's small enough to fit on the countertop so all you need is an outlet nearby to use it. The process for baking a potato in the air fryer is rather simple, but we made sure to talk with Chef Chris Nirschel of New York Catering Service, a classically trained chef who has appeared on "Chopped" and "Food Network Star," about the most foolproof way to do so.

Read on to learn how you can make a delicious air fryer baked potato, and for more air fryer tips, check out The Best Way to Cook Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer.

What you'll need

sack of russet potatoes
David Smart/Shutterstock

Before you begin, you'll want to make sure you have all of your ingredients ready to go! Any air fryer will do, and for the potatoes, Chef Nirschel recommends russet potatoes, because "they are ideal for baking due to their starchy texture, which results in a fluffy interior." Along with your potatoes and air fryer, you'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Once you have your ingredients ready, you can start prepping everything.

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Preparing your potatoes

Chef Nirschel shares his instructions for the best air fryer baked potato:

  1. Clean and dry your potatoes. The first thing that Chef Nirschel suggests doing once you have your ingredients is to clean and dry your potatoes. "Thoroughly wash the potatoes under running water," he says, "and use a kitchen towel to pat them dry, ensuring there's no excess moisture on the skin."
  2. Prick potatoes with a fork. The next step will be to prick the potatoes, an important step in making sure the potatoes can withstand the hot temperature of the air fryer. "Using a fork, gently prick each potato several times, which allows steam to escape during the cooking process and prevents the potatoes from bursting," says Nirschel.
  3. Coat them in olive oil. After the potatoes are washed, dried, and pricked with a fork, you can coat them in olive oil. "In a large mixing bowl, drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, and use your hands to coat them evenly, ensuring every surface is covered," says Chef Nirschel.
  4. Season the potatoes. The last step of preparation before you begin cooking them is to season your potatoes however you like. Nirschel suggests taking a separate bowl and "mixing the sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried rosemary." He then says to "sprinkle this seasoning mix over the oiled potatoes, ensuring an even coating."

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Cooking your potatoes in the air fryer

air fryer baked sweet potato

Now that you have everything prepped and ready to go, you can cook your baked potatoes to perfection.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Chef Nirschel says this temperature will "ensure that the potatoes cook evenly and get that crispy skin."
  2. Space out the potatoes in the basket. You'll then want to arrange the potatoes in the air fryer basket, "making sure they are not overcrowded, and that there is some space around them for even cooking," says Nirschel.
  3. Cook for 40-45 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Once the air fryer is preheated, you can cook the potatoes for 40-45 minutes. "Remember to flip them halfway through to ensure they cook evenly," adds Nirschel.
  4. Check for doneness. After 40-45 minutes, Nirschel says you can check for doneness by carefully removing a potato from the fryer. "The skin should be crispy, and a fork should easily pierce through the flesh."

And finally, you can enjoy your crisp baked potatoes! "Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the air fryer," says Nirschel. "Allow them to cool for a couple of minutes, then cut a slit down the center and fluff up the insides with a fork. You can add a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of chives, or your favorite toppings."

What 'not' to do when cooking air fryer potatoes

To review the process, Chef Nirschel emphasizes a few things that he says you'll want to avoid doing when making your own air fryer baked potatoes:

Don't skip the pricking. One crucial step is pricking the potatoes with a fork before cooking. This allows steam to escape and prevents the potatoes from exploding. Skipping this step can result in a messy and potentially dangerous situation.

Avoid using wet potatoes. Always make sure the potatoes are thoroughly dried after washing. Excess moisture on the skin can hinder the crisping process, resulting in less desirable texture.

Don't overcrowd the basket. Resist the temptation to cook too many potatoes at once. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking. Each potato needs ample space to allow the hot air to circulate and cook it evenly.

Don't skip the seasoning. Seasoning is what brings out the flavors of the potato. Skipping or skimping on the seasoning can lead to bland results. Make sure to generously coat the potatoes with a flavorful mix of salt, pepper, and herbs.

Avoid high temperatures for too long. While the air fryer can cook at high temperatures, it's important not to go too hot for too long. Excessive heat can result in overly crisp skins and undercooked interiors. Stick to the recommended temperature range for the best results.

Don't forget to flip. For even cooking, it's crucial to flip the potatoes halfway through the cooking time. Neglecting this step can result in unevenly cooked potatoes with one side being too crispy and the other undercooked.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha