These Are the Best Groceries We Bought for Our Air Fryers in 2021 — And They All Have One Thing in Common

published Dec 23, 2021
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Credit: Sara Tane

Fact: Most of us here at Kitchn got air fryers so that the fried potatoes we make at home would be as golden and crisp as the ones we get in restaurants. And while there are a ton of other tasty possibilities (thick-sliced bacon! Juicy steak! Gooey grilled cheese!), this post is an ode to the potato. When we looked back at everything we bought for our air fryers this year, one thing became very clear: everything that topped the list was potato-based!

These five spud-based groceries gave our breakfasts, dinners, snacks, and side dishes the extra kick — er, crisp — 2021 called for.   

1. Farm Rich Loaded Potato Skins, $5.28 for 16 ounces

Is there a more classic bar food than potato skins? You probably didn’t make them at home before you got an air fryer. (They just don’t cook up right in the regular oven!) These potato skins brown up really nicely in an air fryer, though, and have a great textural play between the crispy exterior and the meaty potato topped with melted cheese. Just make sure to scoop up those bits of shredded cheese and bacon that may have fallen to the bottom of the bag and replenish the potato skins so they are cheesy and full!

Credit: Julian Montijo

2. Trader Joe’s Hashbrowns, $1.99 for 10

While you can microwave these frozen hash brown patties, inside sources say they’re infinitely tastier when prepared in an air fryer (yes, we are those inside sources). If you want them to be shatteringly crisp and golden-brown, that’s the cooking method for you. Super fans say they’re perfect on their own, which, HARD agree! They also make a great base for fried eggs and avocado. Bonus: They taste just like what you’d get at the drive-thru.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Season’s Choice Potato Puffs, $1.45 for 32 ounces

Aldi’s potato puffs are the tater tots of every kid’s (and adult’s) dreams. When cooked properly in the air fryer, they make for an extra-crispy base to arguably their most fun format: loaded. Melted cheese is a must, but after that it’s a choose-your-own-adventure when it comes to which toppings and how much of each to pile on!

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries, $6.59 for 6 pounds

The name says it all: fast food-level french fries served up extra crispy, just like we like them. (All six pounds of them!) And at this price, we found Costco is the best place to stock up for years to come!

Credit: Katie Workman

5. Alexia Sweet Potato Fries with Sea Salt, $3.48 for 20 ounces

Sweet potato fries won’t crisp up quite as much as regular fries, but the air fryer definitely helps give them some lovely crunch. These potatoes have a nice sweetness to them, and the sea salt is a perfect contrast. 

Don’t see your favorite air-fryer grocery item on the list? Tell us about it in the comments below!