Battered potato wedges with an addictively crunchy outside and soft inside. These Air Fried Western Fries are a healthier spin on a delicious snack!
I had never eaten or even heard of Western Fries, until I moved to Maryland. So, I’m assuming they must be more common around Maryland.
My first year practicing Optometry, I worked for a group with multiple locations. One location was next to a market in downtown Baltimore. Whenever I had a little break in my schedule, I’d walk around the market just to get moving for a few minutes.
On one of these walks, I decided to buy some thick cut fries I saw someone selling. Life changing. They were not just thick fries, they were delicious sticks of battered, fried potato goodness.
I told my then roommates about these life changing potato sticks, and they said “Those sound like Western Fries. Royal Farms sells them.” They were correct. I soon ate Royal Farms Western Fries, and was hooked.
Air Fried Western Fries
Although I adore Western Fries, I don’t feel the healthiest eating them. I mean, they ARE wedges of potatoes that are dipped in batter and then deep fried. There are certainly more nutritious snack options.
But recently when I was craving them, I decided to have a try at making them healthier by air frying them. WIN! And note, I did not say these Western Fries are healthy, but I generally think air frying is a bit healthier than deep frying.
These Air Fried Western Fries are a new staple side in my house. Let me give you some tips to help ensure success:
How do I cut potatoes for Western Fries?
- Cut them into chunks that are about 1 inch thick. The appeal of Western Fries are their crunchy outside and baked potato-like inside. If you cut them too thin, they will get too crunchy inside.
- Cut the potatoes into evenly sized chunks. If you have some big and some small, they will not all cook the same. Alternatively, you can keep a close watch on them while they’re cooking and take out the small ones as they finish.
What is in the batter for Western Fries?
I don’t know if there is any sort of “official batter” for Western Fries, so I made these over and over until they tasted like the ones I love. That includes:
- Cornstarch: This allows for a little extra crunch!
- Seasoning salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- White pepper
- Chili powder
Ensuring Success for Air Frying Western Fries
- Spray the basket of the air fryer with oil to help keep the fries from sticking.
- Make sure that each potato is entirely covered in spray oil. If you see a spot where it looks dry, spray it. If you miss spraying a spot in oil, it will taste like flour.
- Half way through cooking, flip the potatoes over. This ensures they brown evenly on both sides. And when you flip them, spray the tops with a little more oil.
- In case you didn’t understand from the above notes: DO NOT SKIMP ON THE SPRAY OIL!
I assure you that next time you’re looking for a tasty, potato side dish or snack, these Air Fried Western Fries with satisfy your craving!
Air Fried Western Fries
- 3-4 large potatoes scrubbed and washed, then cut into long stirps that are about 1 inch in thickness
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- spray oil olive or vegetable oil work well
- Turn air fryer to 325 degrees. Add cut potatoes. Cook for 3 minutes, flip, and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from air fryer. NOTE: This step is to help soften the inside of the fries before you add the coating.
- In a large bowl whisk together buttermilk and egg.
- In a second bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, and chili powder.
- Working with a few potato pieces at at time, place the potato pieces in the buttermilk mixture so that pieces are entirely covered. Then remove potatoes from buttermilk mixture and shake off excess liquid.
- Roll potato in flour mixture until well coated.
- Place coated potatoes into air fryer basket.
- Spray all sides of coated potatoes with spray oil. Make sure that all of the flour mixture has been sprayed and no areas appear dry.
- Turn air fryer to 375 degrees. Cook for 8 minutes, remove, and flip potatoes. If you see any dry spots, spray them with oil again. Return to air fryer and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until potatoes appear browned and crunchy.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
If you enjoyed these Air Fried Western Fries, you should check out these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:
Oven Baked Rosemary Fries
Air Fried Cauliflower Poppers
Jamaican Fried Chicken
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Links to items used to make this recipe:
I just wanted to thank you so much for posting this recipe! My husband and I were Maryland born and raised. We lived there the majority of our lives but ended up moving to Oregon 12 years ago and started a family here. One of the things we miss the most is food. We try to introduce East Coast foods to our kids as much as we can. We even get MD blue crabs shipped on dry ice a couple times a year! We just got an air fryer a couple months ago and were looking for recipes to make.… Read more »
Thank you so much for sharing this, it just made my day! I love that you’re keeping your home foods alive with your kids, I try to do the same! Soon I’ll try to post a crab cake recipe 🙂
Ex-Marylander here! I didn’t know it was just a local thing! I also lived down the street from a Royal Farms off 103. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories.
So fun! I’m not positive it’s a Maryland thing but I definitely hadn’t heard of them until I lived here!
Marylander! Late by like 2 years, but I think it may be a middle east coast thing, since my family always stopped by a Royal Farms to get these fries on our road trips from Maryland to New York/New Jersey and back. Usually around a halfway point.