Potatoes bake beautifully in an air fryer, even if wrapped in foil, as an experiment this week proved. And they cook in much less time than they would in a conventional oven.
Six months into owning an air fryer, I’m thinking of calling it my potato fryer, because it will cook just about any kind of potato you like, any way, other than mashed. It not only makes my mom’s now famous chips, it can turn out roasties, perfect hasselbacks, and one of these days I’m going to have a go at hash browns in an air fryer, because there’s no reason why not.
And this week I turned my machine’s hand to good old-fashioned baked potatoes. In foil, you ask? Indeed – in foil.
Foil is an important piece of kitchen kit if you own an air fryer, because it can prevent the top of something in the machine from burning by being too close to the element above. You must however be sure that it is weighted down because, if not, it risks floating up to touch the element because of the hot air moving around.
When baking whole potatoes in the air fryer, you need to score them with a sharp knife crosswise on one side, before wrapping them up in a foil parcel.
It’s important to note that the cooking time depends very much on the size of the potatoes you’re using. These were really big boys, so they took most of an hour to become tender right to the centre, but smaller potatoes will cook quicker. Test with a skewer as you go, and if they’re not yet tender enough, put them back in for another 10 minutes at a time until you’re satisfied that they’re done.
I made a delightfully peppery mushroom sauce with these potatoes, made with wine to give it extra pep. Think of a pepper sauce for steak and you get the picture of the style of sauce I was after.
(Serves 2 to 4)
4 large potatoes
For the mushroom sauce:
250 g button mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
Splash of olive oil
A glass of white wine
500 ml cream
Lots of black pepper
Score with potatoes on one side with a sharp knife, twice at cross angles (i.e. to make an X). Wrap the potatoes in foil, scrunching it so that it’s a tight fit. Preheat the machine to 205℃ (or 200℃ if it’s your highest setting).
Cook at 205℃ in foil for 30 minutes, then check with a skewer for doneness. If they’re not done yet, return them at the same temperature for another 10 minutes and test again. And so on. My giants took an hour.
For the sauce, melt the butter and simmer the onions until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic powder and cook while the mushrooms release their juices. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Choose your own peppery strength but I went hard with the pepper.
Add a glass of white wine and reduce until mostly cooked away.
Add the cream and bring to a simmer, stirring while the sauce thickens, Taste and adjust seasoning to suit your taste. Serve piled on top of baked potatoes. DM
Written by: goldfmc1