The most delicious and simple side dish, baby new potatoes turn into a cross between mini baked potatoes and roasties in the air fryer! Follow my easy instructions for How to Air Fry Whole Baby Potatoes just once and you’ll be making them on repeat.
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Air frying has really changed how I cook Not least because throwing veg and potatoes in the microwave and then into the air fryer means that I actually tend to eat proper sides with my meals. Even when cooking for one and even when I don’t feel to well and inclined to cooking.
Keeping a bag of baby potatoes in the fridge (or cupboard in the cooler months) is a really good way to make sure that I always have an easy carb option on hand.
I’m not even the biggest fan of cooking potatoes with their skins on in general – my speed peeler is my best friend. But with baby new potatoes, the skins are so thin, I don’t mind them at all.
I’ve created this recipe as a way to cook whole new potatoes but for even speedier cooking, you can halve or quarter them after they have been steamed.
How to Serve
I am aware that I often start my ramblings in this section with “you can serve x a million ways”. But as I often write instructions for the true basic building blocks of meals, this is really the truth. And it is certainly the case with these baby potatoes.
I’ve kept the flavourings simple with oil and salt but this can be built on with any extra seasonings you fancy. Matching the flavours to what you’re serving is a great way to go but keeping them simple and focussing on the actual flavour of potato can’t be beaten.
Try serving with some of these meals ideas –
- Pork Tenderloin with sweetcorn, boiled sprouts, carrot mash and meat juices like in the photos on this page.
- Make a weeknight mini roast dinner with Roast Chicken, quick Buttery Lemon & Garlic Green Beans and paxo stuffing balls.
Air Fry Whole Baby Potatoes Ingredients
Baby potatoes are simply small potatoes. For the most part they are roughly around the size of a ping pong ball. Some are a little bigger, some are a little smaller. They can be named slightly differently depending on where you are shopping.
- New potatoes are the earliest crop of potatoes and tend to be on the smaller side and have very thin skins. Some new potatoes will be the size of baby potatoes but some will be larger, anything up to roughly the size of a tennis ball.
- Salad potatoes are another common name for baby potatoes but tend to focus mostly on the more waxy varieties.
- Miniature potatoes are smaller than baby potatoes. You can cook them in exactly the same way but the cooking times will be reduced.
The important thing is to make sure that the potatoes are clean, dried thoroughly if needed and any black or bruised bits are removed before cooking.
Otherwise it is simply a case of adjusting the cooking times to match the size of potato as needed.
Just like when making baked potatoes, a little oil on the skin of the potatoes helps them to crisp up beautifully. It also prevents them from becoming dry and shrivelled and encourages browning of the skin which equals flavour.
You will need a little more oil if you choose to halve or quarter the potatoes after steaming – don’t be stingy.
You can use any oil you prefer. I generally use vegetable oil as it is neutral in flavour and economical. I will use olive oil if serving with something Mediterranean in style. Just make sure to match the flavour with your finished dish and if in doubt, stay neutral.
As always, I use sea salt flakes when cooking. My preferred brand is Maldon. If you must use fine or table salt instead, make sure to halve the quantity in the recipe.
You can substitute with garlic salt or another flavoured salt for added flavouring. Or you can add other spices like paprika or even za’atar or any other seasoning blend. If using a ready made blend, check to see if it includes salt – you don’t want to double up.
You can always add more salt to taste as you are serving up.
This recipe is free from egg, dairy, gluten and nuts.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Why Steam Baby Potatoes Before Air Frying?
I am a big advocate of part boiling potatoes of any kind before roasting them. It speeds up the process (more so with larger potatoes) and I much prefer the texture of the fluffy interior when its been cooked first.
I usually use the microwave to make this process extra quick. You can use any microwave safe container to steam the potatoes. Add a cling film lid if the container doesn’t have one. I prefer to use a plastic container with a steam vent although it appears that the one I use is no longer sold which is a shame.
You can also steam over a pan of boiling water on the stove but this does take longer.
You can also boil the potatoes but I prefer to steam as this prevents the potatoes from getting water logged and they crisp up more easily in their skins.
How Long to Air Fry Whole Baby Potatoes From Raw?
Of course you can air fry directly from their raw state.
Coat the potatoes in the oil and salt as normal, and air fry for 25 minutes. You will need to check that the potatoes are cooked the whole way through. Check the largest one with a sharp knife. Keep cooking until that one is done.
How Long to Air Fry Baby Whole Potatoes
The air frying stage of this process takes around 15 minutes. But as the baby potatoes are actually already cooked, you are simply air frying them until your preferred level of crispiness.
You could take them out and eat after 5 minutes. Or leave them in for 20 for super crispy potatoes. But 15 is my sweet spot.
Air Frying Whole Baby Potatoes From Frozen
I wouldn’t really recommend trying this. Raw potatoes don’t freeze well as the texture can be quite affected as they defrost.
You can steam the potatoes, freeze them and then cook from that state. But this takes just as long as cooking them from scratch so I don’t generally see any benefits.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
Leftover cooked whole baby potatoes can however be frozen. Or kept in the fridge (well covered) for a good 4 to 5 days.
Reheating from frozen will take around 10 minutes in the air fryer. From the fridge they’ll take around 5-7 minutes – either way, you need to make sure that they’re piping hot in the middle.
There are also a tonne of other ways that you can use leftovers rather than just reheating and eating them as is.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
The Air Fried Feast Community
Come on over to Facebook and join my community discussing all things air fryer. Get involved in sharing your experiences and trials, help out others and find out what wonderful things everyone is cooking in their air fryers!
What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I mostly use a Cosori Lite 3.8L (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
I’ve also recommended to several friends and family the model with a slightly larger basket. This is the Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501) with a 4.7 litre basket. The unit is no larger than the 3.8 litre model on the outside but does have a larger internal basket capacity. I’ve borrowed this air fryer for some recipes where my smaller model was just too small. I’ll always note this in the recipe.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I’ve been using for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked does have a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori model has a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which most people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although some come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Whole Baby Potatoes
- 800 g Baby Potatoes
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
- Check over 800g Baby Potatoes. Remove any bruises or eyes if needed.
To Microwave Steam
- Put the potatoes into a microwaveable tray or bowl with lid. Add a little water.
- Microwave for 8 minutes. Check that the potatoes are tender all the way through by prodding with a sharp knife. Microwave for a further minute or two if needed.
- Drain the water well and allow the potatoes to sit without a lid so they can steam a little dry.
To Steam on the Stove
- Boil a kettle of water.
- Add the potatoes to a steamer basket.
- Fill a saucepan with the boiling water and place the basket of potatoes over the pan. Add the lid and steam for 18-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a sharp knife.
- Take the basket off the pan and allow to sit and steam a little dryer without the lid for a couple of minutes. Move to a bowl.
- If your air fryer has a preheat setting, start this now.
- Drizzle over 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil and add 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes. Toss to fully coat the potatoes.
- Move the potatoes into the air fryer basket. I like to do this with tongs so I can make sure each potato is well coated into the oil as I put them in.
- Cook at 200c for 15 minutes.
- You can shake the potatoes a couple of times during cooking if you feel the need but unless they are very tightly packed in, they should cook nice and evenly without shaking or turning.
- Portion Size – The portion size given assumes that the potatoes are being served as a main side. If wanting to serve as part of a larger meal like a roast dinner with multiple side options, Halve the recipe (or consider the portion number doubled).
- This recipe is tested in a Cosori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I managed to fit in 800g of baby potatoes with room for air flow but not many more potatoes at all.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.