Do Frozen Potatoes Really Bake Up Fluffier?

We put both sweet potatoes and russet potatoes to the test — in the oven and the air fryer!

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Photo by: Michelle N. Warner

Michelle N. Warner

Chef Lucas Sin’s method of freezing a sweet potato before he bakes it has become a fun topic of conversation on the internet. At the Food Network, we’re always interested in trying new methods of cooking old favorites, so I tested this out. I'll cut right to the chase: Chef Sin is right, freezing your sweet potatoes for 2-3 hours then baking them results in a sweeter, fluffier potato. The overall texture is great!

I tested with a purple, red and white sweet potatoes as well as a russet potato and small new potatoes. The three different sweet potatoes all came out great, but the russet and new potatoes had no significant change. Why? It’s got to be the sugar content, as Chef Sin addresses. In the freezer, the sugars bump up and the cellular structure breaks down, so the flavor is really refined. This is not possible with a non-sweet potato.

Michelle N. Warner

Michelle N. Warner

In the air fryer, the skin of the frozen potato (on the left) crisped up nicely.

In the air fryer, the skin of the frozen potato (on the left) crisped up nicely.

But wait, there's more — because we’re air fryer fanatics here at Food Network, I popped some frozen and not-frozen potatoes into my air fryer. The outer skin of the frozen russet potato achieved a beautiful crust, but the insides weren’t that different than the unfrozen. I would do it again for that caramelized brown skin, though. My hypothesis is that dense heat in the air fryer helps make for a really nice baked potato all around; try it with sweet potatoes, too.

Then I thought — what if I used the frozen potatoes to make fries? I love fries of all kinds and I was excited to see if there was any difference in output. After freezing the potatoes for 2-3 hours, I gave them about 10 minutes on the counter to soften so I could safely cut them into fries. I really enjoyed the results for both types of potatoes!

Sweet potato fries cook great in oven. I followed this recipe, but added 5-6 more minutes to the cook time. (Want to fry russet potato fries? Try this method, but pat dry before dropping them in the oil.) And both sweet potato fries and russet potatoe fries cook even better in the air fryer. Just heat it to 425 degerees F, spray your fries with cooking oil and cook for about 15 minutes, tossing them a little over half way through the cooking.

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