Scrub the sweet potatoes and peel if desired (I leave the peels on). Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Turn the halves cut-side down onto your cutting board, the slice each half lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips (a mandoline is the best way to get even fries; watch your fingers!).
Turn the strips on their sides and cut each into 1/4-inch sticks. If the sticks are long, slice them in half crosswise so that your fries are about 3 to 4 inches. Transfer the fries to a large mixing bowl.
To keep the fries warm between batches, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and keep a baking sheet handy.
Drizzle the sweet potato fries with the oil and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Toss to coat, making sure the spices and oil are well distributed.
Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (For my air fryer, that is 3 minutes of preheat time).
FOR SOMEWHAT CRISPY, HIGHLY SATISFYING SWEET POTATO FRIES IN FEWER BATCHES:
Place the potatoes in the air fryer basket, doing no more than two layers (my air fryer is 5 1/2 quarts and I can add about 1/3 of the fries). Make sure the fries have plenty of room so that the air can circulate. Cook the sweet potato fries for 5 minutes.
Slide the basket out and use tongs to toss. Return to the air fryer and continue cooking for 5 to 7 additional minutes, until browned at the edges and crispy. The time can vary by several minutes based on your air fryer model and how done you like your fries. Check often during the last few minutes to make sure the fries don’t burn.
FOR SUPER CRISPY SWEET POTATO FRIES IN MORE BATCHES:
Place the sweet potatoes in just one layer in the basket, being careful that they do not overlap. Cook for 4 minutes, slide the basket out and flip, then continue cooking for 4 to 8 additional minutes, until the fries are as crispy as you would like (again, the time will vary based on your model, so check them several times and adjust as needed).
Remove the sweet potato fries to a baking sheet or a serving plate and immediately sprinkle with an additional pinch of kosher salt. Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes, keeping the cooked fries warm in the oven between batches as desired. Top with chives and enjoy!
*You can make the sweet potato fries with no oil if you prefer, but they will not be as crisp. Be sure to coat the fryer basket very well with nonstick spray.
TO STORE. Refrigerate leftover sweet potato fries in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
TO REHEAT. For the best results, rewarm leftover fries in the air fryer at 375 degrees F or in a 400 degrees F oven (I like to preheat the pan in the oven while it warms up); spread the fries in a single layer on the hot pan and recrisp. Air fryer fries reheat better than regular fries, since the lesser amount of oil inherently prevents them from getting soggy.
TO FREEZE. Freeze fries in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Transfer to an airtight container or ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat directly from frozen.
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