Thursday, August 29, 2019

Air Fryer Twice-Baked Potato

Russet potatoes, air fry baked, then scooped out and mixed with cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, grated onion, bacon, cheddar cheese and baked again.
Russet potatoes, air fry baked, then the pulp scooped out and mixed with cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, grated onion, bacon, cheddar cheese, stuffed back into the shells and baked again.

Air Fryer Twice-Baked Potato

I tell you what, if you live in the Deep South and you don't have an Instant Pot and an air fryer, I seriously don't know why.

Those have been the two most used appliances in my house all summer long in this oppressive heat we've been experiencing down here. I mean yes, we always have hot summers down here, but it sure seems we have had an awful lot of those heat advisories this summer and even though I have a killer A/C unit, I have had the oven on only a couple of times.

Although I have used my air fryer a lot, I think this might be my first actual published recipe specifically written for the air fryer, though I have certainly made all the classic frozen stuff in it. It works fab for things like hash brown patties, French fries, pizza rolls, breaded fish fillets, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, tater tots, and even frozen biscuits!

I've used it to bake cornbread and cook bacon, though I think the oven style air fryers work best for bacon. My basket style fryer had that bacon flying all over and just made a mess, but the oven did it perfectly. I've roasted multiple whole chickens this summer, one of my favorite things to make, although I do recommend that you keep those chickens on the smaller size of 3 to 4 pounds so you don't burn up your air fryer. Bone-in chicken thighs are great too. Italian sausages, and even those tasty breakfast Little Sizzlers The Cajun loves so much, cook up so beautifully and much easier in the air fryer than in a skillet. Potatoes, whether whole, cut up or cubed for breakfast style, are amazing in the air fryer. It's also great for warming sandwiches, and pizza!

I've also been working through adapting a few of my regular recipes along the way, as I have with my Instant Pot. Once you get past the experimental stages of trying basics in your air fryer and start moving into real cooking, I think you'll be impressed, so my best advice is to make sure that you get one that is large enough for what you intend to use it for, or you'll soon find yourself upgrading!

By the way, I think the oil used, while substantially less than pan or deep frying, makes a huge difference in the success of air frying. I've tried several oil spritzers, and I highly recommend the EVO brand. It works the best in my humble opinion and each squirt is only 1/4 teaspoon, so you can be pretty liberal with the oil for good coverage. I even use it with my oven "frying."

There are several air fryer groups you can join on Facebook if you're new to the air fryer, and especially if you've not really used it much. Just use the Facebook search box and they'll pop up. Members will share photos and brief instructions about what they did and it can be very helpful when you are first starting out. One thing I will tell you not to do, and that is to use and/or place your air fryer on top of the stove. I have seen many melted air fryers because of this when somehow a burner was turned on with the air fryer sitting on top of the stove. My air fryer sits right on the granite countertop under the cabinets, but it has feet so that it's elevated to allow air to circulate underneath. Some people do place their air fryers on trivets for extra insurance to protect countertops but I've not had any issues with mine.

I am currently using an Instant Vortex oven air fryer, which replaced a Power XL Elite oven, that unfortunately died on me. I think I may have used it to death! I am working on getting that one replaced, but I used it so often that I ran to Walmart and picked up the Instant Vortex oven the very next day. I also have a basket style Todd English air fryer which was the first one I bought and the one used for these twice baked potatoes. His brand also now has an oven style air fryer out. Most of the oven style ones come with some kind of accessories, rotisserie spit and forks, a rotating basket that rolls the food, and my XL came with an extra basket that fits into the oven, and holds a whole chicken very nicely.

My standard disclaimer applies - that being to always remember that like microwaves, brands and wattage of air fryers differ in how they cook. Follow guidelines in any air fryer recipe, but be sure to keep an eye on the food the first time that you cook a recipe and adjust as needed, as you may need less or more time, or even may find that according to the wattage of your air fryer, you may need to make adjustments in cooking temperature as well.

This is a great way to make a perfect baked potato, but even better, a twice-baked potato in your air fryer. I'm making a half recipe because I already had plans for the other baked potatoes, so I only stuffed one potato for this twice-baked presentation.

By the way, the chopper pictured is a perfect tool to use with potatoes too by the way.

They are delicious. I've served mine here alongside a grilled steak - cooked on my indoor countertop grill - and a side salad. Simple, easy and I didn't have to heat up the whole kitchen.

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

For more of my favorite potato recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page.

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Recipe: Air Fryer Twice-Baked Potato

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min

Total time: 50 min
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 6 medium russet potatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup half and half or cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Paprika, to garnish
  • Sour cream, to garnish
  • Sliced green onion, to garnish, optional

Preheat air fryer at 400 degrees F for 3 minutes. Scrub potatoes and poke several holes in each of them. Spray with oil, season generously with salt and pepper and air fry for 30 minutes, turning once.

Meanwhile, cook bacon, set aside; once cooled, chop. Let potatoes cool enough to handle, then slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato pulp. Combine the potato pulp with the cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and onion until well blended. Add enough cream to moisten the potatoes; stir in 3/4 cup of the cheddar and the bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, then overstuff the potato shells and sprinkle each potato lightly with paprika, if using.

Place into greased basket and air fry at 360 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size of potatoes, or until top browns. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and return to air fryer for about 30 seconds, or until cheese melts. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and green onion, if desired.

Cook's Notes: I've tried several oil spritzers, and I highly recommend the EVO brand. It works the best in my humble opinion and each squirt is only 1/4 teaspoon, so you can be pretty liberal with the oil for good coverage. I used a basket style Todd English air fryer for these potatoes. It is 5.8 quarts and 1700 watts. Individual air fryer brands differ in wattage and how they cook; monitor this dish the first time to adjust time as needed. Total time will also depend on type and size of potatoes used.

For the Oven: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub potatoes and poke several holes in each of them. Bake for 45 minutes directly on the oven rack, spacing them at least an inch apart. Check by inserting a knife into the potato to see if it is tender; if not, return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or as needed. Set aside to cool. Finish twice-baked preparation as above, and if serving immediately, bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until heated through.

Over-Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes: Plan for one potato per person and instead of splitting potatoes in half, slice off only the top 1/4 of the potato before scooping out. Prepare as above. Prepare the tops as potato skins if desired.


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