Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries

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Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries. How to air fry your favourite frozen smiley potato fries without burning them and at the same time retaining a wonderful crispy texture.

OMG Frozen smiley fries in the air fryer are so easy to cook and taste 1000 times better than the times when you cooked them for your kids in the oven.

Grab a bag of McCains smiley potato fries for your kids for dinner and let me show you how the air fryer can transform them for the better.

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries
Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries

Air Fryer Smiley Fries

I remember like it was yesterday, the grocery shopping that I used to do when Kyle was a toddler.

It’s hard to believe as I write to you today with my air fryer smiley fries method, that he is now an 18 year old in college.

Back then money was incredibly tight, and we hardly had anything left for groceries.

Our household income was well below $1000 a month and there was very little extra help available.

So, the one place that I could save money was on groceries and I would keep it as low as possible.

The main way I saved money was with a monthly $80 shop at Aldi. I would buy lots of frozen food and lots of canned food and this would keep us going through the month.

Then we would have a tiny weekly shop at our local supermarket.

What I do remember is all the different fun ways I could buy potatoes for Kyle.

He would love any of them served with some baked beans for dinner and loads of cucumber on the side.

The one that brings the smile to my face the most was the McCain style smiley potato fries.

He would ask for these all the time and loved them and would never leave even a bite of them behind. Even when I burnt them!

For a bit of nostalgia and at the request of our air fryer frozen food ebook readers, we have had a trip down memory lane and bought a bag of McCain smiley fries and are showing you today for one time only, how to cook frozen smiley fries in an air fryer.

What Are Smiley Fries?

Smiley fries are frozen fries made into the shape of smiley faces. They are more of a puffed-up mashed potato like a potato waffle.

Or when you use mashed potato leftovers, like our air fryer potato cakes.

They make a fantastic alternative to potato waffles for your kids for their dinner or for serving at kids’ birthday parties.

Burnt Smiley Fries

Burnt smiley fries happens when the smiley fries are cooked at a high temperature and are left in the oven for too long.

I used to burn Kyle’s smiley fries all the time when I used to bake them.

I would get busy in the kitchen and forget about them, get them out and the edges would be burnt!

Why Cook Smiley Fries In An Air Fryer?

This leads to why I love to cook smiley fries in an air fryer. It beeps when they are done, you can set them for the perfect dual cooking time, and they come out so good.

They are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy potato texture in the centre. What more could you want?

What Ingredients & Gadgets Go Into Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries?

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries Ingredients

There is not much to cooking air fryer smiley fries. You just need a good air fryer and a bag of smiley fries.

I prefer to use McCain Smiley Fries alongside my Philips Air Fryer XL. It is roomier compared to smaller air fryers and does a fantastic job.

I am not so keen about cooking smiley fries in the air fryer oven as it is easier to burn them in the power air fryer oven and the Philips Air Fryer overall does a much better job at fries.

Air Fryer Smiley Fries FAQ:

  • How many smiley fries in a serving? Each serving of smiley fries is recommended to be 100g, therefore a full bag is approximately 4.5 servings.
  • McCain Smiley Fries Ingredients?  – The main 2 ingredients in McCain Smiley Fries is real mashed potatoes and sunflower oil.
  • How Long To Cook Smiley Fries? The cooking time for smiley fries is JUST 13 minutes. This is split between starting them off on a medium temperature and finishing them at a high temperature for the golden glow.

How To Air Fry Smiley Fries?

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries step by step

Cooking smiley fries in the air fryer is so simple:

  • Load the air fryer – Add the bag of frozen smiley fries into your air fryer basket.
  • Don’t over fill the air fryer – Its okay if the air fryer has smiley fries on top of each other, just like it would be with regular fries, but it is important that your air fryer is not at 100% capacity. I tend to take my smiley fries to 50% full.
  • Cook the middle first – Cook first at a lower temperature. This will help your smiley fries cook in the middle and prevent them from being burnt.
  • Crispy smiley fries – I love crispy smiley fries and to get them crispy we finish the cooking at a higher temperature.
Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries

More Air Fryer Frozen Food

Here at Recipe This we love sharing with our readers lots of frozen food that they can cook from frozen in their air fryer.

The possibilities are endless and often frozen food tastes better in an air fryer, then in the oven or in the deep fat fryer.

Here are a few of our air fryer frozen favourites for you to try next:

We Also Tried Air Fryer Alphabites

Air Fryer Alphabites

Using the EXACT same cook time as air fryer smiley fries, we gave the popular Birdseye Alphabites a go in the air fryer too.

What I learnt was:

  1. They taste amazing
  2. You fight with the kids over the last one
  3. Many letters of the alphabet are missing

The bad point puts me off them. Especially when you are serving them for your kids.

I tried to spell our names: Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia and Jorge and never managed to get the letters to make the names.

I also had to change Q into A and some A’s into O’s and still could not get our names. The same also applied with the second bag I bought.

We also have a lot more air fryer recipes for you to check out and find some new ideas for planning your meals.

As well as this we have our air fryer frozen food ecookbook, which is full to bursting with all our air fryer frozen recipes in one big PDF ebook. You can order it on this link or click on the banner below.

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries
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4 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries. How to air fry your favourite frozen smiley potato fries without burning them and at the same time retaining a wonderful crispy texture.
Cook Time13 mins
Total Time13 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Air Fryer
Servings: 2
Calories: 193kcal


Kitchen Gadgets:

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries Ingredients:

  • 454 g McCain’s Frozen Smiley Fries


  • Place your frozen smiley fries into your air fryer basket.
  • Set the time to 8 minutes and the temperature to 180c/360f and cook for 8 minutes.
  • When it beeps give them a shake and adjust the temperature to 200c/400f for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm with your kid’s favourite sides.


It is important that you cook your frozen smiley fries at two different temperatures. The first cook will cook the middle well and the second cook will crisp them up. It will prevent them from coming out burnt.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.3g | Protein: 2.4g | Fat: 7.7g | Fiber: 2.8g
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries recipe

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I’m Samantha and along with my chef husband Dominic and our three kids, we teach you how to cook smart with kitchen gadgets. You can learn more about us and how we can help you by CLICKING HERE →

3 thoughts on “Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries”

  1. 4 stars
    Smiley fries one of my sons favourite potato as a child. He loved them and these were cooked quicker and healthier than in the deep fat fryer, which is what air frying is all about, thanks for a blast from the past, i thoroughly enjoyed them 🙂

    • Hi Michael,

      I think the air fry button would be ok, the bake is more an oven setting and we do not have that setting so we use the air fry unless stated in the recipe 🙂


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