Ditch The Oven For Better Baked Sweet Potatoes

If you've ever wanted a baked sweet potato, but didn't want to go through the hassle of turning on the oven for over an hour, you may not know that you can use an air fryer instead. This simple trick is the key to the best baked sweet potatoes and requires minimal effort.

Ovens can be finicky. Some have hot spots and cold spots that make it nearly impossible to cook food evenly and efficiently. Plus, they need time to preheat, use the most electricity of any kitchen appliance, and ingredients cooked in an oven require more oil to get crispy.

Air fryers achieve even better results than ovens by circulating hot air in a small chamber, so your sweet potatoes are cooked perfectly every single time. Not only does the inside get tender and soft, but the skin gets extra crispy too, making the entire sweet potato delicious so nothing goes to waste.

How to prepare sweet potatoes for the air fryer

There are a couple of tricks that ensure that your baked sweet potatoes taste great every time, and they couldn't be simpler. First, make sure to wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly to get any dirt off the skins. Using a potato brush is great, but a course sponge or rag will work here too. Make sure to poke holes in the potatoes too, as this will allow moisture to escape the potatoes as they cook and help the inside cook evenly.

Before they go into the air fryer, coat the potatoes with a thin layer of olive oil (avoid cooking spray) and a pinch of salt. Cook the potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around 50-60 minutes, and you'll have perfectly tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside sweet potatoes.

If you're looking for a bit more flavor, try adding different spices to the skins of the potatoes. Garlic and chili powder, and cinnamon and allspice are a couple of good combinations, but you can play with spices according to your preferences. When the potatoes are done, don't forget to load up the inside with all your favorite toppings.

You can take these baked sweet potatoes a step further, too. The air fryer guarantees that the inside of your sweet potatoes will be cooked perfectly, which makes for the smoothest mashed sweet potatoes as a savory side dish, a maple-bourbon sweet potato pie, or sweet potato gnocchi.

Other way to cook sweet potatoes in an air fryer

You don't have to limit yourself to cooking sweet potatoes whole. There are plenty of delicious ways to cook sweet potatoes in the air fryer that make for great meals in half the amount of time as an oven.

For the crispiest possible sweet potato fries, slice up your sweet potatoes into your preferred shape, then cook them in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping them halfway through. The air fryer will draw out moisture faster than the oven, so you'll be left with perfectly crunchy sweet potato fries. Season them with flaky salt or Old Bay for a savory snack, or sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them for a sweet treat.

To make a breakfast hash, cut sweet potatoes into cubes and cook them in the air fryer with olive oil at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. In a separate pan, cook roughly chopped yellow onion until slightly browned, then add two eggs to the pan until the whites are cooked through. Once everything is done, you can serve this hash on warm tortillas with salsa for breakfast tacos, add melted cheese and toasted breadcrumbs on top for a take on breakfast casserole, or even divide it into containers for quick meal prep.