How To Use Oil In Air Fryer And The Best Oils To Use

Learn how to use oil in your Air fryer, the best oils to use and important tips for using oil in your Air fryer.

best oils for air fryer in a counter.
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Air fryers have fast become a kitchen appliance that many of us use daily. They make delicious food quickly, most things can be cooked in minutes and a healthier way to prepare some of the things we love, and to top it all off, they are really economical when it comes to energy usage. The use of hot air is what makes the air fryer such a great cooking appliance. If you’re a beginner Air Fryer Beginners Guide will have everything to get you started.

But, many of us are unsure about one thing when it comes to our air fryers and that is the use of oil. Does an air fryer need oil? Where to put oil in an air fryer? What types of oils can be used in an air fryer? These are all questions that you may have had at some point, and I am to answer them all below. Here is everything you need to know about using oil in an air fryer. 

Do You Put oil In An Air Fryer?

Essentially when you think of the term frying with food you might automatically think of oil and lots of it. Deep frying requires liters of the stuff. Pan frying requires a good drizzle.

So how does it work with your air fryer? Do you put oil in an Air fryer? Yes, Air fryers sometimes needs some sort of oil, not always, but in some cases it does. A light coating of oil brushed or sprayed using an oil sprayer or an oil mister is all that’s needed to prevent food from sticking.

crispy toasted ravioli in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Ravioli

Where do you put oil in air fryer?

Oil is used in the Air fryer basket or tray. Brush a light coating of oil on basket. You can also use an oil spray or oil mister to directly spray on the Air fryer basket. Or a baking pan or a container that’s placed in the air fryer to cook the food in.

Never use large quantities of oil in the air fryer basket or compartment as we do it in a deep fryer.

Rather, oil is applied to the food directly but enough to coat them. This means you will use less oil when air frying your food but will still get the same texture and flavor. 

How to use oil in an air fryer? 

Some things you may cook in an air fryer won’t require any oil. Things like readymade frozen foods such as chicken nuggets or french fries or meats such as bacon, burgers, sausage don’t need any extra oil as it is already there in the food.

However, homemade chips, roast potatoes, chicken, and things like that will need oil. Instead of directly adding it to your air fryer or basket you can coat the food in little oil instead. For example, for things like potatoes, you can add them prepared to a bowl and drizzle over your chosen oil and seasonings, give everything a good stir or shake and then add to your air fryer and start the cooking process.

air fryer mini potatoes in the air fryer basket
Air Fryer Baby Potatoes

Foods That Need Oil To Cook In Air Fryer

Most foods benefit from a coating of oil. If the food that goes into the oven needs oil, then it needs oil in the Air fryer too but way less. These foods are the ones I use oil or little butter when cooking in the Air fryer to make them nice and crispy.

How much oil do I put in my air fryer?

Applying too much oil can cause the air-fried food to become greasy and soggy, rather than crispy and flavorful. The recipes you find in Air Fryer Recipes will give the amount of oil needed to be used to get the crispy texture and flavor.

But as a rule of thumb start with a tablespoon of oil and increase it from there. If you’re using an oil sprayer a couple of sprays is all you need.

Experiment with different amount of oil to find the perfect combination for your preferences.

roasted vegetables in air fryer.
Air Fryer Roasted vegetables

What types of oils can be used in your air fryer? 

First, it’s important to understand that not all oils are created equal. Some oils have a higher smoke point than others, which means they can withstand higher temperatures without breaking down and producing smoke. For example, oils like avocado oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil and vegetable oil have a high smoke point, making them suitable for high-heat cooking in an air fryer.

Low smoke point oils are oils that start to burn and smoke at low temperatures such as flaxseed oil, walnut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and pumpkin seed oil. These can be used for dressing but not in cooking. 

Best oils for air fryer

Here are some of the high smoke point oils that can be used in an air fryer:

  • Avocado oil: Avocado oil has a high smoke point of around 520°F (270°C), making it an excellent choice for air frying. It has a mild flavor and is relatively stable at high temperatures, making it ideal for cooking a wide range of foods in an air fryer. It’s also one of the healthiest oil you can use.
  • Peanut oil: Peanut oil is another good option for air frying due to its high smoke point of around 448°F (230°C). It has a neutral flavor and can withstand high heat, making it suitable for use in air fryers.
  • Canola oil: Canola oil is a popular choice for cooking in air fryers due to its high smoke point of around 400°F (204°C) and neutral flavor. It is a versatile oil that can be used for a variety of cooking methods.
  • Sunflower oil: Sunflower oil is a light, mild-tasting oil that can be used in air fryers due to its high smoke point of around 450°F (232°C). It is a good option for air frying a wide range of foods.
  • Grapeseed oil: has a high smoke point of around 420°F (216°C) and a mild flavor, making it suitable for use in air fryers. It is a good option for cooking at high temperatures and is often used in commercial kitchens.
  • Coconut oil: Refined coconut oil has a high smoke point of 400°F (204°C) making it safe to use in Air fryer cooking.
  • Refined Olive oil or extra light olive oil: Has a smoke point of up to 470˚F (243˚C) and safe to use.
air fried potato wedges in the air fryer basket.
Air fryer Potato wedges

Do you need oil spray for air fryer?

Investing in a good quality Air fryer oil spray makes all the difference when it comes to using oil in cooking in your Air fryer. You can fill the oil sprayer with your favorite cooking oil.

Unlike PAM cooking spray which damages the coating in the Air fryer, using an oil sprayer makes it safe for you to use it on your Air Fryer basket and on your food.

Spraying a light coating of oil on the Air fryer basket prevent the food from sticking to it making clean up easier. An oil oil spray or something similar can be used on your food before and during cooking to make sure the food doesn’t dry out and comes out crispy.

Best oil sprayer for air fryer is Evo and that’s what I use.

Important Tips On Using Oil In Your Air Fryer

  • Different air fryer models may have different temperature settings, so always refer to your air fryers manual for recommended cooking temperatures and oil usage guidelines.
  • Never use PAM spray directly on your Air Fryer basket or tray. You can spray it on food before placing them in the Air fryer.
  • Never use large quantities of oil in your air fryer compartment or basket. It’s not a deep fryer.
  • If there’s excess oil in your Air fryer wipe it clean with a paper towel. Wipe any residue oil in the Air fryer compartment with paper towel or cloth before the next use.
  • Use parchment paper liners or aluminum foil if you don’t want to use oil or for easy clean up.

In conclusion, using oil in an air fryer can enhance the flavor and texture of your dishes, but it’s important to use the right type of oil, use it in moderation and be mindful of the type of food you are cooking. With a little experimentation, you’ll be able to use oil in your air fryer to create delicious and healthy meals in no time.

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