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Do Air Fryers Use Oil? – Here Is Everything You Must Know

Do Air Fryers Use Oil?

You might have heard about several health benefits air fryers offer to reduce fat in food. But have you ever wondered, do you need to put oil in an air fryer? Yes, air fryers need oil in small amounts compared to deep frying in a pan. 

You can even cook without adding oil as there is no great need for it, but to keep your food moist, get the golden brown color, and avoid food from sticking, you can put some oil in your air fryer. 

As there is no specific oil chamber inside an air fryer, you can put oil anywhere to fry your food, whether by adding oil to the food or brushing the food with oil. However, to use oil in the air fryer, there are multiple things you should understand. We have answered all the relevant queries to help you use oil in your air fryer.

Do You Need to Put Oil In An Air Fryer?

Cooking foods in an air fryer needs far less oil than other cooking methods. For most recipes, you do not need even a teaspoon of oil. However, it is essential to know when or what oil to use.

Multiple factors decide the need for oil, such as the type of food you want to cook and the temperature range. Be careful of the smoking point of the oil.

Do Air Fryers Use Oil

An air fryer circulates the hot air around food to keep the inside juicy and tender. By adding some oil, you can make food more crispy and crunchy from the outside. Also, to avoid food from burning or sticking to the bottom, you can use oil due to its lubricating properties.

Where to Put Oil In An Air Fryer?

Air fryers do not have special chambers to put oil in, so you can not add oil to the basket. Instead, put oil inside the food before cooking it in the air fryer.

A basting brush can also add oil to chicken and other foods. Avoid pouring oil on food or inside the air fryer because the oil will run through the wires and reach the heating components to create a huge mess.

Keep the amount of oil as minimum as possible to prevent it from dripping.

How to Use Oil In Air Fryer The Right Way?

Here are some safe and right ways to use oil in an air fryer to get the best results:

Brush The Oil On the Food

  • Use only two spoonfuls of oil or teaspoons with the help of a brush.
  • Put the brush in oil and apply only a thin layer of oil on the food.
  • Make sure the amount doesn’t exceed, leading to oil dripping.

Drizzle Oil On the Food

  • Take all the food items you want to cook in the air fryer.
  • Add two spoons of oil to these items inside the bowl.
  • Rub the oil on food using your hand.
  • Put food inside the air fryer.

Spray Oil On Food

  • Use a spray bottle and fill it with suitable oil.
  • Spray all sides of food with oil.

It is highly recommended to avoid using cooking sprays containing aerosols or other chemicals that can harm your air fryer. Use only misting spray bottle.

Spray Oil On Food

What Are The Best Oils to Use In Air Fryer?

Before using oil in an air fryer, it is necessary to use only certain types of oils. You must consider the smoking and flash points of oil. The smoking point is a sensitive temperature when oil produces smoke on heating. While at the flash point, the oil ignites and produces flames. Ignoring these aspects will cause severe damage to your appliance.

Here is a list of some oils you can use in an air fryer without worrying:

  • Vegetable Oil

The smoking point and flashpoint of vegetable oil are quite higher, so you can safely use them in air fryers.

The oil will start smoking at 450 degrees. It is also very budget-friendly.

  • Extra-Light Olive Oil

This oil has a neutral flavor and reaches a smoking point when the temperature is 470 degrees.

Extra light olive oil is of the best quality but is expensive. You must not mistake it for Extra virgin olive oil that reaches a smoking point at 380 degrees.

  • Sunflower Oil

The smoking point of sunflower oil is 450 degrees which makes it highly useful in an air fryer.

The flavor of sunflower oil is neutral, and it is also affordable.

  • Coconut Oil

Organic coconut oil is good for its nutritional value, and you can add it to the air fryer without trouble.

It reaches the smoking point at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Avocado Oil

This oil is perfect if you want to make your food crunchy with some avocado flavor and nuttiness.

The smoking point is considerably high at 520 degrees temperature.

  • Peanut Oil

The peanut oil starts to smoke at 450 degrees, and the unrefined oil reaches this point at 320 degrees. The unrefined peanut oil is not good to use in the air fryer.

Peanut oil has highly overpowering hints, making it used only a small amount. 

What Oils Should Never Be Used In Air Fryers?

Though you can put some oils in your food to cook in the air fryer, many fats are not good and can ruin the taste. You must avoid oils and fats that can disrupt food’s nutritional value and flavor. These fats and oils have lower smoking and flash points that can cause enough trouble.

Avoid using:

  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Margarine
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Non-stick sprays.

What Foods Do Not Need Oil In Air Fryers?

Not all foods you cook in an air fryer need oil. Some frozen foods do not require oil, such as:

  • Onion rings
  • Hamburgers
  • Chicken Wings
  • Fries
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Hotdogs & sausages
  • Crumbed foods
  • Pre-frozen pizza

What Foods Do Not Need Oil In Air Fryers

There is already enough oil present in these food items. However, if you want to add more crispiness, spritz some oil during cooking but not before you cook them.

Foods That Need Oil to Cook In Air Fryer

Though many frozen foods do not need oil, some require oil, such as dumplings, egg rolls, and air-fried ravioli. These foods need only a small amount of oil to avoid dryness. You can spray some oil on all sides of the food.

You also need to put oil for roasting vegetables. Put all vegetables in a bowl and add one tablespoon of oil. Mix the vegetables properly to coat them with oil before roasting them in the air fryer.

Final Thoughts

So, air fryers do use oil but only in small amounts. For most foods, you will need to put only a tablespoon of oil or spray it to make food crispy and crunchy.

But many foods fried in air fryers already contain sufficient oil, and adding more will make food soggy. Considering the types of oils and the food requirement, you can use oil in your air fryer. We hope this guide will help you prepare your favorite recipes in an air fryer.

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