Do Air Fryers Use Oil?

Since their advent a few years ago, air fryers have gained massive popularity. One reason for this is their capability to leave food crispy on the outer side and soft on the inner side.

This is not so different from typical ovens considering they can also do that. However, air fryers stand out among similar kitchen appliances because they can fry food using little or no oil.

With cardiovascular diseases on the rise, healthcare experts have continually sensitized the public against using a lot of oil in their food. They claim that using too much oil to cook food can increase the risk of health problems such as heart diseases, obesity, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. This is due to a large number of calories present in the oil. As a result, most cooking enthusiasts now prefer using air fryers.

One remarkable thing about an air fryer is that it produces fried food, just like frying in hot oil would do. However, this appliance primarily circulates hot air around the food to cook it. The little oil used only gives it some yummy flavor and makes it cook better.

So, after thorough research, we have concluded that air fryers don’t use oil, and when they do, the quantity required is minimal. Here is more information about do air fryers use oil.

Do You Have to Put Oil in The Air Fryer?

The air fryer can cook food by circulating hot air around it. It leaves the food crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Since hot air alone can cook your food, you don’t need to add oil to your air fryer. Actually, this appliance does not require oil to cook food since it just uses super-heated air.

However, if you want improved flavor and look on your food, there’s no harm in adding a little oil to the air fryer. If you do, hot air will combine with the oil to cook your food much better and leave it crispier.

Some people also apply some oil to the air fryer basket to prevent the food from sticking. For non-stick fryers, there’s no need to use oil at the bottom.

What Oil Is Best to Use in An Air Fryer?

There’s no straight answer to this question. The type of oil you decide to use in your air fryer should depend on two main factors.

Firstly, the recipe you’re working with should specify the correct type of oil to choose for the best outcome. Secondly, the oil’s smoking point should be higher than the maximum temperature at which your food will cook.

For instance, while peanut oil smokes at about 450 degrees Fahrenheit, avocado oil will, on the other hand, smoke at 570 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that if you’re cooking at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, then the right type of oil to use is Avocado oil.

If you use a kind of oil with a lower smoking point instead, smoke will form inside your air fryer before the food is ready. This may ruin the food’s flavor and form soot inside the air fryer. In worst cases, it may cause breathing problems to people with respiratory allergies.

Therefore, please beware of the smoking point of your oil before spraying it inside your air fryer. However, oils from avocado, peanut, soybean, palm, and some other plants will work just fine in the air fryer.

Best Oil For Use In Air Fryers

What Can You Use Instead of Oil in Air Fryer?

Since air fryers don’t need oil to cook food, you don’t have to add it. However, you can replace it with a few tablespoons of water, particularly when cooking fatty or greasy foods. This water will prevent the grease from sticking to the surface of the air fryer and help in the cooking process.

You can also use some fat in the air fryer, especially if you intend to cook at low temperatures. Alternatively, don’t add anything to your air fryer after putting in your food, as it will still cook well.

What Oil Can You Not Use in An Air Fryer?

As earlier said, the correct type of oil to use in an air fryer depends on its smoking point with regard to your cooking temperature.

Since most air fryers cook up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it is prudent to use oils with a smoking point that exceeds this temperature. Such oils include, among others, avocado oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, palm oil, and grapeseed oil.

On the other hand, avoid using oils and fats with a low smoking point. Such include extra virgin olive oil and butter.

Can You Use Vegetable Oil in An Air Fryer?

The short answer is yes. Vegetable oil smokes at anywhere between 400 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, if your cooking temperature does not exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then there’s no harm in using vegetable oil for cooking in your air fryer.

On the contrary, if your recipe involves cooking at temperatures that exceed 450 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to consider using a different type of oil.

Can You Use Olive Oil in Air Fryer?

It depends. There are different types of olive oil, each having a specific smoking point. For instance, extra light virgin oil starts smoking at 390 – 470 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, extra virgin oil has a lower smoking point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, only use extra light olive oil in your air fryer for best results. Even so, if you intend to cook at temperatures that don’t exceed 350 degrees Fahrenheit, feel free to use extra virgin olive oil.

Can You Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Air Fryer?

Extra virgin olive oil is not suitable for use in the air fryer. This is because it has a relatively low smoking point, something that can ruin the flavor of your food and fill your whole kitchen with smoke. It is not advisable to use it.

However, if your recipe does not involve cooking at high temperatures, say those that exceed 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you can go ahead and use it.

Can You Use Coconut Oil in Air Fryer?

Like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil has a smoking point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which is relatively low for the air fryer. Keeping this in mind, don’t use it in this appliance. However, if you intend to cook at low temperatures, there’s no harm in using it.

Can You Use Butter Instead of Oil in Air Fryer?

Yes. It is okay to brush some butter on your air fryer basket before loading it with food. It will prevent your food from sticking on the air fryer surface and make your food crispier.

Unfortunately, butter also has a low smoking point, and it may not be ideal for use in the air fryer.

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Can You Use Melted Butter in Air Fryer?

Yes. Melted butter behaves just like oil in an air fryer. This means that it will also help produce a better version of your food. However, considering its low smoking point, it may only work well with foods that don’t require high temperatures to cook.

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