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Best Oils for Air Fryer

picture of many different types of cooking oil in different bottles

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Oils for Your Air Fryer


When it comes to cooking in the Air Fryer, selecting the right oil can make all the difference in the taste and texture of your food. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of oils suitable for air frying, discussing their smoking points, recommended usage, and addressing common queries about using oils in this cooking method.


Discover the best oils for your Air Fryer. Learn about smoking points, usage tips, and more. Make your air-fried dishes truly delicious.



Why Do I Need Oil in an Air Fryer?


You might be wondering, "Wait, oil? I'm Air Frying so I don't have to use oil." While it's true that air frying reduces the need for excessive oil, it's essential to understand why a little oil is still necessary for most recipes.


When it comes to foods that don't require the use of oil, they are typically those that are frozen, such as tater tots, french fries, chicken nuggets, and pizza rolls. These frozen items often already contain some oil as a by-product from the manufacturing process, eliminating the need for additional oil.


However, for fresh ingredients and recipes, a light coating of oil can enhance the cooking process, ensuring your dishes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It's all about achieving that perfect balance.



What Does it Mean for Oil to Have a Smoking Point?


Understanding the smoking point of oils is crucial when selecting the right one for your air frying adventures. The smoking point is the temperature at which an oil or fat starts to smoke and break down. Using oil beyond its smoking point can result in unpleasant flavors and even harmful compounds in your food.


Different oils have varying smoking points, making some better suited for high-temperature cooking methods like air frying, while others are better for low-heat applications.

Here's a list of some recommended oils for your Air Fryer, sorted by their smoking points, from high to low:

  • Avocado Oil (570 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): With one of the highest smoke points, avocado oil is excellent for high-heat air frying.

  • Ghee (clarified butter) (485 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Ghee adds a rich flavor to your dishes and can handle the heat.

  • Extra Light Olive Oil (468 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): This light olive oil variety is suitable for air frying at higher temperatures.

  • Soybean Oil (460 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Soybean oil is versatile and can withstand the heat of the Air Fryer.

  • Sunflower Oil (450 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Sunflower oil is a neutral-tasting oil suitable for various air frying recipes.

  • Coconut Oil (450 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): While coconut oil has a strong flavor, it works well for air frying at medium to high temperatures.

  • Peanut Oil (450 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Peanut oil's high smoke point makes it a great choice for frying.

  • Grapeseed Oil (420 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Grapeseed oil is a neutral oil that can be used in the Air Fryer for a range of dishes.

  • Canola Oil (400-450 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Canola oil is a common choice for air frying due to its high smoke point and neutral taste.

  • Vegetable Oil (400 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Vegetable oil is versatile and suitable for air frying various foods.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (375 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): While it has a lower smoke point, extra virgin olive oil can be used for air frying at lower temperatures.

  • Butter (200-250 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point): Butter should be used with caution in the Air Fryer due to its low smoke point.


Remember that the smoking point is a crucial factor to consider when selecting the right oil for your specific air frying recipe. Using an oil with an appropriate smoking point ensures the best results and minimizes the risk of unpleasant flavors.



How Much Oil Do You Use When Air Frying Foods?


The amount of oil you use when air frying foods can vary depending on the recipe and personal preference. In most cases, a light coating of oil is sufficient to achieve the desired texture and flavor.


Here are some guidelines:

  • Coating Ingredients: For recipes like chicken wings or breaded items, consider placing the ingredients in a ziplock baggie with a small amount of oil and spices. This allows for even coating before air frying.

  • Spraying: To ensure even coverage, you can use a small spray bottle to lightly coat your ingredients with oil as needed during the cooking process. This is particularly useful for breaded and coated recipes.

  • Processed Foods: When reheating frozen or processed foods, you often don't need to add any extra oil as they already contain some oil from their initial preparation.


It's essential to strike a balance between using enough oil to achieve the desired results and avoiding excessive oil that can lead to overly greasy dishes. Experimentation and recipe-specific guidance will help you find the right amount of oil for each air frying adventure.



Can I Use PAM Cooking Spray for the Air Fryer?


PAM cooking spray is a popular choice for greasing pans and cooking surfaces, but it should be used with caution in the Air Fryer. While PAM can be convenient for many cooking methods, it may not be the best option for air frying due to potential issues with non-stick surfaces.


Cooking sprays, including PAM, should generally be avoided on non-stick surfaces in the Air Fryer. The use of cooking sprays can lead to a sticky and gummy residue that may compromise the non-stick properties of your air fryer basket.


If you prefer using a cooking spray in your air frying recipes, make sure to choose a version that does not contain soy lecithin as an ingredient, as this can contribute to the stickiness issue.



Can I Use Olive Oil in the Air Fryer?


Yes, you can use olive oil in the Air Fryer, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. Olive oil has a lower smoking point compared to some other oils, which means it's best suited for recipes that require lower cooking temperatures, typically at or below 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


Many air frying recipes fall within this temperature range, making extra virgin olive oil a viable choice for dishes like roasted vegetables, chicken, or seafood. The unique flavor of olive oil can enhance the taste of your dishes, providing a distinct Mediterranean flair.


When using olive oil in the Air Fryer, be mindful of the recipe's recommended cooking temperature. Using olive oil within its smoke point range ensures both the safety of the oil and the deliciousness of your air-fried creations.



Can I Use an Oil Sprayer for the Air Fryer?


Yes, using an oil sprayer for the Air Fryer is an excellent way to control the amount of oil you apply to your ingredients. With an oil sprayer, you can use your favorite oils and achieve even coverage without overdoing it.


To use an oil sprayer with your Air Fryer, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the oil sprayer with your preferred cooking oil.

  2. Lightly spray the ingredients in the Air Fryer basket before cooking.

  3. Ensure that the oil sprayer is clean and free from any clogs to maintain a consistent spray pattern.


An oil sprayer allows you to use fresh oils of your choice, which can impart unique flavors to your dishes. It's a versatile tool for air frying and ensures that you use just the right amount of oil to achieve the desired results.



Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use grapeseed oil in the Air Fryer?

A1: Yes, grapeseed oil is a suitable choice for the Air Fryer, thanks to its high smoke point and neutral flavor.


What is the best oil for air frying meat, such as chicken or steak?

A2: Oils with higher smoke points, such as avocado oil or peanut oil, are excellent options for air frying meat, as they can handle the higher temperatures required for a perfect sear.


Can I use flavored oils in the Air Fryer?

A3: Yes, you can use flavored oils, such as garlic-infused or herb-infused oils, in the Air Fryer to add extra flavor to your dishes. Just be mindful of the smoking point of the specific oil.


How do I clean my oil sprayer for the Air Fryer?

A4: To clean your oil sprayer, disassemble it, and wash the parts with warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry before reassembling and refilling.


In conclusion, selecting the right oil for your Air Fryer is essential to achieve the best results in terms of taste and texture. Consider the smoking point, the recipe's cooking temperature, and your personal preferences when choosing an oil. With the right oil and proper usage, you can enjoy delicious and crispy air-fried dishes that satisfy your cravings.


For more interesting articles related to your Air Fryer head over to our Air Fryer Main Page  

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