Air fryers can fry without oil, right? But some recipes need oil for crispier results. This raises a lot of questions from where do you put the oil to which foods and so I’ve collated answers to these queries to help with the quandaries about yes or no, what type, or where to put oil in an air fryer.
It helps to have answers to these frequently asked questions about air frying with oil in the one place, like a compendium. So here we go…
Where do you put the oil in an air fryer?
Quick answer: You don’t put it in the air fryer! To add oil when air frying, lightly coat the outside of the ingredients you wish to cook. Remove moisture from the food first with a paper towel. It’s best not to overdo it with oil or you’ll have more mess when it comes to cleaning the air fryer.
With meat, you can brush or spray a light coating of oil. With potatoes cut for fries, dry them after you’ve soaked them in water for 30 mins, and then mix the potatoes in a bowl with a dash or two of oil to lightly coat them.
The above is the general idea presented by manufacturers and users of air fryers and below are answers to specific questions for further detail.
Do you put oil in the bottom of the air fryer?
No. An air fryer is not the same as other cookers where you heat the oil or fat in the bottom of the pan before adding the food. Using an air fryer involves the dry heat cooking method vs the wet approach that needs a lubricant such as oil or water. Sometimes oil is used with air frying to give crispier results, but it’s added to the food as a light coating before placing the food in the air fryer.
Do you put oil in air fryer for fries?
No, you actually don’t put oil in the air fryer, but rather, those scrumptious air fried fries made from fresh ingredients at home are lightly coated prior to adding them to the basket. Try mixing the potato pieces in a bowl with a dash or two of oil after you’ve dried off the moisture from a soaking in water for 30 mins. Frozen fries are pretreated, so they do not need this treatment before air frying.
Do you add oil to air fryer for frozen French fries?
Frozen French fries that are pre-treated do not oil added when air frying. Adding oil is only necessary when you prepare homemade French fries from fresh ingredients and in this case you only lightly coat the potato pieces before you add them to the air fryer.
How much oil do I put in an air fryer?
You put no oil in an air fryer. Air fryers use the dry heat method of cooking versus the wet method (see rice cooker vs air fryer). Where oil is required to give that crispy appeal, it is added to the food beforehand as a light coating only.
Can you use PAM in an air fryer?
No, do not use any cooking sprays (or oil for that matter) including PAM inside an air fryer. You can use cooking sprays to lightly coat foodstuffs, such as homemade fries, before placing them in the air fryer. Just avoid using cold-pressed types as these aren’t suited to the high temperatures.
What kind of oil goes in an air fryer?
No type of cooking oil goes inside an air fryer. For crispier results, oil or fat can go on the ingredients as a light coating before placing the food in the air fryer. Air fryers cook at 350° to 400°F. So, the best oils or fats to use are those with smoke points above 400ºF such as macadamia, sesame, ghee, extra light olive oil, grapeseed, rice bran, or avocado. See and download the full list of cooking oil’s smoke points to keep handy so you know the ones suitable for the high temperatures.
Can you use olive oil in air fryer?
Extra virgin olive oil is not one to use. You can use extra light olive oil, as it has a high smoke point. Don’t put oil inside the air fryer but rather light coat the food beforehand. The oils to use with air frying should have a high smoke point given the associated high temperatures, e.g. 400ºF.
Do you put oil on chicken in air fryer?
You can brush or spray oil on chicken before putting it in the air fryer, not when it’s in the air fryer. Use a paper towel to remove excess moisture from the surface of the chicken and then apply only a light coating of oil, as any more will create extra cleaning afterward.
Click here for popular examples of ceramic nonstick air fryers that are quiet types.
Among several appliances, an air fryer replaces a deep fryer, in which you put loads of fat or oil for the cooking process. What you must know about putting oil in air fryers is that you don’t do it! You add the oil to the ingredients before placing them in the basket of the air fryer and then only as a light coating.
Many sources explain this approach. The type of oil matters because air fryers cook at between 350–400ºF. You should use oil with a smoke point for this type of heat.
As I explained in my article on cooking with oils, “burning or overheating of an oil ruins the goodness of the food you are cooking. The heating of oils above their smoke point also creates harmful free radicals.”
Philips: How to Use Oil in Air Fryer | Newar: 101 on Air Fryers | U of A: Tips on Air Fryers