Can you put oil in the air fryer at any time? No! So How to use oil with a great oil sprayer?

Since the first air fryer was introduced to the market in 2010, people have invested in this counter-top, boxed mini oven with all their might.  But do air fryers use oil is the first question when I got the air fryer five years ago. “Will the food become burnt if I don’t put oil?“, “Will the food become more deciduous if I add the oil”,etc. Maybe you think the air fryer is just like other kitchen appliances such as an oven or grill, but they really have some differences in using oil.

According to my 5 years experience, this article will tell you

  • how to put oil in the air fryer correctly
  • when not to put the oil in the air fryer
  • what’s the best oil to use, what’s the best oil sprayer
  • More pro tips when you use the oil

Here we go!

do air fryers use oil?

air fryer use oil for chicken legs

You can use oil in an air fryer but it takes less oil than a deep fryer, the quantity depends on the food that goes inside the air fryer. 

For most items, you do not need more than 2 tbsp of oil. I don’t remember using more than 2 tbsp of oil for my steaks and veggies. The calorie cut that an air fryer offered was the primary goal of buying one, and I must say that the decision didn’t fail me. 

If you’re afraid of filling the air fryer with a liter of vegetable oil like a deep fryer, keep that fear aside. You don’t need that much oil anyway in an air fryer. Instead, it will be a disaster if you overuse it in your air fryer. 

Is it healthy to cook with oil in an air fryer?

do air fryer use oil

Although cooking in an air fryer will drastically reduce your fat intake (up to 70-80%), it also has its limitations. 

Craving for French Fries? Brush your cut-up potatoes with some oil and stow them in the air fryer. By doing that, you’re cutting the amount of acrylamide that the fat frying in a deep fryer can achieve. 

However, do not mistake the frozen potatoes for getting healthy inside an air fryer because they are treated differently than your home-prepped potatoes. The treatment of the frozen fries makes them unhealthy already, so there’s no point in putting them in the air fryer and thinking they are good for you. 

While most air-fried food is better than conventional deep-fried food, some foods like fish can have an adverse effect on them from the hot air circulating inside the air fryer. WebMD notes that fish can have more cholesterol oxidized products (COPs) when air fried.

The COPs are injurious to health, and they can cause problems like cell membrane destruction, cancer, and other serious issues. 

So, while using an air fryer, it is better to avoid fish or add an antioxidative herb like parsley and chives to fish during the air frying process.

How to use oil properly? What kind of food can use oil?

Using oil in an air fryer is simpler than the frying process. You do not need to heat it or wait for it to bubble so that you can add that crumbed chicken breast to it. All you need to do is to brush the food with some oil (discussion on the oils to use later) and put it in the air fryer.

Judge the right amount of oil by checking your food for dripping oil. If you’re using so much oil that it starts dripping inside the basket, you’re doing it wrong. The dripping oil will clog the air fryer fans, which will lead to a nasty smoke that nobody wants.

You can make a homemade cooking spray (check video link here) to use in an air fryer. It will be a healthier way to prepare your food.

The reason for using a homemade cooking spray is that the aerosol cooking sprays available in the market, like PAM, can chip the air fryer parts, so it’s better to take a long way instead of running the appliance for mere convenience, you can also make a spray to clean your air fryer.

Make sure to spread oil on the air fryer basket to get a non-stick coat that doesn’t ruin your foods like crispy chicken wings or deep-fried crispy chicken. 

ut if want to save time and buy an oil spray directly, we also have a recommendation!

This oil sprayer is made of 304 High-quality stainless steel so it won’t corrode(more than 8 benefits), the press button has la large area so that you can easy to press and contron. The most important is, its unobstructed hose can make the oil spray on the food evenly, you mouth will fulled with the delicious flavor of food and the aroma of oil.

Now coming to what foods can use oil in an air fryer? The answer is All foods that use oil in conventional cooking can use oil in an air fryer. You can cook your vegetables, chicken, or beef, all the foods you want to. The only point is to use less oil in your food than in normal oven settings.

You can use oil in your baked goods like doughnuts, mini pizzas, burger patties, or the fresh batch of cookies you have been craving. So, when using oil in an air fryer, there’s no limit to your food choices. 

Now let’s get to know what types of oil are best and worst to use in an air fryer:

The Best and the worst oils to use in an air fryer

how to use oil in the chicken air fryer

When you’re frying food, the most crucial point to remember is the smoke point of the type of fat you’re using. The smoke point is when the oil stops simmering and starts giving off thick smoke.

The reason for this smoke is the mineral components of unrefined oils that don’t do well with the high temperature. While unrefined, virgin oils have a low smoke point, their refined counterparts do quite well at high temperatures. That’s because these oils are devoid of naturally occurring minerals.

In an air fryer, however, the other point to remember is how the oil will affect the taste of your air-fried foods.

What type of oil is healthier is a debate for another time. The question is about what oils do best and worst in an air fryer. So, here we go:

Best Oils to Use in an Air fryer

Avocado Oil

The reason for choosing Avacado oil as one of the best oils to use in an air fryer is its high smoke point. You can heat the oil up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit without getting any smoke out of it. So, brush your air-fried food with this heart-healthy oil and enjoy healthy living.

Olive Oil

olive oil for air fryer

Olive oil has become a choice for every type of cooking due to its numerous health benefits and moderate smoke point. Olive oil starts giving off smoke at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you want to toss some vegetables inside your air fryer, make them shine with some olive oil first.

Grapeseed Oil

grapeseed oil for air fryer

Grapeseed oil is another excellent option to use in an air fryer. The oil has a smoke point of 390 degrees centigrade, which is pretty fair for high heat cooking. Additionally, grapeseed oil has a neutral flavor, so anything you cook in an air fryer using grapeseed oil will not impact its taste.

Worst Oils to Use in an Air Fryer

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is not a good choice for an air fryer due to its low smoke point. The oil starts burning only at 350 degrees Fahrenheit which is lower than the expected temperature of your air fryer most of the time.

Corn Oil

Although low cost and widely used, corn oil is also not good for use in an air fryer. The oil imparts a strong flavor to the air-fried foods, so it’s better to choose a neutral taste vegetable oil instead of this oil.

Sesame Oil

Placing sesame oil in the worst category is its strong flavor that doesn’t sit well with many people. Although a great dressing choice, sesame oil can easily overpower your fried foods in an air fryer.

Is Air frying food with oil still a healthy alternative to deep-frying?

Deep frying has too many problems; You are taking a whole load of extra calories due to the excessive use of oil or fat, even with a limited intake of fried foods. Air frying reduces the fat intake by almost 70-80 percent.

Apart from the calories, deep frying makes the fried foods release toxic chemicals. In the case of French fries, potatoes release acrylamide which is injurious to health. Furthermore, the Maillard reaction that occurs with deep-fried foods makes them a reason for diseases like diabetes and heart problems.

Air frying is generally healthier than deep-frying, but avoid cooking fish in air fryers because it can get oxidized and becomes injurious to health due to the hot air circulating in the air fryers.


Can I use spray olive oil in my air fryer?

Never use aerosol olive oil in the fryer. The non-stick coating of the air fryer will chip away with an aerosol olive oil spray. Instead, use a homemade one to keep your appliance safe.

Can you use butter instead of oil in an air fryer?

Butter is not a good choice to use in an air fryer because butter has a low smoke point. If you use butter in an air fryer, there will be unwanted smoke, and the food will get burnt. 

How much oil to use in an air fryer?

The optimum amount of oil in an air fryer is between one to two tablespoons. That too, either in brushing or spraying.

Where to put the oil in an air fryer?

You don’t need to put oil in an air fryer like a deep fryer. However, you can spray oil in the basket and brush it on the food you want to cook in an air fryer.


Oil usage in air fryers is not carried out the same way as in traditional cooking methods. You only need to toss the vegetables with some best-suited oil options or brush the proteins with them and stow them in the air fryer. 

However, no cooking method is completely oil-free, nor is air frying. You need to ensure the type of oil you use and the amount of oil that goes into the air fryer. Avoid using excessive oil in air fryers because the dripping oil can disturb the mechanism of the appliance. Keep the details of oil usage in your favorite appliance in your mind, and keep running on the road to weight loss. 

How do you like this article? Just leave your comment here, to tell us what are you thinking now! Everybody’s opinions will be a goldmine to other people! Or you can share this article on social media, you will also got some great ideas from these food lovers!

Thanks for your reading!

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