Related to air frying, we often raise several questions about “does an air fryer use oil?” or ways to smartly consume oil in air-fried cooking dishes. Although manufacturers claim that there was no required oil for air fryers, I do recommend using a bit of oil because food without oil can fry quickly and never be crispy.
There are many different types of oil available to consumers, ranging from vegetable oils to olive oils. As most air fry fans should care about what they eat for added flavor and health benefits, we must consider whether we should use oil for air fryers’ high temperatures.
Check out my in-depth guide on the best oil for air fryers and make an intelligent decision for your purchase!
- #1. Why Do You Need Oil In An Air Fryer?
- #2. What Oil Should You Use In An Air Fryer?
- #3. What Oil Shouldn’t You Use In An Air Fryer?
- #4. How To Apply Oil When Cooking With An Air Fryer?
- #5. How To Control The Oil When Applying?
#1. Why Do You Need Oil In An Air Fryer?
Most of us choose to buy air fryers so that we don’t need to use oil when preparing food. However, I guess that’s not always the case. Does an air fryer use oil? Perhaps you should not lack oil in your air frying in some cases.
Some dishes can be prepared in the air fryer without added oil as they are high in fat content or processed with oil, such as french fries. But some with little to no fat will get the risk of drying out or sticking to the cooking pan at the high temperatures.
For this reason, you should use a little bit of oil to spray or mist those dishes or the frying basket before putting them in the air fryer so that they won’t suffer those issues.
#2. What Oil Should You Use In An Air Fryer?
In common, not all types of oils are recommended for air fryers. Thus, it would be best to choose oils with a high smoke oil as it will not burn and change the food taste.
Basically, oils with lower smoke points of around 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit are quite risky because they may lose many nutritional benefits at high temperatures. In contrast, oils with higher smoke points of above 400 are pretty ideal to cook at high heat.
Most air fryer models can work most efficiently at very high temperatures of more than 400- 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, it is essential to choose an air fryer oil that can retain its health properties at such high temperatures while enhancing smooth flavors to all your favorite air fried foods. The low free fatty acids and higher quality oils have higher smoke points when cooked at high temperatures.
Besides the smoke point, cooking oil for air fryers should be carefully considered, depending on what kind of oil-less fryer recipes you are going to cook and what kind of taste you are expecting for your cooking. There are some types of oil for an air fryer that you might want to consider, so go back on my detailed discussion about the best oils for air fryers.
Extra light olive oil is my first-ranking preference to use in an air fryer. In most cases, olive oil has a smoke point of between 320 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the oil quality, but the extra light olive oil even has the higher smoke points. Thus, extra light olive oil never causes any issues with smoking.
Extra light olive oil brings plenty of benefits. It is healthy and improves your body state. Extra olive oil promises to leave your food with a light and crispy texture as well as provides a prominent taste of your servings. Because of its high quality and modest flavourful taste, the extra light olive oil would be more expensive than others, but it is an excellent and stable pick to cook at high temperatures.
#3. What Oil Shouldn’t You Use In An Air Fryer?
As I pointed out in the previous section, not all fats are considered harmful for your health and brain functioning, but some really do. There exist some oils we want to stay away. They do not only have lower smoke points but also might ruin the original taste of our dishes and destroy their nutritional benefits when cooked at high temperatures.
The oils, which are immediately bottled after being extracted, are known as unrefined oils, raw oils, virgin oils, or cold-pressed oils. These have low smoke points; thus, they might not be suitable for air-frying at high temperatures.
Oils with saturated fat are often made of meat. I do not recommend this type of oil because it is very strong in flavor and not beneficial to your health.
These oils contain additives and propellants. These added ingredients have a negative impact on the non-stick surface. If the oil spray is not entirely burned off, the leftovers will build up and get sticky over time.
When you use oil in frying at high temperatures, you must be very careful. When the oil is burned or overheated, it generates cancerogenic, which causes cancer, and thus very dangerous to your health. Therefore, you need to check the smoke point chart carefully and distinguish their best use in cooking.
#4. How To Apply Oil When Cooking With An Air Fryer?
So we soon agree that our foods still need some oil for additional benefits and tastes. If you prefer to use oil in an air fryer, these are important notes to remember to benefit your health.
There are different methods of applying oil to your food (I will recommend below), but there is no need to measure exactly the amount of oil added. It must depend on your taste and what you are going to prepare with your air fryer.
Because air fryers just need a small amount of oil to moisturize the food, I suggest you should spray or brush only a thin layer of oil until it covers the food evenly before starting to fry. If you feel that amount doesn’t give your food enough crisp, add more when necessary.
#5. How To Control The Oil When Applying?
Oil Spray Or Oil Mister
Oil spray or oil mister is a must-have item for every air fryer owner. Oil spray provides the food a very even and light coating. With oil spray, you have total control over the amount of oil you are adding. You can be very targeted with your oil spraying and distribute it evenly on your food.
I do need to warn you not to use the non-stick spray because it can damage every non-stick surface. Some websites advise readers to use non-stick spray to prevent the food from sticking to the frying basket. But it is misleading! You should never use this spray for every situation when the food directly accesses the kitchenware.
Parchment Paper Liners
Parchment paper liners are my other favorite pieces of stuff for air fryers. These liners are not expensive at all, but they do work well to prevent the food from sticking to the air fryer basket. It also makes my cleaning up never easier. I can’t help support the idea of using an air fryer liner for your cooking.
Nothing is more critical than choosing high-quality air fryers for high-quality cooking. Although air fryers vary from version to version with various sizes and designs, you should do some careful research to find out what you really need in an oilless fryer. If you tend to use much oil, remember to choose some models that are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The right air fryer will provide a lot of advantages to help you in your kitchen.
Perhaps you might want to consider COSORI Air Fryer and Air Fryer XL Air Fryers Oven Oilless Cooker. They are my recommendations for some best air fryers to try or check out my air fryer views for even more options because I have made a series of air fryer reviews to help you shortlist your chosen ones.
To sum it up, air fryers do need oil to keep your food moisture and avoid drying the food. But you should limit the oil content in each meal and opt for the most high-quality oil with high smoke points. Although they are more expensive than others, they will undoubtedly be tastier, have higher smoke points, and definitely more beneficial to your health.
So that is my answer to “does an air fryer use oil ?”. If you find this article helpful or have any ideas or questions, please tell us in the below comment section. Hopefully, this guide will help you make the most health benefits for your home. Happy air fry experience!
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