Can You Use Oil in an Air Fryer Oven?

Use Oil in an Air Fryer Oven

You’ve likely heard friends and family rave about their air fryer oven. The small appliance can bake, dehydrate, roast and air fry food in addition to using as a regular convection oven. But if you’re considering buying one yourself, you may be wondering, “Can you use oil in an air fryer oven?”

The short answer is yes — but only a small amount is needed for certain foods. A light coating of oil will help your food become crisp and golden brown without burning or sticking to the basket, according to air fryer oven expert and chef Chrissy Teigen. Depending on what you’re cooking, from a few sprays to 1 tablespoon of oil should be used. Experiment with different amounts of oil until you find the perfect level for your taste and cooking method.

You should also be aware that not all oils are created equal. Some have a higher smoke point, meaning they can withstand high heat levels without breaking down and releasing toxic fumes. These include avocado, grape seed and peanut oils. Oils with a lower smoke point, such as extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil, should be reserved for drizzling over finished dishes or making salad dressings.

If you’re unsure whether you need to add oil to your air fryer recipes, refer to the cook time and temperature instructions on your oven or recipe booklet for guidance. If the recipe isn’t specific about cooking times, you can start with a few minutes at 350°F or 375°F and add more time as necessary.

Can You Use Oil in an Air Fryer Oven?

When it comes to the type of oil you should use in your air fryer, there are several options that are air-fryer friendly. Avocado, grape seed and peanut oil are a good choice because they have a high smoke point and can stand up to the high heat of an air fryer. You can also find a range of cooking sprays that are designed specifically for air fryers.

Some foods require more oil to get crispy and browned, such as breaded or coated foods like chicken wings, homemade tortilla chips or French fries. Adding a light coating of vegetable or canola oil will help your food achieve the perfect crunch.

Other foods that can benefit from a light coating of oil are frozen foods, such as egg rolls or fried ravioli made fresh or heated in the air fryer. These types of foods tend to dry out during the air fryer process, so it’s best to brush them or spray them with a little oil to promote crisping. If you’re not comfortable brushing food or using a spray, consider investing in a DIY oil sprayer to make it easy and quick. It’s also a great idea to place your food on a perforated baking sheet in the air fryer so hot air can circulate around them. This will reduce your clean up and help your food cook evenly. You can purchase a perforated air fryer tray at many kitchen stores.

At the heart of the air fryer oven is its powerful convection cooking technology. Unlike conventional ovens that rely on radiated heat, air fryer ovens use a fan to circulate hot air rapidly around the food. This high-speed air circulation ensures even cooking by reaching all sides of the ingredients simultaneously. The result is a crispy outer layer while maintaining the juiciness and tenderness inside, mimicking the texture achieved through deep frying but with significantly less oil.