Air fryers are a super handy and compact appliance that have the ability to cook food quickly while using little to no oil.
This post details the best oils for air fryers.
Can you use oil in air fryer? I wrote a post on that and you can read it by clicking the link.
Let’s dive in and learn all about using the best oils in air fryer.
Do You Need to Add Oil to an Air Fryer?
One of the biggest selling points of air fryers is that they require less oil than traditional frying methods.
Yet, oil has its use in air frying. For one, it gives an appetising golden fried appearance if you spray foods with just a little oil.
Also brushing or spraying oil on air fryer basket prevents foods from sticking onto it.
You can use parchment paper in air fryer to prevent foods from sticking to it.
This beet chips recipe in air fryer can be done without oil, but as you can see the chips with oil spray look a bit different from the ones sprayed with oil.
Can You Use Oil Spray in an Air Fryer?
Oil sprays are perfect for use in air fryer. They only spray a very small layer of oil onto the foods.
This is great, as you end up using very little oil on the food or in the air fryer basket.
You can buy an oil spray bottle and fill you own oil.
Is PAM Safe to Use in an Air Fryer?
PAM is a popular spray used for cooking. It is very useful when used for regular stove top cooking as it provides a non-stick effect.
But, they are not suitable for use in air fryers. This is because they can damage the coating of your air fryer basket.
PAM contains additives along with oil.
The best thing would be to use regular oil spray without any additives in air fryer.
How Much Oil is Okay to Use in an Air Fryer?
The amount of oil needed varies depending on the food you're preparing.
As a ballpark, a teaspoon of oil or less is sufficient.
This air fryer zucchini and squash needs 1 tsp. Olive oil for 1 lb. Of vegetables.
However, this air fryer omelet needs zero oil.
Most breaded items would require an oil spray so that the breading comes out golden fried.
What is the Smoking Point of Oils?
The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it begins to smoke and break down.
This can potentially produce toxins and also give a bad flavour to the food.
Since air fryer cooks at temperatures of about 200C or 400F, it is important to choose oils with smoking points above this temperature.
Oils with low smoking points must be definitely avoided.
Which Oils to Use in an Air Fryer?
1. Avocado Oil: This has a very high smoke point at around 570F (270C).
It is excellent for use in air fryer. It also has a very neutral flavour. The only catch is that it is fairly expensive.
2. Peanut Oil: This oil has a high smoke point of around 450F or 232C. It is a good choice. It has a nice nutty flavour.
3. Ghee or clarified butter: Ghee has a rich buttery taste and a higher smoke point of 485F or 252C. It is suitable for use in air fryer.
4. Extra Light Olive Oil: Its smoke point is at around 468F or 242C which is reasonably good for air frying.
Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point and should be avoided.
5. Refined Coconut Oil: Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of about 450F or 232C which would work in air frying.
But virgin coconut oil has a much lower smoke point and should be avoided.
6. Sunflower Oil: Sunflower oil has a higher smoking point of 450F or 232C making it a good option for air frying.
7. Mustard Oil: Widely used in India, this pungent cooking oil has a smoke point of 480F or 250C making it a very good option for air frying.
These are the best oils to use in air fryer.
Which is the Best Oil to Use in Air Fryer?
As per the oils to be used in air fryer shared above, avocado oil is the best oil for use in air fryer.
But other equally good oils are peanut oil, ghee, extra light olive oil, sunflower oil, refined coconut oil and mustard oil.
Choose one based on your requirements and the type of cooking that you do.
How Should You Use Oil in an Air Fryer?
Oil in air fryer is always used in very small quantity. It is best to brush or spray oil directly to the food used for air frying
You may spray or brush oil to air fryer basket to prevent food from sticking.
How to Spray or Brush Oil in an Air Fryer?
If you're using a brush, lightly dab the oil onto your food, ensuring a thin, even layer.
If you're using a spray, hold it a few inches away from the food and spritz lightly.
Always ensure that you have covered entire food surface area.
Which Oils to Avoid using in an Air fryer
Virgin and unrefined oils are generally best avoided as they have a low smoking point.
These include extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, unrefined sesame oil, Flaxseed oil, butter and other low smoke oils.