Does Air Fryer Need Oil To Cook Fries, Wings & Other Recipes

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Adding Oil is Not Necessary

You can cook fries, chicken wings, and other foods in the air fryer without adding oil.

Food cooked in an air fryer is praised as healthier. Hence, it has caused many households to abandon old ways of cooking and stick to this modernized way of preparing food. But what makes cooking food in an air fryer healthy?

The answer is simple!

Cooking in an air fryer does not require oil. It can achieve a perfectly crispy and golden-brown exterior without any oil. However, adding a couple of teaspoons of oil before cooking can bestow an even crustier, mouth-watering texture and keep the food moist.

How Does An Air Fryer Cook Without Oil

An air fryer uses a convection mechanism to circulate hot air around the food to cook it from all sides equally.

Heating elements on the top provide the heat while a big fan placed adjacent to it circulates the heat. Since the cooking chamber has so much air, it does not need oil for cooking.

| READ NEXT: Can you use butter instead of oil in an air fryer?

How Do You Use Oil In An Air Fryer?

How do you use oil in an air fryer

In a skillet, you would normally put a large quantity of oil before putting your food.

However, an air fryer has no such basket to accommodate a large quantity of oil. Now, you must think about where to put oil in an air fryer.

In the air fryer, oil is applied to the food instead of poring it into the basket. While using an air fryer, you can season the food with a tablespoon of oil before tossing it in the air fryer.

How to use oil in the air fryer

For instance, you can spice up salmon with a bit of oil before air frying or grease veggies before roasting them. 

Similarly, when making the batter for air frying Buffalo chicken wings or chicken breasts, add the oil to the batter before applying it to the chicken.

Oils That Can Be Used In An Air Fryer

Any oil you can use in an oven can be used in an air fryer. But some oils are more suitable for air fryers than others. Moreover, considering their smoke point is necessary too.

Oils That Can Be Used in an Air Fryer - Best Oils for Air Fryers

When using them, ensure you don’t raise the air fryer’s temperature beyond their smoke point when using them in an air fryer.

Some of the healthiest oil for the air fryer and their smoke points are:

  • Grapeseed Oil — 420F
  • Sesame Oil — 410F
  • Peanut Oil — 450F
  • Soybean Oil — 460 (You may not like the taste of food)
  • Avocado Oil — 570F
  • Extra Light Olive Oil — 468F
  • Vegetable Oil — 400F

Oils You Should Avoid Using In An Air Fryer

Oils You Should Avoid Using in an Air Fryer

You can use some oils in an air fryer, but they are not considered healthy options. They will release smoke when the temperature in the air fryer is raised beyond their smoke point. They are:

  • Partially hydrogenated oils
  • Extra virgin oil
  • Non-Stick Sprays
  • Walnut oil
  • Lard
  • Unrefined coconut oil
  • Margarine

How Much Oil Should You Use In An Air Fryer?

How much oil should you use in an air fryer

If you ask ten people the same question, you might get ten different answers. It is because there is no one right answer.

The amount of oil depends on individual preferences and tastes. While most recipes made in the air fryer do not require oil, a little oil is essential for some.

Generally, people use one to two tablespoons of oil to fully grease the food before placing it in an air fryer basket. If you want to reduce the use of oil but still want to taste the oil in your food, you might need to add more oil.

For more such information about air fryers, keep following KitchenHanker.Com.


What happens if you don’t add oil to the air fryer?

A small amount of oil is essential for cooking some foods in an air fryer. For instance, roasting veggies in an air fryer requires a tablespoon of oil. Skipping oil can make your veggies overly dry and even hard. Adding oil also makes your air-fried food crispy, coating it with a golden-brown exterior.

Can you use coconut oil in an air fryer?

Many people recommend using coconut oil in an air fryer. But it is better to avoid coconut oil, as it burns easily while cooking food at high temperatures. It has a low smoke point, releasing smoke when the temperature reaches 350F.

Can you use oil spray in an air fryer?

For convenience, people use aerosol spray oil when cooking in an air fryer. But you must avoid using these sprays as they are known to cause chipping in many air fryer baskets.

The chemical agent in these oil sprays burns at low temperatures and destroys the non-stick coating.

Can you use extra virgin olive oil in an air fryer?

Extra virgin olive oil burns at a low temperature because of the low smoke point. Therefore, it is not suitable for use in an air fryer where most foods are cooked at a higher temperature.

Contrary to this, extra light virgin oil has a high smoke point; therefore, you can use it in the air fryer.

Does the ninja air fryer need oil?

Making most types of food, such as French fries, potato cakes, beef patties, steaks, etc., in the Ninja air fryer does not need oil. But foods with a coating, such as marinated chicken breast and pork neck, need a thin layer of oil on the surface.

Does an instant pot air fryer need oil?

There is no strict need for oil in the instant pot air fryer. But using a teaspoon of oil when cooking food helps it retain its brown color and crispy texture. You can put oil on chicken in an air fryer if you admire the thick crust on the exterior.

Does chicken need oil in an air fryer?

Yes, cooking chicken in an air fryer needs oil. Coating a tablespoon of oil on all sides of the chicken will help it quickly retain the heat. The hot air will heat the oil, which will cook the chicken, bestowing it with that crunchy fried texture.

Does Nuwave air fryer need oil?

Cooking in a Nuwave air fryer does not need any oil. But you can certainly add a small quantity if you prefer the taste. But never fill the basket with oil. Only season the food with a spoonful of oil or use an oil mister.

Does the power XL air fryer need oil?

It is not necessary to use oil in a power XL air fryer. The air fryer uses heated air to cook food from all sides. But, if you prefer the taste and aroma of oil in your food, you can add a tablespoon of it or season the food before adding it to the air fryer basket.

Does Philips air fryer need oil?

Adding oil when cooking food in a Philips air fryer is only required when making food from fresh ingredients such as freshly peeled potatoes, fish, beef, or chicken.

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Wrapping Up!

An air fryer does not need oil for cooking. But some foods, such as broccoli, can become smoky or hard when made without oil. Therefore, just a couple of tablespoons of oil to grease the food can enhance its taste and retain its color too. The Best oil for air fryer use has a high smoke point and does not have a strong flavor, so it does not alter the taste of the food.


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