In this post, I will share whether I use oil in air fryers and how I minimize oil usage to make food healthy.
Air fryers are probably one of the best kitchen appliances; you can cook anything in them. From the day I got my air fryer, I have cooked most of my food inside it because it is quick and easy.
But the whole point of using an air fryer is that they fry food with little to no oil. So, you get fried food textures with no oil, and the air fryer successfully does that to a considerable extent.
However, here comes the plot twist.
You can add oil to your food while cooking inside the air fryer. I recommend using oil spray to lock in the food’s moisture without drying it out while cooking in the air fryer. The amount of oil you use is still 95 percent less than the oil you would use if you deep-fried, so it is still a win.
To answer the question- Yes, you do have to add oil to the air fryer. But exactly how much oil do you need to add, and what kind of oil is the best?
I will explain everything in more detail within this post, so stay till the end, so you do not miss out on anything important.
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Do you need oil in an air fryer?
Yes, you need oil while cooking in an air fryer. The oil prevents food from sticking to the air fryer basket and gives the exterior extra crispiness.
You will often need to add oil to the food you cook inside the air fryer.
I have added oil, especially to lock in the food’s moisture, because the air fryer gets hot and can dry the food.
But I must add I do not use oil for all the foods I cook. It usually depends on what I cook inside the air fryer.
If it is not going to stick to the fryer like french fries, nuggets, tater tots, dumplings, and hot pockets, then I use no oil.
But if it is something like chicken patties or scrambled eggs that WILL Stick to the cooking surface, then I use oil.
When I think something might stick to the air fryer basket or the parchment paper, I prefer spraying a little oil in the basket so that nothing sticks to it, and the cleanup is easy.
How much oil do you need to use in an air fryer?
You do not need much oil to cook food in the air fryer. I never use more than 1 tbsp of oil to brush it on the food I’m cooking.
I love using an oil spray in the air fryer as it evenly coats the food with oil; however, if you do not get an oil spray, you can use a basting brush and coat all the food items with oil.
I mostly use oil while cooking homemade chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, or chicken wings.
But the oil you use while cooking in an air fryer is so tiny compared to what one would have used while deep frying.
Not only would you have to use a lot of oil in a deep fryer, but it would also get expensive to buy a lot of cooking oil to fry in. These costs can add up, making it economical to cook in an air fryer instead.
Where do you put the oil in the Air fryer?
I usually put oil on the food and sometimes spray oil on the air fryer basket.
I put oil on the food to make it crispier, but I spray oil on the air fryer basket so no food sticks and make my cleaning up much more manageable.
Foods that do not need oil in the air fryer
There are so many foods that can do without oil in an air fryer, but the ones that do not need oil are frozen foods.
I never use oil while cooking frozen foods as the food already has some moisture content because it is frozen, and that helps prevent it from not drying out.
Other times when you do not need oil are when you are reheating food. The air fryer does an excellent job of reheating anything, and I have never used oil while reheating in my air fryer.
Best Oil for an Air fryer
The idea behind choosing the best oil is it should have a high smoking point. Usually, using vegetable oil, canola oil, or even coconut oil can do the trick.
Since you are not using a lot of oil, you only need a little bit of them to coat the food. I generally use vegetable oil, or when I feel fancy, I use olive oil.
There are so many different oil options that you can use inside the air fryer, like vegetable oil, peanut oil, olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, butter, and ghee.
If I’m cooking something for a long time in the air fryer, which is more than ten minutes, I always go for vegetable oil or sunflower oil.
I use butter, ghee, and olive oil if I cook anything for not more than ten minutes. Ideally, a timer of around 5 minutes would be good to use these options as they burn out quickly.
Foods that need and do not need oil in an air fryer
Best Air fryer Oil Sprays
In this section, I would like to mention some of the best and readily available oil sprays you can use with your air fryer.
Depending on what oil you want to use with your air fryer, you can use any of the oil sprays mentioned below-
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray
- Canola Cooking Spray Organic
- Avacado Oil Spray
- Buttery Flavored Cooking Spray
- Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
- Coconut Oil Cooking Spray
If you do not want to buy a cooking oil spray separately all the time, you can get a oil spray bottle like the one below and fill it separately with cooking oil.
This is perfect for someone who often cooks in an air fryer and would not want to buy more bottles every time.
Does cooking without oil in an air fryer make food healthy?
I think 1 tbsp or a spray of oil does not change anything. Air fryers are a substitute for deep frying, and compared to soaking and frying something in oil, using 1-2 tbsp of oil is much better.
For most recipes, you will use 1 tbsp of oil regardless of how you cook it, so from that perspective, air fryers are a healthy way to cook food.
Cooking without oil in an air fryer would take away 1 tbsp of oil, which is not a LOT. So you can cook with or without oil and still get healthy food cooked inside the air fryer.
The air fryer as an appliance is a healthier alternative to other ways of cooking.
Benefits of using an air fryer
There are so many benefits of getting an air fryer and if you have not gotten it yet, then let me help you understand how it has made my life easier.
- Set a temperature and timer and leave the air fryer to cook.
- Little to no oil and still get the deep-fried effect on foods.
- Lightweight and Portable
- Easy to set up as all you have to do is plug it in
- Affordable and not very expensive, yet it does the job well.
- Easy to clean and maintain
I can barely find any cons with the air fryer; choosing the right one can make your life so much easier.
I have a Philips Airfryer, and I recommend getting them as they do the job very well, and in my opinion, they are the best in the market.
I have had mine for a year and a half, and it is as good as new without any issues. So I’m sure it will last me for a long time, making it quite durable and a good investment.
Best Foods for Air frying
Some of the best foods you can fry in an air fryer are- french fries, frozen food, hashbrowns, hard boil eggs, nuggets, chicken wings, and so many more.
I love making vegetable chips inside my air fryer as well. They are perfect for making popcorn and other snacks, making them a perfect kitchen appliance.
You need oil while cooking inside an air fryer, but not always. You can choose to use oil with certain types of food; how much you use is totally up to you.
I recommend using an oil spray so you can coat the entire food with minimum oil, and there are so many good oil sprays out there that work so well.
Air Fryers use very little oil while cooking food and yet deliver a crispy exterior on anything you cook, making them worthy of their name, an ‘ Air Fryer’.
I love using air fryers, and with this tip on how much oil you should use in them, you are convinced that they are way healthier than deep frying your food.
You will enjoy an air fryer if you love fried foods like nuggets, french fries, and tater tots like I do.
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