Are you in the middle of preparing a culinary masterpiece and unsure whether you can add oil to an air fryer? Well, you’re not fighting this battle by yourself!
Air fryers have been promoted as non-oil cooking appliances since their inception. As a result, we often have second thoughts about adding oil to them. Let me reassure you, though—a little oil won’t harm the air fryer at all!
This article will discuss the various ways of applying oil while air frying. We will also look at some of the healthiest oils on the market to ensure that the device is not damaged and the food retains its flavor.
Can You Use Any Oil In An Air Fryer?
Air fryers are appliances designed to cater to the new health-conscious generation. The appliance works on the principle of convection, wherein heated air is circulated in the basket to cook the food without oil.
Food cooked has a crispy feel because the air used for cooking is almost 400–500 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus the buzz! The days of deep-frying chicken and fries in oil are long gone; nowadays, you can get a healthier version of them by using an air fryer.
To answer your question, if the recipe calls for it, you can use oil in the air fryer. However, the quantity of oil used and its utilization should be considered when cooking. The oil needed may not exceed two tablespoons; hence, ensure you don’t add too much of it while cooking.
Why do I need oil in an Air Fryer?
Some frozen meats, vegetables, fish, chips, and fries lack moisture, so adding oil while frying them can be a game-changer. Frozen food that is already greased may not require oil while cooking.
If the goal is to roast an item, brushing oil on it can help in giving it a roasted brown appearance.
For instance, adding oil is necessary to give roasted broccoli or roasted potatoes their crisp feel. The vegetable may become excessively dry and lack the desired flavor if you don’t add oil.
Some foods, such as air-fried hamburgers and brats, may not require oil since they are already cooked or because oil is listed among their ingredients.
Where to Put Oil in an Air Fryer?
In my opinion, the best method to utilize oil in an air fryer is to avoid letting it come into proximity with any of the electrical components, including the heating elements.
Brushing on the Surface
One of the easiest ways to put oil in your recipe without leakages is using a silicone brush. These brushes are easily available and can help add oil to your desired item without messing with the air fryer.
Using a brush is the best way to roast meats and fish; let’s have a look.
Step 1: Remove the draw of the fryer and carefully place the pieces on the surface of the basket. Make sure the pieces are spread out and uniformly placed to avoid building heat in one place.
Step 2: Take a basking brush and dip it in oil or butter. Gently spread it on the pieces.
Step 3: Allow the frying to take place for half the time mentioned in the recipe
Step 4: Remove the basket and flip the pieces.
Step 5: Using the brush, apply oil or butter on the other side and let it cook.
You can use an oil spray if you don’t have the brush and still need to drizzle some oil on your food item. These cans are incredible since they just inject a small amount of oil without going overboard.
Step 1: Remove the basket and place your item uniformly to avoid building heat in one place.
Step 2: Take an oil spray and sprinkle oil on both sides of the item.
Step 3: Allow the frying to take place for half the time mentioned in the recipe
For frozen vegetables and fruits, I think this method works best. It does not make your veggies soggy and helps them retain their original taste.
Let’s have a look at how this method works.
Step 1: Place the cut-out vegetables in a bowl.
Step 2: Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and mix it well.
Step 3: Allow it to sit for 15 minutes. It ensures that the vegetables or fruits absorb the oil in them.
Step 4: Place the items in the air fryer and let them sizzle!
Never place the oil directly in the inner basket because it can drip and ruin the coating of the fryer and can also produce smoke and activate the fire alarm.
Where to Put Oil In A Ninja Foodi?
Ninja Foodi is very similar to an air fryer. It allows its user to perform multiple functions like roasting, frying, cooking, defrosting, grilling, etc., without using oil.
However, just like an air fryer, some food items may need oil to get cooked efficiently. In such cases, you can add oil to them by using a brush or pre-coating them with oil.
What oil can I use in my air fryer?
Every oil has an inherent taste and flavor that will be added to the food you’re preparing in the air fryer.
Oils have unique smoking points that can help decide whether or not they are suitable for air fryers. The temperature at which oil begins to burn and release smoke is known as the smoking point.
Since the temperature inside the air fryers is high, about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, choosing oils that remain stable at that temperature is crucial. Low smoking point oil poses a fire risk that could endanger the user and ruin the device.
Let’s look at the smoking points of some commonly used oils.
|Avocado Oil||570 °F|
|Olive Oil||470 °F|
|Soybean Oil||460 °F|
|Coconut Oil||450 °F|
|Peanut Oil||450 °F|
|Vegetable Oil||450 °F|
How Much Oil to Add To Your Air Fryer?
Since the idea is to cook with the aid of heated air, air frying should not need much oil. Some recipes do, however, call for the use of oil. The quantity of oil used will vary depending on the dish you are cooking and the food item in the air fryer.
For instance, while frying fried chicken, it might be necessary to spray it twice with oil and flip it over several times to achieve the dish’s signature crisp and crunch. However, if you are roasting vegetables, one tablespoon of oil can suffice and give you those crunchy kale chips!
What Happens If You Put Too Much Oil In Your Air Fryer?
The air fryer could be harmed if you use too much oil. Due to the high temperatures within the air fryer, there is a chance that oil will collect in one place and generate smoke. Additionally, it may cause overheating, which harms the gadget and hence cannot cook the food efficiently.
Furthermore, extra oil occasionally seeps through the basket and interacts with the heating components and other electrical wires, which can result in fires and short circuits.
Since air fryers are expensive, replacing them can be heavy on the pocket. Hence, be very careful with the amount of oil you add while cooking.
How much is too much?
The amount of oil you should use to cook food in the air fryer should not exceed two tablespoons. Anything over that might be excessive. Instead of drizzling oil with a spoon during baking, it is preferable to brush the item with butter or oil.
Some foods are already cooked and contain fats organically; adding oil to these foods will cause a mess and splatter. Additionally, it may cause fire and smoke.
Add a piece of bread to the ingredients if you are unsure of the amount of oil you have used or if you are cooking something oily. The bread present can soak all the extra oil emitted, thus, preventing any hazards.
The Benefits of Adding Oil To An Air Fryer
According to research, air fryers use heated air to remove moisture and cook food. Since this method eliminates water from the food, there are chances that the food may be dry after being subjected to air frying.
The good news is that oil can be useful. It aids in keeping the food’s moisture within. If the food is covered in oil, it does not cause the food to become dry. As a result, after cooking, the flavor and texture are fantastic.
Furthermore, since the temperature inside the fryer’s basket is high, oil prevents burning by acting as a protective coat over the food item.
Every oil has a distinct flavor that can enhance your dish. For instance, vegetable oil is ideal for cooking beef and chicken, while olive oil is ideal for roasting vegetables.
By altering the oil used, you can experiment with your taste buds and try to spice up your dish. You’ll be astonished to discover that the meal tastes different whenever you switch the oil.
The Drawbacks of Adding Oil To An Air Fryer
Let us look at the disadvantages of adding oil to the air fryer.
If the amount of oil added is more than the required amount, it can cause overheating. If the device is heated, it can stop working, or the food may remain uncooked.
Damage to the heating coils
Oil is liquid; hence it can seep through and accumulate on the heating elements of the air fryer. It can trigger smoke production and a burning smell. If left unattended, it can also cause fires.
Well, the entire point of using an air fryer is to choose a healthy option. If you add oil while cooking, it will not be as healthy as advertised.
Certain food items like pre-cooked meat and sausages have grease. Adding more oil to them makes them supremely unhealthy.
Best Foods for Air Frying
Speaking from experience, anything can be cooked in air fryers. I’ve tried several recipes using various ingredients, and every dish was fantastic.
Thus, everything is cooked perfectly in these fryers if you want to fry a pattie, roast bacon, baked chips, french fries, etc.
FAQ 1: Can you fry eggs in an air fryer?
Answer: You can fry eggs in an air fryer. Simply spritz some oil in a pan and break open the egg. Set the temperature at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. There you have it, air-fried eggs!
FAQ 2: Can you use butter instead of oil in an air fryer?
Answer: Yes, using butter in an air fryer is a good idea. You can rub it with a silicone brush or apply it to the item you wish to fry in the air fryer. Olive butter is one of the most widely used greases for baking in air fryers.
FAQ 3: Which is the healthiest oil for an air fryer?
Answer: A healthy substitute for the typical vegetable oil is canola oil. Avocado oil is my favorite because it is nutritious and has a very subtle flavor.
When using air fryers, we can use oil sparingly to give the dish we are cooking flavor and crispness. However, overdosing might harm the device and produce fire hazards.
So, when applying oil, one must be very careful. A brush or spray should be used to apply it. Never pour oil directly into the pan, as this may create residues that are hard to remove.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any queries regarding air fryers, feel free to comment below.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.