Does an Air Fryer Use Oil?

The use of air fryers has become increasingly common when adopting a healthier lifestyle. This handy appliance cooks a variety of food in half the time. Adding oil to your air fryer might seem absurd, considering that it is advertised as an oil-free cooking appliance. But does an air fryer use oil in all actuality?

Yes, an air fryer does use oil. You need to brush a little oil on your food for it to cook perfectly. Air fryers can cook food without oil too, but it’s always best to use some oil for proper flavor and thorough cooking.

There are several reasons for adding oil to an air fryer. We shall discuss them in detail below.

Reasons for using oil in an air fryer

Deep frying or even frying in a pan takes a tremendous amount of oil. Not only does this food turn out unhealthy, but the flavors also get affected. The air fryer uses hot air to cook the food using the oils already present in the food. But not every food item has sufficient oils in it.

Following are some of the reasons for which you’d use oil in an air fryer:

French fries in an air fryer

Prevent dryness

Food items like sweet potatoes with natural juices and water will become tender and delicious. On the other hand, vegetables like asparagus that are thin and do not have much water will be awfully dry. To counter this problem, a little oil sprayed over such items would be a lifesaver.

Also read: Does an air fryer use water?

Avoid food from sticking

Some things quickly get stuck on the base of the fryer upon heating. The oil acts as a non-stick agent in this case so that you can get your food out in one piece.

Enhance flavor

Believe it or not but oil enhances flavors. Also, a total boycott of oils isn’t healthy either. Vegetable oils and butter in healthy quantities are encouraged by the experts.

How do you use oil in an air fryer

Now that we have established that you can use oil in your air fryer, it is time to understand its methods.

Indeed, you cannot use an entire can of oil in an air fryer – it really beats the purpose of air frying. How much can you use then? To be fair, only a tablespoon would be enough to make your food delicious and crispy.

crispy chicken in a pan inside air fryer

You don’t have to pour the oil into the frying basket before putting the food. Instead, mix a tablespoon of oil into the uncooked food. This way, the oil will be evenly spread, and everything will be perfectly cooked.

Use a spray bottle to sprinkle a few times over the food before and between the cooking process.

Never use a non-sticking spray material on your non-stick frying basket. You may think it will increase the basket’s non-sticky nature, but it does more harm. Such sprays corrode the already present con-stick coating of the frying basket.

Oils that can be used in an air fryer

Following are some oils you can easily use in an air fryer. Each has its benefits but remember; it’s the quantity that matters the most:

  1. Vegetable oils: A much better alternative to regular cooking oil, vegetable oils offer nutrients and get the job done. A few drops cover a lot of food and do not affect the general flavors.
  2. Olive oil: Unlike vegetable oils, this one is entirely unprocessed and hence, a healthier option. It is a bit expensive, but since we use a tiny amount in the air fryer, you can occasionally use it in your food.
  3. Flavored oils: These are less common and come in a variety like avocado, peanut, and others. They are used even in smaller quantities than the rest because they do give powerful aromas to the food.

Learn more about the best oils for frying here!

two bottles of oil on a table

Concluding thoughts on whether an air fryer uses oil

Using oil in an air fryer can cook your food in a tastier and more thorough way than without any oil. Some items might require adding a few drops of oils for the best results. The trick is always to keep the quantity in check and to use the prescribed methods only.

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Immad Amir
Hey there, I'm Immad! I'm an SEO and appliance fanatic. Amna, my fiance, and I combined our interests and came up with RavvyReviews to help you all with our well-researched kitchen appliance reviews and foodie informative articles. We aim to learn more along the way and keep bringing you authentic trustworthy articles so all of us can have fun in the kitchen! We love interacting with you guys, do share yours thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through

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