Although air fryer is all about oil-less frying and healthy living sometimes you can add a little oil for some extra taste and crunchiness. And afterall healthiness regarding oil also comes from using the right kind and amount of oil. Usually healthy oils are more expensive but since air fryer don’t need much (or any) oil you can go for the more expensive ones. Also there are a few things to consider when it comes to air frying and oils. In this article I will show you which is the best oil for air fryer so stay tuned.
Why does it matter which is the best oil for air fryer?
I believe you are still wondering why you can’t just use any oil that you have in your kitchen and cook with it in an air fryer. I need you to be just a bit more patient, and I will explain it thoroughly. There are a lot of different cooking oils available nowadays, but there are only a few that work the best in an air fryer, and there are as well some that don’t work at all.
When you cook in an air fryer, the food is exposed to a higher temperature than when you prepare it in a regular oven, for instance. This is the main reason why you must use types of oils that have a high smoke point, so they don’t start burning, producing smoke and carcinogens.
Oils that have a lower smoke point are suitable for dressings and dips, and also, they won’t enhance the flavor of your food since they usually have a rancid smell when exposed to high temperatures.
Best oil for air fryer
Refined olive oil
If you prefer using regular olive oil, then I have bad news, it’s not suitable for air fryers; it is not suitable for exposure to high temperatures at all.
However, the light or extra light version of olive oil, or as most people call it refined olive oil, is an okay alternative for the air fryer, considering it has a smoke point of 450°F. Don’t worry, it is very similar to extra virgin oil in taste.
An absolute winner in this category is avocado oil. It has a smoke point of 520°F, so you can be sure there will be no risk of smoking and rancid smells if you use a few drops of this golden liquid in your air fryer.
The flavor of the oil is neutral, so it won’t mask the true flavors of your food. It is also rich in healthy fatty acids, which are very beneficial for your body, in some small amongst of course. Make sure to check the label on the product before you make the purchase; you want a redefined version.
For all my Kosher people here, this is the best air fryer oil option for you; peanut oil is a great choice, considering it can withstand high temperatures and its smoke point is at 450°F.
In addition, it has a mild and nutty flavor, so if you are in the mood for some Asian cuisine, a few drops of this oil will spice up your dish for sure. Also, it is rich in Vitamin E; the only downside is that many people are allergic to peanuts, so be careful.
Some people are allergic to oils that come from seeds and nuts; if that is the case with you, smile cause you have a tasty alternative for it; refined coconut oil. This is a great oil for an air fryer with a high smoke point of 450°F.
You can find it in most grocery stores; look for organic and unrefined versions since that one is way healthier. Oh, and do not be surprised if your coconut oil looks more like a paste than a liquid. It’s all fine, just leave it on the countertop for a day or two, and it will become liquid again.
Sunflower oil is one of the most affordable options out there. It is available in almost all grocery stores, and it is suitable for people who suffer from nut allergies. The flavor is almost neutral, so your dishes won’t experience any change in flavor, which is a big plus.
It is high in monounsaturated fat, so it has a high smoke point of 450°F. Just keep in mind that you should use monounsaturated fats with extra care.
The soybean oil hits a high smoke point, between 460-480°F. Soybean was not a good option before, considering it had some weird taste; luckily, someone decided to make refined soybean oil. Nowadays, this oil has a neutral flavor, and it’s the second-best option for air fryers after avocado oil.
Ghee is full of good fatty taste; it is nutritionally high so consume it in small amounts. This is unrefined butter, so it is suitable for everyone, except vegans and people who are intolerant to dairy. The smoke point is at 475°F and considering it is high in saturated fats it won’t oxidize.
Frequently Asked Questions about the best oil for air fryer
What is the best oil to put in a sprayer when using it for an air fryer?
The best oil for air fryers is undoubtedly the avocado oil, and just after it is soybean oil and ghee. The only important thing is to choose any oil that has a high smoke point and is refined; everything else is up to you.
Do air fryers use oil?
Yes, you can opt to use any oil from the list above to enhance the flavor of your meal or to make it juicier. If you want to completely avoid oil, you can do that, air fryer is perfectly safe for your food with or without the oil.
Where to put oil in the air fryer?
There are two different ways to use oil in an air fryer. The first one is to slightly greasy up the frying basket and the rack that goes in if you have the double-layered air fryer.
The second option is to spray the food you will prepare in the air fryer, but do it lightly; never marinade the food in oil before putting it in the air fryer.
Is it true that I can use lemon juice for frying in an air fryer?
Yup, you heard it well. Lemon juice has a high smoke point, which makes it a good choice when you are cooking savory foods. Since it has a strong flavor, use it when preparing fish (like in our red snapper recipe) or for a healthy version of veggie chips; it will give your food a zestiness.
Can I use cooking spray in my air fryer?
Honestly, I would avoid that. Don’t get me wrong I firmly believe this is a good option for reducing oil consumption, but only in the oven or on the stove. Nothing that has a non-stick surface should be exposed to cooking spray since it can damage it for good. If you do that, you will destroy your air fryer.
As you can see, there are a lot of options available when it comes to the best oil for air fryer. In our opinion the avocado oil is the best oil for air fryer, since it has the highest smoking point and it contains healthy fatty acids.
A word of advice, if you use more expensive oils, then choose a sprayer that has a fan spraying mechanism over the non-aerosol one; it will reduce oil wasting significantly.