If you have wanted to know which are the best oils to use in your air fryer, this is a great list! Learn what high heat smoke point oils are, and which are the best to use. Using the right Air fryer oil can make or break your recipe!
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A lot of my readers have sent me messages asking about what oils to use in the air fryer. I decided to write up everything in hopes to help answer all of their questions.
The air fryer is a popular cooker that helps you get a delicious deep-fried taste to your foods with a lot fewer calories. As important as oil is, oils that are used in the air fryer are not all equal in how they perform!
If you have an air fryer, you will want to use oil in it at some point to get your food crispy. Using the right oil for the air fryer is critical to the flavor of the food you make! Some oils are better than others, and some are healthier than others.
Using a deep fryer saturates your food in unhealthy oils. This adds calories and unhealthy fats to your diet. Using an air fryer cuts down on the oils significantly! If you love to deep fry foods but want to eat healthier, air frying is a great way to get that fried flavor without all of the fats!
Let's go over all of the types of oil, and how to use them in your air fryer so that your recipes turn out delicious! If you love using an air fryer, I have lots of delicious Gluten Free Air Fryer recipes to make.
The Best Oils To Use In The Air Fryer:
There are many types of high smoke point oil that can be used in an air fryer. Each kind of oil has a different smoking point and different flavor, making some oils better for some foods rather than others.
When choosing which oil to use in your air fryer, be sure to note the recipe cooking temperature, and compare it to the smoking point of the oil you are thinking about using. This is a list of the best oils for air frying:
- Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is considered one of the healthiest choices to use because of its good fats. It has a very mild flavor and is one of my favorites to use in the air fryer. Its smoke point is 375-400°F/190-205°C
- Grapeseed Oil: This is a fairly mild oil that can be used in the air fryer. It comes from the seeds of grapes and it is high in vitamin E. Its smoke point is 390°F/195°C
- Peanut Oil: Peanut oil can easily be used, but it is not considered a healthy oil. You also need to be sure you are not cooking for anyone with a peanut allergy. 450°F/230°C
- Vegetable Oil: This oil is pretty mild and holds up well to high heat. It comes from seeds and plants. Vegetable oil is very cheap so many restaurants use it for deep frying. Vegetable oil is not considered a healthy oil. 400-450°F/205-230°C
- Canola Oil: Canola is a very mild almost tasteless oil that is great for an air fryer. It is lower in saturated fats compared to vegetable oil. 400º F/204º C
- Coconut Oil (Refined): Coconut oil should only be used in foods where the flavor could be complementary. It has a coconut flavor that will alter the flavor of what you are cooking. 392º F/200º C
Why Does The Smoking Point Of The Oil Matter?
One of the most important factors to think about when you are choosing an oil to use in your air fryer is the oil's smoking point. The smoking point is that moment when the oil is no longer glossy and shimmery looking and it starts to smoke.
When the oil smokes, it can not only be a fire hazard, but it imparts a poor flavor in the food you are cooking.
Knowing the smoking point of oils is important so you can choose the right oil for the right food. High smoking point oils are the best to use in your air fryer.
What Oils Should Be Avoided?
Some oils have a low smoke point or have a strong flavor, making them a poor choice for the air fryer. Low smoke point oils tend to get a rancid flavor at high temperatures.
There are two oils I prefer not to use in my air fryer. Dark sesame oil and extra virgin olive oil.
Dark sesame oil had a toasted flavor that can make some recipes taste bad. I also do not like to use extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil widely varies. Some types have a low smoking point of 320º F while others have a higher smoking point. Much of this is due to the quality of the olive oil. The lower the quality, the lower the smoking point.
This handy smoking point chart is a good reference when deciding on what oil to use.
For best results, these oils should be avoided unless the recipe specifically calls for you to use one of them. Strongly flavored oils also can ruin a meal.
Best Oil Sprayers For The Air Fryer:
I love to use an oil mister or small spray bottle to mist oil onto my air-fried foods. A mister or sprayer lets you control the amount of oil you use so that you can add a light coating of oil onto the food.
I have two misters on hand, each with a different type of oil. It is a good idea to store the misters in the pantry, away from direct sunlight so the oils keep fresh longer. Here are some of my favorite oil sprayers:
- This oil sprayer gets rave reviews for its controlled flow.
- Misto makes a great oil mister and you get two so you can store two different types of oil.
If you don't have an oil sprayer, no worries! Another great option a lot of people use is a basting brush to lightly coat your food with oil.
The air fryer is wonderful for making scallops! This easy recipe for Air Fryer Scallops with a Dill Butter makes a wonderful dinner! I sprayed avocado oil on to help them get a golden sear as they cooked.
Air Fryer Oil FAQ:
No, you do not need to use oil on frozen fried foods. Frozen French fries and other fried foods already have oil on them so there is no need to spray additional oil over them.
No, Pam and other prepared cooking sprays are not safe for non-stick surfaces because they create build-up on the air fryer basket that can damage it over time.
I do not put oil directly into the air fryer. I prefer to spray the oil over the food. This helps the food get crispy as hot air circulates around the food in the air fryer basket.
What is the best way to use oil in the air fryer is to spray a small amount of oil on the basket, then lightly spray the food. This prevents the food from getting saturated with oil.
The answer is that it depends on the quality of the oil. Many olive oil varieties have a low smoking point and it will add a rancid flavor to what you make.
Easy Air Fryer Recipes To Try:
- Crispy Air Fryer Catfish
- Easy Air Fryer Cod
- Air Fried Cornish Game Hens
- Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
If you love the recipes you find on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free gluten free chocolate desserts e-cookbook!)