do you put oil in an air fryer

Do you put oil in an air fryer? It’s a question that has been debated for years and one with no clear-cut answer. Can the use of oil be beneficial for air fryers, or should it be avoided altogether? We’ll explore this topic further by looking into whether it is advisable to use oil in an air fryer, how much should be used if so, and what alternatives there might be. So come along on our journey of discovery as we ask: do you put oil in an air fryer?

Table of Contents:

Should You Put Oil in an Air Fryer?

Whether to use oil with an air fryer is a matter of preference, depending on the desired texture and flavour of the food. No definite response exists on whether oil should be employed in air fryers; it is contingent upon the food being cooked and how much taste and crispness are desired for the finished product.

For individuals who desire a crispy texture when preparing fried foods such as French fries or chicken wings, adding a small amount of oil is often necessary. However, if you’re trying to reduce your fat intake, using an air fryer without any added oil may be a better option.

Employing lubricant in an air fryer can also serve to impede food from adhering to the container or skillet while cooking, facilitating tidying up after meals are cooked. This can make cleanup easier after meals are prepared. But if that’s not a concern for you, then going without any additional oil is perfectly fine too.

If you do decide to add some oil while using an air fryer, it’s important not to overdo it—you don’t want your meal swimming in grease. A light coating of olive or vegetable oils usually works best; just remember that less is more here, so start with only a few drops at first and adjust accordingly based on taste preference and texture results.

cooking potatoes and carrot sticks with spices in an air fryer

If you’re seeking a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods but still want your food to have that crispiness, consider tossing frozen veggies (like potatoes) with cornstarch before air-frying them instead of adding fatty substances such as butter or margarine; this will give them the golden-brown finish without compromising their nutritional value. Incorporate words such as ‘health’, ‘crispy’ and ‘nutrition’ to give the text an extra lift.

Whether to utilise oil in an air fryer is essentially a matter of individual taste. Ultimately, if utilised prudently and sparingly, oil can contribute to improved flavour and texture while still preserving the nutritional value of other low-fat cooking methods like baking or roasting.

Overall, using oil in an air fryer can add flavour and texture to your food. Still, it’s critical to employ an accurate amount of oil for top-notch results. Now let’s explore how much oil should be used when cooking with an air fryer.

Key Takeaway: If desired, adding oil to an air fryer can enhance flavour and texture without compromising nutritional value. To achieve optimal crispiness with less fat, consider tossing frozen veggies with cornstarch before cooking them instead.

How Much Oil Should You Use in an Air Fryer?

For food such as chips or fries, a tablespoon of oil per two servings is usually sufficient; however, more may be added for enhanced flavour and crispiness. As a general guideline, when making chips or fries, a tablespoon of oil is typically sufficient for two servings. If you’re looking for more flavour and crispiness, then up to three tablespoons can be used. Generally, when preparing dishes with veggies and meat, a teaspoon or two per portion is usually adequate.

It’s crucial to be mindful when using oil, as too much can cause unappetising outcomes and could even harm your air fryer eventually. To ensure that you get just the right amount each time, measure out your oil into a separate container before adding it to your air fryer basket or tray. Accurately measuring out your oil will guarantee consistent results each time.

cooking chicken in an air fryer using less oil

When preparing meals with marinades or sauces that contain oil already, reduce the amount of additional oil added accordingly so that things don’t become too oily. Alternatively, if something needs more moisture during cooking, add some water instead of extra oil – this will help keep fat levels down without sacrificing taste or texture.

It is essential to take into account that the amount of oil utilised in an air fryer may differ depending on one’s individual preferences and anticipated outcomes. However, it’s worth exploring alternative options for cooking with an air fryer if you want to reduce fat intake or simply avoid using oil altogether. Next, we’ll look at some alternatives to using oil in an air fryer so you can still enjoy delicious meals without compromising on taste or health benefits.

Key Takeaway: Using oil in an air fryer is a balancing act – too much can lead to greasy results and even damage the appliance. Measure out your oil ahead of time, use one to three tablespoons for chips or fries and one to two teaspoons for other foods, reduce additional oil if marinades are already present and add water instead where more moisture is needed; this will help you get it just right.

Alternatives to Using Oil in an Air Fryer

Instead of oil, butter and other fats, marinades or dry rubs can be used to add flavour while helping the food crisp up. Butter and other fats can be used as a substitute, adding flavour and moisture to the food while helping it crisp up. Marinades and dry rubs are also great alternatives that will add flavour without any added fat.

Achieving a golden-brown colour on foods such as French fries and chicken wings can be accomplished by judiciously using butter or other fats. The key here is moderation – too much fat can lead to soggy results. If you choose this option, start with just a few tablespoons of melted butter or oil before adding more if needed. You’ll also want to avoid dairy-based products like cream cheese as they may cause sticking issues in the air fryer basket.

a silver air fryer and two plates of chicken

Marinades are another excellent way to add flavour without extra calories from fat or oils. A marinade made from herbs, spices, citrus juice, vinegar, honey or mustard will not only impart delicious flavours but help keep food moist during the cooking time in the air fryer too. Just make sure whatever ingredients you use don’t contain sugar (as it will burn) or dairy (which could stick).

Finally, dry rubs provide an easy solution for those who want maximum flavour with minimal effort. Simply mix together your favourite seasonings such as salt & pepper; garlic powder; chilli powder; paprika; oregano; thyme etc., then sprinkle over your food before putting it into the air fryer basket – no added oil required. Dry rubs work best when combined with some sort of liquid ingredients, such as olive oil spray, which helps them adhere better to the surface of what’s being cooked – so don’t forget about that step either.

So there you have it – three simple yet tasty alternatives for using oil in an air fryer: butter/fats, marinades and dry rubs. Each has its own unique benefits, so experiment away until you find what works best for your taste buds. Happy frying everyone.

Key Takeaway: You can fry up delicious food in an air fryer without using oil by substituting it with butter or other fats, marinades and dry rubs. These options add flavour while keeping the calorie count low – so get creative and have a go.


Ultimately, the decision of whether to utilise oil in an air fryer is yours. If you opt to use oil in your air fryer, strive for minimal usage and watch it carefully. Remember: when it comes to using oil in an air fryer – less really is more.

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