Cooking foods in the Air Fryer is definitely one of my favorite ways to cook. Did you know that there are certain oils that are better than others when using the Air Fryer? Check out our list of the best oils for the Air Fryer.

Oils in canisters on a wooden cutting board.

You’re probably wondering why you can’t just use any old oil in the Air Fryer. There are tons of options out there, but there are a few that work much better than others.

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You need to take into consideration what foods you are making, what temperature you are cooking at, and also the smoking point of the oil you are using.

Why do I need oil in an Air Fryer?

You might be wondering, “wait, oil? I’m Air Frying so I don’t have to use oil.”

You definitely do not need to use oil in the same way you would to deep fry foods, and definitely not in the same quantities. But you do still need to use a little oil when making most of your recipes.

If your head is spinning with all of that information, don’t worry! We break it down for you in this post so that it’s easy.

Foods that don’t require the use of oil are typically those that are frozen. Most frozen foods such as tater tots, french fries, chicken nuggets, and pizza rolls already have oil as a by-product from the manufacturing process.

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These are foods you don’t need to spray with oil.

What does it mean for oil to have a smoking point?

Smoking points for fats and oils are the temperatures at which the heat is causing the oil or fat to smoke. Different oils have different levels of heat at which they will begin to smoke.

Because of this, we have created a handy list below for you to use when using the Air Fryer. You can use almost any oil in the Air Fryer, but you want to pick the right oil for the recipe you’re about to make.

What are the best oils to use in the Air Fryer?

From start to finish, we are going to make a list of the oils you should use in your Air Fryer. We will start at the top with what we think is the best, and work our way down the list of common oils we recommend you should use at least with paying close attention to the smoke point and the type of recipe you are making.

  • Avocado Oil – 570 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 485 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Extra Light Olive Oil – 468 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Soybean Oil – 460 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Coconut Oil – 450 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Peanut Oil – 450 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Vegetable Oil – 400 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 375 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
  • Butter – 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.

How much oil do you use when Air Frying foods?

While every recipe is different, I tend to use enough oil for a light coat on my foods if they need it.

For example, if I am making my favorite buffalo wings in the Air Fryer, I am coating them in oil in a ziplock baggie with spices before cooking.

If I am breading chicken, for example, some Copycat KFC chicken, I am spraying the chicken with oil every time I flip the chicken to ensure it’s coated well and I don’t have any dry spots remaining.

For the best results, I use a small spray bottle and lightly spray the items if needed for cooking. Most breaded, coated recipes will need a light spray from time to time.

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Most processed foods you’re reheating from frozen, for example, typically do not need to be sprayed with any oil.

Can I use PAM cooking spray for the Air Fryer?

Don’t get me wrong, I actually love to use PAM cooking spray. But there is a time and place to use PAM, and your Air Fryer basket is not one of those places.

Cooking sprays like this should not be used on any non stick surface because it can create a gummy and sticky surface that can ruin the non stick properties of your basket.

Can I use Olive Oil in the Air Fryer?

The simple answer.

Yes, you can.

You may have heard otherwise, but you can in fact use extra virgin olive oil in the Air Fryer. However, due to the low smoking point of olive oil, it’s best to be used only in those recipes that are under 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Typically most of the recipe I make are at 375 degrees or under, so I do indeed use extra virgin olive oil in my Air Fryer recipes.

Looking for Easy Air Fryer Recipes?

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  • Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes
  • Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
  • Air Fryer Cake Mix Cookies
  • Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
  • Air Fryer Chicken Tenders


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