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How Much Oil Do You Add to Your Air Fryer? (Facts Revealed)

The delightful flavor of deep-fried foods without the substantial calorie count is the goal of air fryers or oil-free fryers. The Maillard Effect, which produces the meal’s crispy outer layer, is how the food is cooked in an air fryer by pumping extremely hot air over it. 

To make the meal crispy in a deep fryer, it is submerged in hot oil. However, an oil bath isn’t required in an air fryer. But the real question is, how much oil do you need in an air fryer? 

To cook food and give it a crispy coating, air fryers don’t need to be supplied with oil. One of the great benefits of using an air fryer is that this can be done without the use of oil. However, adding a little oil to your food before cooking will make it even crispier. 

I advise using a kitchen spray bottle because it will be much simpler to limit the oil to a minimum than using a tablespoon or brush to accomplish this without adding a lot of calories. Even with additional oil, there is a significant difference in calories between deep-fried versus air-fried foods. 

Air-fried food has a significantly lower fat level than food that has been deep-fried. In light of this, you can add a little oil to the item you’re air frying and yet maintain a low-calorie count if you want for a little extra crust.

Keep reading the article til the end to know all about using oil in air fryers.

Do You Need Oil in an Air Fryer?

You might be curious how air fryers compare to conventional deep-fat frying techniques. In conventional fat frying, food is immersed in hot, liquid fat at a temperature of about 380°F until crispy and thoroughly cooked. 

On the other hand, to quickly circulate hot air around meals to cook them, air fryers generally rely on powerful fans. However, hot air alone will not make food crispy and golden brown; therefore, some oil is required in your air fryer to achieve outcomes that are comparable to deep fat frying.

With between 80% and 95% less fat than a deep fryer, air fryers can produce good results depending on the model and the ingredients you’re using.

How Much Oil Should You Use?

Depending on the amount of food in the air fryer’s frying chamber, it may only need one tablespoon of oil as opposed to the quarts of oil needed to operate a deep-fat fryer. 

Remember that fresh items, such as vegetables or lean meat, often require more cooking oil than some frozen goods, such as tater tots or chicken wings, as the fat in the meal itself is sufficient to make the food crisp up. Oil should only be added if you want your dish to be extremely crisp.

How do You Set Oil in an Air Fryer?

Remove the air fryer basket from the oven. Spray the inside with a light coating of oil while holding the mister or spray bottle a few inches away.

You can also use a basting brush to spread an even, thin layer of oil to the basket’s bottom. Cook the meal according to the package directions.

Can PAM Olive Oil Spray be Used in an Air Fryer?

Never spray cooking spray on your air fryer basket or racks. In fact, you should never use cooking spray on nonstick equipment.

However, the good news is that you may still use some of your favorite oils in the air fryer. Avocado oil, extra light olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil are the best oils to use in an air fryer.

How to Cut Back on Oil Used in Your Air Fryer?

Pizza on a parchment paper
Parchment paper lets you cook food without oil

A lot of unwanted fat is removed from the diet by switching from dishes that are fried in deep oil to those that are crisped up in an air fryer. However, you may get rid of even more extra fat if you have the correct equipment. 

You might want to think about placing nonstick silicone baking mats over your air fryer’s roasting rack instead of using oil to prevent your food from sticking if you want to use your air fryer with as little oil as possible. 

Put your food on a sheet of parchment paper as an alternative. These are a few of the most well-liked air fryer add-ons available on Amazon.

With the right equipment, you can refine your cooking to only require a drop of oil without having to worry about wasting half of your food while attempting to remove it from the cooking chamber.

If you are new to air fryers, watch the video below to avoid the common mistakes that most people do.

Top 12 Air Fryer MISTAKES → How to Use an Air Fryer

How to Apply Oil in Your Air Fryer?

Applying only the necessary amount of oil to complete the task is simple when using the right tools. 

Here are the two most common methods for adding oil to items that are already prepared and placed in the cooking chamber of your air fryer:

Pastry Brush Technique

You might want to brush oil on your food if you are cooking lean proteins like fish fillets or other low-fat items like cauliflower or broccoli florets. 

You can ensure you’re only using the amount of oil required to cook your food by using this low-cost method of applying oil, which gives you greater control over how the oil is dispersed over your ingredients.

You don’t have to worry about equipment failure with this low-tech, straightforward approach, which is another reason why some air fryer methods opt for pastry brushes.

Using a Pastry Brush over food
Using a pastry brush is a great way of applying oil to the food.

Oil Spritzer Technique

This can be the greatest approach if your main objective is reducing the amount of fat dispersed over your ingredients. 

You can be confident that your surfaces will be equally covered using only the bare minimum of oil required to complete the task by utilizing an oil spritzer to softly sprinkle oil over your food. 

Oil spritzers do need routine cleaning and maintenance, though, since they have a propensity to collect dirt and clog if left unattended. The good news is that there are numerous oil sprayer models available on Amazon.

Healthiest Oil For Air Fryer

Olive oil with some olives in  bowl
Olive oil is among the healthiest oils

It can be difficult to decide which fats to routinely include in your diet because there is a lot of conflicting evidence out there regarding which ones are the healthiest for cooking. 

  • The short answer is that you should consume all oils in moderation to ensure that your cholesterol and intake of unhealthy fats like trans fatty acids are within tolerable ranges while maximizing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The temperature at which you plan to cook as well as the smoke point of your preferred fat should be given the greatest consideration when air frying. 
  • Because once the fat starts to smoke, it starts to break down, lose nutritional value, and detract from the flavor of the food.

The most popular oils for your air fryer, along with their corresponding smoke points, are listed below:

OilsSmoke Points
Avocado OilThe smoke point of 520°F: the taste profile is nutty and grassy. For high-temperature cooking, such as searing steaks or roasting squash or root vegetables, this method works well.
Safflower OilThe smoke point of 510°F: a bland flavor profile. For high-temperature cooking, such as searing red meat or boiling potatoes, this is the ideal option.
Extra Light Olive OilThe smoke point of 468°F: the taste profile is mild and grassy. This works well for roasting chicken, veggies, or cutlets in the air fryer.
Peanut OilThe smoke point of 450°F: flavor profile is rich and nutty. This works well for seasoning food and adds a unique twist to roasted veggies or fried chicken wings.
Sesame OilThe smoke point of 410°F: flavor profile is rich and nutty. Broccoli, carrots, onions, and chicken roast and season finest with this.
Vegetable OilThe smoke point at 400°F: taste profile is light and neutral. Use this whenever you need an oil with a neutral flavor, such as for baking.
Extra Virgin Olive OilThe smoke point of 375°F: taste profile is bland and grassy. This method works well for cooking food at lower temperatures, such as fish and delicate vegetables.
Coconut OilThe smoke point of 350°F: sweet, savory flavor profile. This works best for cooking at lower temperatures, such as baking, roasting, or frying chicken or vegetables.
Fractioned Coconut OilThe smoke point of 320°F: the coconut flavor profile is delicious. This produces a great kale chip and is best for low and slow cooking as well as baking.
Healthy oils that you can use in an air fryer.


  • While air fryers use far less fat to operate than traditional deep-fat frying techniques, they nevertheless need some oil to provide a crisp finish. 
  • You may reduce the quantity of fat you use to get the outcomes you want to as little as one drop with a simple investment in the correct cooking equipment.
  • Your air fryer will continue to work at its peak while producing delicious results in a shorter amount of time if you use the best oil for the job. 
  • You can have wonderfully crispy, healthful meals with the full-flavored outcomes you want with a little planning and the correct equipment.

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