Do you add oil to an air fryer? The ultimate answer!

Are you curious about air frying and unsure about whether to add oil or not? You’re not alone. Air frying has taken the world by storm due to its healthy reputation, and with so many different air fryer models and brands available, it can be challenging to know what you need to do to make sure your meals are crispy and delicious.

This article explores whether you should add oil to an air fryer and the best practices for using an air fryer. You’ll learn how to use an air fryer effectively, what types of oil to use, and more. Let’s begin!

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a small kitchen appliance that cooks food using convection heating. It’s similar to a small convection oven or toaster oven, but it circulates hot air around the food to cook it quickly and evenly. The result is crispy, golden-brown food without the need for deep frying.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer uses hot air to cook the food. The heating element at the top of the fryer heats the air, which is then circulated around the food using a fan. This hot air cooks the food from all sides, making sure it’s evenly cooked and crispy.

Do You Need to Add Oil to an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use oil in an air fryer, but you don’t need to use as much oil as you would in a traditional deep fryer. The purpose of adding oil is to help the food cook more evenly and create a crispy, golden-brown exterior without the need for traditional frying methods.

What Types of Oil Can You Use in an Air Fryer?

You can use any type of oil that’s suitable for cooking, including vegetable oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. However, some oils are better suited for air frying than others.

  • Vegetable oil – This is an affordable and neutral-tasting oil that’s suitable for most air frying recipes.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil is a healthier option with a distinctive flavor that works best for roasting or grilling.
  • Coconut oil – Coconut oil is a popular choice for air frying because it has a high smoke point and imparts a sweet, nutty flavor to the food.

How Much Oil Should You Use in an Air Fryer?

It’s best to use only a small amount of oil in your air fryer, usually about a tablespoon or two depending on what you’re cooking. For example, if you’re cooking vegetables or something with a high water content, you may not need to use any oil at all.

When Should You Add Oil to an Air Fryer?

You should add oil to your air fryer before adding the food. If you’re cooking something dry like chicken or pork, you can either brush some oil onto the food or add a small amount of oil to the bottom of the air fryer’s basket.

Should You Preheat Your Air Fryer?

Yes. Preheating your air fryer helps to distribute the heat evenly and ensure that the food cooks properly. It also helps to prevent sticking and create a nicely browned exterior.

Tips for Using an Air Fryer

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your air fryer:

  • Preheat your air fryer to avoid sticking and ensure the food cooks evenly
  • Lightly coat the food with oil before placing it in the air fryer basket
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket as it will affect the cooking time and result in unevenly cooked food
  • Flip the food halfway through cooking to ensure both sides are crispy and evenly cooked
  • Clean your air fryer thoroughly after each use to prevent the buildup of oil and food particles

The Ultimate Answer: Do You Add Oil to an Air Fryer?

The answer is yes, but it’s crucial to use it sparingly. A small amount of oil will help to create a crispy, golden-brown exterior and ensure the food is evenly cooked. Remember to preheat your air fryer, avoid overcrowding the basket, and flip the food halfway through cooking for the best results.


  • Can you cook frozen food in an air fryer? Yes, you can cook frozen food in an air fryer, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time by a few minutes.
  • What kind of food can you cook in an air fryer? You can cook a wide variety of food in an air fryer, including chicken, fish, vegetables, and even desserts like doughnuts and churros.
  • Is air frying healthier than deep frying? Yes, air frying is healthier than deep frying because it uses less oil and produces food with a crispy exterior without the need for traditional frying methods.


Here are some references that were used in the creation of this article:


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