It is simple to add oil to an air fryer, but it is critical to do so correctly to ensure even coverage and avoid any accidents.
Find out how to add oil to an air fryer correctly and safely by using oils with a high smoke point and specific methods like pre-coating, drizzling, and adding to the basket. This blog post contains food examples for each method.
Here’s how to add oil to an air fryer:
Step 1: Select the type of oil
Before adding oil to your air fryer, it is critical to select the proper type of oil. Always remember, the air fryer operates at a high temperature (above 300 °F), and any oil that doesn’t have a high enough smoke point will not fit in the air fryer.
So, use high smoke-point oils (above 400°F) like canola, peanut, or avocado oil. Low-smoke point oils (below 350°F), such as olive oil, should be avoided because they can produce a burnt or bitter taste.
Table 1 below gives the list of types of oil that have a high smoke point and, hence, are good to withstand the high temperatures (350–430 °F) employed in the air fryer. Similarly, Table 2 has types of oil that aren’t recommended for use in an air fryer because of their low smoke point.
|Oil Type||Smoke Point (°F)|
|Canola Oil||400°F – 450°F|
|Peanut Oil||450°F – 500°F|
|Vegetable Oil||400°F – 450°F|
|Sunflower Oil||440°F – 450°F|
|Grapeseed Oil||420°F – 445°F|
|Avocado Oil||375°F – 400°F|
|Corn Oil||400°F – 450°F|
|Soybean Oil||450°F – 495°F|
|Safflower Oil||450°F – 510°F|
|Oil Type||Smoke Point (°F)|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||325°F – 375°F|
Step 2: Determine the method
The best method for adding oil to an air fryer depends on personal preference and the type of food being cooked. Pre-coating the food with oil, drizzling oil over the food, and adding oil to the cooking basket or tray are the three main methods.
Pre-coating the food
To pre-coat the food, lightly coat it with oil with a brush or cooking spray before placing it in the air fryer basket or tray. This method can help to reduce the amount of oil required while also ensuring even coverage.
This method is especially useful for certain types of food because it can improve flavor, texture, and overall quality. Some foods that work well with precoating are as follows:
Vegetables: When you put oil on vegetables before you cook them, they brown more evenly and get crispier. This works especially well for vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms that get soggy or limp when they are cooked.
Fish and seafood: Precoating fish and seafood in oil can help keep them from sticking to the pan while also enhancing their flavor. This method is especially effective for delicate fish fillets like tilapia or soles.
Precoating chicken and other poultry with oil can help seal in moisture and keep the meat from drying out during cooking. This method is especially effective with chicken breasts or other lean cuts of meat.
Tofu: Coating tofu with oil before cooking it can help it get a crispy crust and make it taste better. This works best with firm tofu that has been pressed to get rid of extra water.
Grains: Precoating grains with oil, such as rice or quinoa, can help prevent them from sticking together while also improving their flavor. This method works especially well for stir-fried or sautéed dishes.
Drizzling oil over food
Another cooking technique is drizzling oil over food, which involves adding oil to food during or after cooking by pouring a small amount of oil over the top of the food. This method is especially useful for certain types of food because it can help improve their flavor and texture without using too much oil. Here are some foods that complement drizzling:
Salads: Drizzling olive oil or sesame oil over salads can help enhance the flavor of the vegetables while also providing a healthy source of fat. This method is especially effective for salads with leafy greens like spinach or kale.
Roasted Vegetable: Drizzling oil over roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes can make them taste better and give them a crispy top. This method works especially well with vegetables that have been roasted in the oven or on the grill.
Grilled meats: Drizzling oil over grilled meats, such as steak or chicken, can help to enhance their flavor and keep them from drying out. This method works especially well for lean cuts of meat that are dry or tough.
Pasta dishes: Drizzling oil over pasta dishes, such as spaghetti or linguine, can help enhance the flavor and keep the pasta from sticking together. This method works especially well with pasta dishes that have been tossed with vegetables or seafood.
Bread: Drizzling oil over the bread, such as garlic bread or focaccia, can help enhance the flavor and create a crispy outer layer. This method is especially effective with toasted or grilled bread.
Adding oil to the cooking basket or tray
Adding oil to the cooking basket or tray in an air fryer is a cooking technique that involves adding a small amount of oil to the cooking surface before placing the food inside. This method works especially well for certain types of food because it can help to create a crispy outer layer without using too much oil. Here are some foods that work well with this method:
French fries: Adding oil to the cooking basket or tray in an air fryer is essential for crispy french fries. This method helps to create a crunchy outer layer while keeping the inside soft and fluffy.
Chicken wings: Adding oil to the cooking basket or tray of an air fryer is a great way to make crispy chicken wings without deep-frying them. This method is especially effective for wings that have been marinated or coated in flour or breadcrumbs.
Fish fillets: Adding oil to the cooking basket or tray in an air fryer can help prevent sticking and create a crispy outer layer. This method works especially well for thin fillets of fish like tilapia or catfish.
Vegetables: Adding oil to the cooking basket or tray in an air fryer can help to create a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside tender. This method works especially well with floured or breaded vegetables, such as cauliflower or zucchini.
To make crispy onion rings, add oil to the cooking basket or tray in an air fryer. This method helps to create a crunchy outer layer while keeping the inside soft and flavorful.
Step 3: Distribute the oil
Once the oil has been added to the air fryer, toss or shake the food in the basket or tray to distribute it evenly. This will ensure that the oil is evenly distributed and that the food has a crispy exterior.
Step 4: Adjust cooking time and temperature
Adding oil to the air fryer can affect cooking time and temperature, so they may need to be adjusted. To make the necessary adjustments, consult the recipe or the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you are curious about air fryer, you would like to read:
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- Can You put Aluminium Foil in an Air Fryer?
- The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Air Fryer
- Parchment Paper in Air Fryer – Tips, Tricks, and Safety Guidelines
- Preheating Your Air Fryer
- Maximizing Energy Efficiency: Tips to Reduce Electricity Consumption with Your Air Fryer
- Do Air Fryers Cause Cancer?
- Can you put plastic in the air fryer?
- Can You Use Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?
- Things You Should Never Do with Your Air Fryer