After being on the market for more than 10 years, air fryers have become a necessity for many home cooks. Due to the way they cook food, they are widely recognised for replicating the effects of deep frying without using as much oil.
Food is cooked using a heating element and powerful fan in air fryers, which essentially makes them countertop convection ovens.
But, the main dilemma most people have is where the oil should go in the air fryer, as the air fryer may get damaged if you accidentally pour oil in the incorrect place.
You can spread the oil directly on the food before putting it in the fryer. You can also put it in the bottom of the basket as long as it stays far away from any of the electrical parts of the device.
However, remember that you don’t necessarily need to add oil when using an air fryer, and if you do, the amount used should be considerably lower than when frying.
Where Can You Put Oil In An Air Fryer?
The question of whether or not oil should be used during air frying can be confusing. A little bit of oil may go a long way in keeping your food moist and giving it that golden brown color.
Below are some things you should know about using oil in air fryers before creating your next air fryer masterpiece.
Spread Oil on the Food Before Putting it in the Air Fryer
In a frying pan, you would generally pour oil before putting food in it. However, this is not the case with an air fryer. So, before placing the food in the air fryer, prepare it with some seasoning and a few tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil in a bowl. For preparing fresh meats and veggies, this technique works well.
Melted Butter Can Be Brushed on Food
Use a pastry brush to ensure that your meals are evenly coated before cooking in the air fryer when preparing a recipe that requires butter such as hot sandwiches or anything that uses dough.
Avoid Using Nonstick Spray
Cooking sprays on an air fryer are just as likely to harm the coating as they are on nonstick cookware. The nonstick coating of the air fryer may be damaged if the nonstick spray is used on its basket, making it unusable.
If you use a cooking spray, only spray the food before turning on the air fryer, such as in the case of frying breaded foods like chicken tenders.
Use Your Intuition
Using oil while cooking on the stovetop or in the oven is commonplace, but air fryers don’t always need it. Some meals you prepare in an air fryer already include oil, and adding more oil might cause your dish to become too oily.
For frozen items, such as frozen fries, pizza rolls, or other high-calorie frozen foods, oil is rarely necessary.
What Sort Of Oil Is Suitable For An Air Fryer?
Before putting the meal in the air fryer, you may lightly coat the contents with oil or fat to get crispier results. 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit is a good temperature to cook your food at in the air fryer.
Therefore, the best oils or fats to use are oils such as ghee, sesame, extra light olive oil, macadamia, rice bran, grape seed, or avocado.
How Much Oil Should Be Added?
Always keep in mind that you are not required to add oil to your air fryer and that you are free to cook without it if you want. However, if you decide to do so, it’s crucial to avoid using too much oil.
Since hot air is circulated over the food in air fryers, adding too much oil can make the meal too greasy, resulting in potential harm to your equipment.
Use around a teaspoon of oil per pound of food as a general guideline. Therefore, you would need around a half-teaspoon of oil to cook a half-pound of food.
This is important because compared to a 2-quart air fryer, a huge 6.3-quart air fryer will probably hold more food and hence should have more oil.
When Making Fries in an Air Fryer, Should You Use Oil?
You don’t need to add oil to the air fryer for fries. Instead, air-fried fries produced at home with fresh ingredients should be delicately coated before being placed in the basket.
When you’ve dried off the moisture from soaking the potato pieces in water for 30 minutes, combine them in a dish with a splash or two of oil. Frozen fries already have this treatment, so they don’t need it before air frying.
Can Olive Oil Be Used In An Air Fryer?
You shouldn’t use extra virgin olive oil. However, as extra light olive oil has a high smoke point, it can be used. This is due to the high temperatures involved in air frying, which may reach above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the oils used in an air fryer should have a high smoke point.
Final Words on Where to Put the Oil in an Air Fryer
You can use oil in an air fryer. But the main feature of an air fryer is that it uses less oil and is a healthy alternative to conventional frying. So, you should either directly apply oil onto the food itself or gently apply small amounts of oil in the basket of the air fryer itself.
Further, the oil used in an air fryer should have a high smoke point as the air fryer operates at high temperatures reaching above 200 degrees Celsius.