Everything You Need to Know About Using Oil in an Air Fryer
Yes, even air fryers need a little oil!
Over the last few years, the air fryer has seemingly revolutionized what appliances people are using in their kitchens. This small but powerful device harnesses the ability to bake, dehydrate, broil, air fry, roast and more, seemingly replacing your microwave, cooktop and even an oven to be the perfect all-purpose cooking device. The rise of the air fryer has thrown many traditional cooking rules out of the window for day-to-day recipes, with many amateur chefs wondering which still apply.
Should You Use Oil in Air Fryer?
A big source of confusion in air frying is when, if at all, oil should be used in air frying. While the need for oil in air frying is not as great as when using an oven or frying something on a pan, a small amount of oil can go a long way in keeping your food moist and providing that golden brown color. Before making your next air fryer masterpiece, here are some things you need to know about using oil in air fryers for your best meal yet.
Add Oil and Seasoning to Food Before Placing in Air Fryer
While you would typically add oil to a pan before adding your food, the case is not the same when using an air fryer. In a bowl, toss your food in a few teaspoons of vegetable oil or olive oil along with your seasoning before putting it in the air fryer. This method works best for cooking fresh meats and vegetables.
Brush Melted Butter onto Foods
When making a recipe that calls for butter (like hot sandwiches or anything that incorporates dough), use a pastry brush to ensure you’re evenly coating your foods before cooking in the air fryer.
Never Use Nonstick Spray
You hopefully know that cooking sprays can damage nonstick pans’ coating, and cooking sprays on an air fryer is no different. Spraying the basket in the air fryer with nonstick spray can damage the air fryer’s nonstick coating and can make the pan unsafe for use. If you need to use a cooking spray, like when cooking breaded food items like chicken tenders, only spray the food directly before turning on the air fryer.
Trust Your Gut
While using oil is second nature while cooking in the oven or on the stovetop, air fryers don’t always require it. Some foods you cook in your air fryer already have oil, and any excess oil can make your food too greasy. Oil is rarely needed for frozen foods with oil already in them like frozen fries, pizza rolls, or other high calorie frozen foods.
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