Best oil for the Airfryer

Curious about the best oil for the airfryer? This helpful guide outlines the best options, including avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee. Read this before adding oil to your favorite kitchen appliance!

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When I first bought my air fryer I must admit I had a lot to learn about the best ways to use it. I knew it was capable of so much, but I also wasn’t sure what I could safely put in it.

One of the biggest questions I thought about was: what is the best oil for an air fryer? I didn’t want to have any accidents that would break my air fryer, and I certainly didn’t want to risk a fire.

Since I’m sure many of my fellow airfryer owners have also wondered about oil in the airfryer, I’ve decided to create this handy guide!

It’s just one of a collection of my many hot air fryer tips. I definitely recommend reading them before you start air frying at home.

There are many different types of oil that are completely safe to use in your air fryer, but they are not all created equal.

Some are much better than others, and some you want to avoid all together. Let’s explore your options together!

This is what I am going to teach you in this post:

  • The best air fryer oil, plus several others to try.
  • Answers to questions such as: can you use olive oil in an airfryer? Is canola oil good for an air fryer? And much more!
  • Some recipe recommendations for which you should use oil in your air fryer.

Use this helpful article to guide you on how to use oil for your recipes to prevent burning and smoking. All your questions about oil in the airfryer answered!

Air fryer peppers

Does my Airfryer need oil?

It’s important to remember that not all air fryer recipes call for added oil. You normally don’t need to add anything to frozen foods such as chicken fries, bagel bites and crinkle fries.

Why? There is already enough oil in these foods that you no longer need to lubricate.

If you are not cooking frozen, I recommend adding a little oil to get that nice crispy and golden brown exterior you are looking for.

The good news is that the hot air fryer requires much less oil than, for example, a frying pan or in the oven.

It’s one of the reasons I love this device so much – you can avoid all that excess oil!

You can also read my article on using oil in the air fryer for more information on which types of foods need oil and which don’t.

What is a smoke point?

As we begin to talk about the best air fryer oil, it’s important that you understand the concept of a “smoke point.”

All oils have smoke points and some are higher than others. The smoke point refers to the temperature the oil can withstand before it begins to burn and thus smoke.

Cooking food in burnt oil gives the food a charred and burnt taste – not in a good way.

While you may want a steak or burger that’s “charred to perfection” on the grill, you don’t want to end up with a burnt mess in your air fryer. Believe me!

What is the best oil for the Airfryer?

I’ll get to the point: the number one best oil for an air fryer is by far avocado oil! It has a very high smoke point and has a neutral flavor that goes with most foods.

The best oils for the air fryer (with their respective smoke points) are:

  • Avocado Oil: 520 degrees F
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 482 degrees F
  • Light olive oil or extra light olive oil: 465-470 degrees F
  • peanut oil: 450 degrees F
  • Sunflower oil: 450 degrees F
  • Grape seed oil: 420 degrees F
  • Refined coconut oil: 400 degrees F
  • Vegetable oil: 400 degrees F

Keep in mind that oils like peanut and coconut add a subtle flavor to whatever you pair it with. If you want to keep it more neutral, stick with avocado oil, ghee, or light olive oil.

When should I add oil to my Airfryer?

Unlike frying, you will want to add your favorite oil to the food before putting it in the air fryer basket.

While you can add a little oil directly to the basket, be extremely careful not to let it come into contact with any of the electrical parts.

My advice? Once you’ve mastered using your air fryer, it’s best to add a little oil directly to the food instead.

Asparagus being sprayed with oil in the basket of the air fryer

Where do I put oil in my Airfryer?

Again, place it on whatever you want to fry before placing it in the basket.

For example, if you’re making homemade French fries or chicken breasts, toss the main ingredient with oil and any spices in a large bowl first.

Then you can safely place the seasoned and oiled food in the basket!

Can you use olive oil in an Airfryer?

The best oil for the airfryer in terms of olive oil are the light or extra light variants. You might be a big fan of extra virgin (EVOO) – I get it, me too! – but it has a very low smoke point.

Remember: the higher the smoke point, the better suited for your airfryer!

Is canola oil good for an air fryer?

Canola oil is super popular for cooking – you probably have a bottle of it at home. It’s not my favorite to use in the air fryer, but you can try it, especially if you have that on hand!

Canola oil is a vegetable oil, so it has a smoke point of 400 degrees F.

Cooked French fries in the air fryer basket

Which oil to use for fries in a hot air fryer?

One of my favorite things to air fry is homemade French fries, and I know I’m not alone! The best oil for fries in the airfryer is avocado oil. As you can see it is my first choice!

I have also used light olive oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil and canola oil.

A note on PAM and other sprays

While PAM works great for baking, roasting and pan frying, you should never use a nonstick cooking spray in your air fryer. Chemicals have been added to these types of oils that damage the lining of the airfryer’s basket.

That said, you can absolutely use a non-aerosol oil mister that you can fill with your oil of choice. Below are a few of my favourites:

Other Air Fryer How-To Articles You’ll Love: