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Best Oil for Air Fryers

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Take the mystery out of selecting the best oil for air fryers. With so many options it can be downright confusing! You want to get the best flavor and texture for your foods while avoiding smoking or altering the dish.

Today we’re reviewing the most popular cooking oils for air frying. Just like figuring out how to choose the right air fryer, a little bit of knowledge is needed to make the right choice.

Hopefully this information will help you select the right oils for your air fryer recipes.

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Why It’s Important To Use Oil in Your Air Fryer

It would be amazing if you could skip the oil and cook in the air fryer with air but it’s a bit more complicated. The air fryer cooks by moving hot air around like a traditional convection oven but in a smaller, condensed space.

To get a crispy texture similar to fried foods you’ll need to use a bit of oil when cooking in your air fryer. Otherwise, you’ll end up with bland or mushy results.

Why The Oil You Use Matters

The oil you choose to use in your air fryer is important because if the smoke point is too low you’ll find that your food may smoke or burn. Often oils that we use when cooking on the stovetop aren’t suitable for cooking in an air fryer.

We recommend keeping a variety of cooking oils on hand rather than using the same one repeatedly. This will allow you to select an oil based on the temperature required for your recipe. And one that works well with the flavor profile of your recipe.

When selecting an oil choose one with a smoking point higher than the cooking temperature. This is vital to avoid smoking or making your food inedible.

It is of course best to choose healthy oils for cooking in your air fryer even though you’re using less oil than you would for pan or deep frying.

The Best Way to Apply Oil

To avoid using too much oil you’ll want to apply a light coating to your food. The easiest way to apply the oil is with a refillable oil mister. I keep a couple bottles filled with a variety of oils.

I don’t recommend using commercial non-stick sprays because they can damage the finish on your air fryer basket. If you like the convenience of a pressure spray I recommend these pre-filled bottles for easy use.

The Best Oils to Use in Air Fryers

The best oil to use in your air fryer will depend on the temperature you need to cook your food. There are several great options and some that should be avoided.

In general, the higher the smoking point the more versatile the oil. It’s also a good choice if you prefer to stick with a single oil because it will work well with most recipes.

Avocado Oil

With a smoking point of 570 degrees, this oil will work with any setting on your air fryer. Avocado oil has a stronger flavor that can affect recipes so be mindful of that when using this oil.


Also known as clarified butter, ghee has a higher smoking point than regular butter. Ghee can reach up to 485 degrees before it begins to smoke. It does harden as it cools making it inconvenient to use in your air fryer.

Extra Light Olive Oil

This lighter olive oil is a good choice for air frying due to its 468 degrees smoking point. It also has a neutral flavor profile making it a good choice for most recipes.

Coconut Oil 

One of the healthier oil choices, coconut oil is also great for air fryer cooking because it has a smoke point of 450 degrees. You will need to warm the oil to a liquid form before you use it so plan ahead.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is a popular option for deep frying because of its 450-degree smoke point. This oil is just as great to use in your air fryer as it is in the deep fryer. The flavor is mild and it will give you a nice crispy texture.

Vegetable Oil

Many people are shocked to find that a typical vegetable oil has a smoke point of just 400 degrees. This means cooking with it at high temperatures is likely to cause smoke, burning and flavor alterations. It’s a good choice when cooking at 375 degrees or lower.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The smoking point for extra virgin olive oil is low – just 375 degrees. If you’re setting the air fryer temperature above 375 degrees you should select a different oil. Save this expensive oil for salad dressings and dipping.

Can You Use Butter in Your Air Fryer?

As yummy as butter tastes you’ll discover a problem with this very quickly. The smoking point for butter is only 200 to 250 degrees F making it a poor choice for most air fryer cooking.

Start Air Frying With These Great Recipes:

**Pin the BEST Oil for Air Fryers for Later**

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