We all go through cooking ruts, especially when trying to prepare and eat healthy meals. Eventually, we get tired of chicken and fish with steamed veggies or grow weary of the same spice blends and marinades. But there’s hope! If you’re looking for a simple way to add flavor to your favorite air fryer foods, the addition of infused cooking oils can really amp up your meal prep.
Depending upon your time and budget, you can either make infused cooking oils yourself or purchase them from local stores or internet vendors.
Making your Own Infused Cooking Oils
The most common type of oil to infuse with flavor is extra virgin olive oil. However, higher temperature oils like sunflower, peanut, canola, grapeseed, or avocado oils are better for high-temperature cooking, so always keep that in mind when planning meals and setting temperatures on your air fryer. The process is simple, but it’s important that you do it correctly. You will need the following items to make infused cooking oils:
- olive oil or your favorite oil
- your favorite herbs for your favorite combos (fresh is best)
- a glass bottle with a cork or stopper
- a saucepan
Once you’ve gathered your items, the process is simple. Add your herbs to the bottle. Pour the olive oil over the herbs inside the bottle. Cork and then refrigerate.
You can also heat the herbs and the oil over low heat until a few bubbles appear. Then, pour the infused oil into a bottle, cork, and refrigerate.
With either method, be sure to thoroughly dry the herbs and bottle after washing to prevent the potential growth of bacteria.
Purchasing Infused Cooking Oils
Using infused cooking oils are a great way to add extra flavor to meats and vegetables and also make delicious salad dressings, but you can still enjoy infused oils, even if you don’t have time to infuse your own. You can purchase them at local specialty stores or buy them online.
Whether you live in a small town or large metro area, local stores specializing in cooking oils are popping up nationwide. In my own hometown, we have two main oil stores, Abingdon Olive Oil Company and Olive Oil Divine, where delicious cooking oils are bottled and infused with dozens of flavorful combinations to please your palette.
So far, my favorite is a combination of blood orange infused oil and cranberry pear drizzled over spring mix salad, which is To. Die. For. But if you’re looking for flavors to amp up your favorite air fryer dishes, experiment with savory infused flavors like like bacon, Tuscan herb, or lemon pepper.
However, if you don’t know of any specialty shops in your area, there’s always online vendors like Amazon, that carry a variety of brands renown for delicious infused cooking oils. My favorite retailer oils are from La Tourangelle, which offers a variety of delicious flavor combinations at affordable prices. Here are a list of my absolute favorites from that brand:
- Buy on Amazon Herbes de Provence Infused Sunflower Oil This blend is perfect for basting roasted air fryer chicken for a traditional, savory flavor that blends rosemary and thyme into a delicious combination that is great for meats, veggies, and salad dressing. While we seasoned our air fryer Cornish game hens with cajun seasonings, they are also delicious when basted with herbes de provence.
- Buy on Amazon Basil Oil This infused Sunflower oil combines the anti-inflammatory and fragrant properties of basil to all of your favorite foods. This blend is perfect for Italian favorites, like pizza, pasta, salads, and meats.
- Buy on Amazon Stir Fry Oil Stir fry can be a tasty addition to any healthy diet, and this specialized oil will enhance your dish with flavors of fried onions, ginger, and garlic. With flavors infused in safflower oil, this product is perfect for veggie stir fry, an Aisian chicken marinade, or a flavorful drizzle over your finished Asian dish. In fact, this oil is a perfect substitute for the sesame oil in our delicious Vegetarian Air Fryer Egg Rolls.
Infused oils are a great way to add flavor to your favorite air fryer recipes. After all, variety is the spice of life. However, the various oils, infused herb combinations, and how to pair them with foods can be a bit overwhelming. To learn more about oils and their health benefits, check out our Healthy Oils article and our Best Air Fryer Oils article.