I often get the question as to what type of oil is best to use in an air fryer. There are many different types of oil readily available to consumers in urban areas now. Everything ranging from regular ol’ canola or vegetable oils, varying qualities of olive oil, and the more premium oils such as avocado, coconut, and grape seed — and that’s just scratching the surface! While we all have our favorite oils for added flavor and health benefits, you must also consider which type of oil is best for the high temperatures of your air fryer.
Smoking Points are Key When Using an Air Fryer
Because your air fryer works most efficiently at high temperatures (between 350 and 400), it is important to choose a air fryer oil that will retain its health properties at high temperatures while also adding your favorite flavors to all your air fried foods.
So…Why are smoking points important when using oils?
Basically a smoking point for oil is the temperature at which it will burn or smoke. When oils with lower smoking points like olive oil will lose many of its great nutritional properties when cooked at high temperatures.
The good news, however, is that you can still enjoy some of your favorite oils in the air fryer.
In fact, the best oils to use in your air fryer are: avocado oil, extra light olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil.
Best Oils for your Air Fryer
|Avocado Oil||Burning point of 520 degrees F|
|Extra Light Olive Oil||Burning point of 468 degrees F|
|Peanut Oil||Burning point of 440 degrees F|
|Sesame Oil||Burning point of 450 degrees F|
Best Oils for Added Flavor
While certain oils are best for higher cooking temperatures, you must also consider your favorite flavors when cooking in your air fryer. For example, you wouldn’t want to use avocado oil when cooking coconut shrimp or prawns. Since prawns cook at a lower temperature, a high quality coconut oil will work best to enhance the flavor of the prawns and coconut coating used in that recipe.
You can also use infused oils, like Cayenne-infused olive oil, which is great for making spicy dishes, and some of the fruit flavored oils are fun to use for fish or chicken. However, you should always remember to refrigerate infused oils, especially if you add the spices yourself rather than buying pre-flavored store-bought varieties.
Use Higher Quality Oils
While they are more expensive, higher quality oils are more flavorful, have added health benefits, and require less quantities.
One of the many benefits of using an air fryer is that you do have the option to use a much higher quality (and therefore higher priced) oil than you would when deep-frying. Though it does come with a heftier price tag, it’s actually more cost-effective to use a tablespoon or two of that premium $50 jug of coconut oil than it is to fill a whole deep-fryer with the stuff.
With that, my own preference is to use a high-grade cold pressed olive oil in most cases. It’s readily available, has plenty of health benefits, and leaves the air-fried food with a light, crispy texture. Avocado oil is my second choice for many of the same reasons and I use it to change things up a bit sometimes. However, when using your air fryer at a high temperature setting, be sure to use extra light olive oil. Avocado oil works well at high temperatures.
Choosing the Best Oil
Airfrying’s best advice?
Consider flavor, temperature, and health benefits when selecting an oil to use with your air fryer. Experiment and have fun! Let me know in the comments below what type of oil is your favorite for air frying. Below are our recommendations for some oils to try.