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I often get asked if you can use fry light in an air fryer which is an absolute no-no, where to put oil, what oil you should buy and if oil even makes a difference to air fryer cooking.

To celebrate our second air fryer cookbook going to the printers (you can get Air Fryer Easy Everyday here) I have put it all together for you on one page so you can digest all the information together and learn all about oil in the air fryer.

Can You Use Fry Light in An Air Fryer
Can You Use Fry Light in An Air Fryer
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Do You Need Oil In An Air Fryer?

But first let’s start at the beginning. When you get an air fryer the first thing you see on the box is, that the air fryer reduces oil consumption by at least 85%.

So, you’re like thinking do you need oil in air fryer and if so, how much?

The straightforward to the point answer is that you need oil for the air fryer sometimes. If you are cooking our air fryer chips for example, you need oil otherwise you will have dry awful chips, but you don’t need a lot of oil. As remember, the air fryer reduces the oil consumption but doesn’t get rid of it.

Whilst there are many things you will prefer without any oil, such as air fryer frozen chicken wings.

Then there are the ones that are personal choice, and you would often add a little extra oil to the tops of the food to help it go crispy. That is when oil sprayers for air fryers became popular.

Today, we are going to guide you through the questions that you have about air fryer oil and which to use/not use.

 When Do Air Fryers Need Oil?

Air fryers need oil like ovens need oil, just a lot less of it.

For example, if you cooked a whole chicken in the oven, you would add oil (or butter), but if you cooked bacon in the oven you wouldn’t need any oil. The air fryer should be thought of the same. If you would add fats to it in the oven, then it will need it in the air fryer.

Though air fryer food needs a lot less oil.

So, you NEVER stuff butter under the skin of chicken or turkey for the air fryer, instead it works out at about ¼ tbsp per serving. 

Can You Use Fry Light In Air Fryer?

I often get asked, can you use fry light in an air fryer, well its an absolute no-no. Fry Light is bad for you, and it is also bad for your air fryer.

I first discovered Fry Light when on Slimming World and loved the idea of a low calorie spray, used it for Bolognese and similar and it soon ruined my non-stick pans.

I took a closer look and noticed the Fry Light ingredients and also was concerned with how it looked when you spray it compared to using some extra virgin olive oil.

This is how the spray looks compared to traditional olive oil when you spray the two side by side:

Can You Use Fry Light In Air Fryer

As you can see the Fry Light looks fake. Then you check out the Fry Light ingredients:

Olive oil, water, alcohol, lecithins, natural flavouring, and xanthan gum.

So based on the ingredients they are watering down olive oil and then using ingredients to thicken it back up again. Basically, its like you are using diluted oil and then the ingredients in it are what damages air fryers and other cooking equipment.

The reason why its so low in calories is because its only 51% oil,  which I can understand its success away from the air fryer.

But with the air fryer, you are massively reducing the amount of oil you use anyway, so you really don’t need Fry Light.

Fry Light is never going to be as healthy as buying extra virgin olive oil but note that by using a proper olive oil spray, your calories are never going to be high.

For example, when we make chips in the air fryer, we will often use a tablespoon of olive oil to feed the five of us, as a side dish for dinner. That works out at 1/5 tbsp each or 24 calories per person. Whilst with Fry Light Olive Oil you would have to use quite a bit to get the crisp on the food as it is a diluted product.

Can You Use Fry Light In Ninja Air Fryer?

No, Frylight Olive Oil Spray, is even more dangerous, for causing damage to a Ninja Air Fryer than it is for the regular air fryer basket.

This is because the Ninja Air Fryer has become very popular for removing the crisper plate and transforming it into a pan. Because more and more people are using the bottom to make things like air fryer chilli con carne (rather than air fryer accessory) the damage the air fryers is increasing. So, the idea of then making the situation worse by adding in Fry Light does worry me.

To make your air fryer last (after all they are not cheap) we recommend using proper extra virgin olive oil and using accessories whenever you can.

PAM Spray + Other One Cal Spray

The same rule would apply to PAM Spray and other one calorie sprays that you see in supermarkets, and what promoted me to update our air fryer oil usage guide. You want real oil, it doesn’t have to be extra virgin olive oil, but you want it to be just oil. Such as olive oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil etc.  

What Oil Do You Use In An Air Fryer?

One of our subscribers had followed our advice and not used Fry Light. But then the one you found instead was basically a copycat product that was essentially the same with diluted oil, and thickeners.

He asked me: Well, I am confused now so which one should I buy? I had a quick look online and recommended instead that he opts for Napolina Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray (click here for the current price on Amazon). We also found that the cheapest place to get it from was Amazon.

This is also a spray bottle so works out at roughly the same calories per spray. But I love it just for having a handy oil spray for air fryer. It’s a great option for getting started with the air fryer.

We also find that the spray on the ones already loaded with olive oil, rather than buying a separate spray bottle are much better.

Then for your Plan B and what the long-term air fryer user has, is a spray bottle and then you load it up with the extra virgin olive oil that you use on a daily basis.

For example, we have this spray bottle (check out the price here on Amazon) and then we buy a big bottle of extra virgin olive oil, either from Tesco or M&S and it lasts forever, then we refill the spray bottle.

That way, the bottle of olive oil is doing both jobs! 

What Oil Do You Use In An Air Fryer
Here is some of our extra virgin olive oil that we have at home.

The oil we use in the air fryer includes:

We have tried other oils such as rapeseed, canola, vegetable oil and avocado oil, but found they were never as good in the air fryer as extra virgin olive oil.

Cost Of Oil In Air Fryer?

If you are worried about the price, then let me compare with M&S.

marks and spencers extra virgin olive oil

M&S sells a 500ml bottle for £6. On average to feed a family of four for dinner you would use 1 tbsp which is the same as 15ml. That means you would get 33 meals out of one 500ml bottle. Which would of course equate to £0.18 per meal.

However, many of our readers are single and only feeding one, in this case, you would need on average 5ml a meal, therefore you can get 100 meals from a bottle and this works out at £0.06 a meal.

Of course, there are always deals on olive oil, there are cheaper brands, and the biggest learning curve on the price as a new air fryer user, is that you really don’t need much per recipe.

Listen To Can You Use Fry Light in Your Air Fryer?

magic with gadgets episodes 2024

Every week this year on the Magic With Gadgets Podcast we are creating a podcast each week to accompany the recipe. You can listen to this week’s below, and then follow along with me at home as you make it.

Want to learn more about our Podcast? Then click here and you can browse through past episodes and subscribe to the Magic With Gadgets Podcast.

Can You Use Olive Oil In Air Fryer?

Yes, you sure can use olive oil at home in your air fryer and that is what we recommend the most.

It is the best oil to use in air fryer, produces the best results and also is the healthiest oil for air fryer.

You can also get some fun flavoured extra virgin olive oil bottles now. We love the garlic version, but you can also get chilli, lemon and a few other options.

Best Oil Spray For Air Fryer?

I am sure you get my passion for extra virgin olive oil by now and how it is the best oil for air fryer owners, but which olive oil sprays should you buy?

Let’s start with my favourite one which is this one (click here to check the latest price on Amazon). It is a getting you started and already filled with olive oil kind of moment.

Then if you would rather start out with the spray (this is the spray bottle we have and that features in our cookbooks)

Then talking about cookbooks, in our first air fryer cookbook, we have a page dedicated to oil usage and what we recommend for oil in the air fryer along with 140+ beginner air fryer recipes, which you can check out here.

Order The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook Now!

Here are a few more suggestions for oil spray ideas in the air fryer:

I hope you have enjoyed our ultimate guide to air fryer oil, why never to use frylight in the air fryer and what to use instead.

We originally shared with you spray oil and using olive oil in the air fryer back in 2020 and have updated it for you today with lots more simple oil usage info.

Can’t Read it now? Then save it for later!


About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie maker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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  1. That’s what I like about you Sam and Dom and why I bought the first cook book of yours and have an order on for the next one, you get down to the nitty gritty for first time users, what to do and not do, other people’s recipe’s just go straight to the cooking recipes, and with a new gadget we need to know what is right and what is not, explanation is everything and that is what you give us, thank you both.

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thank you you so much for your kind words, it means so much to both of us. What you have said is exactly what we were wanting to achieve with our cookbooks, we struggled when we first got our gadgets so why wouldn’t other people, thank you for ordering both cookbooks we very much appreciate it Carol, happy cooking 🙂

  2. Thank you for your weekly tips and especially today on oil. Your Air Fryer cookbook is so full of information and advice. Thank you.