How an Air Fryer Works Without Oil: Healthy Food Made Easy

Let’s be honest – we all crave deep-fried foods every now and then. Even though we know how unhealthy it is, there is little that can stop us from getting our hands on some french fries or chicken wings.

But what if we told you there is a healthier alternative to deep-fried foods that is equally as delicious?

The air fryer is a lifesaver for everyone who wants healthy but delicious food. If you want to learn how air fryer works without oil and how to use it for your favorite foods, you’ve come to the right place. Read this guide to find out more on the topic!

What Is an Air Fryer?

Even if you have yet to try one, you must have heard about air fryers. These devices are top-rated nowadays, mainly because of the growing trends of eating healthy and avoiding foods cooked with unhealthy amounts of oil.

An air fryer could be your best investment if you want to follow popular trends or start eating healthy. This is essentially a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook delicious food. It is a countertop appliance, so it will not take up as much space as something like a convection oven would.

The air fryer is made out of several parts. You have the main element or the actual fryer, which has an opening for the so-called cooking chamber or basket. Above the opening, you can find the heating element that produces hot air and pushes it downwards into the basket.

Aside from these two elements, you can always find a display panel or dial on the front side of the fryer. You can use the panel or dial to set the temperature and cooking time.

Having said that, you should know that different air fryers have different properties, features, and capabilities. It all comes down to the manufacturer and specific model. So, when on the market for a new air fryer, consider the features you want and find a model that best fits your needs!

How An Air Fryer Works

Air fryer machine in home

From the name of an air fryer, you might assume air is somehow involved in the cooking of food. You would be right to think so, as the air fryer works by cooking food using hot and enforced air. A source in the fryer lets out intense heat into the removable chamber, where you put the food.

The hot air is pushed from the heat elements toward the chamber, but instead of going down and disappearing, it circles in the chamber, going over, under, and all around the food. By doing this, the air causes the excess moisture from the food to evaporate, making the food crispy and cooked to perfection.

Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, there are a few more things you should consider.

People who have tried air fryers say it takes a while before they fully adapt to cooking food with it instead of a regular oven. This is because air frying involves different temperatures and cooking times than traditional frying.

The good thing is that manufacturers have thought about this, so they usually include detailed instructions on the best cooking methods, times, and temperatures for most foods you can cook inside the air fryer. You can also get a book of air fryer recipes with the fryer itself, which will give you an idea about the food you can prepare using this great countertop kitchen appliance.

In addition, lots of packed food now includes specific instructions on how to cook it by air frying instead of using the traditional frying methods. You can follow those instructions as well. But in all certainty, there will be someone or something telling you how you can prepare food in the air fryer without messing it up.

How Air Fryer Works Without Oil

One thing we haven’t mentioned this far is the use of oil when cooking food in an air fryer. This is one thing that makes air frying so much better than deep frying – no oil is involved at all! You do not need to put oil in the cooking basket: in some cases, you don’t even need to use it on the food.

The only time that oil is involved in cooking is when you have food with no fat or moisture content. Using that kind of food without oil will lead to the food sticking to whatever it is that you are cooking it in. It can be a regular pan, pot, or chamber of an air fryer – either way, the food will stick!

Do not let this discourage you – there is an easy way to cook food without excess oil and still get a tasty meal. Here are several steps you can follow to make a healthy meal without regular cooking oil:

  • Step 1 – The first thing to do is get your food. The best foods for the air fryer are frozen foods, chicken, fries, veggies, and so on. Get some raw food and see how much can fit in your food chamber.
  • Step 2 – Before putting the food in the chamber, consider its fat and moisture content. If you assume that there is no fat or moisture in the food, grab some plant-based oil and spray only a few drops of it on the food. It can be olive or avocado oil, coconut or sunseed oil, or any other oil you like to use when cooking.
  • Step 3 – After spraying a tiny bit of the oil on the food, place it in the food chamber and attach it to the base. Now, adjust the temperature and the cooking time. If you do not know the right time and temperature setting for your food, try looking into the instructions or look it up online.
  • Step 4 – After you adjust the settings, you can leave the food to cook for however long is needed. You can always check up on it, turn it around, or give it a nice swirl if you cook something like french fries. This will ensure that all fries or other foods cook evenly.

Tips for Cooking Food in an Air Fryer Without Oil

Grilled herb marinated pork in air fryer machine

Before you start air frying food without oil, we want to give you a few helpful tips to make the food taste better. Here are our suggestions:

Tip 1 – Use a bit of water

If the food you’re cooking has little moisture in it but you don’t want it to become completely dry, you can always try adding a tablespoon of water in the cooking chamber to maintain moisture. That way, the hot air will cause the excess water to evaporate first, during which time your food will be able to cook while maintaining its moisture.

Tip 2 – Use seasoning

If you’re air frying, you don’t have to leave the seasoning behind. For all food prepared in an air fryer, use the same seasoning you would when cooking it in a regular oven but take out the excess oil. Try adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or plant-based oil.

Tip 3 – Food amount

When filling the cooking chamber, try not to put in too much food. It would be best if the pieces had space between them so air could get around the food. This way, your food will cook evenly.

If you have to put a lot of food in the chamber, you’ll have to flip it and move it around while it cooks. This is also relatively easy, but some might consider it less convenient.

Tip 4 – Reheating

Another thing you should know about air fryers is that they are great for reheating food. Whenever you have leftover food, you can throw it in the chamber and make it as good as new within a couple of minutes. It’s almost impossible to burn the food with an air fryer, considering that there are no hot spots in it. You don’t have to worry about overcooking or overheating food ever!


There is no doubt that air fryers are the new must-have kitchen appliance. You can find many affordable options on the market right now, so nothing is standing between you and your air fryer. We recommend you get one as soon as possible and use it for cooking all your favorite food.

If you have an air fryer, let us know what you think about it and if you know how an air fryer works without oil. We appreciate your comments and the time you spent reading this guide!