Can You Put Butter In An Air Fryer?

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Air fryers have seemingly taken over most kitchens and have completely changed the way people fry their food.

Their popularity is due to them being a healthy alternative to deep frying, their added convenience, and also because you can fry almost anything in an air fryer!

Although incredibly popular, air fryers are still a relatively new kitchen gadget and people have questions about what they can and cannot put in them.

So, can you put butter in an air fryer? Yes, you can put butter in an air fryer, but never directly onto the air fryer basket. The best way to do so is to use a basting brush to put melted butter on the food you wish to cook to give it a nice flavor and texture or lightly coat the air fryer basket with it.

Read on to find out all about putting butter in an air fryer, whether it’s safe or not, the best way to do so, and much more:

Is It Safe to Put Butter In An Air Fryer?

Yes, it is safe to put butter in an air fryer, but it depends on how you do it.

If you’re pouring it directly onto the food or in the air fryer basket, that’s a hard no. 

However, if you are brushing some melted butter on your food before cooking to enhance the flavor and texture, that’s completely okay.

You can also use the brush to lightly coat the surface of the air fryer basket like you would with oil.

This way, the butter won’t even drip while also coating the food evenly.

The rule here is to never drench your food or the air fryer basket in butter and use less of it compared to if you were using a stove or oven.

Not only does using excessive butter make for an absolute mess inside the air fryer but it also defeats the purpose of using the air fryer as a healthier alternative.

Can You Melt Butter In An Air Fryer?

Yes, if the microwave is not available and you need to melt butter, you can use the air fryer. Use an air fryer-safe container to place the butter in and let the air fryer do the rest.

Do not place the butter directly into the air fryer.

It’s essentially the same as placing butter directly into a microwave to let it melt. It will create a huge mess and will not be a very efficient way of doing so.

If you wish to melt butter in an air fryer, take out as much as you need in a small bowl or ramekin and put it in the air fryer to melt.

You can cut the butter into smaller pieces so that it melts faster and more evenly.

One thing that you need to be extremely careful of is that if you leave the butter in the air fryer for too long, it will burn.

The smoking point of butter is 350°F and you may want to adjust the temperature settings of your air fryer before you put in the butter.

Setting the temperature of the air fryer to 325°F or lower will give you the best results and prevent the butter from turning brown.

How To Use Butter In An Air Fryer?

As mentioned earlier, the best way to use butter in an air fryer is to brush or glide melted butter over the air fryer basket surface or the food you want to cook.

This perfectly coats the food and helps in the frying process by adding just the right amount of fat.

Don’t go overboard with the butter as you don’t want to drench your food in it.

Just lightly coat it using 1 to 2 tablespoons, and you should be good to go.

This adds an immense amount of flavor and also lets the seasoning stick to the food.

You can also mix spices, herbs, and seasonings with butter and rub them onto the food.

If you are cooking meat, you can rub the flavored butter in all the joints and crevices as well for maximum flavor.

Avoid using butter in the air fryer when cooking fatty foods such as burger patties and bacon due to excessive grease and smoke production.

However, if you prefer the taste of butter over oil, you can put it right at the end for crisping the food.

If you wish to use it at the beginning, you may add a little bit of water under the air fryer basket to reduce smoke production and also minimize the mess.

The extra bit of water under the basket will prevent the grease from dripping down onto bare metal, which can be a bit challenging to clean.

Tips For Using Butter In An Air Fryer

Here are a few useful tips and tricks to remember the next time you want to put butter in an air fryer:

  • Use as little butter as possible when brushing it over the air fryer basket or your food. Using a lot of it will cause it to splatter all over and create a mess inside the air fryer.
  • Melt the butter beforehand so that you can easily coat your food in it.
  • Keep a check on the air fryer’s temperature, making sure to not exceed the butter’s smoking point which is 350°F.

How To Remove Butter Grease From An Air Fryer?

When using butter or oil or any type of fat in an air fryer, you will probably have leftover grease in the basket and pan underneath. 

If left uncleaned, it can cause smoking and charring and impart a bad flavor onto the next dish that you cook.

Not to mention, it could also affect the quality of your air fryer, especially if it is something that you have a habit of doing.

Removing grease can be a tough job, but if done right, it takes hardly a few minutes to make your air fryer as good as new:

  1. Start by turning off the air fryer and letting it cool down after you’re done using it.
  2. When it has cooled down, use a kitchen towel to wipe off the grease.
  3. Mix some warm water and soap and put it inside the air fryer basket.
  4. Let the soapy water sit in the air fryer basket for a few minutes to allow it to cut through the grease.
  5. After waiting for a few minutes, wash the basket with warm water.

Note: You can also clean the air fryer in a dishwasher as they are dishwasher safe. However, in order to be extra gentle and not ruin the non-stick coating, it is best to hand wash it with warm soapy water and leave it to dry.

Can You Use Butter Instead Of Oil In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use butter in place of oil in an air fryer. It is advised to use it in its melted form and brush a bit of it on the food you are cooking. 

Compared to oil, butter may considerably improve the flavor of your dish and make it taste richer and juicier. It also helps with effectively transferring the heat when the fan in the air fryer blows the air.

The issue, however, is that since butter has a lower smoking point, it burns very quickly and can release smoke.

Therefore, when using butter in place of oil, you need to keep in mind the temperature and set it accordingly.

If not done right, the high temperature of the air fryer can burn the butter and make your food taste bad.

Also, since butter contains 80% water, you need to use less of it to avoid splatters. Cooking with butter requires attention, but the end result is worth the effort.

In terms of nutrition, butter is a healthier option than vegetable oil as it contains more water and linoleic acid. If used in moderation, it can be a healthy part of your diet.

Related Questions

Now that you know all about putting butter in an air fryer and the best way to do so, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:

Does an air fryer require preheating?

Yes, for the best results, you should always preheat your air fryer before using it. Some air fryer models come with a preheat setting or button while some require that you do it manually.

All you have to do is run the air fryer with an empty basket inside for around 5 minutes to reach your desired temperature.

Can you cook without butter or oil in an air fryer?

Although most air fryer baskets are non-stick, manufacturers suggest lightly greasing the basket or the food with oil or butter before cooking.

If you don’t want to use butter or oil in the air fryer, you can skip the two entirely.

All you have to do is flip or shake the food inside halfway through cooking so that it cooks evenly on both sides.

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