Butter in the air fryer - The safest and PRO tips to do it the right way

Whether you can use butter in an air fryer is frequently debated among air fryer enthusiasts and newcomers alike. It’s no news that the air fryer is gradually taking over the health enthusiast kitchen, and even though the air fryer works by circulating air, adding butter to oil adds flavor to the food.

Is It Safe to Use Butter in an Air Fryer?

The short answer is yes, it’s safe. However, there are a few caveats to consider. Using butter as a fat source in the air fryer may cause some smoke if the cooking temperature is too high, so it’s best to monitor the cooking process carefully.

I have always loved the ease of melting my butter in my air fryer when I have a recipe and also applying butter to my pastries and other food items in the air fryer.

However, from my personal experiences with my air fryers, when the air fryer temperature is more than 350F/176C, for more than 30 minutes, I have noticed that it brings out smoke.

The Pros and Cons of Butter in an Air Fryer


  • Adds flavor to your dishes
  • It can enhance the crispy texture.


  • It may produce some smoke if used in excess.
  • Could add extra saturated fats to your meal

How to Use Butter in an Air Fryer

  1. Preparation: Use a brush or a paper towel to lightly coat your food item with melted butter.
  2. Temperature: Set your air fryer to a moderate temperature to minimize smoking.
  3. Monitoring: Keep an eye on the cooking process to ensure it’s going smoothly.

My Pro Tips for Using Butter

  • Use unsalted butter for better control over seasoning.
  • Lightly coat the basket with the melted butter using a brush.
  • When adding butter to your food, mix the seasons and the melted butter together and then rub the mixture on the food.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature! A higher temperature will trigger the starting smoke!
  • Opt for clarified butter or ghee for higher smoking points.
Quick Airfryer Baked Potato Recipe

Can I use butter as an alternative to oil?

Yes, you can, but be cautious of the smoking point and how it might affect the taste and texture of your dish. Some healthy alternatives to Oil

  1. Cooking Spray: A quick spritz can go a long way in getting that crispy finish without a lot of oil.
  2. Broth or Stock: Excellent for air frying vegetables.
  3. Water: Useful for recipes that need a little moisture.
  4. Yogurt or Buttermilk: Ideal for marinating and adding moisture to meats and vegetables.
  5. Nut Butter: A thick almond or cashew butter coat can create a crunchy crust.
  6. Clarified Butter or Ghee: Offers higher smoke points and adds a buttery flavor.
  7. Apple Sauce: Ideal for sweet recipes and baked goods.

Can I add butter to the basket directly?

It’s not advisable as the butter can melt and drip, causing excessive smoke or even a small flame. Instead, you can add parchment paper to cover the air fryer basket and prevent any mess. Depending on what you want to cook, you might still need to add a little melted butter to the parchment paper.

What are the best dishes to use butter?

Fish, vegetables, and certain types of chicken dishes often benefit from a light butter coating. I have made air fryer pineapples, Salmon bites, Salmon Steaks, Cookies and so many more dishes in my air fryer and added butter for extra flavor.

Air Fryer Doughnut made easy!

Is there food to avoid adding butter?

Generally, I tend to skip butter when cooking oily foods as these already have enough oil. Talk of chicken, Pork, and the like!

Is butter the best choice of oil?

No. Butter is not the best choice of oil, especially in the air fryer. This is because at higher temperatures more than 350F, butter starts to smoke especially when the air fryer has been at this temperature for more than 30 minutes.

Most people including me, however, love that butter adds flavor to dishes cooked in the air fryer.

How to Remove Butter Grease from an Air Fryer – A Simple and Effective Guide

You’ve just cooked some delicious buttery goodies in your air fryer, and now you’re left with stubborn butter grease on its components. Fear not! This guide will walk you through the steps to make your air fryer spotless and ready for the next culinary adventure.

  1. Unplug the Air Fryer: Safety first! Make sure your air fryer is unplugged and completely cooled down.
  2. Remove Components: Remove the basket, tray, and other removable parts.
  3. Gently scrub the butter grease with a paper towel: This reduces the amount of water and soap needed to wash your air fryer components and also prevents clogging your kitchen sink with grease.
  4. Soak in Warm Water and Dish Soap: Fill a sink with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Soak the components for about 10 minutes.
  5. Scrub/wash: Using a non-abrasive sponge removes the butter grease. You can use a paste (baking soda and water) for stubborn spots.
  6. Wipe the Interior: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Dampen a cloth with this solution and wipe the interior of the air fryer.
  7. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the components thoroughly with clean water. Dry them completely before reassembling the air fryer.
  8. Run a ‘Dry Cycle’: Plug in the air fryer and run it empty for about 5 minutes to remove any residual cleaning agents.

There is also an option to wash the removable parts of your air fryer in the dishwasher

To wrap it up

So, can you use butter in an air fryer? Absolutely! But like all cooking methods, it requires some knowledge and finesse. Follow the best practices outlined here, and you can enjoy the rich, mouth-watering flavors only butter can provide, all while using your air fryer.

Want to get to know how your air fryer works?

This article explains in detail!

How to preheat an air fryer.

How healthy is an air fryer?

Disadvantages of an air fryer.

Oven to Airfryer conversion

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