Can You Put Butter In An Air Fryer? (read this first)

If you like to use butter when you’re cooking, you might be wondering if you can use butter when cooking in the air fryer. The answer is yes, you can use butter in an air fryer but there are a few factors to consider.

Keep reading to find out the best ways to use butter in an air fryer.

Is It Safe To Put Butter In The Air Fryer?

It is safe to put butter in the air fryer depending on how you intend to use it. You should never pour melted butter directly onto the food or directly into the air fryer basket.

It is perfectly safe however, to brush melted butter on the food before cooking to add to the flavour and prevent the food from drying out too much as it cooks in the air fryer.

It is also OK to brush melted butter to coat the air fryer’s basket surface to make it non-stick as you would with oil.

Having said that, you should never completely soak the food with butter (or oil for that matter) plus you’ll need less than you would in a conventional oven.

Can You Melt Butter In An Air Fryer?

You can melt butter in an air fryer but you must put it in an air fryer safe container first.

You should never place the butter directly onto the air fryer basket or shelf, it should always be placed in a container of some sort and then the container should be placed in the air fryer basket or shelf.

As you know, as butter melts, it will turn into a huge mess in the air fryer unless it is contained.

Use something like a ceramic ramekin or a small oven safe ceramic dish


The butter should be cut into small pieces to help it to melt faster and never leave the butter in the air fryer for too long as it will burn.

The Reason? The Smoke Point Of Butter

All oils have what’s known as a smoke point which is the temperature that the oil (in this case butter) will begin to burn and produce smoke. 

The smoke point of butter is 180 C (350 F) so you’ll need to set the temperature on your air fryer to around 160 C (320 F) to prevent your butter from burning, this is why you should never pour large amounts of melted butter directly on food when cooking.

The Best Way To Use Butter In An Air Fryer

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The best way to use butter in an air fryer is to use a brush and spread the melted butter all over the surface of the food or air fryer basket. This will coat the food without drenching it with butter.

1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter should be more than enough to coat the food completely.

Our Top Tips For Using Butter In The Air Fryer

For the best results when using butter in an air fryer you should always;

  • Melt the butter before use
  • Use a brush to spread the butter on your food or basket
  • Use as little amount of butter as possible to reduce mess
  • Remember the smoke point of butter and always keep the air fryer temperature below 180 C (350 F).

Is There Any Reason Why Butter Should Not Be Used In An Air Fryer?

There are certain foods which don’t need to be covered in butter (or oil). We’re talking about fatty foods like sausages, bacon, burgers, etc which produce enough fat as it is.

Adding more fat to these will lead to excessive grease which will also lead to smoke. Plus the food will have a bad, burnt taste.

Is It Better To Use Butter Or Oil In An Air Fryer?

Basically, you can use whatever you prefer. Butter is likely to improve the flavour of the food but as it has a lower smoke point than many oils, it might be more convenient to use an oil.

However from a health perspective, butter (in moderation) is healthier than vegetable oil because it contains more linoleic acid and water.

Linoleic acid is known to reduce LDL cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.

What’s The Easiest Way To Clean Butter From An Air Fryer After Cooking?

The problem with using butter in an air fryer is the mess it leaves behind. Unfortunately if you use butter in an air fryer, it will leave a certain amount behind which will solidify and turn into a greasy mess.

If you don’t clean it away, it is likely to burn and cause whatever you next cook in the air fryer to smell and taste bad.

It can be a bit of a chore removing grease from an air fryer but if you follow our advice, it will take a couple of minutes and your air fryer will be ready to use again.

All you need to do is;

  1. Allow the air fryer to cool down
  2. Use kitchen towel to wipe off as much grease as you can
  3. Pour some hot water and washing up liquid into the air fryer basket.
  4. Allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Then wash the basket in hot water and let it dry.
  6. Replace the basket and you’re good to go.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use butter in an air fryer?

Butter should always be melted before being used in an air fryer. Whatever you are cooking in the air fryer it should never need more than a tablespoon of melted butter which should be brushed on using a pastry brush.

What foods cooked in an air fryer do not need added butter?

There is no need to add butter to any already fatty foods like bacon, sausages or burgers.

What is healthier; butter or vegetable oil?

From a nutritional standpoint, butter is healthier than vegetable oil. As it contains more linoleic acid and water. Linoleic acid is known to reduce LDL cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.

Why does my air fryer produce so much smoke when I use butter?

The reason your air fryer is producing smoke is probably because you have the heat set too high. Butter begins to burn at 180 C (350 F) so you’ll need to set the temperature on your air fryer to around 160 C (320 F) to prevent your butter from burning and creating smoke.

Can I melt butter on my steak in the air fryer?

You should not melt the butter on the steak when cooking in an air fryer. You should melt the butter before cooking and then lightly brush the steak with the melted butter before cooking. Be sure not to drench the steak in butter, a tablespoon is more than enough as it spreads so far.

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