Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer

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If you’ve recently bought an air fryer, you’re probably wondering can you put foil in an air fryer. While you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer, it’s not the best option. You can only use foil in the basket, but parchment paper or an empty basket is best because they don’t interfere with cooking. 

Keep reading to learn the best way to use foil in your air fryer and what other papers and protective materials are safe for your air fryer. 

foil in air fryer

How Air Fryers Work

Aluminum foil can interfere with how an air fryer cooks food because it doesn’t fry the food. Air fryers use rapid air to circulate hot air in the cooking compartments, heating food to cook evenly. Since the hot air needs to flow around the food, wrapping it in foil can impede the fryer’s ability to air fry your food. 

How To Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer

Air fryers are similar to microwaves, except that an air fryer doesn’t get as hot and uses rapid-moving air instead. While you should never put foil in a microwave, you can use it in an air fryer, depending on what you try to cook and where you place the foil. 

Where to place foil

You will want to put a small amount of foil in the bottom of the basket, making sure you aren’t completely covering your food. Less foil is better because it will allow more airflow around your food which will more evenly cook. Don’t put any foil on the bottom of the fryer or cover the basket edges so you can avoid the heating elements. 

Avoid the bottom of the fryer

It would be best to never put aluminum foil at the bottom of the air fryer because it has heating elements. Putting foil there will block the air from circulating, and your food will not cook evenly, and it will take a lot longer for it to cook at all. 

High acidic foods

You will want to avoid cooking high acidic foods with aluminum foil because the high acidic level can decompose the foil and cause black specs to appear on your food. Foods with high acidic levels include:

  • fruits
  • tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • vinegar addons
  • fish and seafood
  • brown rice, oat flakes, and granola
  • high protein foods

Consuming excessive aluminum metal can result in health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, from a daily aluminum intake. The occasional intake of aluminum is acceptable, but that is probably best if you can choose not to cook with aluminum. 

See Also: Air Fryer Hot Dogs

Using Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer

If you want to cut down on cleaning your air fryer, you can use parchment or baking paper instead of aluminum foil. Even perforated parchment paper is a perfect match for cooking in an air fryer because it allows the air to still flow around the food no matter what you’re cooking. 

Will parchment paper burn in an air fryer?

If you use it correctly, parchment paper will not burn in your air fryer. You don’t want to have parchment paper in an air fryer while preheating, and you always want to have food on top of it to prevent burning. Avoid foods that don’t have enough weight because they won’t hold the parchment paper in place. 

Can wax paper go in an air fryer?

You can use wax paper in an air fryer as well but with similar caution to using foil. You should avoid fully wrapping your food, or it won’t cook and putting the wax paper anywhere near the heating elements since it could cause the paper to burn. A small amount at the bottom of the cooking basket is the best method. 

Can paper towels go in an air fryer?

It would be best if you didn’t use paper towels in your air fryer because it’s only helpful to prevent food from sticking to the fryer’s basket. It will prevent airflow and cause your food not to cook evenly or thoroughly. You will also have to be careful of the heating elements since they can cause the paper towels to burn. You’re better off using parchment or baking paper. 

Can glass go in an air fryer?

You can use any ovenproof dish in your air fryer, whether it’s glass, ceramic, metal or silicone. Since air fryers are just using hot air, it works more like an oven than a microwave which means there are far more types of containers you can use in a fryer.

Just be mindful that any glass you use in the air fryer will be very hot once you have finished cooking the food. 

Can steel utensils go in an air fryer?

You can use steel utensils in an air fryer. A general rule of thumb is that if it’s safe to put in the oven, then it’s likely safe for an air fryer as well. Just remember that the steel utensils will heat a lot in the fryer, so be careful when taken them out. 

Should you line your fryer’s basket?

If what you are looking for is the best performance from your air fryer, then you’re better off not lining your air fryer’s basket. Air will be able to flow around the food and cook it freely. However, if you’re trying to avoid cleaning breadcrumbs or grease, then you can line your basket and still get fully cooked food, though it may take longer. 

Final Thoughts

While it is safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer, it’s not always the best way to cook your food. Since air fryers use rapid-moving air for cooking food, wrapping it in foil prevents air from flowing around the food, which leaves you with an undercooked mess.

If you want to use foil, use a small amount in the basket to easier clean-up. Make sure to look at the manual that comes with your air fryer also.

However, there are much safer and better options if all you want is a way to prevent food from getting stuck on your air fryer or something to catch spills. Baking dishes or perforated parchment paper will work much better to cook your food without interfering with the airflow evenly. 

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