Air fryers are relatively a new addition to the long list of well-loved kitchen appliances, which is why not a lot of people are aware as to how it is used correctly. While they are very easy to clean, most people choose to use aluminium foil as an extra step to preserve their air fryer’s integrity and cleanliness.
As such, those new to using this kitchen wonder are left wondering, “Can aluminium foil be used in air fryers?” As long as you’re doing it the right way, then you certainly can use it in your air fryer!
How to Use an Air Fryer Like a Pro
Below, we have gathered some tried and tested tips to help you get the most out of your new kitchen favorite!
Pro Tip 1: Always use the foil in the frying basket.
By adding foil to the bottom of the frying basket, you are able to prevent crumbs and grease from making its way into other areas of the fryer, which can be quite a hassle to clean. This is especially true if the frying basket is not removable on your model.
Instead, you can have a simple piece of foil that can be thrown out after every meal. Adding aluminium foil to the frying basket also helps to conduct more heat so that your food can cook more evenly and faster. This is ideal for preparing more batches of food in less time, allowing you to serve everything while it is still hot.
Pro Tip 2: Do not use foil on the bottom of the fryer.
Even though it might be tempting to add a layer of aluminium foil to the very bottom of your fryer, it’s certainly not recommended for numerous reasons. Doing this could result in a serious fire hazard, and it could severely influence the quality of the food you are preparing.
Air fryers use a special type of technology called air convection where the air is circulated around the frying chamber in order to crisp your ingredients to the ideal texture. If you place a piece of aluminium foil on top of the fan or heating element at the bottom of the fryer, the air won’t be able to circulate.
What will happen then? Not only will this cause the fans and the element to work harder than they should, but it will certainly leave your food soggy after it’s cooking cycle.
Another concern that you should have is that you’re placing a piece of metal directly over a heating element for up to an hour at a time. Even when you cook in the oven, you put the foil on a pan or on a rack, not directly on the heating element. Now, the last thing you want is to create an electric shock or a buildup of heat that causes the fryer to ignite, right?
Pro Tip 3: Always make sure the food is on the foil.
As a second safety concern when it comes to whether can aluminium foil be used in air fryers, you have to make sure that there is always food on the foil when it’s being used in the fryer. Why so?
As mentioned, there are fans in the fryer that generate a substantial amount of air movement, and as you can tell, the foil is very lightweight. Placing a sheet of foil in your fryer without food on top of it to weigh it down can cause the foil to be sucked directly into the fans and cause a fire without your knowledge.
Pro Tip 4: Be prepared to remove the foil if needed.
Depending on what you intend on cooking in your air fryer, you will need to keep an eye on your ingredients to ensure that they are getting the most thorough cook possible. This is especially important if you’re working with a lot of different items.
Depending on the type of air fryer you have, the aluminium foil could block airflow, causing your food to cook slower or to not cook entirely on the bottom. Plenty of air fryer users recommend using the foil during the beginning stages of cooking, and then when the ingredients are nearly finished, they suggest to remove the foil.
Pro Tip 5: Baking paper can be used as well.
If you’re not a big fan of the idea of using aluminium foil in your air fryer, there is also the possibility of using baking paper. Doing so provides you with all of the same benefits and should be used with the same amount of caution.
The main difference between the two is that, with baking paper, you’ll have to make sure that it sits perfectly in the basket. This is because you don't want it touching the sides of the air fryer and generating too much heat. However, when added properly, it gives you another layer of protection against fat and juices dripping into the fryer.
So, can aluminium foil be used in air fryers? The simple answer is yes, but, of course, this is true only as long as you take a couple of precautions.
Similar to any other small appliance you might have in your home, it’s important to prevent fires or overheating, especially if you won’t be watching your air fryer the entire time that it’s on. To help limit the amount of cleanup that you have to do after cooking, especially if you live on your own, the foil can be a great partner to have at your disposal.