Can you put aluminum foil in the air fryer? In this post, I’ll break it down for you, and explain the safe way to use aluminum foil in the air fryer.
Air fryers have quickly gained popularity. They are a convenient, easy to use, and highly effective small kitchen appliance. They come in different sizes to accommodate single people to large families.
There are also different ways to use this amazing appliance!
Such as quickly cooking roasted vegetables, making perfectly cooked tater tots, or frozen french fries. But it’s also a wonderful appliance to use for making main dishes, and healthy foods more quickly without having to heat your conventional oven!
If you’ve made the investment, you may be wondering, “Can you use aluminum foil in the air fryer?”
The good news, the simple answer is yes. You can use aluminum foil in the air fryer. However, it really depends on the model of your air fryer, and the type of food you are cooking.
Before adding tin foil to your air fryer, be sure to check your owners manual for specific directions pertaining to your make and model.
However, I’m here to help you with the basic do’s and don’ts of using foil in the air fryer.
Why would you want to use aluminum foil in the air fryer?
- It helps to create better flavor. Instead of the drippings falling to the bottom of the fryer, the foil allows the food to cook in the spices which creates more flavor in your food.
- It helps with better heat distribution. When used correctly, foil distributes heat more evenly and more quickly.
- It makes for easier clean-up. Wrapping your food in foil, or placing it in your basket means there won’t be as much of a mess in the basket to scrub clean.
- Helps to keep your food from sticking to the basket.
How does an air fryer work?
An air fryer has several components. A basket that holds the food, heating coils, a powerful fan, and holes that blow the hot air around.
These holes allow the hot air to blow around the food in the basket evenly, creating a crispy finish similar to deep frying but without the oil.
The hot air that swirls around in the cooking compartment creates evenly crisp foods!
Most air fryers are designed with the heating element (a hot coil) and a fan on the bottom of the appliance that circulates the air.
The force of the hot air creates a convection oven effect when the temperature is higher than 320 degrees fahrenheit.
How to Safely Use Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer
The key to using foil in the air fryer is NOT to cover the holes that circulate the hot air around the basket. You only need a small amount of foil to cover the basket.
There are holes both in the basket, and on the bottom. If you block these holes you will keep the air from circulating which will result in unevenly cooked food that doesn’t brown.
In addition, you could damage or break your air fryer. It is important to read the owner’s manual for your appliance for all of the specifics, and follow these general rules.
Keep Air Circulating Freely: Only Use Foil in the Basket Cooking Compartment
The best way to use foil is to place a single layer on the bottom of the basket. Do not cover the foil all the way to the basket edge.
This will prevent air from flowing freely, which will result in unevenly cooked food. Place the foil on the bottom of the basket, ensuring there is space around the edge.
Alternatively, you can wrap your food in aluminum foil, and place it in the air fryer making sure it doesn’t cover the holes.
Do Not Place Foil on the Bottom of Your Appliance
It may be tempting to place foil on the bottom of the air fryer, so that the foil can catch all of the extra oil and droppings. However, it is essential that you do not place foil in this place.
If the heating coils are located on the bottom you will end up with uneven cooking . In addition, if you block the air flow on the bottom of your machine, the air will be forced to go somewhere else. This could end up creating pressure, in a place it is not meant to be which will result in unevenly cooked food, and possibly damaging of breaking your appliance.
Use Foods that are Heavy Enough to Weigh Down the Foil
If your food isn’t heavy enough to keep the foil in place it will end up blowing around in the machine.
Don’t Use with Acidic Foods
When choosing the type of food to place in your air fryer do not choose acidic foods such as lemons, limes, tomatoes, tomato sauce, or vinegar. The challenge with this kind of food is that they will create a chemical reaction with the foil which will result in small specks of aluminum in your food!
Also avoid using foods with high levels of salt, as this can create a similar challenge.
Are there health risks of using aluminum foil?
The safety of using aluminum foil in the air fryer is somewhat unknown. Air fryers themselves are relatively new kitchen appliance, so whether or not the use of foil in the air fryer makes it more toxic or not has not been fully studied.
There are reports and studies that show that aluminum foil in general has some level of toxicity, and too much exposure to it can have harmful effects on your health. For example, too much aluminum foil has been linked to alzheimer’s disease.
However, the amount of aluminum we are exposed to through our food is a low level, and not considered harmful. But others say the amount of aluminum in your food is increased with the use of aluminum foil.
In conclusion, aluminum foil is not significantly toxic, but the use of aluminum foil can increase your exposure to aluminum in your diet. The exposure is rather small, and according to Healthline, “it is likely insignificant.”
Foods to Avoid Using
- Acidic foods.
- Foods dipped in a wet batters. It’s too messy, and will not fry up the way it would in a deep fryer. All the batter will simply fall off the food and drip to the bottom of the ban.
- Leafy green vegetables. They will stick to the sides of the air fryer and not cook evenly.
- Anything with a lot of cheese. The cheese will cook and melt more quickly than the rest of the food, and if you put it into the air fryer without it being breaded, it will result in an ooey-gooey mess.
- Uncooked pasta, or grains. An air fryer does not cook pasta and grains. They need to be precooked if added to the air fryer, for a crispy texture.
Foods to Use
- Vegetables that have some heft and wight. Broccoli, peppers, zucchini, squash, are all excellent vegetables to prepare.
- Frozen breaded foods such as mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, battered shrimp, etc. If the food is already battered, it will crisp and brown.
- Frozen french fries , tater tots, and other potatoes.
Air Fryer FAQS
Yes, you can also use parchment paper in the air fryer. Be sure that the food is heavier than to hold the parchment paper down and keep it from flying around in the air fryer. If this happens, the parchment paper could come in contact with the heating element. This will result in unevenly cooked food.
No, it does not give your food a metallic taste as long as you don’t use it with acidic foods.
No! Do not place paper towel in your air fryer while cooking your food. You can use it to wipe oil around the basket.
Easy air fryer recipes to try!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!