In this post we'll break down when and if you can use foil in your air fryer, what you should absolutely avoid and the best ways to utilize it in the air fryer. Find out if putting foil in your air fryer is safe!
CAN YOU USE ALUMINUM FOIL IN THE AIR FRYER?
If you love using the air fryer then you know there are some things that are extra messy or more likely to stick to the basket. And some recipes require you wrap the food in foil. We get asked a lot if you can use aluminum foil in the air fryer. The good news is that you can. But please read on for important information! You can also use parchment paper, or a silicone liner specifically for the air fryer in order to made dinner a little easier.
In general, it is ok to use foil in an air fryer. Check the manual of your appliance before you use foil to make sure you know how the air fryer works and it is approved by the manufacturer. You might also find a list of helpful instructions on how to use foil in your air fryer correctly within your manual.
ADVANTAGES OF FOIL LINING
✔️ Using aluminum foil helps trap the grease and drippings with the food, preventing more flavorful food, in some cases.
✔️ Foil is a good heat conductor. Using it can help with better heat distribution.
✔️ It can make for easier clean-up. Wrapping your food in foil, or placing it in your basket means there won't be as many drippings dripping down below the basket.
✔️ It can prevent food from sticking to the basket.
HOW TO SAFELY USE ALUMINUM FOIL IN THE AIR FRYER
The holes in the air fryer basket are there for a reason. They help the hot air circulate and cook the food quickly. Blocking the holes can prevent air from fan from circulating the hot air and create unevenly cooked food. If you're using foil to cover the bottom of the basket, poke holes so the air can continue to circulate. Do not cover the whole basket with foil. All air fry appliances are different. Please check your owner's manual for specific information about your model.
We recommend only using foil in the air fryer when wrapping your food in the foil. For example, if you make foil packet dinners that you would otherwise cook on the grill or in the oven. You can cook those in the air fryer as long as they don't block the whole bottom of the air fryer.
If you're going to put a layer of foil on the bottom of your basket, we recommend you use a small amount of foil that does not cover the whole bottom of your air fryer basket. Poke some air holes.
If you want to use foil as a way to make cleanup easy and prevent sticking, we recommend using parchment paper.
DO NOT PLACE FOIL ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR APPLIANCE, UNDER THE BASKET
Many air fryers have a perforated basket or tray and any grease or drippings drip down under the basket. It might be tempting to line the bottom with foil. Don't do it. This can block the heating coil (heating element) and harm your appliance. It isn't as dangerous as foil in a microwave but you shouldn't do it.
REASONS YOU SHOULD YOU NOT USE FOIL WHEN COOKING
DO NOT USE FOIL WITH ACIDIC FOODS: When cooking acidic foods like citrus, lemons, limes, tomatoes, or vinegar, the acid might have a chemical reaction with the foil, causing little bits of foil to stick to your food.
HEALTH RISKS OF ALUMINUM FOIL: There are some studies that indicate too much exposure to aluminum foil can have harmful effects on your health. However, it is generally believed that using some aluminum foil in day to day use with food has minimal effects on your health.
METALLIC TASTE: Some people report a metallic taste on their food when cooked in aluminum foil. If that's you, don't use it. There are many other options.
WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DO WE HAVE FOR PREVENTING FOOD FROM STICKING IN THE AIR FRYER?
There are a few options for preventing food from sticking to the air fryer basket/tray. Some foods naturally don't stick but there are some foods you definitely want to prevent from sticking.
Non-Stick Cooking Spray: These sprays, like PAM, or other non-stick cooking sprayers are great for helping prevent sticking. If you're cooking gluten free, make sure you choose a spray that is gluten free.
Parchment Paper: We love using parchment paper (properly) in an air fryer. We recommend reading the suggestions for how to use parchment paper in an air fryer.
Silicone Liners: These air fryer silicone liners prevent food from sticking to the air fryer. You still need to wash them but you're causing less trash. Check out this silicone liner on Amazon.