When people get their first air fryer they often wonder, “Can you put tin foil in an air fryer?” Or, “Can you use foil in an air fryer to cut down on grease build-up and mess?”
The short answer is yes, you can use aluminum foil in the air fryer to cook certain foods, but there are a few special considerations that you will need to account for.
Using tin foil in the air fryer is only recommended with non-acidic foods and if it doesn’t block airflow. In this post, we are going to cover how you can use foil and more importantly, how you shouldn’t use it with your new air fryer.
As always, safety comes first, so we will discuss the proper way to use foil and other ways to keep your fryer in tip-top condition. You also want to use your air fryer the correct way so that your food turns out perfect every time.
So read on for all the ins and outs of when it’s the best time to use foil and when it’s not. Before long, you’ll be an expert and well on your way to cooking quick and delicious meals using this unique kitchen fryer.
How Does the Air Fryer Work?
So, how do air fryers work? It’s important to know that air fryers don’t technically fry food. Instead, food is placed in a perforated basket or tray and cooked by hot air circulation.
Typically, an air fryer has a heating element in the top or bottom portion of the appliance with a fan that helps to blow the hot air around the food. This produces a fried consistency without the use of oil.
You can cook just about anything with your air fryer as long as it is dry-seasoned or breaded, but you shouldn’t use anything with liquid batters, like onions rings or doughy consistency, like donuts.
Why Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?
People ask all the time, “Can you put foil in an air fryer?”, and while the short answer is yes, it’s important to know why you might want to use it in your air fryer. The biggest reason to use foil in the air fryer is to contain the juices for more flavorful food.
An air fryer’s baskets or tray have a mesh-like composition to allow for airflow around the food as it cooks. Unfortunately, this allows the juices from the food to drip through.
If you use foil to contain the juices, this solves the problem, but keep in mind that it may take longer for your food to cook because the airflow has been slightly compromised.
When Shouldn’t You Put Aluminum Foil in An Air Fryer?
You should not put Aluminum foil in an air fryer just to keep it clean. Using foil in a basket or tray to contain the juices of certain foods is fine, but using it outside of a basket or tray isn’t recommended because it will compromise the functionality of the appliance.
Remember, an air fryer cooks food properly by circulating hot air around the food. If that airflow is blocked, food may cook unevenly and may not be safe to consume.
It can also cause your air fryer to malfunction because the heat would distribute unevenly and the device might not be able to handle the uneven distribution of heat.
Tips For Cooking in An Air Fryer:
- It’s not always necessary, but it can help to preheat your air fryer. Preheating the air fryer decreases the amount of time your food cooks. It isn’t necessary, but some people prefer to let their air fryer run for a few minutes before placing food in it.
- Use pure oil for items that will rest directly on the basket or tray, not non-stick spray. Non-stick sprays such as Pam contain harsh chemicals that can damage your tray or baskets over time. It’s better to use pure oil like olive, butter, or coconut to coat your air fryer baskets before placing food on them.
- Make sure to leave space between foods in the basket. Having proper airflow around each piece of food is the key to even cooking and overall crispiness. Make sure to leave space between each item and your food will be perfect every time!
- When in doubt, use an internal food thermometer to check for doneness. For thicker items like chicken breast or steak, it can be helpful to check the internal temperature for doneness. A good rule of thumb for temperatures is as follows: all ground meats must be cooked to 160°F; poultry and fowl to 165°F; and fresh meat steaks, chops, and roasts to 145°F.
- It’s okay to use a little oil for extra crispiness. With an air fryer, you don’t need to use oil to gain crispiness, but sometimes, the oil adds a pleasant flavor. If you want to use oil, a light spritz is usually all that needs to be done. Your air fryer manual will also include suggestions for the right amount of oil to use with certain foods.
- Add water to the bottom of the basket to avoid white smoke. About two tablespoons of water in the bottom of the basket will stop the white smoke that sometimes occurs during the cooking process.
How to Use Foil in Your Air Fryer?
You may be wondering, “Can I wrap the chicken in foil in the air fryer?” A lot of people want to wrap their chicken to prevent loss of moisture and flavor. The first thing you have to do is check your air fryer manual to see if the use of foil is permitted with your particular model.
If so, then yes, you can wrap your chicken in foil. However, keep in mind that an air fryer is meant to cook food by circulating hot air over and around your food, so it may take much longer to cook when wrapped. Also, never use foil with any acidic foods like citrus or tomatoes in an air fryer.
Aluminum Foil vs. Parchment Paper
Parchment paper can be used instead of foil and is often preferred because it has no reactions to acidic foods. You’ll want to make sure that it’s properly weighted down so that it doesn’t blow around within the air fryer.
Parchment paper is also a good choice to prevent sticking and to contain mess within the air fryer. It’s not recommended to use parchment more than once and should be discarded after each use.
The only time foil might be a better choice is if you are cooking prepared foil packets or if you need to create a sturdier tray to lift heavier food out.
Is It Safe to Use Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer?
Can I put aluminum foil in an air fryer and is it safe to do so? Yes. It is safe to put foil in the air fryer as long as your manual says it is. Certain models of air fryers advise against it so make sure you verify that your model is okay with using foil.
It isn’t recommended to use foil anywhere in any air fryer besides in the baskets or trays.
You cannot line your air fryer with foil because it will interfere with the heating element function and airflow. Foil packets and wrapping certain foods are generally okay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?
Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer? In short, yes, you can put aluminum foil in the air fryer as long as your specific model of air fryer allows it. Read your manual carefully to make sure it is safe to use foil in your air fryer and follow the recommendations on how to safely use it.
Generally, you should only use foil in an air fryer to line a basket or tray, not the whole air fryer. Certain foods can be wrapped in foil and placed in a basket or tray to cook.
Is It Toxic to Put Foil in An Air Fryer?
Using aluminum foil in an air fryer has no known toxicity and is generally considered safe with proper usage. Again, carefully read your air fryer’s manual to verify how to safely use foil with your model.
Normally, it’s okay to wrap certain foods and to line the baskets or tray with foil. However, you shouldn’t use foil to line the bottoms or sides of the air fryer because this can interfere with airflow and compromise the heating elements.
Parchment paper is another option if you do not want to use foil, but the same safety rules apply as the foil: don’t block the airflow or heating element, and only use it to line the trays or baskets.
You can put aluminum foil in the air fryer as long as you have verified that your particular model says you can. Always keep airflow in mind and your food will turn out great. Keep in mind that you can use parchment paper in place of foil, especially with acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus-based foods and seasonings.
Again, read and follow all safety recommendations concerning your specific air fryer so that your appliance will remain in good condition and useful for cooking food.
Cooking food in an air fryer is a great way to cook some of your fried favorites without all the unhealthy oils.