Dec 18, 2023

Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer?

In short, yes! You can put foil in an air fryer. Read on the learn best practices for making your favorite air fryer recipes even more enjoyable!

If you’re new to air frying and find yourself wondering if you can put foil in the air fryer without causing issues with safety, this promises to put that question to rest. In short, yes! You can put foil in an air fryer. Read on to learn about best practices for doing so safely, what air fryer recipes you should apply foil for, and how it's useful compared to other air fryer preparation and cooking methods.

Related: The 8 Best Air Fryers of 2023 for Crispy, Golden Brown Food, According to Testing

The first thing to be aware of is: yes, aluminum foil can be used in the air fryer. However, there is a proper method for applying it. Aluminum foil should only go on the base of the basket, not underneath it (outside of the basket), and not on the sides. Air fryers are essentially miniature convection ovens and use high-speed fans to circulate hot air around food. If not firmly in place, this hot air may force the foil to blow around, potentially damaging the appliance and causing food to cook unevenly. However, it is important to use as little foil as possible because you don't want to block all of the holes in the basket. Not only would this present a fire hazard, as it could cause the appliance to overheat, but the holes are also where the hot air flows from, enabling your food to cook properly. Therefore, the best way to apply foil safely and effectively is to place it on the base of the basket, and to make sure the food being air fried is heavy enough to weigh down the foil on the surface of the air fryer.

9 Common Air Fryer Mistakes—And How to Avoid Them

There are many recipes that reach their maximum delicious potential when foil is added to the air fryer.

Foods that are delicate or prone to sticking, such as cheese, eggs, fish, and produce that contains a lot of moisture, like zucchini and tofu, are ideal for including foil so that the food doesn't tear apart when removing it from the air fryer. This can also help prevent a sticky mess that would require tons of scrubbing later on.

Aluminum foil can also intensify the flavor of foods coated with spices or sauces. It reduces the risk of particles or drippings falling through the basket, which enables the flavors to work their magic. Delicious examples of this include buffalo chicken wings, teriyaki glazed tofu, orange chicken, seasoned kale chips, and candied bacon.

Highly acidic foods can react with thin aluminum and can actually break down the aluminum. This reaction can cause small particles of aluminum to end up in your food. Avoid adding foil to the air fryer when cooking acidic ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, citrus, or marinades that contain vinegar or lemon juice. Foods dipped in wet batter should not be cooked on foil in the air fryer. It can be very messy and simply drip off of the food, away from the foil, and into the bottom of the appliance.

Be sure to always review the manufacturer's recommendation when it comes to adding foil to the air fryer. Some brands do not recommend adding foil, while others say it's OK as long as you line the air fryer basket properly.

Foil vs. Parchment Paper: Parchment paper is also a wonderful option for the air fryer when cooking sticky and greasy items. However, parchment paper is not designed for high-heat cooking, whereas foil can handle the heat! If the temperature of the air fryer exceeds 400 degrees, avoid parchment paper as it could create a fire hazard.

Foil vs. Cooking Spray: Not all cooking sprays are created equally when it comes to the air fryer. For example, you should not use nonstick cooking spray, such as PAM, in the air fryer. It can damage the lining of the air fryer basket. However, you can use cooking spray with a high heat point, as these are best for avoiding smoking and scorching. Avocado oil spray is a wonderful option, with a high heat tolerance. When using cooking spray, only spray the food directly before turning on the air fryer.

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Foil vs. Parchment Paper: Foil vs. Cooking Spray: