Yeah, it’s true… You CAN use aluminum foil in your air fryer without fear of your kitchen exploding. In this post, I’ll explain how to safely use aluminum foil in an air fryer and whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
Air fryers are amazing kitchen appliances for home cooks! We absolutely love ours. They’re convenient, easy to use, they usually save some fat (in the form of oil) from your meals, and they cut down on cooking times.
*Please refer to your specific air fryer user manual for guidelines and specifics. This post contains the basics for most models.
Why Would I Use Aluminum Foil In My Air Fryer?
If you have an air fryer, you may be sick of cleaning up messes or want an easier way to get your food out of the air fryer when it’s ready. Aluminum foil may just be your answer. Here’s why:
– It helps keep the flavors in. Instead of seasonings sometimes dripping to the bottom, the foil will allow the seasonings to stay on or near the food while cooking, resulting in better flavor.
– It can help distribute heat more evenly and quickly.
– Makes for easier clean-up. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather toss out some aluminum foil and be done with it than add the entire air fryer to my mess to clean.
– Helps keep food from sticking to the air fryer (which can be a pain).
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
Although it looks simple enough, an air fryer oven 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. When using a deep fryer, the hot oil would make your foods crispy while, with an air fryer, the high heats that swirl around in the cooking compartment create this effect!
The airflow force of the hot air creates a convection oven-type effect with high temperatures. You can have a convection oven without ever heating up your entire house with the oven, phew!
How To Safely Use Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer
Make sure you do NOT cover the holes on the sides of the air fryer. Do not cover your entire basket. You simply want to use enough foil to place on the bottom of the basket without completely covering it. Also, do NOT put air fryer on the bottom of your air fryer, underneath the basket.
The best way to use foil in an air fryer is with a small amount of foil putting it down as a single layer of foil on the bottom of the basket (not under the basket either).
This tactic ensures your food will cook evenly and give you that brown, crispy texture you’re after.
In addition to this, you could break your air fryer if you cover too much of the air fryer. It’s important to read your owner’s manual for all the specifics and general rules (don’t just take my word for it).
Only Use Foods That Are Heavy Enough To Keep The Tin Foil Down
The weight of the food matters. If you use light foods like leafy veggies, green peas, etc. the food and tin foil will most likely blow all over the air fryer to the basket edge (trust me, I’ve done it and it’s annoying).
Use heavier foods like potatoes, chicken fingers, etc., which will keep the tin foil in place.
Are There Health Risks Associated To Using Aluminum Foil?
Yes, and no. The safety of using aluminum foil is not fully known yet. Air fryers are also pretty new themselves, so whether the air fryer makes aluminum foil more toxic in the cooking process is not yet known. If you’re a “better safe than sorry” person, you can absolutely use other substitutes shown below.
There is a study showing long-term use of aluminum foil could contribute to lifestyle diseases such as alzheimer’s disease.
However, the amount of aluminum we are exposed to through our food is a low level, and not considered significantly harmful to our health.
Substitutes For Aluminum Foil
Is Air Frying Healthier Than Deep Frying?
Yep! Instead of quarts of oil, a cook can use just a small amount (or none at all) and achieve beautifully crisp foods. It might not taste exactly like deep-fried foods though. In my opinion, the lighter taste of air-fried foods is much better but some people miss the greasy taste of foods covered in oil. Because fat is essential to “fried” flavor, air-fried and oven-fried foods taste a lot leaner than deep-fried foods.
Simple answer, air frying is much healthier than deep frying but might not have the rich, greasy taste you could be accustomed to.
Types Of Food To Use Aluminum Foil For:
– Veggies that are heavy enough to keep the foil down.
– Frozen breaded foods like mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, etc.
– Frozen french fries, tater tots, and other potatoes.
– Chicken wings, etc.
Foods To NOT Use Aluminum Foil For:
– Acidic foods such as lemons, limes, tomatoes, tomato sauce, or vinegar. These can create a chemical reaction with the foil and could misplace small specks of aluminum into your food.
– Foods drenched in batter as these might drip off and make a big mess.
– Leafy green veggies that are not heavy to keep the foil down. They’ll simply end up on the sides of the air fryer and not cook well.
– Cheesy food since the cheese cooks and melts quicker than the rest of the food, resulting in an unevenly cooked dish.
– Uncooked pasta, or grains. Be sure the precook these if you want to put them in the air fryer.
Extra Air-Frying FAQs
– Can You Use Parchment Paper In The Air Fryer?
Yep, you can also use parchment paper in the air fryer. Same rules apply.
– Can I Put Paper Towels In The Air Fryer?
No, this would burn the paper towels and could be unsafe. I would only use paper towels to clean the air fryer when it is not in use.
– Does Aluminum Foil Give The Food A Metallic Taste?
No, there is no metallic taste in your food when using aluminum foil. Just be sure to keep the acidic rule in mind so there is no chemical reaction at play.
– What If My Air Fryer Starts To Smell Like Its Burning?
Turn it off and clean the inside well. Usually, that burning smell is due to a dirty air fryer, not as much the aluminum foil used.
Top 5 Air Fryers To Buy
Based on BestReviews.guide, the top 5 air fryers are as follows:
- Breville BOV900BSS the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, Countertop Convection Oven, Brushed Stainless Steel
- Ninja SP101 Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven with 8-in-1 Functionality, Flip Up & Away Capability for Storage Space, with Air Fry Basket, Wire Rack & Crumb Tray, Silver
- Instant Vortex 5.7 Quart Air Fryer, Customizable Smart Cooking Programs, Digital Touchscreen and Non-Stick Air Fryer Basket, Black
- Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer, Silver
- PowerXL Air Fryer Grill 8 in 1 Roast, Bake, Rotisserie, Electric Indoor Grill (Deluxe 8 Piece Accessory Pack), Black