In this post, I will explain if you can use aluminum foil in the air fryer or not! This is a heated question amongst beginners who are using an air fryer.
But the answer is pretty simple, and for the most part- Yes, you can use aluminum foil inside an air fryer. I have used it in my Philips air fryer for the past two years, and it is safe.
But can you use it in all air fryers? And if yes, what is the right way of using aluminum foil inside an air fryer?
I’ll answer all these questions in this post, so make sure to go through every subheading, as it is important to use aluminum foil correctly to avoid any fire hazards.
I have been cooking with my air fryer and have been using aluminum foil in it for years so I can answer this question in detail on how I use aluminum foil.
Now, is it toxic to use aluminum foil?- This might need a bit more research as everyone is divided on this question
Can I use aluminum foil in the air fryer?
Yes, you can use aluminum foil in the air fryer. The confusion here is that you cannot use aluminum foil in the microwave, but one has to understand that the air fryer and microwave are different.
The air fryer uses rapid hot air technology where hot air is circulated inside the air fryer, so it is more like an oven than a microwave.
If something is oven safe, you can use it inside the air fryer. This works every time, and I have had no issues using oven-safe dishware inside my air fryer.
Just ensure that the dishware fits in the air fryer and that you still have space left for the air to flow evenly inside the basket.
How to use aluminum foil in an air fryer
One can use aluminum foil inside the air fryer in different ways. However, the standard way to use them is to poke holes in the aluminum foil and use that to line the air fryer basket.
1. Using Aluminum foil
A great way to make anything using aluminum foil in an air fryer is to poke holes in it, so the air circulates well through the air fryer basket, and the food cooks evenly.
Then use the foil to line the air fryer basket and place food on top so it can cook. The weight of the food should hold down the aluminum foil.
If you have lighter foods on top of the aluminum foil that do not fold it down, then there are chances that the foil might fly around in the air fryer and get burnt when it comes in contact with the heating element.
This is one of the reasons why you should NEVER preheat an air fryer with just aluminum foil inside it.
2. Disposable aluminum pans
Another way people use aluminum foil inside air fryers is by using these aluminum pans, slightly thicker versions of the foil.
They are very lightweight; again, you must put some food on them, so they do not start flying in the air fryer, just like the foil.
However, you do not need to poke holes in the base of these pans as if you choose smaller pans; the air would flow around the edges and cook the food evenly.
Just ensure that the aluminum pan/tray doesn’t cover the entire surface of the air fryer basket, which can block the air from the bottom and result in uneven cooking.
Why use aluminum foil in the air fryer
1. Cleaning gets better
One of the most important reasons I use aluminum foil in the air fryer is that it makes cleaning anything much more effortless.
All the food grease and drippings stay on the foil, and it doesn’t create grease stains on the air fryer basket, which can be a task to clean.
I appreciate using aluminum foil while cooking chicken or anything that will release a lot of oil.
2. No food sticking on the basket
This has happened to me often, and whenever food is stuck on the basket, I just let the air fryer basket soak in dish soap and water solution for a day or overnight.
This helps remove all the food particles stuck on the air fryer basket. But as you can tell, it is a long process.
This is where a lining of aluminum foil on the air fryer basket comes to the rescue. You can avoid food sticking to the basket, and the clean-up becomes ten times easier when you cook directly on the air fryer basket.
If you spray oil on your food or coat it with butter or egg wash, that can also make a mess on the air fryer basket; for all these recipes, using a lining of aluminum foil is highly recommended.
3. Steam cook food, then foil packet is good
Aluminum foil is useful when you have to steam cook some food. To steam cook something, make an aluminum foil pouch and put the food inside.
Poke some tiny holes in the foil so the hot air can circulate and cook the food. This works so well while making some soft garlic for garlic bread or in other recipes when you want to steam the food.
This is a great hack, and you can use this if you want to cook something in an indirect heat system, so you do not burn the food.
Aluminum foil and tin foil
Tin foil is made of tin; nowadays, you do not get it anymore. It is replaced by aluminum foil which is more durable and cheaper.
Aluminum conducts heat better, making it a better replacement for tin foil, which is also not very durable.
Is aluminum foil in air fryers toxic?
This is a debatable question. I have been using aluminum foil in the air fryer for a long time and have had no issues, but there is a debate if using aluminum foil is toxic.
Aluminum foil can increase the aluminum content in the food, and if you do not want that, you can avoid using it, but the increase is insignificant.
Just ensure not to use paper towels inside the air fryer, as it can be hazardous.
Is it safe to use foil?
1. Make holes in the aluminum foil
This is important; make holes in the aluminum foil to let out all the steam from the food and let the food cook evenly.
Making holes also doesn’t lift the aluminum foil liner, which can sometimes happen. This can result in the aluminum foil liner touching the heating element, causing it to burn.
If you make a foil packet, make a hole so the air can circulate. Sometimes, you can make a pocket without holes, but make sure the food you are cooking does not release a lot of steam or water content.
2. No touching the heating element
Another aspect one should consider is that the aluminum foil is not touching the heating element. This can cause the foil to burn and be a fire hazard.
Make sure to weigh down the aluminum foil with food, and do not preheat the air fryer with just the aluminum foil.
3. Do not cook acidic food as they react with foil
Acidic foods react with aluminum foil, so make sure not to use citrus food in the foil, like lemons or tomatoes.
New to air frying?
If you are new to air frying, you should read these posts on whether or not you can use oil inside an air fryer.
There is also so much on how to use parchment paper in the air fryer and not just stick to aluminum foil all the time.
There are so many other resources you can read up, and they are small articles so they won’t take up much of your time!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions!