I love using my air fryer, and there was a time when I tried using a paper towel in it so it could absorb the excess oil from food.
But can you put a paper towel in an air fryer? What happened in my brave cooking adventure?
Long story short, the paper started flying in the air fryer and got burnt. I have a sharp nose and sensed the burning smell from the air fryer, which made me open it and check.
Luckily the paper towel had not reached the heating element, which could have damaged the air fryer.
NO- you cannot use a paper towel inside an air fryer as it can burn quickly, and since it is light in weight, it can fly and get stuck in the heating element, damaging the air fryer itself.
So, what can you use inside an air fryer?
This post will be about what exactly happens when you use paper towels in the air fryer, how to use a paper towel if you want to use it, and paper towel substitutes can make cooking in the air fryer easier.
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What happens when you use a paper towel in an air fryer?
Using a paper towel in the air fryer will cause chaos inside the air fryer, lol. The paper towel will fly around if there is no weight holding it down or the food is lightweight.
This can cause the paper towel to burn and create a mess inside the air fryer, and no one wants burnt paper particles on their food.
They would also hinder proper air circulation and cause uneven food cooking.
There are instances where people use parchment paper, and that works because it is slightly heavier than a paper towel.
Never use a paper towel in the air fryer, as it can damage the air fryer if it gets stuck in the heating element.
Materials you can and cannot use in an air fryer.
You can use some materials in the air fryer and some that you cannot. Most of the utensils and accessories used in an oven can be used with an air fryer.
An air fryer works the same way as a convection oven, so whatever works well in the oven will work great inside an air fryer, including metal utensils.
If something is marked oven safe, you can use it inside an air fryer.
|Materials that go in an Air Fryer||Materials that do not go in the Air fryer|
|Steel (Oven safe)||Plastic|
|Silicone Cups and moulds||Painted Cookware(where the paint can melt)|
|Aluminum Foil||Paper towels|
|Metal Skewers||Bamboo Skewers|
So, can you put a paper towel in an air fryer?
NO, avoid using paper towels inside an air fryer. There are so many better and environmentally friendly alternatives to it.
Paper towel Alternatives
Parchment Paper- This is one of the easiest things to use inside an air fryer when you need to line your air fryer basket with something.
One may ask but isn’t parchment paper, paper? Yes, it is but the parchment paper is heavier than a paper towel, and when you put food on top, the parchment paper stays and doesn’t fly away.
But make sure to put some heavy food on the parchment paper. Never preheat your air fryer with the parchment paper inside, as that can cause the parchment paper to burn and catch fire.
There is parchment paper with holes specifically made for air fryers, and they work so well. This way, the air from the air fryer can circulate and cook evenly.
If you use parchment paper, you can poke holes in it, so it cooks better. Never use the parchment paper as it is.
I also like to spray some cooking oil in my air fryer basket and then place the parchment paper so it sticks to the
Aluminum Foil- This is another alternative to paper towels and works very well. Many people cook recipes inside an aluminum tray, and the air fryer works just fine with it.
Instead, I recommend a metal bowl inside an aluminum tray, but everyone has their preferences.
So you can safely use aluminum inside the air fryer instead of a paper towel.
Silicone Liners-Silicone liners are the best. These are reusable and work well once you get the right one for your air fryer.
These line your air fryer and make cleaning so much easier. This is good if you want something that would not spill all the grease in your air fryer cooking basket.
You get them perforated so the air from the air fryer can circulate and cook food well. This is just like the perforated parchment papers but in a reusable version.
How is parchment paper different from regular paper towels?
Parchment paper is slightly heavier than a paper towel, so it doesn’t fly around much if there is food on top of it.
However, if you keep something very light on top of it, there are still chances it can fly. If you want to avoid flying parchment papers altogether, you can use perforated parchment papers.
The perforated parchment papers let the air flow in their fryer like it was meant to and they stick to the air fryer basket well without moving around.
How to use parchment paper in an air fryer?
It is very easy to use parchment paper in an air fryer, but make sure you use perforated paper, not the normal one.
If you use non-perforated parchment paper, the air from the bottom of the air fryer will lift the paper, and it can fly and rotate in the air fryer.
But when the parchment paper has perforations, it allows the air to move through it in the air fryer basket, which doesn’t force the parchment paper to fly toward the heating element.
So, always use perforated parchment paper inside the air fryer.
You can use oil spray, spray the air fryer basket, and then line it with parchment paper.
How to use aluminum foil in an air fryer
Aluminum foil works the same way as parchment paper, but you do not use perforated foil here; instead, you wrap your food in it and cook it so the foil doesn’t cover the entire base of the air fryer basket.
If the foil covers the base of the food basket, it can block the airflow, just like in the case of the parchment paper, so it is best to cover the food and leave some space in the edges so the air can flow.
If the foil blocks the airflow, then the food will not cook evenly, and it can cause other issues, so make sure to leave some gaps.
Do not use paper towels in the air fryer. PERIOD. You have several other alternatives, like parchment paper, aluminum foil, and, my favorite, silicone liners.
Just try to avoid placing paper towels or tissue paper in the air fryer basket while cooking, and you are good to go.
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