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Can You Use Foil In An Air Fryer?

Immad Amir
Written by
Immad is a talented home cook and editorial director at Specially Fried. With his culinary expertise, love for gadgets and creative flair, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of food blogging.
Reviewed by

Amelia is the kitchen appliance expert behind Specially Fried. She thoroughly reviews the latest appliances, making sure readers have access to the best appliance insights.

Can You Use Foil In An Air Fryer
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The air fryer has indeed been the greatest invention of our time. People trying to watch their weight and control their diets sing prayers for this appliance. You can enjoy fried food without ever having to worry about going over your calorie limit. It is the perfect addition to your kitchen in your attempt to lead a healthier life. It is, after investing in it, that many wonder whether you can use foil in an air fryer.

Yes, you can wrap your food in aluminum foil while cooking it in an air fryer. It’s safe to use foil in an air fryer, but make sure your container allows airflow. This will ensure the efficient cooking of food within the aluminum foil quickly.

Following these tips, you can enjoy your low-carb fried foods without much trouble.

Before you decide to use foil in your air fryer, you must understand the reason behind the concern regarding its use. So even if you do follow the tips mentioned in this article, you will still need to know the logic behind it.

Why people avoid using foil in an air fryer

  • Covering the entire basket with foil leads to reduced airflow in the air fryer. This results in the food taking longer to fry than usual, which affects the performance of your appliance.
  • The baking paper or tin foil covers the bottom of the basket which primarily collects the grease, and this dirt disrupts the flow of air which does not cook the food properly.
  • One of the major reasons why you must place food on top of the foil is to avoid it from getting sucked in. This suction of the foil into the heating unit can result in fire and can damage the air fryer completely.

How to use tin foil in an air fryer

Here are some useful tips which can help you use foil in your air fryer without damaging your appliance or your food.

  • Make sure to use foil only on the bottom of the cooking basket of the air fryer.
  • Do not, in any case, place it at the bottom of the pan where the grease and food particles are collected. Limit foil usage to the cooking basket only.
  • Do not wrap the cooking basket with aluminum foil. The air fryer has holes in it through which air enters for cooking your food. Therefore, the holes need to be exposed while your food cooks.
  • Use smaller pieces of foil and ensure that they do not stick out of the edges of the basket. Keep the pieces small and cover only a small part of the basket.

Important: It is highly emphasized that you use foil with food on top to weigh it down in order to avoid the chance of the foil getting sucked in and burnt. This can result in a fire in the heating unit of the appliance. So, to prevent that from happening, many prefer using baking sheets.

Check your air fryer manual

Reading the air fryer manual is essential when answering this question. The case of using foil is subjective to various brands and their products. Each product has a different design and technical advancements used to upgrade its performance. Therefore, you need to read the manual for any directions, tips, or warnings when deciding on the use of foil in your air fryer.

Each model comes with a set of instructions that is pertinent to its design. Air fryers have been rapidly growing with newer technologies. Thereby, it is important to have complete knowledge before making an informed decision or you may ruin this expensive product that you heavily invested in.

Things to avoid when using foil in your air fryer

As mentioned above, I cannot emphasize enough that you need to ensure that the foil is weighed down with the help of food placed on top. As I told you before the extreme chance of a fire is why we want you to be extremely careful when deciding on aluminum use.

Damaging such an expensive appliance is the last thing you would want. Therefore, make sure that you tuck in the foil nicely and secure it by placing the items that need to be air fried. At the same time, you should also make sure that your foil is not covering any of the air vents. 

Cooking with acidic foods

One of the most important pieces of instruction when using aluminum foil with an air fryer is to avoid cooking with acidic foods. Any food item that consists of:

  • Fruits
  • Vinegar/ or marinades that use vinegar
  • Fruit juices
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato juice marinades

The reason why it is prohibited to use foil with all the above-mentioned acidic ingredients is that the heat from the air fryer results in the foil reacting with the acid present in the food. The reaction results in the decomposition of the foil, leaving tiny black particles of foil in the food, thus adding a metallic flavor.

For cooking with acidic foods, I recommend that you use an air fryer liner made specifically for this purpose.


Is cooking with foil bad for your health

There’s been some argument among health experts about the impact of using foil while cooking. Studies have shown a link between the disease Alzheimer’s and dietary aluminum, hence raising some concerns about aluminum use. For this very reason, many people try to avoid the use of foil in their cooking.

I’ve grown up watching people around me cook with aluminum foil but now, I have been consistently trying to switch to parchment paper as an alternative. Parchment papers seem to absorb excess oil and are less likely to be fire hazardous when used in an air fryer.

While there is still some concern about the toxicity of foil regarding cooking, I’d advise you to stay away from things that put you in doubt. I would recommend that you use parchment paper, if available, and if you are out of parchment paper, then use foil as your last resort.

Can you use parchment paper in an air fryer?

As previously mentioned, baking paper is extremely safe to line your air fryer basket with. However, you need to follow similar tips as mentioned for aluminum foil. Some people even believe that foil ends up in your food when used in the air fryer, and to avoid that from happening, they prefer using baking sheets.

In fact, parchment papers or baking sheets that are made for the purpose of lining air fryers can be easily bought from Amazon. These liners fit perfectly on the bottom of your air fryer basket and are less likely to block air ventilation.

The use of parchment paper liners makes cleaning the air fryer easier. If you’ve previously used an air fryer, you must be familiar with the difficulty of this chore. Not even a dishwasher can completely clean the air fryer basket out. Plus, they cover maximum space in your dishwasher.

Make your lives easier and get a hold of these liners and watch yourself save time and the trouble of worrying about cleaning after.

Also, read our article on how you can reheat baked food in an air fryer!

Wrapping up!

We all want to live safe and healthier lives, which is why it is important that before making any decision, we thoroughly research it and make an informed decision. Using aluminum without proper care and guidelines can result in irreversible damage. Thus, you should follow all the tips mentioned above.

If you have parchment paper as an alternative, then prefer using it. Get yourself some air fryer liners and make sure to place food on the top. All these instructions are necessary for safe and healthy cooking while using an air fryer. Other than that, enjoy fried items while counting your calories at the same time!

Immad Amir
Written by
Immad is a talented home cook and editorial director at Specially Fried. With his culinary expertise, love for gadgets and creative flair, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of food blogging.
Reviewed by

Amelia is the kitchen appliance expert behind Specially Fried. She thoroughly reviews the latest appliances, making sure readers have access to the best appliance insights.

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