Can I Put Cardboard In Air Fryer?

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How many of you have found it tempting to reheat your pizza slice in an air fryer or oven in its original cardboard box?

I guess many.

It’s just so convenient. Who wants to do extra dishes, right?

There is a long list of things you can put in your air fryer. But is cardboard one of them?

The quick answer is:

No, you should not put cardboard in an air fryer. Cardboard is made with paper; therefore, it is highly flammable and can ignite a fire in your air fryer.

That’s just one of the reasons that cardboard does not belong to your air fryer. We have discussed more below.

Why Shouldn't Put Cardboard In Air Fryer

Cardboard shouldn't go in an air fryer to preserve the safety of your appliance and your health.

Below we have stated the reasons why using cardboard is not good for an air fryer. 

Cardboard Blocks The Air Flow

The air fryer's cooking mechanism is the most straightforward reason for not putting cardboard. 

An air fryer uses hot air to make food crispy; cooking or reheating food in a cardboard box can block the airflow, resulting in uneven cooking.

In short, putting cardboard in an air fryer kills the true purpose of air frying.

| READ NEXT: Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer

Cardboard Releases Harmful Chemicals

Though cardboard is primarily made with paper, numerous types of chemicals (adhesives, wax, ink) are used in its manufacturing process.

PFAS is a large group of over 4500 chemicals used in consumer products, including paper and cardboard.

These “Forever Chemicals” are extremely resistant to breakdown and badly affect your health.

When heated at high temperatures, cardboard can release toxic fumes and chemicals that may contaminate your food.

Cardboard In An Air Fryer Is A Fire Risk

It shouldn’t be surprising that cardboard can catch fire.

You must be wondering, how is this possible without an actual flame?

This happens through a process called spontaneous combustion—a type of ignition that occurs due to self-heating.

In an air fryer, spontaneous combustion results from the internal heat of the appliance.

It causes the cardboard to reach its ignition point and catch fire without a visible flame.

Though the risk of cardboard catching fire in an air fryer at low temperature is negligent, as the temperature increases, the fire risk gets higher.

As the fire risk outweighs the convenience, it is better to avoid using cardboard in your air fryer.

| Must Read: Air Fryer Tips For Beginners

Using A Cardboard Box In An Air Fryer Is Impractical

It is impractical to put cardboard in an air fryer, considering the size and shape of an air fryer and a cardboard box itself.

Unless you have an air fryer oven and can shave down a cardboard box to fit, putting one in a standard air fryer simply does not seem feasible.

The reason air fryers became popular in the first place was their quick cooking.

Trying to fit a cardboard box can waste a lot of time, defeating the purpose of an air fryer.

What Containers Are Safe To Use In An Air Fryer

  • Aluminum containers
  • Silicone molds
  • Ceramic cookware
  • Tempered glass container (Pyrex)
  • Stoneware
  • Souffle Dish Ramekins
  • Cast iron containers

Is It Safe To Put Paper In The Air Fryer?

It is not recommended to put paper plates in an air fryer.

Although, like cardboard, paper is not combustible until exposed to 424°-475° F temperature, it still carries the risk of fire and can jeopardize air fryer safety.

In addition, paper can cause air fryer smoke and release toxic fumes when exposed to an air fryer’s heat.

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Conclusion

While reheating pizza or other pre-cooked food in a cardboard tray or box looks very convenient, doing so is not recommended. Remember that you don’t want to expose your air fryer to a fire risk or allow harmful chemicals to seep into your food. Besides, there is really no need to jeopardize your health and air fryer safety when so many safer container options are available for air fryers.

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