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Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer? Is it safe? Kitchenhanker.Com will explain you the dos and don’ts of using foil in the air fryer.

When you get an air fryer, you should not do anything that harms it in any way. So, you figure out ways to use it safely. But one question you should ask yourself is about using aluminum foil in an air fryer.

So, to avoid this spark show and the explosive results similar to what you would get in a microwave, you must know whether you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer! Check KitchenHanker top picks for the best air fryer with grill combo and the best air fryer with dehydrator.

Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer? [2023]

Yes, You can safely use aluminum foil in an air fryer without causing any damage to your appliance or food. However, it’s important not to line the walls of the air fryer with aluminum foil, as it can block the airflow and affect the cooking process.

How To Use Aluminum Foil In The Air Fryer

Microwaves have been around us for quite some time, so we all are aware of the results of placing aluminum foil in the microwave. I suggest using foil in an air fryer, but there are a few aspects that you must keep in your mind.

Consult The User Manual

First, consult the user manual that came with your air fryer, as it is better to be mindful of your appliance.

The user manual often mentions the best way to use aluminum foil, which can differ from your approach. For instance, Phillips doesn’t recommend using tin foil in its air fryers.

In contrast, it is okay to add a layer of it when using Ninja, Frigidaire, or instant vortex air fryer, as long as you are not putting it at the bottom of the air fryer drawer.

Put The Foil At The Bottom

Don’t line the walls of the air fryer basket with aluminum foil, as it can block the perforation in the basket, which ultimately stops the hot air flow from cooking the food.

Putting Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer Basket

The right way is to add a layer at the bottom of the air fryer basket before putting the food on it. But spare the bottom edges by folding the sides of the foil to allow air circulation.

Also, the foil size should be smaller than the basket bottom and fit snuggly. 

Considering Specs of Your Appliance

Also, consider the machine you have.

Is it a simple air fryer or an air fryer oven combo?

If it is an air fryer oven, you can put the foil on the baking tray or the drip tray to catch the drippings. Whereas, if you have a simple air fryer, it is okay to put a layer of foil at the bottom of the air fryer basket before arranging the contents in the basket.

Tips For Using Foil In The Air Fryer

Here are some tips to put aluminum foil in an air fryer. By following these tips and tricks, you can safely and effectively use aluminum foil in your device.

Don’t Cover The Food

Wrapping the food with foil in air fryer

You might be tempted to wrap the chicken in foil in an air fryer when making it, but avoid doing it!

When using foil, don’t cover or wrap up the food (regardless of the type) with it, as it would block the path of the hot circulating air, preventing it from cooking and crisping food from all sides. 

Weigh It Down

The weight of a paper-thin aluminum foil is negligible. Therefore, put enough food on the foil to weigh it down on the basket bottom. If the foil is not properly weighed down, it can take a flight due to hot air and reach the heating element and fan compartment.

Avoid Putting Acidic Food On It

Another tip is to avoid cooking acidic food on foil. This precaution is regardless of using it in an air fryer or a convection oven. There is a little chemistry involved in this precaution.

Putting acidic food on the aluminum foil can cause the metal to react with food acids and cause aluminum to seep into food.

Ingesting aluminum in small amounts is generally harmless as aluminum is present in almost everything. However, it is still not palatable and gives your food a bitter iron-like taste.

Besides, some foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, and marinades containing vinegar and lemon are so acidic that they can actually damage the foil, causing the aluminum to penetrate the food in larger and more harmful quantities.

Preheating The Air Fryer With The Foil

I always recommend preheating the air fryer because my cooking experience shows that preheated air fryer cooks food better but when it comes to using foil, don’t preheat the unit while the foil is already lining the basket. Powerful gusts of hot air can blow the foil onto the heating element, causing it to overheat and possibly start a fire.

Bring Food Closer To The Heating Element

Another tip when using aluminum foil in an air fryer is to use it in a crumpled form and place the food on top of it.

Using it this way helps you raise food such as steaks and wings and bring it closer to the heating element for better cooking and a really nice brown crust.

Is it safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Yes, using aluminum foil in an air fryer is safe and won’t cause any harm to your food or the unit.

For people who have been using a microwave oven in their kitchen, safety might be the biggest concern when using aluminum foil in the air fryer.

We all know that it is a big No to put aluminum foil in a microwave oven because it uses actual microwaves to heat your food. An air fryer does not work in that same manner.

Instead of microwaves, an air fryer uses hot air to cook food. Therefore, it does not produce an alarming sound or spark show when you put the foil in it.

In fact, it is actually recommended to use foil when cooking delicate foods such as salmon in the air fryer.

Why use aluminum foil in an air fryer?

It is suggested to use foil in the air fryer because it can increase the flavor of your food. Think about it this way, the foil goes at the bottom of the air fryer basket, and the food goes on top.

The foil catches all the drippings and food juices and lets the food cook in those drippings, penetrating the flavor deep into your food.

Moreover, using foil makes air fryer cleaning much easier because all the grease and food residues collect on the aluminum foil instead of sticking to the basket bottom.

Once you are done cooking, you can take out the foil, throw it, or wash it to get rid of the mess and reuse it.

Yep, you can wash and reuse the foil. And you don’t even have to hand-wash it: You can put it in the dishwasher.

Is aluminum foil toxic?

The toxicity of aluminum foil might be another concern, especially when there are false rumors that air fryers cause cancer or other health concerns.

In reality, aluminum is quite safe to use in an air fryer. But using it can increase the aluminum content in your food, especially when cooking acidic food.

Still, it is not true that it causes serious health issues in adults—but the easiest way to eliminate these apprehensions is to stop cooking food in aluminum foil. If you are overly concerned, replace it with another substitute of foil.

Is there any alternative to aluminum foil?

Yes, there is an alternative to aluminum foil—perforated parchment paper. Buy perforated parchment paper from the market or make holes in the parchment paper before placing it in the air fryer basket. Holes will let heat circulate through the food without any obstruction.

Aluminum Foil Vs. Parchment Paper

Below I have compared parchment paper with aluminum foil for better understanding.

Aluminum FoilParchment Paper
Does not have non-stick propertiesComes with a non-stick outer layer
Reacts with the food acidsDoes not react with food acids
A small number of chemical leaches into foodNo chemicals leach into food
Mold to the shape of the air fryerMold to the shape of the air fryer
May block the airflow sometimesDoes not block the airflow
Makes cleanup easierMakes cleanup easier
Suitable for items like eggsNot suitable for items containing liquid
Not so eco-friendlyMore eco-friendly
Non-biodegradable (takes 200 to 500 years to fully degrade in a landfill)Biodegradable (gets absorbed by the soil in 30 to 90 days)
Can be reusedCannot be reused
Cannot make perforationsCan make holes/perforations

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What can you use instead of foil in the air fryer?

You can use parchment paper or greased baking pans. But avoid using freezer paper or wax paper in an air fryer. However, the parchment paper must have holes; otherwise, the air won’t flow properly, and food will not cook evenly.

Wrapping Up!

Using aluminum foil in an air fryer is completely okay if you adhere to the precautionary measures. You must not cover the perforation in the air fryer basket as it can cause top browning and prevent thorough cooking. But as you might have seen, foil is not the best option to be used in an air fryer. Using a basket without any covering or perforated parchment paper is much more recommended.