Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer?

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Air fryers have joined the kitchen appliance community, which offers cooking convenience and easy cleaning.

But it is pretty tempting to make cleanup even easier by using a little aluminum foil in the air fryer.

How do you cook with aluminum foil inside your air fryer?

Considering the damages (sparks) aluminum foil causes in a microwave, asking these questions is pretty justifiable.

Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer without harming your appliance or food. However, make sure the foil doesn't block heat circulation, it does not touch the heating element, and it doesn't fly around the basket.

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Why Use Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer?

There are a few reasons to put aluminum foil in an air fryer. Here they are:

Enhances Food’s Flavor

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.

Makes Cleanup Easier

Adding foil to an air fryer makes cleanup much easier.

All the grease and food residues collect on the aluminum foil instead of sticking to the bottom of the basket.

Once you are done cooking, you can take out the foil, throw it, or wash it to eliminate the mess. Also check how to clean an air fryer.

Speeds Up Batch Cooking

If you are cooking in batches, using foil can save a lot of time.

By keeping the basket clean, aluminum foil saves you from cleaning the air fryer after each batch.

Brings Food Closer To The Heating Element

Crumpling the aluminum paper and placing food on top can raise the food, such as steaks and chicken wings.

This method helps bring the food closer to the heating element for better cooking and a nice brown crust.

However, while doing this, ensure that the food doesn't touch the heating element to prevent any possible damage.

Tips For Safely Using Aluminum Foil In Air Fryer

Here are some tips for using foil in an air fryer. Following these tips and tricks will help you safely and efficiently use it on your device.

Put The Foil At The Bottom Of The Air Fryer

Don’t line the walls of the air fryer basket with foil liners.

Lining the walls can block the perforation in the basket, preventing the hot air from cooking the food. 

Only put the foil in the bottom of the air fryer basket. Spare the bottom edges by folding the sides of the foil or keeping the foil size smaller than the basket bottom.

Consult The User Manual

Consulting the user manual is essential as it often mentions the best way to use aluminum foil, which can differ from your approach.

For instance, Phillips air fryer manufacturers don’t recommend using foil.

In contrast, it is okay to add a layer of it at the base of the Instant Vortex, Frigidaire, or Ninja air fryer basket. 

Consider The Specs Of Your Appliance

Consider the specifications of your cooking appliance. If it is an air fryer oven, you can put the foil on the baking or drip tray to catch the drippings.

Alternatively, if you have a basket-style air fryer, it is okay to put a layer of foil at the bottom of the basket before arranging the contents on it.

Don’t Cover The Food

Wrapping the food with foil in air fryer

Don’t cover or wrap up the food (regardless of the type) with foil.

Covering the food blocks the path of the hot circulating air, preventing it from cooking and crisping food from all sides.

Weight It Down

The weight of a paper-thin foil is negligible. Therefore, put enough food on the foil to weigh it down on the basket bottom.

If the foil is not properly weighted down, it can take flight due to hot air reaching the heating element and possibly starting a fire.

Also, don’t preheat the air fryer with only the foil inside.

Don't Preheat The Air Fryer With Foil

We always recommend preheating the air fryer because 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.

Avoid Putting Acidic Food On It

Putting acidic food on the aluminum foil can cause the metal to react with food acids, causing it 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 acidic and can actually damage the foil.

Ultimately, they can cause the aluminum to penetrate the food in larger and more harmful quantities.

Is Aluminum Foil Toxic?

No, aluminum foil is not toxic and quite safe to use in an air fryer.

However, using it may increase aluminum content in your food, especially when cooking acidic food.

While using foil does not cause serious health issues in adults, if you are apprehensive about cooking with it, consider opting for a suitable substitute.

How Do You Fold Foil For An Air Fryer?

Here is how you can fold foil for your air fryer.   

  • Cut the foil according to the diameter of the air fryer basket.     
  • Fold the sides of the foil a little so that it is smaller than the basket’s base and does not cover all the holes.
  • Place the foil in the basket or wrap it in the area needed to be covered. Ensure the foil does not cover the fan or heating element, as it can block the heat. 

Is There Any Alternative To Aluminum Foil?

Yes, there is an alternative to aluminum foil. You can use Parchment paper in air fryer.

You can buy perforated parchment paper from the market or make holes in ordinary parchment paper before placing it in the air fryer basket.

Holes are essential for promoting even heat circulation through the food without any obstruction.

Do not mix the parchment paper with butter paper because both are different.

Aluminum Foil Vs. Parchment Paper

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 amount 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

Can I Put Tin Foil in the Air Fryer?

No, you cannont put tin foil in the air fryer because its melting point is low and it alters the taste of the food.

You cannot use it as an alternative of aluminum foil due to following reasons.

  • Alters Food’s Taste: This is by far the biggest problem with using the toil foil. It alters food flavor by adding bitterness or a taste of tin.
  • Poor Durability: It is stiffer and less sturdy, so wrapping your food or folding it to assume the basket's shape can be a hassle.
  • Poor Conductor Of Heat: Aluminum foil has approximately 3 to 5 times higher heat conductivity than tin foil. Cooking food in tin foil takes longer to cook.
  • Poor Ductility: It is not easy to use and tears apart as soon as you pull it out from the roll.

When buying cooking foil, choose one explicitly labeled aluminum foil, not just “Foil” or “Tin Foil.”

FAQs

Can I wrap potatoes in foil in the air fryer?

There is no need to wrap potatoes in foil before adding them to the air fryer as it can result in soggy skins. However, you can add a thin layer of foil to the basket to minimize cleanup.

Can I wrap fish in foil in an air fryer?

Yes, you can wrap fish in foil before cooking it in an air fryer. Wrapping the fish in aluminum foil helps it retain juices and spices, seal in the flavors, and prevent it from sticking to the air fryer basket.

Can I wrap chicken in foil in air fryer?

Yes, you can wrap chicken in foil in an air fryer if you want to cook soft and tender chicken and prevent it from drying out. When you wrap the chicken in foil, all the juices get trapped inside, making it succulent and soft.

Can you put aluminum foil in an Ninja air fryer?

Yes, you can put aluminum foil in the basket of the Ninja air fryer. However, place it flat on the bottom of the basket. In addition, keep the size of the foil smaller than the basket diameter to allow hot circulation through the basket holes.

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Parting Remarks

Foil makes cooking in an air fryer much more convenient as it can collect all the juices and food grease. It also makes air fryer maintenance a breeze. But you must be careful about the type of foil you are choosing. While aluminum foil in the air fryer is pretty harmless, the same cannot be said for tin foil. In addition, it is essential to use foil with caution. You must avoid covering the perforation in the air fryer basket as it can cause top browning and prevent thorough cooking. Additionally, always weigh it down with food and don’t cook acidic food on it.