No, putting plastic utensils in the air fryer is not safe because it will melt due to high temperature.
Considering how air frying has dominated traditional deep frying, people become very experimental when finding suitable containers for air fryers.
Not every cookware you use is air fryer safe. And such is the case with dozens of plastic bowls you have filled your kitchen cabinets. After all, let’s be honest that despite knowing the potential health hazards, using plastic is still an unfortunate part of our lifestyle.
Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer?
No, it is not safe to put plastic bowl, tray, cups, dish, or container in the air fryer. Plastic utensils in air fryers will melt, damage your air fryer, and can cause some serious disaster like smoke and fire.
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To understand this, you need to look at the basic principle of air frying, which goes by circulating fan-induced hot air around the food. It sounds very much similar to what an oven does, right!
This similarity makes it quite clear that things not safe for ovens are also unsafe to use in the air fryer. It means one should not experiment with their air fryer by putting plastic plates or bowls.
Why Using Plastic In Air Fryers is Not Safe
The temperature inside an air fryer can go as high as 400 Fahrenheit, and plastic of any type whatsoever cannot sustain its heat-intense compartment. And by this unsustainability, we mean plastic can create serious havoc when put in an air fryer.
Below are some of the risks and health hazards associated with using plastic bowls in air fryers.
Plastic Will Melt Away
The first thing that happens to plastic when it goes inside an air fryer is it starts to melt.Though each plastic type exhibits various melting points, they all tend to melt on high heat.
Air fryer recipes often require a temperature range from 200 to 400 Fahrenheit to have a perfect crisp. And, of course, one can not expect that plastic with a minimum melting point of 130℃ can work in air fryers without melting away.
Melted Plastic Can Damage Your Air Fryer
No matter how safest air fryer your air fryer is, the melted plastic can not only mess up your food but also cause irreplaceable damage to your kitchen appliance. When the plastic melts inside your food, even if labeled food-grade, you have no option but to discard such food with plastic drooling over it.
The worse part is, this plastic, even in low temperatures, can potentially leach chemicals highly toxic for human consumption, causing cancer. For your air fryer, melted plastic can trap within a mesh basket or plunge into the heating coil, damaging this expensive kitchen appliance.
Is Microwavable Plastic an Air Fryer Safe
Unfortunately, even microwavable plastic is not safe to use in air fryers. Microwave-safe plastic is a type of plastic made transparent only to microwave energy to turn moisture inside food into vapors that actually heats up to cook food in the microwave.
This is entirely different from the case of air fryers, where this plastic has to sustain an intense cooking temperature produced by a heating coil, unlike a microwave mechanism.
Plastic Alternatives To Use In Air Fryers
We know it’s disappointing for you that your plastic bowls cannot help air fry your favorite recipes. But that’s not a big issue because there are many kitchen accessories made with oven-safe materials you can get along while air frying, such as;
- Pyrex Bowl: Pyrex with oven-safe label is durable and safe to use in air fryer. However, I advise to test the pyrex container in the air fryer by putting it empty at the highest cooking temperature to check its strength against air frying.
- Steel Utensils: Steel bowls are also the most suitable cookware for air fryers, provided they are graded oven-safe by the manufacturer.
- Metallic Bowls: Food-grade containers of metals like aluminum and iron are among the types of cookware safe to use in an air fryer.
- Ceramic Bowl: Ceramic cups and bowls are highly heat-resistant cookware, you can safely put a ceramic bowl in an air fryer. It will come out from the appliance without cracking or melting.
What containers can you put in an air fryer?
You can use any oven-safe metallic container, such as aluminum baskets, silicone pans, steel bowls, and iron ovenware. Ceramic containers are another popular choice to obtain uniformly distributed heat in the fryer chamber for even crispiness. Or else, pyrex glassware, given if it is air fryer safe, is often considered by people to use while air frying.
What happens if you put plastic in an air fryer?
When plastic goes inside an air fryer, it melts and leaches out harmful chemicals within cooked food, ruining its texture and overall taste. Moreover, it can also damage your air fryer, messing with the nooks and crannies and making its cleaning tough.
In the end, we would only advise you to beware of the term plastic with whatever cooking appliance you use, not just an air fryer. Yes, you can put plastic bowls in the microwave when heating any leftover food, but keep those bowls feet apart from your air fryer. We are sure you do not want to put your flavorful recipes and expensive air fryer at risk of getting spoiled with harmful plastic. Therefore, we have included the list of air fryer-safe accessories you can opt for. Choose any cookware type in hand, and air fry your favorite recipe without any risk involved.
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