Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer?

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The key to ensuring the safety of your air fryer is connected with carefully choosing materials used while cooking.

We all know that certain materials don’t pair well with an air fryer. Plastic is one of them.

Understanding the why behind it can ensure the integrity of your cooking appliance and the safety of your health.

In the article below, we aim to explore the nitty gritty of using plastic in an air fryer and recommend alternatives.

No, you cannot use plastic in an air fryer because of its low melting point. The high operating temperature of the air fryer (350-400F) can melt the plastic, releasing toxic fumes and posing grave health and kitchen safety risks.

What Happens When You Put A Plastic In An Air Fryer

Here is what happens when you use a plastic takeaway container in an air fryer.

Melts Under High Heat

Plastic has a low melting point and melts at a higher temperature.

When you put a plastic plate or bowl in an air fryer, it shrinks and melts.

The melted plastic may even drip through the holes of the air fryer basket and access the heat vent, normally present at the unit’s bottom. 

In short, using plastic Tupperware or containers puts the safety of your air fryer at stake; therefore, you should avoid using it.

Melted Plastic Can Damage Your Air Fryer

Melted Plastic Can Damage Your Air Fryer

No matter how safest 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.

Produces Smoke And Odor

Plastic can heat up to the point of producing smoke and cause a fire hazard. Inhaling fumes from melted plastic may be detrimental to your health.

In addition, when plastic burns inside an air fryer, it produces an odor that might linger in your house for some time.

| ALSO READ: How To Get Rid Of Air Fryer Plastic Smell

Leach Chemicals Into Your Food

Some plastic contains BPA, a chemical incredibly harmful to human health. It is usually present in low-quality plastic.

When a BPA-containing plastic melts inside an air fryer, it can leach chemicals into your food, making it unsuitable for consumption.

To avoid these issues, it is always recommended to use only cookware and accessories that can be safely used in high-temperature cooking appliances.

If you are unsure about the safety of using a particular material in an air fryer, avoiding its use is the best option.

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Plastic That Is Safe To Use In An Air Fryer

While using ordinary plastic containers in an air fryer is a big NO, there are a few safe options.

Here they are:

  • Silicone is one such plastic that is completely oven-safe. It has a melting point of around 500F and can be used in an air fryer as long as you don’t cook beyond this temperature.
  • Crystallized polyethylene terephthalate is another plastic with high thermal and chemical resistance. It can withstand 400F. Due to these properties, it can be used in an air fryer. However, it does not mean that it will not melt. A high heat resistance means it will take longer and a higher temperature to melt.

Can I Use Microwavable Plastic In Air Fryers?

Can I Use Microwavable Plastic In Air Fryers

No, it is strictly prohibited to use microwavable containers in an air fryer because of the material they are made of—plastic.

A microwave-safe plastic container can only withstand temperatures up to 250F. Whereas an air fryer usually cooks food at a much higher temperature (350-400F).

While microwaveable containers can withstand microwave heat, they may not stand against an air fryer’s heat. 

Even if a plastic container does not completely melt in an air fryer, it will still start breaking down, releasing toxic substances unsafe for health. 

As a result, it can lead to undesirable outcomes such as compromised functionality of the air fryer, toxic fumes, smoke, and/or fire accidents.

Using a microwavable container in an air fryer is not an option, even if it bears a microwave-safe label.

| ALSO LEARN: Are Air Fryers Toxic?

can i put microwaveable containers in the air fryer?
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What Types of Plastic Should Not Go In An Air Fryer

What Types of Plastic Should Not Go In An Air Fryer

The following types of plastics should be kept out of air fryers:

  • Plastic Containers & Bags: Plastic food containers, plastic storage bags, zipper storage bags, or plastic cling wraps should never be put directly into an air fryer, even if labeled microwave-safe.
  • Plastic Trays & Inserts: Many pre-made frozen foods come packaged on plastic trays that go from the freezer into the oven or microwave. You can use them if they are labeled oven-safe for temperatures over 400°F.
  • Plastic Utensils: Nylon or rubberized plastic utensils like tongs, spatulas, ladles, and plastic serving spoons are not safe for air fryer baskets either.
  • Dishwasher-Safe Plastics: Being labeled as dishwasher safe does not make plastics air fryer safe.

Alternatives of Plastic Container

Alternatives of Plastic Container

To ensure the safety of use and avoid health hazards, you must use the appropriate containers and accessories in an air fryer.

While using plastic is not recommended, some other types of containers you can use in an air fryer are:

  • Ceramic containers (entirely made with ceramic)
  • Ceramic cookware (with ceramic coating and metal inside)
  • Silicone mold
  • Silicone cupcake liners
  • Aluminum containers
  • Stainless pots and containers
  • Glass containers and dishes
  • Ramekins
  • Copper containers


Can you put plastic ready meal in air fryer?

No, you should not put a plastic ready meal directly into an air fryer. Before placing ready meals in an air fryer, remove any plastic container and overwrap and put the container’s contents in an oven-safe bowl.

Can you put plastic wrap in an air fryer?

No, it is not recommended to put plastic wrap in an air fryer. The air fryer’s high heat (350 to 400F) can cause the wrap to melt. If you intend to cover the food, use oven-safe materials like aluminum foil or parchment paper.

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Final Thoughts

Plastic containers and plates are widely used in standard kitchens. However, using them in an air fryer is not recommended. Considering that plastic cannot withstand an air fryer’s temperature, using it can summon a smoke and fire disaster. Therefore, it should be the last thing that ever goes in your air fryer.