Yes, you can use toothpicks to hold the food down in the air fryer.
Toothpicks can secure different burger layers in place or remove items from the marinade. They are also summoned when testing the doneness of baked food, such as cakes and brownies. But can you put toothpicks in the air fryer to hold everything together? Well, that is something to think about!
Can You Put Toothpicks In The Air Fryer?
Yes, you can put toothpicks in the air fryer. They are great at holding food together. However, you must be careful about a few aspects:
- Material of toothpick
- Time you soak toothpicks in water
- The cooking temperature
- How long they stay under heat
As mentioned above, toothpicks are safe to use in air fryers. Cooking lightweight items in an air fryer is not recommended because such food keeps flying around in the air fryer. However, toothpicks are often touted as a solution to this problem.
Things To Consider When Using Toothpicks In An Air Fryer
When it comes to using toothpicks in an air fryer, keep the below-mentioned points in mind.
Soak Them In Water
Soaking toothpicks is not always necessary; however, doing so eliminates the risk of them catching fire. Soaking them in water also prevents them from getting dark during cooking and looking unappealing, as most people want their food to look attractive when served. So, soak the toothpicks in water for 15 to 20 minutes before putting them in the air fryer.
| NOTE: Use soaked toothpicks with foods that are supposed to be cooked for longer than 10 minutes. For quicker meals, dry toothpicks can work.
Made With Oven-Safe Material
Use toothpicks made with a material that can go in an air fryer. Toothpicks made with plain wood with no paper hangings or metal toothpicks are a great choice. Metal toothpicks are reusable and completely safe.
Buy High-Quality Toothpicks
Since toothpicks are supposed to touch food while it cooks in the air fryer, don’t be thrifty or try to save a few bucks when purchasing them. Buy high-quality toothpicks, even if they cost you a little extra. Expensive toothpicks are often longer; they don’t break or splinter in the food.
Risks Associated With Using Toothpicks In Air Fryer
Now, you must be thinking about how a small toothpick can harm you or your air fryer. But the truth is, using a toothpick generally comes without substantial risk. Here is everything about it.
Chances Of A Fire Hazard
Toothpicks are made with wood, so they can ignite when heated, and your air fryer may catch fire. However, this happens when the wood is exposed to high heat for a long time, which is generally not true in an air fryer.
Toothpicks need at least 700 degrees Fahrenheit to catch fire, which never happens in an air fryer. Besides, you don’t cook food in an air fryer for hours, which is what the toothpicks take to char.
So, reasoning this way, toothpicks might be safe when used in an air fryer at high heat. The only time toothpicks might catch fire is when poking too high up. They might touch the heating element and get charred.
Avoid Decorative Toothpicks
Some toothpicks have a plastic coating or fancy frills made with other materials. When these toothpicks come under heat in an air fryer, their plastic melts and ruins your food.
Plastic and other materials also release harmful fumes at high heat. The same goes for colored toothpicks, the dye might be non-toxic, but the color can still seep into your food, which might not be the most welcoming and appetizing sight.
So, be sure about the suitability of toothpicks before putting them in an air fryer. So, if you use simple toothpicks without any decoration, they are safe for an air fryer.
If you want to make your food look fancy and attractive by adding colorful toothpicks, do that after the food is cooked and comes outside the air fryer.
| READ NEXT: Are Air Fryers Toxic OR Healthy & Safe?
Moisture From Food
Another factor that contributes to preventing toothpicks from getting burned is their contact with the food. Since some part of a toothpick stays inside food, it absorbs moisture from the food and does not retain enough heat to set itself on fire.
The one end outside the food might become dry and charred, but they remain intact and unharmed from the center and the other end.
Alternatives To Using Toothpicks In An Air Fryer
Toothpicks are not the only item that can secure food in place; you have other options too. You can use cocktail sticks; they work in a similar way; just be careful of the material they are made with.
Using skewers in an air fryer instead of toothpicks is not a bad idea either. They can offer the same benefits of holding the food together and keeping its appearance intact. If made with metal, there is no chance they will ignite even at high temperatures.
Another option is to use kitchen string, especially for rolled meat, stuffed veggies, stuffed chicken, or steak pinwheels.
| ALSO CHECK:
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- Can You Open Air Fryer While Cooking?
- Are Air Fried Chicken Wings Healthy?
Using toothpicks in an air fryer makes cooking in it much easier. You don’t have to worry about the food floating inside the air fryer or displacing from its place due to high-speed air. However, make sure toothpicks are made with plain wood or metal, soaked in water before use, and have no frills, colors, or embellishments.
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