Silicone mats are a popular choice in cooking and baking thanks to their non-stick and heat-resistant properties, but have you ever thought about using them in an air fryer?
I have been receiving this question for the past few days. Let’s delve into the topic to understand whether it’s safe or can cause a misadventure. If you want to skip the use of silicone liners, use an air fryer with ceramic basket.
Yes, using silicone mats or cups in an air fryer is safe. They are heat-resistant up to 430°F. However, temperature exceeding the given limit can damage the appliance, or the silicone material can leach into the meal, which is not good for your health. Anything under 430°F is completely safe.
Can You Use Silicone Mats, Moulds, Or Cups In Air Fryer?
There is no harm in using a silicone mat in an air fryer. It offers convenience, makes cleaning easier, and does not let the food stick to the bottom of the air fryer basket. As a result, you don’t have to scrub the basket’s bottom as hard as you would otherwise to remove stuck-on food.
Type Of Silicone Liners Suitable For An Air Fryer
There are some important things to consider when choosing a silicone mat for your air fryer include the following:
Make sure the silicone mat you use in an air fryer is oven-safe. Before putting the mat in the basket, check the label “oven-safe” or “heat proof” on the mat. It is often written on the underside of the mat. If you are unsure, ask the seller or contact the manufacturer of your silicone mat.
Most silicone mats are oven-safe and can withstand 430F to 450F temperature— the maximum temperature you cook in an air fryer.
Also, choose a mat with perforations, which means it should have holes in it. These holes prevent blockage of hot air circulation, and the food such as wings, chicken, or shrimp placed on it gets cooked evenly. Food comes out crispy and ready to serve.
Best Way To Use Silicone Mat In Air Fryer
Using a heat-resistant silicone mat in an air fryer is extremely hassle-free. Place the non-stick mat at the bottom of the air fryer basket, rack, or tray (for oven-style air fryers). Treat it as any other non-stick lining for an air fryer.
Arrange the food on the liner as you would on the bare basket bottom. Follow the recipe—spray some oil on the food before pushing the basket inside the air fryer.
When it is time to take out food, use a non-stick spatula to take out the food. This way, food will not stick to the mat, so none of its parts will tear, as usually happens when you cook food in the air fryer basket.
Benefits Of Using Silicone Mat In Air Fryer
Silicone mats increase your convenience; here is how they do it.
- Creates A Non-stick Surface: Perforated silicone liners create a non-stick surface. As a result, food doesn’t stick to the basket’s surface and hold its shape.
- Protects Basket Surface: Stuck-on food in an air fryer means using sponges and dishwashing cleaners to wash the basket. Using chemical cleaners destroys the non-stick coating on the air fryer basket and reduces its life.
- Easy to Clean: Using silicone mats makes cleaning the basket easy and hassle-free. These mats are dishwasher safe too. Toss the mats in the dishwasher, sit back, and wait for them to come out clean.
- Reusable: Silicone mats may cost you more than parchment paper at the time of purchase, but they are reusable. Ultimately, they offer value for the money you spend on them.
- Even Cooking: Perforated silicone mats do not impede hot air flow around the food. Therefore, unlike using aluminum foil in an air fryer, they allow the food to cook evenly.
- Multipurpose: Even if you have bought these silicone mats for your air fryer only, you can still use them in regular ovens, toaster ovens, for steaming, and pressure cookers.
- Eco-Friendly Material: Using silicone mats in the air fryer is an eco-friendly option. Silicone is made with oxygen, silicon, and hydrogen. The “silicon” in this compound is made with silica derived from sand.
Since sand is readily and abundantly available on earth, cooking with a silicone mat is more eco-friendly. Though it looks like rubbery plastic with non-stick properties, a silicone mat’s formation does not include using BPA, PFOA, or PTFE chemicals.
Can you use regular parchment paper in the air fryer?
Yes, you can use parchment paper in an air fryer. The chemical treatment it undergoes while manufacturing creates a non-stick surface. Parchment paper is heatproof, so it does not catch fire. But ensure not to line the basket with parchment paper during the preheating stage, as the paper can take flight and reach the fan which can prevent heating element from working.
Can you use grill mats in the air fryer?
There is nothing wrong with using grill mats in an air fryer. They are non-stick and heat resistant. But the only caveat is that often they are made with PTFE fiber, which is not good for the health and environment.
Silicone mats are food-grade, non-stick, and eco-friendly. Therefore, they are one recommended option to line your air fryer basket before cooking. They are a great alternative to using parchment paper in the air fryer. Silicone mats are not made with plastic, hence don’t release any toxic fumes when exposed to high heat in the air fryers. However, always choose oven-safe silicone mats for your air fryer.
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