Do You Need Special Pans For Air Fryer Oven?

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Do you need special pans for air fryer oven? You can use any pot or pan in the air fryer that has an oven safe label.

Most air fryers on the market come with a crisper plate and a basket, the most recommended and suitable cookware to use in air fryer. Apart from the crisper plate and the basket, can you put pans for cooking in the air fryer? Let’s find out.

Do You Need Special Pans For Air Fryer Oven?

No, you do not need special pans for an air fryer oven. The air fryer oven combo typically comes with baskets or trays designed to allow hot air circulation. However, if you want to use a pan, ensure it is ovenproof, fits comfortably within the air fryer, and is suitable for high-heat cooking.

Types Of Pans Best For An Air Fryer

Below are some pans you can use in an air fryer instead of or with the air fryer basket.

Putting Ceramic Pan In Air Fryer

Ceramics is one of the most suitable materials for making cookware (pans, bowls, plates, etc.). Its high heat conduction makes it ideal for an air fryer or oven.

A ceramic pan also retains heat superbly without holding on to the flavor of the food cooked previously or currently.

In the market, you will find two ceramic utensils: Ceramic crockery and ceramic cookware. The former is entirely made with ceramic, and the latter only has ceramic coating. However, both types are suitable for use in an air fryer.

The only thing needing your attention when using ceramic containers is decorative elements (designs and paints), often making a pan unsafe for an air fryer.

Make sure to use ceramic pans without any decorative items or when you are sure their paint/design won’t interfere with the cooking process.

Using Cast Iron Pans In The Air Fryer

For most cooks, cast iron is often a favorite material when choosing a metal pan because it can hold heat and penetrate it evenly into the food being cooked in it.

The only thing to ensure when using an oven-safe cast iron pan is that the lid—if you are using one—must be oven-proof too. If you have a compact air fryer, the cast iron pan must be compact in dimensions too.

Putting Aluminum Pans In Air Fryer

There is nothing surprising about using aluminum pans in an air fryer, for it is another commonly used metal in kitchens. Aluminum is a heat conductor and retains and transfers heat evenly, helping with even cooking.

High-quality food-grade aluminum containers or foils don’t react with food. However, acidic (lemon, tomato) food does require some caution.

Disposable aluminum pans and containers have made cooking much more convenient. You can place them in your air fryer. After cooking, you can use them as serving pans too. They are an excellent choice for reheating food in an air fryer too.

Using Stainless Steel Pan

Stainless steel is also safe for use in an air fryer. Plus, it has high heat conduction. Therefore, a stainless steel pan is great for making sauces and frying food.

Plus, it does not corrode by reacting with food acids or alter the taste of the food being cooked in it.

When buying a stainless steel pan or picking one from your kitchen, make sure it has no plastic handles that might melt during cooking. Besides, a pan with an attached handle or loop might not fit in your air fryer.

Placing Silicone Pan In The Air Fryer

Silicone Pans For Air Fryer

Some of you might be skeptical about using silicone in an air fryer. But silicone is one of the most suitable materials for air fryers. Silicone was approved by FDA and deemed safe for use in cooking in 1979.

Don’t be fooled by its soft and pliable material; most food-grade silicone accessories are not affected by temperature changes. Therefore it is commonly used for making spatulas and cooking spoons.

Silicone mini loaf pans and molds are frequently used to make baking containers, for example, muffins, loaf containers, and cake pans.

Silicone makes the best air fryer accessories due to its pliable nature, which makes removing the food from the containers extremely easy.

Pans To Avoid Using In The Air Fryer

Safety is essential when using any appliance or cooking utensils. Here are the type of pans you should avoid putting in the air fryer:

  • Pans with Teflon non-stick coating
  • Pan with plastic handle can melt
  • Pans that are not oven safe

Best Tips For Using Pan In An Air Fryer

Here are some tips or you can say important things to consider while putting a pan in the air fryer.

  • SIZE: Measure the size of the interior chamber or basket and use a pan a few inches smaller than that.
  • OVEN SAFE: Always use oven safe pots and pans to prevent warp or melt.
  • AIR FLOW: Ensure the pan doesn’t block the air flow. Blockage of air flow will result in uneven cooking.
  • HEATING ELEMENT: Also make sure pan doesn’t touch the heating element of the air fryer because it can destroy the appliance.

| TIP: The best size pan for the air fryer is the one that is:

  • A few inches smaller than the basket interior size
  • Not tall enough to touch the heating element
  • That doesn’t block the air circulation

When To Use A Pan In An Air Fryer

You don’t always need to use a pan in your air fryer. However, using a pan in an air fryer becomes necessary when cooking specific dishes. Let’s get into the details.

Cooking Wetter Foods

Cooking Wetter Foods in Air Fryer

When cooking batter-coated and wet food, the regular air fryer basket with perforations might not be the right choice.

It will not hold the food juices and let them drip through the holes onto the air fryer drawer below. You will require a pan with a solid base and walls to get the outcomes you anticipate.

Making Bread And Cakes

Making Bread And Cakes in Air Fryer

When baking bread in an air fryer, you need a loaf pan; for making cupcakes or pudding, you need silicone molds, etc. Similarly, you need to use a pan in an air fryer when you expect the food cooking inside it to change from liquid to solid.

For example, when baking a cake in the air fryer, you need a special pan in the shape you want to achieve. I have reviewed and listed some best air fryers for baking, you must check them as well.

Note: Examples of foods that don’t necessarily need a pan are French Fries, steaks, Tuna, chicken wings, etc. Ingredients in these recipes have a definite shape and do not call for using a pan.


Do you need a special pan for an air fryer oven?

What kind of pan you need depends on the food you make in your air fryer. Normally, you can make almost everything that must be cooked in an air fryer in the basket coming with it. When you need to cook foods with batter or when the food needs to hold a particular shape, you need a special metal or aluminum pan—that, too, must be oven-proof.

Can you use foil pans in an air fryer?

Yes, you can definitely use foil pans in an air fryer. Aluminum foil pans are the most recommended for use in an air fryer. Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, which helps cook food from all sides. Plus, aluminum is firm enough to let the food hold a precise shape.

Wrapping Up!

Even if you don’t find any special pans labeled as “air fryer-safe” in the market, some recipes call for using specific types of pans with or without a basket in an air fryer. Ceramics, glass, and silicone are some of the suitable materials for pans that can be used in an air fryer. However, make sure to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer before using any pan in your air fryer that did not come with it.


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