Can you put foil in an air fryer?

The short answer:

Yes, you can use foil in your air fryer.

The longer answer:

Air fryers are one of our favorite tools for meal prepping. It makes things easy to cook in bulk and easy to clean after. But, even so - many people want to make it even easier by using foil in their fryer to make cleanup even faster.

So can you do it, will it affect your food, and is it safe? We’ve already established that you can - but let’s talk about the best way to get great results. Let’s dive in:

How to Use Aluminum Foil in Your Air Fryer

Some people think you can't put foil in your fryer because they did it one time in a microwave and had horrible results! Well, the good news is they are very different appliances and work in very different ways - so using aluminum foil in your fryer is totally fine (as long as you do it the right way).

Here's how:

Make sure your foil is secured (and preferably weighed down by the food). An air fryer works by blowing hot air past an heating apparatus. This is why if you have loose, light food you sometimes noticed it’s displaced after heating it (it’s a pretty direct wind inside your small kitchen appliance). So, if you have loose foil - it’s likely going to fly around with the hot air and possibly mess things up. However, as long as you secure the foil, wrap everything tightly and keep the foil only within the basket of the air fryer - you should be good to go!

Important: you don’t want any foil to be loose or unsecured. This can cause problems (or even fires) so make sure the foil is weighed down and the ends are secured so you don’t mess up your air fryer or kitchen!

The Rule of Thumb with Your Air Fryer

Remember: If you can put something in an oven, you can put it in the air fryer. 

An air fryer is essentially like a rapid-heating oven (not a microwave) so you have a lot of flexility on what you can include in it - including parchment paper and aluminum foil. That said - you do need to make sure your aluminum foil is secured (otherwise ti might blow around the basket container)

When To Use Parchment Paper Instead

When you’re cooking highly acidic foods - say citrus or similar foods - the citric acid can actually break down the aluminum and have it seep into your food. Not great!

If you’re cooking with these foods - grab the scissors and use parchment paper instead. It may turn out better for everyone.

Conclusion

Yes, you can use foil in an air fryer, but in certain cases you may want to use parchment paper for better results.

Was this helpful? If so, you might want to check out our other useful cooking guides including:

Hundreds of incredible paleo recipes

Our favorite meal prep containers

A free meal planning template

A beginner’s guide to meal planning

→ Or try our meal planning app for free.

Photo by Kier In Sight on Unsplash

Joel Runyon

About the Author

Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon is the founder of Ultimate Meal Plans. Joel is an ultra endurance athlete and entrepreneur. He's also the founder of Ultimate Paleo Guide, MoveWell and is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE ® - a lifestyle performance brand helping people push their limits in fitness and life.

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