Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer?

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From reducing cooking time to making perfectly crispy snacks, air fryers are a game-changing kitchen appliance to have. This crafty gadget is easy to use, but you might still have some questions while trying to master its functionality.

Often people ask can you put foil in an air fryer. If you can use parchment paper, can you also use foil? Well the answer isn’t as simple as you might think, so read on to find out the intricacies of cooking with foil in the air fryer.

» You might be interested in these 8 Super Useful Air Fryer Accessories.

cooking in foil

» You might be wondering if Can You Use Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer? and Can You Put Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?

Can You Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?

The short answer is yes, but there are some caveats and safety issues that you should consider before and while you’re cooking with foil in your air fryer.

First of all, the air fryer was not designed to require foil or parchment paper. It has a non-stick surface and a basket to catch any drippings. There are holes in the basket that help the air circulate around the food to cook it properly.

When you introduce other elements, such as aluminum foil into the process, things can go awry. Overall, the best way to cook in the air fryer is without any foil.

poked holes in foil in the air fryer

However, using foil can have various benefits, such as easier clean-up after cooking, or preventing liquids in a dish from leaking out through the holes. I’ve also seen people make foil boats for things like mini-cakes and quiches, or to make fried eggs in.

If you want to steam cook your food, rather than air fry it, you could put it into a foil packet, which will protect it from the air. In these situations, it might be beneficial to use foil.

shrimp and asparagus foil packet

Can You Use Tin Foil in an Air Fryer?

What about tin foil? While most people use aluminum and tin foil interchangeably, it is not the same thing. One is made from aluminum and the other from tin – that’s a given – but since aluminum is the cheaper options, it has become the industry standard and tin foil is not used anymore.

While tin foil can be used in an air fryer too, you’ll have trouble finding it in today’s market where almost all foil is aluminum.

Why Use Aluminum Foil in Your Air Fryer

One of the main reasons people use aluminum foil in the air fryer is to cut down on cleaning. You can place some foil in the bottom of the basket and it will prevent food from sticking to the bottom and creating a mess in the basket.

It’s particularly beneficial when cooking messy dishes, such as BBQ wings or wet foods that might leak down through the basket.

Air Fryers that don’t have a basket, but are more like a toaster oven style, can have issues with grease dripping through the basket onto the heating element, which creates a huge mess. People often report using foil to catch the drippings.

You might also use an aluminum pan to cook in, which is also okay to use in the air fryer. Disposable foil pans can be a great way to reheat food in the air fryer, like lasagna or a casserole.

foil pan in the air fryer

Is it Safe to Use Foil in the Air Fryer?

There’s no one right answer to this. Some manufacturers manuals say never to use foil in your air fryer. However, some mention what foods would benefit from using foil. So it’s not a universal yes or no.

Be sure to read your manual carefully and thoroughly to know if they caution against using foil. From the ones I’ve read, it’s usually the oven style air fryers that don’t recommend foil. Basket fryers suggest using foil for foods that have filling that could drip out or things like steak and pork chops.

As an added safety check, never leave the air fryer unattended when using foil in the basket and make sure the foil doesn’t touch the heating element.

sausage in the air fryer

Foil in an Air Fryer: Do’s & Don’ts

Are you wondering how to put aluminum foil in an air fryer correctly? Some practices are essential to ensure you’re using it safely and successfully.

Take a look at some important tips and tricks to consider:

  • Ensure that adequate space is left in the appliance for the air to circulate correctly. So, be sure not to overfill the air fryer.
  • Once you’ve placed the foil in the basket, be sure you’ve set enough food on it to hold it down before turning it on, to keep the foil from blowing up into the heating element. This could cause a safety hazard.
  • If you’re using foil just to protect the bottom of the basket, you can poke holes in the foil to allow for air circulation. This isn’t necessary for liquidy foods where you’re trying to keep the liquid inside the foil.
  • If you’re making a foil packet for your food, you might leave a small opening in the foil rather than wrapping it tightly. This will allow some hot air to get into the packet to cook the food faster.
  • Do not cook food with a high acidity in your air fryer lined with foil. This can ultimately cause your foil to produce tiny black specks when heated. These dark spots can change the taste of your meal. Use parchment paper instead to protect the integrity of your food.
steak in a foil pan

Final Thoughts on Putting Foil in an Air Fryer

Knowing when and how to properly use foil in the air fryer can benefit your food preparation experience. You might not feel safe doing it and that’s totally fine, o it might become your new go-to kitchen hack.


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can you put foil in an air fryer

4 thoughts on “Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer?

  1. John Walker says:

    Hi Laura, What a fantastic page this is, I have been using my air fryer now for just over a year and could not live without it, My question is have you published a recipe book that I could purchase as my wife and I would love one, keep up the good work kindest regards John.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      That’s so nice of you John. I’m glad you like our site. We don’t yet have a cookbook, but you can find and print all of our recipes here on the site:

  2. alison says:

    I have a schallen air fryer and have not used it yet as am unsure how to use it
    it was given me to me and had no instructions
    i have watched copious videos a and am trying to get to grips with it,where the food is placed etc and can i use foil to help cleaning

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I haven’t used one. From what I can tell it’s very similar to an air fryer, though it isn’t one. You can use foil in it, but you wouldn’t want to do so if you want food to be crispy. It needs the air circulation for that. I think you could start by cooking a piece of chicken right on the basket at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. You could also put veggies in the bottom tray, if you wanted. Just see how it does and adjust from there.

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