An air fryer is a wonderful kitchen appliance that you can use to make a variety of delicious foods. It is also quite versatile when it comes to the cookware you can use in the air fryer. So if you’re wondering if you can put metal in an air fryer, the answer is almost always yes.
As long as it fits into the small space, you can use different types of dishes made from glass, ceramic, silicone, and even pieces of foil in an air fryer.
But, perhaps you’re still wondering: can you put metal in an air fryer, or do you need special types of cookware? Let’s take a look at the various air fryer safe dishes made from metal that you can use.
Is It Safe to Use Metal in an Air Fryer?
The short answer is yes, you can put metal in an air fryer. Cookware made from metal is designed to withstand high heat from an oven, usually up to 500°F. Most air fryers heat up to temperatures between 200-400°F, so this should be no problem for metal cookware.
The confusion over the safety of using metal in an air fryer usually comes from the fact that you shouldn’t place any type of metal in a microwave. The waves emitted by a microwave can cause all kinds of problems when it comes into contact with metallic objects.
However, you should think of your air fryer as more of an oven. Air fryers work the same way as a small convection oven, with heating elements and a fan to distribute heat. Just like you can bake goods in a metal pan or cover food with foil in the oven, you can do the same with dishes in your air fryer.
Metal Air Fryer Cookware You Can Use
So, do you need special pans for an air fryer, or is there any other particular metal equipment for this appliance that you should know about?
There are specific air fryer accessories that are designed to work well with your appliance, like metal baking sets and air fryer racks. Nevertheless, these are not the only types of cookware you can use.
You might already own metal cookware that didn’t come with your air fryer, but that works well for you. If you’re looking through your kitchen for air fryer-safe bowls, pans, baking trays, and plates to use, check for the wording “oven-safe” on the product.
Basically, any metal cookware that is marked as oven-safe can be used in an air fryer. Examples of oven-safe metals include aluminum, cast iron, and stainless steel. Products marked as oven-safe have been tested to withstand high heat and remain usable and food-safe.
Just remember to check the dimensions of the dish you plan to use, as cookware that is too large might restrict the airflow of your air fryer and affect the cooking process.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer (pictured left). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Here’s a printable Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet to get you started.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
When Not to Use Metal in an Air Fryer
While the majority of metal cookware is safe to use in an air fryer, there are some details to look out for.
Metal That Isn’t Oven-Safe
If you have cookware made from some of the metals mentioned above, but without the oven-safe label, it is best not to use it in the air fryer. An example of this could be a metal mixing bowl. If the manufacturers didn’t mark the product as safe to use in a normal oven, then you probably shouldn’t take the chance of using it in the oven-like air fryer either.
Handles Made from Other Materials
You should also stay away from metal cookware that has plastic or wooden handles. Even though the metal may be air fryer safe, the handles could melt, warp or burn at high temperatures. Silicone handles are the exception and are safe to use in an air fryer.
Some metal cookware is painted to look pretty, but you shouldn’t use them in your air fryer. At high temperatures, the paint compounds break down and can leach into your food. Enamel paint is the exception to this, as it is considered by the FDA to be a food-safe coating and is often used on cast iron cookware.
Final Thoughts on Using Metal in an Air Fryer
Hopefully, this article has shown you that there is no need to be afraid of using metal cookware in your air fryer. Even though these objects can’t be used in a microwave, it is perfectly safe to use oven-safe metal cookware in an air fryer.
Simply follow the guidelines mentioned above when choosing cookware and bakeware for your air fryer. You can use a variety of stainless steel, aluminum, and other metal dishes. Just remember to stay away from objects containing paint or plastic, and check for that oven-safe label.
Now that your mind is more at rest, you can feel comfortable using air fryer safe pans and other metal cookware to whip up some more delicious air fryer recipes.
What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?
The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.
My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has no harmful aerosols or chemicals.
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Angela is a talented home cook and passionate advocate for healthy, flavorful cooking in the air fryer. She shares her favorite air fryer recipes and helpful tips for using this versatile kitchen appliance to create delicious, nutritious meals.