Can You Put Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?

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The air fryer is quite versatile when it comes to what you can put in it. This might have you wondering if you can put wax paper in an air fryer. Before we get too far into the reasons why, I’ll just say that the answer is no. You can use tin foil or parchment paper in an air fryer, but you cannot use wax paper.

» You might also like How to Clean Your Air Fryer.

wax paper and fries

Wax paper, known for its nonstick properties, is not a friend of heat. Wax paper lacks heat resistance, making it a risky choice in air fryers or ovens. Exposed to high temperatures, the wax coating can melt, and the paper may ignite. For the safety of your air fryer, avoid using wax paper – it’s a fire hazard waiting to happen!

I realize you might be looking for ways to keep the basket as clean as possible, to reduce the clean up after cooking something sticky or greasy. While we all love to have an easy clean up, you can’t use all types of cooking or kitchen paper in the air fryer.


Is It Safe to Use Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?

Wax paper is a very useful kitchen paper that allows you to wrap food items to keep them fresh or to separate them to keep them from sticking together. It is paper that has been made moisture-proof through the application of wax.

The wax keeps moisture from escaping or seeping into food, when used as a wrap. It’s great to use as a mat for placing cookies or other greasy foods on because the grease will not penetrate through the paper and get on whatever is below. There are many uses for wax paper, but one of them is not cooking.

Wax paper is not heat proof. It will smoke and explode when subject to too high of heat. If used in the oven, you will notice that it curls and starts to smoke and burn within minutes. The same will happen if used in the air fryer.

While you can’t use wax paper in the air fryer, you can use other kitchen papers, like parchment paper or tin foil in the air fryer.

When trying to determine what you can and can’t use in the air fryer, you should think of it as 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’t use wax paper in the oven, you also can’t use it in the air fryer. 

air fryer with fries

Wax Paper vs Parchment Paper

If you’re not sure about the differences between wax paper and parchment paper, you will want to read on to see why it’s safe to use one but not the other.

Wax Paper

This kitchen paper is coated with wax (either soybean- or paraffin-based). The wax is not heat-proof and is not meant to be used at high temperatures. At high temperatures, the wax will melt and the paper itself can catch fire.

You would use it to wrap food to keep it fresh, for use in the refrigerator or just on the counter top. You can also use it to keep liquids or oils from seeping through to the countertop when you place greasy items on it. It can also be used to separating foods in the freezer to prevent them from becoming frozen together, like hamburger patties.

Parchment Paper

This kitchen paper is coated with silicone, which gives it a non-stick, heat-resistant surface. Silicon is heat resistant so it can be used in both the air fryer and the oven. 

Since it is heat safe, it can be used for many more things than wax paper, like lining baking trays, wrapping food to be cooked en papillote, or as a base to put things on so they don’t seep through to the baking tray or counter below.

pork on wax paper

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.

Ninja Max XL

Why Not to Use Wax Paper in an Air Fryer

Wax Paper Isn’t Heat-Safe

The biggest reason not to use wax paper in the air fryer is that it’s not heat-safe. The wax on the outside is combustible and will overheat and burn very quickly. This can lead to a kitchen fire, if not prevented. Always read the box or the manual for anything you plan to put in the air fryer to make sure it is heat-proof, oven-proof, or can withstand the temperature you will be cooking at.

The Wax Can Get Into Your Food

As the wax on the paper begins to melt, it can get into your food. If you’ve placed something on wax paper, it will just adhere to the bottom. If you’ve wrapped food in wax paper, it can drip into all parts of the food. While the wax used is food safe and won’t harm you, it will ruin your food.

It Could Cause a Fire

Because wax paper isn’t heat safe, it will eventually heat up too much and cause the paper to burn. If unmonitored, this could lead to a fire that could get out of hand quickly and destroy your kitchen or your home. It’s not worth the risk.

Instead, use tin foil or parchment paper in the bottom of the air fryer to keep things from sticky or to keep the bottom from getting too dirty.

sausage in the air fryer

Final Thoughts on Using Wax Paper in an Air Fryer

Hopefully, this article has shown you that it’s not just unwise to use wax paper in the air fryer, but it’s also downright dangerous.

You can use a variety of stainless steel, aluminum, and other metal dishes in the air fryer, as well as parchment paper and tin foil. These things will help you cook food and keep your basket clean for easier clean up.

I prefer to cook with just the basket in most cases in the air fryer, but sometimes the food or the process calls for adding in another layer of either paper or metal. It’s generally fine to use any stainless steel dishes, which is probably the best choice for most foods.


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wax paper and fries

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