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Air fryers have been game changers in the kitchen. They've made our okra always crispy, helped us pretend donuts can be health food, added new lighter choices to our meal plans, made it easy to make a blooming onion at home, and gotten us gooey skillet cookies at the touch of a button.

Since our air fryers are in pretty heavy rotation, it's a good thing they are pretty darn easy to clean. However, it's pretty tempting to throw a little foil in there to catch any drips and make clean-up even easier, but is that allowed? The short answer is yes.

Air Fryer lined with aluminum foil and cooked chicken wings
Credit: Getty/nymphoenix

While we all know that putting foil in a microwave is a no-no (and if you don't know, the flying sparks will remind you), air fryers don't work the same way. They use hot air instead of actual microwaves to create heat, so putting foil in an air fryer doesn't cause the same alarming spark show. In fact, lining your fryer basket with foil can really help when you're cooking something delicate, such as fish. However, there is one important caveat: Only put a layer of foil in the bottom of the air fryer basket where your food sits, not on the bottom of the air fryer itself. That's because air fryers work by circulating hot air, which originates at the bottom of the fryer. Lining it with foil can constrict the air flow and your food won't cook properly.

If you are going to use foil, use a small amount in the bottom of the basket, making sure not to cover the food. This will help make the cleanup even easier while still allowing the hot air to circulate and heat your food.

Of course it's always a good idea to check the manufacturer's recommendations for your particular air fryer. For example, Philips does not recommend using foil, while Frigidaire says it's okay as long as you line the basket, not the bottom of the fryer as we've suggested above.