Can You Put Aluminum Foil In The Air Fryer?

Use of the air fryer has become immensely popular, and keeping it clean in order to use it more frequently may just include aluminum foil.

Air fryers have been game changers in the kitchen. They make our okra always crispy, help us pretend donuts can be health food, add new lighter choices to our meal plans, make it easy to create a blooming onion at home, and give 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, you can put aluminum foil in the air fryer.

Air Fryer lined with aluminum foil and cooked chicken wings

Using Aluminum Foil In The Air Fryer

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 aluminum 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. 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 aluminum foil in an air fryer, 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. Planning ahead this way will allow you to use your appliance more, without the constant hassle of having to deep clean it.

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.

Air Fryer Cleaning Suggestions

Air fryers are made with a nonstick coating, and using any kind of utensil to scrape food from this surface will damage that surface. The same rule applies to abrasive sponges or metal scrubbers. You do not want to apply harsh cleaning items and ruin the coating.

In the same vein, abrasive cleaning materials are also a no-no. As a matter of fact many disinfectants are not appropriate for cleaning food-contact surfaces. Check the label of a disinfectant first to see if it can be applied to a cooking surface. You want to be gentle with your air fryer to keep it functioning for as long as possible. Creating a paste with baking soda and water and using a sponge to apply fits the bill.

An air fryer typically doesn't need cleaning each time it is used. Recommendations include cleaning it every other use or putting the basket, tray and pan in the dishwasher. Never submerge the main unit in water. As with any kitchen appliance, any lingering questions regarding proper cleaning can be answered within the manufacturer's manual that comes with the item.

Even if we are offering air fryer cleaning tips, we cannot help but lay down some great air fryer recipes. Try these recipes out and get busy with that air fryer!

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