Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro. Today we are looking at the dreaded connection between cracked countertops and air fryers. As someone who has been hanging around in the air fryer community for a while now, I have seen this problem pop up from time to time. So why not write an article on it and clear the whole thing up once and for all! If you are worried about your air fryer cracking your countertop, please read on.
Why Would an Air fryer Crack a Countertop?
An air fryer is an intense style of cooking, as it was originally designed to replace deep fat frying. This means that your air fryer could potentially be producing temperatures high enough to crack or melt a countertop.
Just be aware that an air fryers ability to damage or crack a countertop can vary depending upon its design. Firstly, the amount of insulation on the bottom of your air fryer will be one of the factors determining whether it has the potential to heat up to a countertop cracking temperature. With decent insulation, most of the heat will be kept away from said countertop! Also, most air fryers usually have a vent used to vent hot air out of the cooking compartment. If this is placed on the bottom of the air fryer, this vent could cause a heating up of your countertop.
In general, put your air fryer on for around an hour and see how hot the bottom of it gets. You can measure the actual temperature with an infrared heat gun, such as the one we found on Amazon below.
I recommend about an hour as this is often the longest you would ever need to have it on for. This would give you a worse case scenario for how hot your air fryer gets. You can also use the heat gun to measure the temperature of the countertop that your air fryer is sat on to see how much it heats up during cooking.
The general rule of thumb is that whatever you place your air fryer on should withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or 260 degrees Celsius.
What Countertops are at risk?
As stated above, you need a countertop that can withstand temperatures of at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be safe to place an air fryer on. Even then, I would personally still use some type of heat protection just to be on the safe side 🙂 However, if you have a riskier personality, here is some more info about the different types of countertops.
The Mystery Countertop
I want to start by saying that if you did not have the countertop installed and you aren’t sure about the material used, just use some type of heat shield as described below. It’s a serious hassle to change a countertop, not to mention how expensive it is. If you have any doubt just take this precaution to be on the safe side!
Granite used to be a countertop material only used by the rich and famous, however these days it is getting much more affordable and commonplace.
Many people assume that because granite is made of solid stone, it is highly heat resistant and would never crack. It is true that granite is highly heat proof, as the temperature is simply absorbed by the stone. However, its downfall is the fact that it is not a man-made material, so it is possible to get small imperfections within it. This was made by Mother Earth, not perfectly engineered by a factory machine.
Small cracks (known as fissures) and other imperfections in this natural granite can weaken the material and make it more vulnerable to thermo-shock (when the material is heated and cooled). So even though in theory it can withstand high temperatures, I would always protect any granite countertop against the heat of your air fryer just in case 🙂
This is the countertop I hear mentioned the most when people talk about air fryers cracking their countertop. You may think that your quartz counter is 100% quartz, but you would probably be wrong. Most are 90% quartz, with the rest being made up by resins and polymers. This basically means your quartz countertop is a man-made material, especially constructed to make it more durable.
But is it heat proof? Actually, the stone is heat proof but usually the other 10% of materials are not, this is where the problem starts. Most quartz countertops can be damaged by any temperatures higher that 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you should check the heat resistance of your particular countertop with the maker first. But I would say just be on the safe side and protect your quartz countertop from the air fryer heat anyway (I am sounding like a broken record, right!!).
Laminate countertops can have some level of heat resistance, but it is usually much lower than most of the other options talked about here. You can check for the exact details from the maker of your particular counter, but it would be wise to always use some type of heat protection with your air fryer. Although it is not likely to crack, it could get heat marks or even start to melt.
Stainless steel is becoming more popular when it comes to countertops, for very good reason. Why do you think this is the material of choice in most commercial kitchens? Well, it’s one of the most durable and heatproof materials around for this use case. Stainless steel is one of the few materials you could put an air fryer on with little worry of damage occurring. And it doesn’t have to look ugly either (like most commercial kitchens), I have seen some really modern and sleek kitchen designs using stainless steel.
Concrete is also becoming a trendy option for some when looking for countertop materials to use! Concrete has to be the ultimate in indestructible materials for counters, as you can imagine. Like with the quartz material above, although the concrete should withstand excessive heat well the sealant used may not. This could lead to marks being made on the counter by the heat of your air fryer. Be sure to check with whoever installed your concrete countertop as to whether the sealant is heatproof enough to withstand the heat of an air fryer.
This sealant is important, as it stops water getting into the porous concrete and stops stains in the surface of the concrete happening.
The treated wood used for countertops has a decent level of heat proofing, but I personally wouldn’t risk it with the more extreme heat of an air fryer. Warping and heat marks are simply not worth the risk, in my opinion.
Wow, I have to say I love the classy look of marble countertops, although they can be a bit pricey. And the great thing for air fryer owners is that marble is one of the more heat-resistant materials you could use in a counter. However, depending on the type of marble, it doesn’t always meet our 500 degrees Fahrenheit threshold, so I would still protect it from the air fryer all the same. Especially with how expensive these marble counters can be.
What can we do to stop our air fryer cracking the countertop?
I would always recommend putting some type of heat shield in between your counter top and air fryer, no matter what. In this day and age, it is pretty simple to find a solution that you like. Personally, I like the look and size of the one below. Click the image to view it over at Amazon. I have a fairly small air fryer though, so make sure to order something sized correctly for your particular air fryer.
Some people also swear by heat resistant silicon mats such as the one pictured below. Click the image to view this product for yourself over at Amazon.
Anything else to consider?
Make sure that you give your air fryer plenty of space all around it. I have seen plugs and other plastic items melted due to the exhaust heat of an air fryer. If you can’t give your air fryer enough space next to a wall, then put some type of heat resistant covering on it. I found the one pictured below over at Amazon. Click the image to see it over there for yourself.
What would I do?
After all is said and done, what would the Air Fryer Bro do? I would always take the ultra-cautious road, especially if you have an expensive counter top! Why take the risk of damaging a whole countertop, when you can simply put something heat resistant underneath it. I have even seen people take a nice looking cutting board they like and apply the heat resistant silver film seen above to the bottom of it. The solution doesn’t need to look ugly!
Even if you have a countertop that is advertised to be heat resistant to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or above, I would still not want to take the risk and would always use some type of heat shielding between the air fryer and the counter. You just never know whether some minor defect in the material or freak of science would cause your counter to crack or get damaged, so better to be safe than sorry!!
What do you think? If you have come up with a unique heat shielding for your air fryer, we would love to know all about it in the comments section below!!