Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro and today we are looking at another one of those common questions I have heard over the years. That is the simple question of ‘can I use silver foil in my air fryer?’ ‘Can I line my air fryer’s basket with foil?’. These questions are not answered in your typical product manual! This is why we exist 🙂
By silver foil, I mean aluminum foil, something that most of us have lying around our kitchens. But will it break my air fryer? Does it work in an air fryer? Let’s find out together. Actually, let’s start with the short answer….
Can I use aluminum foil in my air fryer? Yes, you can. The temperatures an air fryer operates at are similar to normal ovens. Just be careful that you do not block your air fryer’s air flow too much. Lining your air fryer’s basket with foil, for example, could result in a lower performance when trying to crisp foods.
Read on for more details and information on something some scientists think may be risky.
Most people start looking around their kitchens when they first get their new air fryer appliance, wondering what they can use with their exciting new kitchen gadget! This is exactly why I wrote some articles on using metal and glass bowls in air fryers, items most people have already and want to use. Now we are moving onto silver or tin foil and whether you can use foil in an air fryer.
What is aluminum foil?
Just to be 100% sure that we are all on the same page, I want to define exactly what we mean by aluminum foil. This type of foil is a kitchen product that is made up of pressed aluminum. It has been pressed and flattened to a thickness often less than 0.2 milometers. This foil is commonly used in cooking. It can be used to cover baking trays and make them easier to clean up, for example. Some people also cover food with foil when they don’t want it to brown during cooking.
There are different names for this product around the world, from tin foil to aluminum and silver foil. If you are British, you probably spell it as aluminium foil and pronounce the word totally differently 🙂 I am sure we have all used kitchen foil on numerous occasions in our lifetimes. It’s a pretty cool invention that makes our kitchen lives much easier (and cleaner!).
Can I put aluminum foil in my air fryer?
The simple answer is yes. Standard tin foil can withstand temperatures up to 660 degrees Celsius ( or 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that it won’t melt or be compromised in any way by even the highest temperatures found in an air fryer. This means the physical properties of this type of kitchen foil make it suitable for air fryers as well as for a conventional oven. Now your air fryer can be saved from those oily fries or that food that leaves a million crumbs behind 🙂
Anything we need to watch out for?
Although aluminum foil can withstand the heat found in an air fryer, there are some other factors that you should watch out for when using it safely and effectively with this particular kitchen device.
Batten down the hatches!
The way an air fryer works is to push hot air around a cooking compartment using a powerful fan. The key point is the ‘powerful fan’ part, as this high-powered fan will happily blow other things around your air fryer as well as hot air!! The problem with this cooking process is that if you put loose kitchen foil in your air fryer, you will undoubtedly find that it will end up flying around in there like an airplane! ha ha ! So, whenever you use aluminum foil in an air fryer, you must make sure it is secured down in some way and not just loose.
If you don’t do this, there is a possibility it could fly around and get stuck in your air fryer’s heating element. It probably won’t cause a fire or anything dangerous, but you don’t want to take the chance. It will certainly affect how well your air fryer cooks things, though! Heating coils are not supposed to be covered or blocked. Be especially careful if your air fryer’s heating coil is fully exposed (some have mesh protectors).
Don’t block the air flow!
Air flow is very important when it comes to air fryers, as an air fryer is a totally different beast to any other kitchen appliance you may have! When you are cooking something that you want to get crispy all over, you must make sure that enough hot air is able to flow around the food to achieve this. Therefore, if you use too much silver foil to cover up or line the air fryer basket (or whatever accessory you are using), there will be much less air flow and you will find that the end results you get aren’t as consistent as usual. This is why most air fryer accessories have holes in them!
Is kitchen foil safe?
There have been some murmurings about the safety of aluminum foil in cooking in general, with some saying that elements of the metal will be transferred to your food. Actually, most food already has traces of aluminum in it, so using this type of foil will simply increase these levels. There is a study over at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which found that baking meat in silver foil increased its aluminum levels by between 75% and 375% (depending on the type of meat). And it is suggested that this transfer can be more when high heats are involved, and air fryers do use some of the highest heats in cooking!!
So it does seem a real possibility that this is an actual thing and should be considered further. You can read the full study HERE. Some scientists are starting to make links between increased aluminum in your diet and Alzheimer’s disease. Just be aware that this is a tentative link right now!
Most people seem to have accepted the use of kitchen foil in cooking, as most people I know use it without even thinking. I would suggest doing your own research if you are worried about this, as I am not a scientist or medical expert in any way.
Are there alternatives to aluminum foil for your air fryer?
For most people, they would use aluminum foil to line the bottom of their air fryer basket to stop small food or oil specks and grease dripping through (just think of when you air fryer bacon!). When thinking about air fryer liners, there is another alternative. As I have stated in another article, you can use parchment paper to line your air fryer too. The advantage of using this as an air fryer liner is that you can buy perforated parchment paper, giving you an option to let air flow through depending on the type of food you are cooking.
As well as the option of perforated parchment paper, you could also use baking paper to achieve a similar result. Just remember that whether you are using foil, parchment paper or baking paper, you always need to make sure it is secured inside your air fryer basket or cooking compartment well (as stated above).
If you are using your aluminum foil to cover food to stop it browning so fast, I think foil is the only option I can think of for this. If you know of alternatives, please let me know in the comments section below 🙂
When you cook a baked potato in a traditional oven, I know a lot of people would use tin foil to wrap around the potato. When making an air fryer baked potato, tin foil is also the only way to do this. For me personally, I have made many air fryer baked potatoes and have never had to wrap them with foil and they always come out great 🙂
There you have it!
Yes, you can use aluminum foil in your air fryer. Just be aware of the factors I mentioned above beforehand so that you know exactly what you are getting into. As the Air Fryer Bro, I will happily use kitchen foil in my air fryer with no issues. Although it is quite rare that I cook an air fryer recipe that needs it, so I am not exactly worried about (the possibility of) higher levels of aluminum in my diet!!
What do you think? If you have any opinions on using metal foil in your air fryer, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Aluminum foil in an Air Fryer Oven or Convection Oven?
In this article, we have focused more on the traditional bucket style air fryer, but how about the air fryer oven or convection oven style units? Can they be used with aluminum foil? I would say that the rack style layout of these appliances coupled with the bigger interior space, means you can use aluminum foil in them more easily (in my opinion). You are less likely to block the airflow with such a setup, and the air can still flow around in most situations.
What can you not put in an air fryer?
If we know that, when used with care, aluminum foil is OK for your air fryer, what IS NOT OK for use in an air fryer? My general rule is that if something is oven safe, it is likely to be air fryer safe too. Although, if you are in doubt, double check with the manufacturer of whatever accessory you are planning to put inside your air fryer.