Welcome to another Air Fryer Bro article. Today we are looking at quite a hot topic among air fryer buyers these days, finding a good air fryer that doesn’t use Teflon. There are a growing number of people that are trying to avoid Teflon at all costs, so hopefully today we can help those people get into the air fryer market! It won’t be easy as Teflon (or something similar) are quite widely used, but hey, the Air Fryer Bro is up for a challenge!! Teflon free air fryers!! Let’s do it!!
What is Teflon?
The actual technical or scientific name for Teflon is Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Good luck attempting to pronounce that!! You can see why Dupont came up with the commercial or brand name Teflon. It rolls off the tough way better, right?
An employee of Dupont (called Roy Plunkett) accidentally discovered Teflon. Roy was working with a gas tank in the process of developing something for the refrigeration department, when he noticed that even an almost empty gas tank had some weight to it. After sawing one of these in two, he discovered a white material clinging to the inside. To cut a long and highly scientific story short, this material was the basis for what turned out to be Teflon.
They found that Teflon had excellent self lubrication properties, hence why it has been used a lot as a non-stick surface in a variety of kitchen products.
Teflon is often referred to by its technical abbreviation PTFE in air fryer communities. So if you see people talking about PTFE, you know what it is now!
You will also hear the term PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) thrown around in these conversations, as this is a material that used to be in Teflon and has been tagged by some as being a potential health risk. Although the official Teflon product has been PFOA free for some time (since 2013) you should check any other non-stick coating to make sure it is PFOA free.
If you haven’t already fallen asleep with all this technical talk, let’s get on with the article 🙂
Where is Teflon often found on an air fryer?
Usually, Teflon and other PTFE coatings are found on the air fryer basket or air fryer accessories such as a grill pan. You might even find it as a coating on the metal liner that goes into a traditional bucket air fryer.
An oven style air fryer seems to have an advantage here, as most simply come with metal racks and non-stick coatings don’t seem to be so much of a thing with those.
Why do some people want to avoid teflon?
There has been a debate raging amongst air fryer users around the safety of Teflon, and whether it is OK to use inside an air fryer.
The technical standpoint is that an air fryer doesn’t get hot enough to cause a problem for Teflon, which has been shown to start degrading and release toxic chemicals at 570°F (300°C).
However, some people would rather take the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach and not use anything that has the potential to break down.
The other point is that some non-stick coatings in air fryers have been known to peel, and people don’t want to risk flakes from this coating ending up in their food.
To read up on the dangers of Teflon yourself, you can read articles such as THIS. Just make sure they are dated after 2013 (when PFOAs were taken out of Teflon).
What alternatives do we have?
As stated above, oven style air fryers seem to be a good option as they have no real need to use Teflon or non-stick coatings. As they use racks, they don’t have any large surface areas that touch food and require such a coating. Some of the interiors of oven style air fryers do contain teflon though, so you should watch out for this!
For the traditional bucket style air fryers, a good option is to find one with a ceramic-based coating, which is considered much safer. Even better, I found one with a stainless steel basket!!
What are the best Air fryers without Teflon/PTFE?
As more and more air fryer manufacturers abandon PTFE or PFOA non-stick coatings, it is becoming easier to find a good air fryer with these criteria. In fact, many air fryer makers will use the PTFE/PFOA free angle as a part of their marketing push.
Be aware that manufacturers will also proclaim their air fryers are BPA (Bisphenol A) free, another chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics. This is another chemical that consumers are worried about, but it differs from Teflon/PTFE. So don’t get confused by BPA and PFOA talk, if you are specifically worried about Teflon the term you are looking for is PTFE.
MaxiMatic EAF-05SS Air Fryer
If you are concerned about any of the materials used in the non-stick coatings on your air fryer, this specific MaxiMatic air fryer model is for you.
It comes with a stainless steel air fryer basket, which means that you don’t have to worry in the slightest about PTFE, PFOA, BPA or even the integrity of aluminum!! This air fryer also comes highly rated over at Amazon. However, it’s a shame that this model is the only one in their range with a purely stainless steel basket. Hopefully, if this model is popular, they may start to add more models. This model is only just over 3.2 Quarts in size, so pretty small by modern air fryer standards.
To go and see for yourself over at Amazon, please click the image below.
You can also check out some of the latest reviews from Amazon here:
Not only are Ninja trending as an air fryer maker because of their innovative ideas, also because they know how to follow current trends in the market. They always proudly state their products as using an aluminum basket with a ceramic coating, with no use of PFOA/PTFE.
Not only are you getting a PTFE free air fryer, you are also getting one that is highly rated and recommended by the air fryer community. In fact, they were top in my recent article talking about air fryers recommended by the Reddit community.
The pure air fryer by Ninja is great but seems to have the occasional issue with a burning rubber smell on some models (hopefully Ninja will get this sorted soon), so I usually recommend their hybrid air fryer/pressure cooker models instead. Click the image below to go see for yourself on Amazon.
The Elite Platinum
Elite have been making air fryers for a while and were one of the brands pushed a lot through TV shopping channels back in the day. It is good to see that they are making top rated air fryers that don’t use PTFE. Go check out the specific model I am talking about here by clicking the image below and going over to Amazon.
Ninja also have an excellent new oven style air fryer on the market which is also Teflon free. You can view that on Amazon by clicking the image below.
Big air fryer brands you should avoid if you are worried about PTFE
At the time of writing, my research shows that the following brands do use PTFE coatings on at least some of their products. Please do your own research on specific models to confirm this.
Instant Pot (Vortex models)
Power Air Fryer XL (The traditional bucket style air fryers)
If you don’t see your brand in this article, I recommend doing your own research.
How can you find out if your air fryer contains teflon?
Most modern air fryers will have information about PTFE or PFOA’s in their marketing material. They won’t refer to Teflon as this is a trademark and they don’t want Dupont chasing them for various legal reasons 🙂
If your manufacturer doesn’t mention anything, you can simply contact them. The easiest way to do this is to message them through social media. If this fails, you can fall back on the more traditional method of emailing the question to them.
Any more recommendations?
In my personal opinion, if you are worried about the materials used in your air fryer, I would stick to using established brands in the air fryer space. These brands are far more likely to follow the non- PTFE or PFOA approach, and you can trust any claims they make about this.
For example, I am not confident I would trust a generic Chinese brand of air fryer here, even if they made claims about their air fryers. I am not sure anyone would make them accountable for these claims.
As I have seen an increasing number of people worried about PTFE’s in air fryers, I had to address it as someone that calls himself ‘Air Fryer Bro’. Hopefully, I gave you a good starting point to think more about this subject.
I would always recommend that you don’t just take my word for it, but also do research yourself.
If you have any opinions of your own on the subject of Teflon in air fryers, we would love to hear all about them in the comments section below.