Welcome back to the Mecca of air fryers, otherwise known as Airfryer Bro 🙂 Today, I am writing an article to talk about whether it is safe to use a steel bowl in an air fryer. Why am I doing this? Well, a while ago I wrote an article about whether you can use a glass bowl in your air fryer, an article that was very popular.
However, after a while I started noticing people coming to this article from the query “Can I use a steel bowl in my air fryer” and was like “hey Google, I don’t want people getting an article about glass bowls when they really want one on metal or steel bowls. So, thanks Google, you made me write this article 🙂
What types of steel bowls can I use?
You can ONLY use steel or metal bowls that are clearly marked as being oven safe. If you do not see the wording ‘Oven Safe’ on the product or as a claim made by the manufacturer, then I would not use it in my air fryer. Better to be safe than sorry.
What are the dangers of using a metal bowl in an air fryer?
Unlike glass bowls, where the main concern is with shattering, a metal bowl can be potentially more dangerous. Mainly, when heated to high temperatures, that some of the compounds from the metal (or any paint on the bowl) will start to break down and leech into your air fried food. This is why you should avoid using any stainless steel of metal bowl if you are not 100% sure it is oven safe.
As with my aluminum foil article, I will mention that some scientists consider the slight leeching of metals into food to be a danger to human health. This is not widely accepted as the norm and I would recommend you do your own research to form an opinion for yourself. If we took the advice given by every scientist in the world we simply wouldn’t do anything!! ha ha!! You might want to start your research with articles such as THIS one.
Any other considerations?
Only use a bowl for some food types
For me personally, there are only a few situations where I would recommend that you use any type of bowl in your air fryer. This is because of air flow. If you are cooking any food that you want to be crispy, you cannot use a bowl. This is because a bowl has no holes in it and will restrict the air flow around your air fried food. This will limit your air fryers ability to cook the food and crisp it up evenly.
The only time you may want to use a bowl is when you are cooking something that starts in liquid form and needs a container to hold it. For example, if you are baking a cake in your air fryer (totally possible!), then a bowl might be used.
Be careful of the paint
Certain metal or stainless steel bowls are painted in some way (to make them pretty of course!), and this paint will bring in a new element to be concerned about. As a substandard paint may begin to break down under intense heat.
Make sure that any painted bowl says on it that it is oven safe, if not I simply wouldn’t use it. You have to be especially careful when dealing with paint. If the steel bowl is painted with enamel paint, this is the type that will withstand oven (and therefore air fryer) temperatures.
Stainless steel is not great with the heat!
Stainless steel in it’s purest form isn’t a very good heat conductor. Therefore, when using it in an air fryer, it may cause uneven cooking. Actually a lot of stainless steel oven accessories, will actually have a core with other metal types such as copper. You should consider this when using such items to cook in.
Can I use steel or metal bowls in my air fryer?
If a steel or metal bowl is clearly marked as being oven safe, it can also be used in an air fryer. Although, most steel bowls are designed to be mixing bowls rather than actually used in an oven. A lot do not mention being oven safe in any way. And for me personally, if a steel bowl has any type of paint on it I wouldn’t risk it in my air fryer even if it does say it is oven safe. I would say it is better to be safe than sorry, and a painted bowl offers a much greater risk.
If you are in ANY doubt about your steel or metal bowl being oven safe, I would simply use a quality glass Pyrex bowl (that you know is oven safe) or a metal baking tin instead.
We would love to hear your opinions too. If you have any experience with stainless steel bowls in your air fryer, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below.