We all know that air fryers can be messy! And to make that mess easier to clean up, we often think about other common kitchen items we could use! Wax paper is one of those common items, and it seems like it could help cover up your air fryer’s cooking compartment, making it easier to clean. But is it a good idea to use wax paper in an air fryer? Let’s find out together.
What do I Mean by Wax Paper?
So that we are all on the same page, let’s first clear up what I am talking about when I say wax paper. This is literally paper with a wax coating on it, something used by butchers in my hometown back in the day. Think of it as tissue paper with a food safe layer on wax over the top (usually paraffin wax). I think it is important to point out what wax paper is first, as many people confuse it with parchment paper and baking paper.
Can I Use Wax Paper in my Air Fryer?
No, you cannot use wax paper in your air fryer. Wax paper is designed to line countertops from a mess or wrap food up in (like my butcher did back in the day!). It is not designed to withstand the intense heat used inside an air fryer and would, at best, cause smoke and, at worst, catch on fire inside your air fryer.
What is the Difference between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper?
Both parchment paper and wax paper are great at creating a non-stick service on top of regular paper, making them great for use around food. However, there is a key difference. Wax paper uses a more natural wax, such as paraffin wax or soy wax. Whereas parchment paper uses silicone, a manmade material that also has great non-stick qualities.
Whereas silicone can withstand temperatures up to around 150-200 degrees Celsius or 302-392 degrees Fahrenheit, paraffin wax (for example) can only withstand temperatures of around 37 degrees Celsius or 99 degrees Fahrenheit and will start to melt above this.
This makes silicone great for use in ovens and air fryers but not wax paper. The type of wax used will quickly melt away, exposing the paper underneath, that would be liable to burn and even catch fire.
Is Wax Paper the Same as Baking Paper?
Baking paper, like parchment paper, is paper coated with a silicone coating to help it withstand the high temperatures used in baking. Whereas wax paper uses a manmade wax with a much lower melting point, so would not be suitable for baking.
What Can I use to Line My Air Fryer?
Although wax paper is a big no-no when it comes to use in an air fryer, there are some great alternatives that can withstand heat. Parchment paper or baking paper is very similar and works fine inside air fryers, as their silicone coating can withstand very high temperatures. Aluminum foil is also a good choice.
As air fryers are not so common as yet, the best rule is to only use paper to line your air fryer if it is marked as oven safe. If it can withstand the temperatures of an oven, it can also withstand those in an air fryer.
Whatever oven-safe paper you use to line your air fryer, just make sure it is well secured inside, otherwise it may fly around the cooking compartment (due to the powerful fan inside your air fryer) and get stuck in the heating element. Also, make sure not to block the air flow of your air fryer too much otherwise you will get uneven cooking results.