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Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer?

Learn what's safe to put in the machine and what's not

In the last couple of years, air fryers have become somewhat of a kitchen staple—and it makes sense as to why they’re seen on counters everywhere. These appliances are incredibly easy to use, don’t take up a ton of space and can cook up meals and snacks in no time. That being said, you want the cleaning process to be just as simple. It begs the question: can you put foil in an air fryer? The short answer: yes, you can. Keep reading to find out when you should and shouldn’t use foil in the air fryer.

Can you put foil in an air fryer? Yes

When it comes to safety, it is okay to put foil in an air fryer, however, there are three important things to keep in mind, according to the Food Network.

  • Always weigh down the foil with the food you’re cooking before putting it in the basket or else it will blow around.
  • Only put foil where the food sits and not in the bottom of the air fryer, otherwise, the airflow will be constricted and your food won’t cook properly.
  • Lastly, avoid contact with acidic ingredients as they will cause the foil to seep into the food.

For extra precaution, check the guidelines for the brand of your air fryer. Not all of them operate in the same way and what works for one appliance might not work for another.

Related: What Is an Air Fryer and How Does It Work?

When should you use foil in an air fryer?

Bread on foil in an air fryer

Using foil comes in handy when you’re trying to cook saucy foods, things that are crumbly or meals that might need an extra layer of support.

Saucy foods

Anything with a sauce component warrants the use of foil. Chicken wings or gooey cheese dishes are a prime example. Adding in the foil will save you from scrubbing burnt sauce off the inside of the air fryer.

Delicate foods

Certain items, especially fish, aren’t always the easiest to remove from the air fryer. The foil will act as support and allow you to easily get it out once it’s finished cooking. The team at the Food Network recommends making a sling out of the foil.

Start by folding two strips of foil in half and then make a cross and place the food in the center. The other ends of the strips will be used to move the food when it’s done.

Foods made in batches

While air fryers are great for quickly heating some cookies, you’ll have to prepare multiple batches. Foil is great in these instances because you won’t have to constantly clean the air fryer in between cooking times.

When should you avoid using foil?

More often than not you don’t need to add foil to the air fryer. One of the reasons food can cook so quickly in these countertop devices is because the air circulates all around. It’s why these appliances typically come with a mesh basket. When you add foil, you’re blocking the heat needed to cook the food.

Don’t mix acidic foods and foil

Certain foods aren’t meant to mix with foil. Citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes or anything marinated in vinegar should go in the air fryer as is. The high acidity in these foods causes the foil to break down and seep into the food. You wouldn’t ingest a harmful amount of aluminum, but it’s still not ideal.

For more cooking advice:

Chef’s Genius Trick Keeps Boiled Eggs From Cracking While Cooking + Makes Them Tasty

Your Dried Herbs & Spices *Do* Expire — Here’s How To Tell When To Toss Them

Can Confirm: The Caraway Home Cookware Set Is Worth the Hype

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