Can You Put Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer? (And is it Safe?)

chicken-wings-in-air-fryer
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When it comes to baking and wrapping food, aluminum foil is a super convenient option. It locks moisture and aroma and preserves the cooked food. Now, can you put aluminum foil in an air dryer? Read on to discover everything related to using aluminum foil in the air fryer.

Is it Ok to Put Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer?

The answer is YES, however, it depends on the type of food you prepare.  

The holes in the air fryer basket are there for a reason. An air fryer works using rapid air technology. The hot air blown around the food ensures even cooking. The cooking performance of the air performance reduces if the holes in the basket get blocked.

You can tightly wrap the food in aluminum foil and throw it in the air fryer. Make sure to never wrap acidic foods – tomatoes, vinegar or vinegar-based marinade, acidic fruits, or juices – in the foil. As the food heats up, acids corrode and chew up the aluminum. When leached into the food, it gives a metallic taste to food. Most importantly, it is hazardous to your health.

Lining the basket in aluminum and then adding ingredients is another option. As a bonus, any oil, or marinade, that spills while the food is being cooked will be collected on the foil at the base of the basket, making it pretty easy to clean the air fryer. That being said, make sure that the aluminum lining doesn’t go over the basket edge. Because chances of the foil touching the heating element and causing fire are high.  

Is it Safe to Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?

Aluminum foil is useful in the kitchen and it can be used in air fryer cooking. The safety of using foil in an air fryer depends majorly on a few things. 

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First, it is important to check the user manual to understand the way your air fryer works. Certain air fryer brands have a top-installed coil, and it’s okay to use foil. On the other hand, there are air fryers using a coil in its base and, you should be very careful about using the foil.

Secondly, you need to ensure that the foil lining isn’t sticking out and most importantly, you shouldn’t cover the base. You don’t want mishaps like a fire or permanent damage to the air fryer. 

So, the answer is: it is safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer but with all precautionary steps. 

Can You Put Foil in the Bottom of the Air Fryer?

An air fryer has a basket and this is the only region where you should place the aluminum foil. Do not place the foil in the bottom of the air fryer. Air fryer’s basement has a heating element and this can start a fire if foil is placed incorrectly. The burnt foil will give food a metallic taste. Besides, it is also the region where greasy remnants from the food are collected.

Also, lining the basement with foil prevents hot air flow inside and can result in longer cooking time apart from uneven cooking.  

Place the aluminum foil only in the basket.

How to Use Aluminium Foil in an Air Fryer?

When using aluminum foil in an air fryer, be sure to follow these steps.

Always place the foil in the bottom of the basket. You may be tempted to cover things outside of the basket but you shouldn’t.

Do not cover the entire basket with aluminum foil. If you do not take note of this, the convection method of circulating heat in the air fryer will be compromised and you will end up with unevenly cooked food.

Make sure the foil’s edges are well contained within the basket, not sticking out. This will prevent the foil from ending up in the heating coil or fan.

There should be enough food placed on the foil. If there’s nothing to weigh the foil down, it will be blown away and may end up in the heating system and trigger a fire. That said, do not force too many ingredients as it will restrict the hot air supply.

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Also, you should never put aluminum foil in the fryer without putting food on it. Because if you do, the air fryer might just suck the foil and cause a fire. This might damage the fan and heating system and most probably, you’ll have to get a new air fryer.

Acidic food isn’t the ideal candidate for foil type heating or cooking. High temperature decomposes aluminum thus, small parts of the foil may end up in your food.

Does Aluminum Foil Make Cooking in an Air Fryer Faster?

Aluminum is an insulator and not a conductor. That’s why it is best suited to wrap food items than in cooking them. Foil is widely used in restaurants while baking mainly because the foil is said to lessen cooking time. 

Aluminum pots and pans reduce cooking time but as for the foil cooking in an air fryer, it all comes down to the taste. For example, salmon gives a barbeque taste when wrapped with aluminum foil. Certain food items may be cooked quite faster when wrapped in a foil and tossed in an air fryer, but there is no substantial evidence there

How Do You Keep Food From Sticking to Foil?

If you are using regular aluminum foil, spritz it lightly with some oil. Cooking experts suggest using oils with high smoke points such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or almond oil.

If you are using non-stick foil, remember that it has two sides: a shiny side and a dull side. Between the two sides, the non-stick coating is there only on the shiny side. Meaning, when wrapping meat or veggies, the shiny side should be down, facing the ingredients, and the dull side, up. To prevent food from sticking to foil, spray oil, or cooking spray on the side that touches food.  

Is it Dangerous to Your Health to Use Aluminum Foil?

Aluminum is marked safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to wrap meats and vegetables.

However, many of us are wary of using aluminum foil because parts of it end up in our stomachs. According to studies, we consume about 1 to 10 mg of aluminum per day through processed food and drinking water. That means extensive use of aluminum foil for food preparation may increase the amount of aluminum that goes into your system. In the long run, this could lead to severe health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease.

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 Alzheimer’s disease has direct links with aluminum particles. Certain studies also indicate aluminum’s role in developing inflammatory bowel diseases. Research is still ongoing to determine the real risks of aluminum in the food industry.

To sum it up, there may or may not be some toxicity related to using aluminum foil for cooking. Be wise enough to play it safe.

What Can You Not Cook in an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are versatile but not every food should be tossed into it. Below are a few examples.

1. Battered food

Air fryers and wet batter aren’t a match made in heaven. Nothing can set a wet batter in an air fryer. It will drip through the basket while your coated wings or fish fingers cook. If you’re after crunch, dry coat corn, chicken, or fish fillets in the flour-egg-breadcrumb mixture.

2. Most leafy greens

Put leafy greens in the air fryer, they will fly around the basket due to high-speed hot air. Plus, you don’t want to eat unevenly cooked food. It’s better to air fry the greens into crispy chips, kale chips, for example. Just coat the kale well in olive oil so they’ll hold up to the windy environment inside the air fryer and come out crispy.  

3. Whole chicken

Placing whole chicken will not only overcrowd the fryer but unevenly cook the meat. Plus, the sides of the bird closest to the heat source will dry out or burn before the other sides start to cook. No one likes dried out the chicken with a hard, burnt exterior, right?

4. Fresh cheese

When put in an air fryer, fresh cheese will ooze out and create a stuck-on mess. So, try using only frozen cheese.  

5. Grains that need lots of water

The air fryer is meant for dry foods. Grains such as rice that need to be submerged in boiling water can’t be cooked using an air fryer.

6. Hamburgers

A medium-rare burger’s ideal cooking temperature is 130 degrees Fahrenheit, giving that perfect pinkish, warm interior. Reaching medium-rare is possible with an air fryer, however, the exterior won’t brown out as it should.

7. Raw produce

Raw veggies tend to sog when cooked in an air fryer.

References:

https://worldhealth.net/news/dangers-aluminum-foil/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6804775/

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)