Can You Put Plastic in an Air Fryer? (And What Can Happen?)

The air fryer has become a must-have appliance in the kitchen. It is ideal for cooking foods where crunchiness and crisp are a priority. 

You can cook anything you can bake in an air fryer. Air frying is also much healthier and desirable than frying foods in oil. It cuts down calories by a massive 70 to 80 percent. Air-fried foods also have lesser fats.

However, many users are aware they cannot cook certain foods like raw grains, fresh greens, cheese, etc., in an air fryer. The major confusion is what to put in the air fryer. Many are asking questions like “can you put plastic in an air fryer?”

In this post, we shall be addressing this question and offer more information on what to put in an air fryer. Read to learn more!

Can You Put a Plastic Bowl in an Air Fryer?

No, you cannot. Why? Your plastic bowl would melt, and that would not be good for the appliance, including the food item you’re cooking. 

Understanding how the air fryer works will help you make good use of it. You’ll be able to determine what can be put in the appliance. 

So, how does the air fryer works? It works exactly like an oven. Therefore, whatever you can put in the oven can equally go into the air fryer. 

You cannot put plastic and some foods in the air fryer because of how it operates. It cooks with heated air, circulated by a high-speed fan. 

The temperature inside the air fryer can reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, your Tupperware or takeaway container cannot survive it. 

A Handy Tip: You can put Tupperware and even takeaway containers in a microwave. 

What else should not be put in the air fryer? An example is a non-stick accessory and oil. The oil can cause the non-stick property of the accessory or basket to break down. 

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A wooden server is another thing you should never put in an air fryer. 

What Might Happen If You Put a Plastic Bowl in an Air Fryer?

As earlier mentioned, an air fryer can cook foods at an incredibly high temperature. It boasts a heating element and fan, which circulates the heat, though. 

However, it is worth mentioning that an air fryer doesn’t work the same way a microwave does. Even a microwave-safe plastic container won’t survive in an air fryer. 

So, what exactly can happen when a plastic bowl is put in an air fryer? 

1. Plastic bowl will melt

Your plastic bowl could melt and shrivel when put in an air fryer. And the reason for this is simple. 

Different plastic materials are out there. And each boasts a unique melting point. However, heat above 130 degrees Fahrenheit can cause the plastic to melt. 

The temperature inside the air fryer can reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can reduce the temperature to below 400 degrees F. But if you want some crispiness, ensure the temperature doesn’t go below 350 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of whatever you’re air-frying. 

2. Melted plastic can damage your air fryer

Plastic would not only melt inside your air fryer. It could also mess up your air fryer. 

So, avoid putting plastic materials in your air fryer. The melted plastic could even damage your appliance or make it unsafe to use. Cleaning up an air fryer with melted plastic can be tough and time-consuming. 

3. Food wastage

Another reason putting plastic containing food in the air fryer is a bad idea is this. You can’t consume the food once the plastic melts on it. 

When the plastic melts on the food, you’ll have no other option than discard it. Imagine this happening when you’re hungry. You’ll have to wait longer to eat. 

4. Plastic can sip into your food

When the plastic melts, chemicals may find their way into your food, making it unsafe for consumption. 

There’s a high possibility that this will happen, given that the heat generated by the air fryer will cause the plastic to melt. So, avoid putting plastic in the air fryer by all means.  

Can You Put Microwavable Plastic in an Air Fryer?

No, you can’t and shouldn’t do such. Any microwaveable plastic would melt in the air fryer. So, avoid doing such.

When the plastic melts, it can cause a big mess in the air fryer or damage the appliance. 

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So, why do plastic survive in microwaves? The reason is quite simple. 

The term “microwaveable or microwave-safe plastic” means the plastic material is transparent to the microwave’s energy. 

The microwaveable plastic only needs to deal with the food’s hottest temperature, not the microwave’s temperature. 

In the case of an air fryer, there’s a huge difference. The appliance has a heating element and super fast fan that circulates heat throughout the appliance. 

So, a microwaveable plastic won’t survive in the air fryer, most especially at a higher temperature.  

A Handy Tip: You should read up the user manual provided by the manufacturer to know how to use your air fryer appropriately.  

However, it’s ideal to use only the basket in the air fryer. Why? It encourages proper heat circulation in the appliance. 

Can You Put a Glass Bowl in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can put your Pyrex bowl in an air fryer, provided it is oven-safe. However, you have to ensure the glass bowl isn’t cold before entering the air fryer. Otherwise, it may fracture due to temperature changes. 

However, it is important to note that an air fryer’s temperature changes more rapidly than a regular oven. Thus, there’s a high possibility a glass bowl may fracture in an air fryer. 

A Handy Tip: You need to confirm that your glass bowl is oven-safe and won’t fracture in an air fryer before using it. 

How can you confirm this? Firstly, place the glass bowl in the air fryer without food. The aim is to check if it won’t fracture in the air fryer. 

Now, turn the air fryer on and set it to maximum temperature. You can repeat this process a couple of times to ensure that the glassware is safe in the air fryer. 

How can you confirm if a glass bowl is oven-safe?

Check the body of the glass bowl. You’ll find it boldly written at the base of the bowl. 

You can check their official website to confirm if the bowl is oven-safe if you know the manufacturer. If you could not get any information on the website, visit their various social media handles and post your question there. 

In no time, one or more users familiar with the glassware will answer your question on whether it is oven-safe or not. Someone from the company may also discover and respond to your message too.  

Warning: If you must put a glass bowl in your air fryer, please confirm that it is oven-safe before doing so. You should also test the glass bowl multiple times to ensure that it can withstand the temperature in the air fryer before placing food in it. 

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Can You Put a Steel Bowl in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can. But before you put any steel bowl in your air fryer and start cooking, ensure it is oven-safe. 

Using an oven-safe steel bowl is the ideal thing to do. Being oven-safe guarantees that the steel bowl can handle the temperature produced by the air fryer. 

So, ensure a steel bowl is oven-safe before putting it inside the air fryer. If you’re unsure if the one you have is, don’t put it in your air fryer. 

It should be written as “oven-safe” on the body of the steel bowl. Or better still, you can check the cookware on the manufacturer’s website to confirm if it is. 

What Materials Can You Put in an Air Fryer?

You can use the following materials in your air fryer. Consider them as safe alternatives to a plastic bowl. 

#1: Perforated parchment paper (PPP): Use this material in your air fryer. It will help prevent chemicals from getting to your foods when used on the air fryer basket.   

#2: Stainless steel: You can use steel bowls in an air fryer, but ensure they’re oven-safe. If they’re not, please desist from using such bowls. 

#3: Toothpicks: You can use toothpicks to hold foods together to ensure they don’t fly around as the heat circulates inside the appliance. 

#4: Iron skillet: This cookware can make cooking in an air fryer a breeze. It’s a good heat conductor, and therefore, can help ensure your food cooks evenly. Just get an iron skillet that can fit into the air fryer. 

A Handy Tip: Don’t put a paper towel in an air fryer. It can start a fire and mess up your appliance. 

Conclusion   

Can you put plastic in an air fryer? No, you cannot, and you shouldn’t. Why? There are diverse reasons why. The plastic could melt and release chemicals that may enter your food. 

The melted plastic may also mess up your air fryer or damage it. So, avoid putting anything plastic in the air fryer, even microwaveable ones. 

You can put glass bowls in an air fryer. But ensure they’re oven-safe. And there’s nothing wrong if you test the bowl in the air fryer to see if it won’t fracture at maximum temperature. 

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. :)