Can I put foil in an air fryer? Safety advice when using the cooking appliance explained

food, can i put foil in an air fryer? safety advice when using the cooking appliance explained

Air fryers are growing in popularity (Photo: Ali Majdfar/Getty)

As energy bills increase with the rising price cap and the cost of everyday items continue to snowball under inflation, many people are turning to alternative ways of cooking to save energy.

One such cost-effective item is the air fryer, which research has suggested can save roughly £285 a year when used instead of an oven.

Despite being easy to use and highly versatile, many people don’t know how to utilise them to their full potential.

How to use an air fryer

Air fryers are essentially mini-ovens and can cook most things – from a roast chicken to a sponge cake.

They typically have a removable basket at the bottom of the appliance, which should be simple to clean between recipes. This is where you put your ingredients.

Just like an oven, air fryers must be preheated ahead of time, however, and because they are so small, you will have to cook in small batches.

Air fryers have a heating element at the top of the appliance which warms up the air in the cooking chamber. A small fan then circulates this hot air around the chamber. This creates an environment in which food can be cooked quickly and evenly.

Air fryers work at high temperatures and speeds, so they are perfect for cooking crispy foods, and it is claimed they offer a healthier alternative to fried dishes that often require far more oil, such as chips.

Good Housekeeping collated some guideline times for cooking with an air fryer:

  • Chicken breast – 10 to 15 minutes at 190°C
  • Chicken wings – 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C
  • Chicken thighs – 15 to 20 minutes at 200°C
  • Pork chops – 10 to 15 minutes at 200°C
  • Steak – 10 to 15 minutes at 200°C
  • Fish fillets – 8 to 10 minutes at 200°C
  • Sweet potatoes – 12 to 14 minutes at 200°C
  • Brussel sprouts – 12 to 15 minutes at 200°C

The appliance has become so popular that there are now thousands of online recipes specifically designed to make the most of air fryers.

Can foil be used in an air fryer?

Yes, mostly it is fine to use foil in an air fryer.

Because the cooking process involves rushing hot air, aluminium foil shouldn’t be damaged by an air fryer and is safe in the appliance if it is properly used. The vigorous air flow means the foil should be secured tightly so it doesn’t flap around.

If you are unsure about what to do, then check your manufacturer’s guidance. Some companies do not recommend the use of foil, including Philips.

All says: “It is absolutely safe to use aluminium foil in your air fryer. In fact, it can make cooking with the air fryer easier.

“Put aside your worries about your air fryer catching on fire, and focus on all the ways using aluminium foil there can help you: Utilising aluminium foil in the air fryer will cut down on mess and significantly reduce overall cleanup time. Those pesky crumbs and sticky sauces will never stand a chance.”

Air Fryer has a handy list of safety tips here, including cooking in a ventilated area, not putting it on a stove and not using parchment paper without food on it to weigh it down.

It also recommends not using cooking sprays with propellants, wet batters or coatings, or salt while the food is cooking.

And definitely don’t overcrowd the basket with food.

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