Aluminum foil is a handy kitchen product used to contain flavorful drippings and keep food warm. Lining a cooking appliance with aluminum makes the clean-up phase easier for you and reduces the cooking time.
With air fryers’ increasing popularity and diversity, new users often ask if they can put aluminum in the air fryer or they’re better with a bare basket.
If you are also interested in knowing whether you can line an air fryer with aluminum to speed up the cooking process, you are in the right place.
Today I’ll explain aluminum foil’s usability and compatibility with different air fryers; read on to know if your air fryer is a good fit for aluminum or not!
Can You Put Aluminum Foil in The Air Fryer?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in the air fryer to contain tasty food drippings and attain a particular food texture. Make sure your air fryer basket is properly lined with aluminum foil, and it doesn’t block its air circulation; the rest is all good. You can line your air fryer with an aluminum tin to reduce your cleaning effort and enjoy a perfectly cooked meal.
Since aluminum is a good heat conductor, you can ensure even heat distribution in the air fryer. The main reason why cooks use aluminum liners is that it keeps the food warm for longer and makes the clean-up phase easier for you.
When you cook something crumbly or drippy, it can leave a lot of mess for you to clean. And since covering an air fryer’s bottom is not a viable option, lining the frying basket with aluminum is a good substitute.
Most air fryers have heating elements in their bottom sections (some have heaters above the frying baskets), and spreading aluminum foil, or parchment paper below the frying basket blocks your food’s airflow.
Therefore, expert chefs and air fryer manufacturers recommend putting some aluminum foil in the air fryer basket and keeping its bottom drawer free. This basket lining will contain food fats, juices, and crumbs, eventually making your clean-up phase easier.
Another benefit of putting aluminum foil in the air fryer is the improved heating you experience after following this step. If you feel one side of your food is soggier than the other one, try lining the air fryer basket with aluminum and notice the difference.
This conductive metal improves the air fryer’s heating capacity and ensures your food ends up with an enriched taste. So, if you’re tired of seeing accumulated food grease and crumbs in your air fryer’s bottom rack, use the aluminum trick to get rid of this problem.
Is It Safe to Use Aluminum Foil in The Air Fryer?
Using aluminum foil in the air fryer is safe and practical. Unless you’re cooking highly acidic foods like lime, lemon, vinegar, or tomatoes in the air fryer, spreading aluminum in its frying basket is totally safe. Aluminum doesn’t react with most foods, nor does it impact your air fryer basket, so using it is never risky.
Thanks to its safety standards, aluminum foil is a common kitchen product used to wrap and store foods. Aluminum foil doesn’t leach toxic fumes into your food. It keeps it warm for a considerable time, so using it is mostly a win-win.
However, using aluminum foil in the air fryer is a common confusion because of the way air fryers perform. Home cooks often ask what if the aluminum foil melts in the air fryer because of its extreme temperature or what if it makes their food toxic.
Fortunately, none of these concerns is true if you carefully put aluminum foil in the air fryer. Acidic foods like vinegar-based sauces, tomatoes, lime, and lemon can react with aluminum foil and compromise your food’s quality.
When acidic foods and aluminum foil are heated together, the foil leaves little dark particles in your food that taste like metal. Therefore, you should never put aluminum foil in the air fryer while cooking something acidic.
If you need an air fryer liner for lemon and lime-based recipes, you should prefer parchment or baking sheets because they don’t contain any metal particles.
Overheating and lack of ventilation can damage any food, whether acidic or otherwise. Therefore, if you decide to use aluminum foil with the air fryer, never block its vents and heat flow for your food’s sake.
Cooking at high heat with the aluminum foil covering your air fryer basket can leave your food with a metallic after-taste and a weird texture. We suggest you be careful of the air fryer’s temperature and the rest is all good.
How To Put Aluminum Foil in Air Fryer?
After understanding the benefits of using aluminum foil in the air fryer, the next phase is to do it, and that’s when most people feel confused. Do we wrap uncooked food in aluminum foil, cover the air fryer basket with this foil, or place it in the bottom drawer? These are some questions new users ask from air fryer pros, and that’s precisely what we’re going to explain next.
If you’re not sure how to put aluminum foil in the air fryer, I have listed some easy steps to ease this process for you:
Line the Air Fryer Basket
Since you’ll put aluminum foil in the air fryer basket, start with wrapping an aluminum sheet around a jar and give it a tin-shaped look.
Put this make-shift aluminum tin in your air fryer basket.
Make sure the aluminum foil doesn’t poke out of your air fryer basket and stays well inside it.
If the aluminum sheet is larger than your air fryer basket, fold its edges so it doesn’t come out and stays away from the fan.
Don’t Cover the Heating Element with Aluminum
If your air fryer’s heating element or coil is in its bottom part, don’t cover it with aluminum foil. Doing so will prevent hot air from reaching your food, eventually increasing the cooking time.
The only suitable place for putting aluminum foil in the air fryer is its frying basket that sits away from the fan and heating element.
Important: Covering an air fryer’s heating element with aluminum foil can spark a fire and pose several safety risks alongside.
However, if your air fryer has a top-sitting heating element, you can place the aluminum foil in its base to catch food drippings and oil.
Poke a Few Holes in the Aluminum Foil
Don’t think that covering the entire air fryer basket with aluminum foil is the best way to go; it’s the opposite, in fact. When you block the basket’s holes with aluminum foil, your food will come out soggy and sweaty. So after putting aluminum foil in the air fryer basket, the next step is to poke a few holes in it.
Take a toothpick or a metal fork and poke 3-5 holes in the aluminum tin you just placed in the air fryer basket.
You don’t have to uncover all basket holes either; doing so will negate the entire purpose of using a foil.
These holes will ensure hot air freely moves in and out of the basket, and your food comes out perfectly crisped.
Air fryers are meant to generate and ventilate hot air that dries all moisture from your food and gives it a nice brown finish; making some holes in the air fryer basket will help with that.
Don’t Overcrowd the Aluminum Liner
Putting too much food inside the aluminum liner is another mistake new cooks don’t know about. Inexperienced cooks cram the air fryer basket with uncooked food to speed up the cooking process, only to wind up with unevenly cooked food.
Therefore, leaving some space between raw food fillets/chunks is a good practice. If you must overcrowd the aluminum-lined air fryer basket, remember to turn the food 2-3 times during the cooking cycle.
This way, you’ll enjoy evenly cooked food without having to cook more than one batch!
Weigh Down the Aluminum
If you’re cooking just a few chunks of meat or vegetables, your aluminum foil might melt down and end up at the air fryer’s heating element.
Heat can damage lightweight aluminum foil and also cause a fire in your air fryer. Therefore, weigh this foil down with enough food (don’t overdo it, though) to keep it in place throughout the cooking cycle.
Melted aluminum foil will leave a huge mess for you to clean; being smart at this front is mandatory.
Carefully Take the Foil Out
After you’re done cooking, carefully take the aluminum foil to keep all fruit drippings and fats intact. Be careful if you don’t want to spill the delicious food crumbs and fond in the air fryer for which you used the foil.
Things To Avoid When Using Aluminum Foil in Air Fryer
As mentioned earlier, following the correct method of putting aluminum foil in the air fryer is important for the appliance’s safety and your food. There have been incidents where aluminum foil melted inside the air fryer, and the user had to clean a sticky mess afterward; being proactive is essential.
Remember the following things while putting aluminum foil in your air fryer, and maintain its well-being without stressing much:
Vinegar, citric acid, lemon, tomatoes, and lime are some noteworthy acidic foods you should avoid while putting aluminum foil in an air fryer. These acidic foods melt at extreme temperatures and slowly erode the foil’s surface, eventually leaving tiny metal particles in your food.
If you’re cooking something acidic in the air fryer, don’t put aluminum foil to hold its fats and drippings; parchment paper is a more suitable option for these foods.
Doubling the Foil
If you think doubling the aluminum foil while putting it in the air fryer is smart, you’re mistaken. The thick or doubled aluminum foil blocks the air fryer’s heat from reaching your food, eventually impacting its texture and taste. You should only use single-layered and thin aluminum foil in the air fryer to ensure the hot air circulates freely.
Putting Aluminum Foil on the Air Fryer’s Base
Putting aluminum foil in the air fryer’s base will hinder its heating element’s performance and pose some safety risks to your appliance. Limit the aluminum foil to your air fryer basket, and you’re good.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil in Emeril Lagasse Air Fryer?
Yes, you can use aluminum foil in an Emeril Lagasse air fryer if you do it carefully. Emeril Lagasse air fryers have wide metal cooking racks from where food drippings can fall and accumulate in their bottoms. If you line your Emeril Lagasse air fryer’s racks with high-quality aluminum foil, it reduces your cleaning effort and improves heat distribution inside the air fryer.
Emeril Lagasse air fryers are multi-purpose kitchen appliances you can use for frying, dehydrating, and grilling different recipes. While cooking a large food batch in an Emeril Lagasse air fryer, cover its racks with aluminum foil and enjoy your recipe’s enriched taste.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil in Cuisinart Air Fryer?
You can use aluminum foil in a Cuisinart air fryer to keep its bottom rack mess-free even after extensive cooking. Cuisinart air fryers have wide frying baskets paired with metal racks to hold food crumbs and melted fats. While cooking something particularly drippy and oozy, you can put aluminum foil in a Cuisinart air fryer and ensure even heat distribution.
What Other Brands of Air Fryers Can I Put Aluminum Foil in?
You can put aluminum foil in an air fryer as long as it doesn’t block its heating and ventilation. Here are some famous air fryers brands compatible with aluminum foil:
- Ninja Foodie
- Emeril Lagasse
Aluminum foil is a practical kitchen product you can use for several purposes. If you’re cooking something drippy or oozy in the air fryer, line its basket with aluminum foil, and you’re sorted.
I have explained the process of using aluminum foil with air fryers and other factors impacting its usability and performance. Follow the guidelines we have listed above, and you’ll never go wrong while putting aluminum foil in an air fryer!