Can I Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer? 

We’ve all grown to be wary of using aluminum foil in our smaller kitchen appliances, namely the microwave. Everyone remembers their parents drilling it into our heads, Don’t Put Foil in the Microwave! But is it safe to put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Over the past few years air fryers have exploded in popularity. More and more families are discovering how easy and delicious of food you can make in them.

Naturally we find ourselves trying out new cooking techniques with our air fryers, and this leads us to our question we aim to tackle today!

Is It Safe to Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?

Is it safe to put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Does it work the same way as a microwave?

Will the tin foil ruin my food?

Will I regret my decision immediately after pushing start button? I can answer these questions you may have about your air frying.

is it safe to put aluminum foil in an air fryer
Yes you can use aluminum foil in an air fryer!

These are all good questions and I’m going to go ahead and tell you straight up, YES you actually can use aluminum foil in your air fryer. There is no risk of damage to your appliance. No worries at all, as long as you follow a couple easy tips.

Additional Reading: How to Cook Frozen Samosas in an Air Fryer

Does an Air Fryer Work the Same as a Microwave?

Likely you ask yourself this as you’ve thought about using tin foil in your air fryer. Its a relevant question, and since these air fryers are new to a lot of people its understandable to have some hesitation. Air fryers are powerful cooking appliances, similar to a microwave, but not similar in technology.

The short answer really is a solid, no. An air fryer doesn’t use the same technology as a microwave at all! This is why there is no need to be cautious with tin foil. There will be no harm or risk of arcing.

Rather than using microwave radiation to heat up the molecules of our food (a little scary when you think about it?), air fryers use only a type of convection cooking known as Rapid Air Technology.

With Rapid Air Technology, the cooking is optimized by placing the heating elements very close to the food. The entire cooking atmosphere is then circulated very quickly with a fan, similar to our convection ovens just at a faster rate of air movement vs volume of air.

The quick movement of air allows to the food to cook at a maximized rate without burning. This in turn removes any moisture in the food quicker than traditional baking or roasting in an oven, giving the food a crispier texture!

It really does work so well, and to be honest, the air fryer sounds a lot safer than the microwave method of heating your food!

Additional Reading: Can Deep Fried Foods Be Healthy?

How To Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer

Alright, so now that we know its actually okay to use tin foil in the air fryer lets go over a few key points to make the most out of it.

Follow these ideas and make the most out of your air fryer should you choose to cook with tin foil.

Avoid Loose Foil in the Air Fryer

Knowing how an air fryer works, our first point to remember is to never have loose aluminum foil in your air fryer. Any loose foil, food or breading will get blown all over the inside of the unit.

An air fryer has very high velocity air flow during cooking and so you must avoid having anything that could get blown around. A loose piece of foil could end up blocking the flow of heat and air, resulting in uneven cooking.

Whenever you use foil in your air fryer, make sure that it is secured around or under the food, giving you the best possible results!

Additional Reading: How to Reheat Chicken Pot Pie my 4 Best Ways

Don’t Use Too Much Tin Foil

Less is more! Air fryers need circulation in the basket to properly cook your food. If you use too much foil, it will block the flow and can slow down the cooking.

how to place foil in air fryer basket
Foil with room for air to circulate in basket

Try to use only a small amount of foil. Its best to create a bed under your food, such as twice-baked air fried potatoes where it just collects any butter or drippings during cooking.

Don’t cover the entire bottom of the basket, leave at least some air space. Also, never use tin foil to cover the very bottom of the fryer. Just like your food, the foil should remain inside the basket of the air fryer.

Acidic Foods and Aluminum Foil Don’t Mix

This applies always, not just in an air fryer. Very acidic foods and tin foil really don’t play well together.

The acid in foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits and vinegar will break down the foil. If left in contact the aluminum can actually break down and be absorbed against the foods! Best to avoid if possible!

Avoid Pre Heating with Foil

Pre heating of the air fryer should always be with a completely empty basket. If you pre heat with just foil, it will put unnecessary stress on the foil. Also loose foil could get blown into the heating element.

Take Aways for Using Foil in an Air Fryer

  • Keep the foil secured and not loose
  • Avoid highly acidic foods if possible
  • Don’t pre heat with only foil
  • Only use inside the basket – not on the base of air fryer
  • Too much foil will block the air flow

I hope this helped, enjoy your air fryer and maybe take a look at some of our delicious recipes before you go.


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