Things That You Can Put, And Can’t Put In An Air Fryer

Lately, air fryers have garnered immense popularity as a versatile kitchen appliance that cooks food quickly and easily in a healthy way without added oil, fats, and calories. However, while cooking certain types of foods with an air fryer, you may experience certain issues.

You can put materials like aluminium foil or parchment paper inside your air fryer to fix these issues. Be aware that not all materials are safe for your air fryer. In this article, we will discuss the things that you can put, and can’t put in an air fryer.

What Are The Things That You Can Put And Can’t Put In An Air Fryer?

Things you can safely keep inside your air fryer for cooking foods efficiently include parchment paper, aluminium foil, toothpicks, iron skillets, steel bowls, PAM oil, pyrex dishes, etc. Things you should avoid putting in your air fryer include paper towels, cheese, water, sauces, and plastic, as these can create a hectic mess and cause significant damage to the machine.

While you are tempted to exercise your cooking skills with your new air fryer for roasting, baking or broiling various food items, remember you cannot use anything with an air fryer. It is not meant for deep frying.

It works like a convection oven that uses air as a medium of heat distribution and replicates deep frying in hot oil. Are you intrigued to learn more about your newly purchased air fryer? Keep reading, as we will unravel a lot more about air fryer in the following sections.

Can You Put Aluminium Foil In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use aluminium foil to wrap up the food and put it in an air fryer. Due to its superior heat conductivity, it serves as a good cooking material. Ensure to seal the food properly for preventing the foil from scattering around.

It is suitable for cooking those food items that you don’t want to expose directly to the heat. With aluminium foil, you can entrap the heat and circulate it evenly for cooking the food.

Aluminium foil, if wrapped loosely, the forces of the circulating heat may rip up it into pieces that would fly around. Another way is to cover the bottom of the air fryer with foil. Ensure to keep the food evenly on top of the foil so that it stays down.

Can You Use Parchment Paper Inside An Air Fryer?

Yes, parchment paper is widely used for wrapping food that needs to be cooked in an air fryer or covering the bottom of an air fryer to prevent the food from sticking to its compartments.

It is suitable for frying sticky foods like baked goods such as chocolate chip cookies and lava cake or coated chicken wings.

You should cover the bottom of the air fryer by using cut-up parchment paper. Ensure that you distribute the food to be fried evenly on the bottom to hold the parchment paper in its place and prevent it from flying around.

Any loose ends while making a layer of parchment paper may end up tearing parchment paper everywhere due to the force of hot circulating air. The parchment paper can also be used for cooking food items that are not sticky.

Moreover, using parchment paper helps inconvenient and effortless cleaning afterwards.

It also ensures that tiny food particles, crumbs, and herbs don’t get stuck in the small nooks and crannies of the air fryer.

Can You Reheat Or Cook Frozen Food In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can put frozen food in an air fryer. In fact, it is a perfect appliance for reheating or cooking food items that are frozen. Due to its convection function, the air fryer makes the food crispy and tasty.

The air fryer cooks the food evenly and quickly by circulating the frozen food items’ hot air. It is suitable for heating pre-fried frozen foods such as pizza rolls, chicken tenders, tater tots, fish sticks, etc.

Can You Put Baking Paper In An Air Fryer?

No, it is not recommended to put baking paper in an air fryer. When a baking paper is laid at the bottom of the fryer’s basket, it reduces the airflow inside the air fryer and results in reduced cooking performances.

The bottom of the air fryer accumulates dirt and grease. Covering it with baking paper further disrupts the airflow. Moreover, if you put baking paper without weighing it down with food, it may get sucked into the heater and started to burn.

Can You Use Wax Paper Inside An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use wax paper for air frying and steaming food items. However, you need to use it carefully as the air fryer’s heating element is located close to the food and may cause the wax paper to burn.

Ensure to line the bottom of the air fryer’s cooking basket with wax paper. Avoid close contact of the wax paper with the air fryer’s heating element, and don’t cover the cooking basket completely with wax paper.

Keep your food items evenly on the top of the wax paper for weighing them down. This ensures that wax paper does not get stuck in the air fryer’s heating unit.

Can You Use Toothpicks In Your Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use toothpicks for holding down the food items in their place in an oven. As air fryers circulate hot air surrounding the food particles, it may cause small particles to dislodge and fly around, creating mess and resulting in uneven frying.

Thus, toothpicks help you to avoid the mess while cooking with an air fryer. Some of the common recipes that require toothpicks include chicken breasts, shrimp, asparagus, bacon-wrapped Kani, etc.

By inserting the toothpicks in each piece after wrapping the bacon with ingredients prevents the bacon from unravelling. The toothpick comes in handy when frying rolled or stuff chicken breast as it can open the meat while cooking in the air fryer.

Can You Use Pyrex Or Other Dishes In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use heat-resistant dishes like Pyrex in the air fryer. In fact, any such dish that works great with a microwave oven is also compatible with an air fryer.

Using dishes for cooking in an air fryer proves beneficial as it minimizes the cleaning up and makes it easier to serve the cooked food.

Can You Put Iron Skillets In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can keep iron skillets in your air fryer if their size matches the air fryer. Using a small iron skillet that fits well in the air fryer serves as an excellent way of cooking evenly heated food due to the superior heat conductivity of iron.

Thus, you can use an iron skillet for cooking food items in an air fryer that creates a gooey mess like sauces or fresh cheese.

Can You Put Steel Bowls In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use steel bowls in the air fryer. These bowls serve as excellent conductors of heat and generate a heating effect similar to an oven by trapping the heat inside and cooking the food thoroughly.

Is It Ok To Use Pam Oil In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use Pam oil cooking spray inside your air fryer for preventing the food from sticking to the surface. You can spray it all over the compartment of the air fryer without any issues.

Things You Shouldn’t Put In Your Air Fryer

So far, we have discussed things that we can put in an air fryer. Let’s discuss few things that we should avoid putting inside the air fryer as it can lead to a mess and may damage the machine or food.


Avoid using water in your air fryer. Although you can use it sparingly, it is not needed. Don’t use your air fryer for boiling water, as the circulating hot air may cause significant damage to your machine.


Don’t use plastic inside your air fryer, as it can quickly melt and create a hectic mess in the air fryer. Using any type of plastic may damage your air fryer. Therefore if you have any plastic food container, don’t keep them inside the air fryer.


Any type of sauces or stews is not suitable for cooking inside an air fryer. During the hot air circulation, the sauce may get spilt all over the air fryer compartment, leaving it messy.

You can use meat marinades or a sauce with a thick consistency that doesn’t move easily with circulating hot air.

Paper Towels 

Avoid using any type of paper towels inside your air fryer as these can easily catch burn and may cause fire incidents. Rather than paper towels, you can use aluminium foil, wax paper, or parchment paper, as we have discussed above.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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