Can you put foil in an air fryer? The materials you can and can't use

Wondering if you can put foil in an air fryer? We've put together a list of which materials are and aren't safe to use with your kitchen gadget - some of them might surprise you

An air fryer on a kitchen counter
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've got one of these much sought-after kitchen gadgets, you've likely wondered if you can put foil in an air fryer. Here's everything you need to know...

Air fryers are everyone's favourite kitchen gadget at the moment, and if you're lucky enough to own one of the best air fryers out there, you'll know that you can put pretty much anything in them. From meat and fish to cakes and even poached eggs, there are so many things you can cook in an air fryer.

But some budding chefs are keen to know exactly what you can't cook in an air fryer, and how to use these popular gadgets safely. And one question that keeps cropping up is can you put foil in an air fryer? We've done some research and found out exactly which materials you can - and can't - put in your air fryer. 

Can you put foil in an air fryer?

Yes, you can put foil in an air fryer. While it's not safe to put foil in the microwave, air fryers cook food using a rapid circulation of hot air - similar to a convection oven - meaning it's perfectly safe to put foil in the machine.

In fact, there are several advantages to wrapping your food in foil while it's in the air fryer. It can prevent any seasoning or marinade from dripping through the basket and instead stay on the food, ensures that heat is distributed more evenly and also makes cleaning up easier at the end of cooking.

Salmon with slices of lemon and greens sitting in foill

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You should, however, make sure the foil is securely attached to the food or the air fryer basket itself, otherwise it may become loose. But don't attach any foil to the bottom of the air fryer - underneath the basket - as this could disrupt the airflow. 

When to use foil in an air fryer

The main reasons why you might choose to use foil in your air fryer are to keep the inside of your air fryer clean and allow you to easily remove food from the air fryer.

It might be a good idea to put anything that could stick to the air fryer or cause a mess - such as food that is in a marinade - in or on top of foil.

Air fryer recipes you can use foil with:

However, you should also avoid using foil when cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes, peppers or citrus fruits, because they react with the material and this can result in small amounts of aluminium in your food.

If you plan on using foil in your air fryer, it's always a good idea to check the manufacturer's instructions, as they may provide useful tips or things you should avoid using the material for.

Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer?

Yes, you can put parchment paper in your air fryer. The silicone coating means it's heat resistant, making it another good option for keeping your air fryer clean while you cook food.

In fact, some retailers even offer perforated parchment paper specifically for use in air fryers, so the hot air can still reach the food and ensure quick and even cooking.

This also means it's safe to put cake tin liners in your air fryer, so if you're planning on getting creative a making a cake in your air fryer (yep, it's possible), you don't need to worry. 

Non-stick Greaseproof Paper Square Air Fryer Parchment Liner - £8.88 | Amazon

Non-stick Greaseproof Paper Square Air Fryer Parchment Liner - £8.88 | Amazon

These air fryer liners are heat safe up to 450℉ (230℃), with a perforated design to help speed up the air circulation in the air fryer and heat food fully and evenly. Includes 200 sheets and one silicon brush.

Can you put Tupperware in an air fryer?

No, you can't put Tupperware in your air fryer. Other than silicone, it's not safe to put anything made from plastic in an air fryer, as it will likely melt and could even cause your air fryer to catch fire.

If you have some food in a Tupperware that you want to heat or cook in your air fryer, you should transfer it to an over proof container or dish first.

Can you sterilise jars in an air fryer?

Yes, you can sterilise jars in an air fryer, as long as the jars are oven proof. Air fryers are very similar to ovens, so anything you can put in an oven is also safe in your air fryer.

Start of by washing the jars in hot, soapy water, before drying them in the air fryer at 140°C. Be careful as you take them out of your air fryer, as they'll be very hot.

Sterilising jars is necessary if making jam, as it removes bacteria that can cause the foods to spoil.

Empty jam jars on a shelf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What materials can you put in an air fryer?

  • Tempered glass - if labelled oven safe (e.g. Pyrex)
  • Other ovenproof dishes made from ceramic, metal or silicone
  • Stainless steel pots and pans (only if the handles are stainless steel too)
  • Cast iron skillets
  • Copper containers
  • Pizza stones
  • Silicone or paper baking cases
  • Pie tins

If in doubt, remember that any materials you can use in an oven you can also use in your air fryer.

What can't you put in an air fryer?

  • Plastic containers or Tupperware 
  • Wood
  • Non-stick cookware
  • Don't put foil or parchment paper in your air fryer without any food 

From how to clean air fryers to are air fryers healthy, the foodies among us are keen to know how best to use these handy devices, and we've revealed how much it costs to run an air fryer too. You might want to check out our round-up of the best air fryer cookbooks too.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.