Dying to Know: Can You Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?

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If you’re like me, you’ve been using your air fryer a lot lately. It’s just so convenient to be able to cook food without using oil, and the results are always delicious.

But have you ever wondered, can you use aluminum foil in an air fryer? Turns out, the answer is yes! And it’s a great way to prevent sticking! Keep reading for more tips on how to use aluminum foil in your air fryer.

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How Does the Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food. It’s a healthier alternative to deep frying, baking, and sautéing.

The cooking surface inside the device can be either ceramic or metal mesh with tiny holes in it. The food cooks by circulating around the heated coils of wire or metal. A fan circulates hot air around inside the machine through these wires or coils while rotating them at high speeds, which allows for even heating throughout the cooking chamber and ensures that every piece of food gets cooked evenly on all sides without any dry spots left over from overcooking some parts too long before others are ready.

Cooking time usually takes less than half as long as conventional methods because there are not as many steps involved.

  • There is no need to preheat the oil and wait for it to reach a specific temperature
  • You don’t have to monitor it constantly while cooking to ensure that it doesn’t overflow or catch fire.
  • The food only needs to be flipped once halfway through the process because of how quickly the machine cooks from all sides at once.

Reasons to Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer

Aluminum foil is one of those tricky cooking items that you have to be careful what you use it with.

You definitely don’t want it near your microwave.

But what about an air fryer? Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer to make healthier cooking choices with less cleanup?

There are many reasons to use aluminum foil in an air fryer!

  • Can enhance the flavor. Foil can help seal in the flavor and juices of your food, which results in a tastier dish. So, use those spices and veggies and prepare for some flavorful food!
  • Easy clean up. When the cooking is done, all you have to do is remove the aluminum foil and discard it. There is no need to scrub the air fryer, since all of the food will be on the foil. This makes clean up a breeze!
  • Great heat conductor. Aluminum foil is a superb heat conductor, which means that it conducts heat evenly. Food will be thoroughly cooked all the way through. No crispy outside with a raw inside! This makes for an optimal air fryer cooking experience!
  • One of the best things about using aluminum foil when you cook in an air fryer is that it can help make your food crispy with less oil.

The Right Way to Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer

Step One

Prepare Your Food for Cooking. Be sure that all of your ingredients are prepped and ready for cooking before putting them on the aluminum foil. This will ensure everything cooks evenly and thoroughly, so no raw food or burnt outsides!

Step Two

Put Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer. Take shiny side of aluminum foil and place it in the air fryer basket. I like to lay down at least two pieces so that the food really has something to sit on, but this isn’t necessary.

Step Three

Place Food on Foil. Add your veggies or meat on top of the aluminum foil. Pull back an edge of foil, and then slowly lower it back down onto the food to ensure that it’s fully sealed.

Step Four

Cook Your Food. Follow the directions according to what you’re cooking and enjoy! You already know clean up will be a breeze!

Other things to be cautious of when putting aluminum foil in an air fryer
  • To prepare aluminum foil for use in your air fryer, make sure that each piece is clean and not crinkled up into a ball shape. If there are any dents or bumps on after tearing off large pieces from a roll, smooth them out as much as possible.
  • Make sure that there are not any sharp points on the foil where the tear marks were from removing it from a larger sheet. If you see any unnecessary bumps or dents still left over from manufacturing, press those down until they are flattened and no longer noticeable to the touch.

Foods to Avoid Cooking when Using Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer

So, now that we have answered the question, can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer, it’s important to note that there are certain foods to avoid when using foil!

  • Tomatoes and other Acidic Fruits. Avoid cooking acidic foods in aluminum foil in an air fryer. The acid will slowly disintegrate the aluminum foil, causing a mess and pieces of foil in your food. The citrus on certain fruits can also react with the aluminum, forming little aluminum salts on your food. According to Amber Adams, founder of Kitchens Ready, “If you’re cooking acidic foods like tomatoes or vinegar-based marinades, this can break down the foil and leach even more aluminum into your food.”
  • Peppers. Peppers are acidic, but they also seem to have a metallic taste when used with aluminum foil in an air fryer.
  • Vinegar or lemon juice containing marinades. Just like the acetic acid found in lemon juice, vinegar is also acidic and can breakdown and dissolve aluminum over time. You can use aluminum to cover your food and marinate cold using vinegar or lemon juice. But ditch it when it’s time to cook.
  • Leafy Greens. These may cook unevenly or even burn due to the high speed of air.

What can you NOT put in an Air Fryer?

  • Paper towels. Paper towels should not be used to line your air fryer. they can disrupt the flow of air, causing damage to your appliance or even worse, a fire. You can use paper towels to clean the bottom of your fryer when you are finished cooking, but they should never be a part of the cooking process!
  • Anything that is flammable
  • Anything that melts when placed near heat
  • Anything that is larger than the air fryer basket

What Should I line my air fryer with?

  • Standard parchment paper. Make sure to place it in the basket and not cover up the holes. This waxy paper is perfect for all food types!
  • Baking paper. Same as parchment paper.
  • Ovenproof dish. Any dish suitable for the oven should work in an air fryer, as long as it fits in the basket!

Best Practices for putting aluminum foil in an air fryer

In order to get the most out of putting aluminum foil in an air fryer, follow these best practices:

  • Place aluminum foil only on the air fryer basket. Leave the basket edges free from foil to let the air fryer work its magic and flow air around your food. If you block all the holes in the basket, the food will never cook.
  • Place food on top of the aluminum foil. Aluminum foil paper is light and can easily fly away from the basket. If this happens, it will get sucked into the heating element, and your air fryer can cause a fire!
  • Never add foil to the bottom of the air fryer. Aluminum foil should never be in contact with the air fryer tank that is under the basket. In fact, this is where the hot air circulates, and placing the foil here will block the airflow. It also increases the risk of the paper being trapped in the heating element and cause a fire.
  • Keep the airflow going around the basket. Don’t cover the entire basket with foil.


Aluminum foil is pretty much a staple in most households, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pose some health concerns.

When it comes to aluminum foil, there is concern that high temperatures can leach some of the metal into food. There are links of high aluminum in the body and Alzheimer’s.

I, personally, limit the use of aluminum foil in my kitchen, but that’s my personal choice. If you’re using it every now and then you shouldn’t really be concerned, but if you are there are many alternatives above to choose from!

I hope I have answered the question, can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer, and provided valuable information for your air fryer use!

Let me know in the comments what you found useful and what would be more helpful!

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