Air fryers are one of the greatest inventions in the food industry; they are easy to use and can be used to prepare a broad range of grilled or fried meals with little to no oil. However, a frequently asked question among air fryer users is concerned with how safe it is to line its basket with aluminum foil. Experts say that although this is safe to practice, it requires extra carefulness to prevent potential hazards.
One of the most common dilemmas associated with air fryers is that foods tend to lose their juicy drippings as only a basket typically accompanies the device. Thus, the birth of the now just as popular question:
The quick answer is YES. However, it really depends on the model of your air fryer, and the type of food you are cooking. So, before adding aluminum foil to your fryer, ensure that the manufacturer approves via the owners manual. If it's safe to do so, you should also find specific directions pertaining to the make and model of the fryer.
The key to using foil in the air fryer is to ensure that it doesn't block air circulation inside the machine. There are holes both in the basket, and on the bottom of the machine. If you block these holes, you will limit air circulation which will result in unevenly cooked food that doesn’t brown.
So, ensure that you adhere to the following tips:
1. Read The User's Manual
Check the user's manual for specific guidelines on how to add tin foil to the machine. Not all air fryers can work with aluminum foil; make sure yours can to prevent hazardous situations.
2. Ensure that air us circulating freely in the air fryer
Aluminum foil should only be used in the basket of the air fryer. All you have to do is cut the right length of the foil, never longer, and then use it to line the basket. Make sure that the foil doesn't extend all the way to the basket's edge as that can impede air flow and ultimately result in unevenly cooked food.
Alternatively, you can wrap your food in aluminum foil, and place it in the air fryer making sure it doesn’t cover the holes.
3. NEVER place foil on the bottom of your air fryer
Although it might seem "efficient" to place foil on the bottom of the air fryer, to keep it clean, it is dangerous practice. If the heating coils are located on the bottom you will end up with uneven cooking. Furthermore, if you block the airflow on the bottom of your machine, the air will be forced to go somewhere else.
This could end up creating pressure, in a place it is not meant to be which will result in unevenly cooked food, and possibly spoil the appliance.
4. Use aluminum foil only when cooking food that is heavy enough to hold it down
If your food isn’t heavy enough to keep the foil in place it will end up blowing around in the machine.
5. Don't use aluminum foil when cooking acidic or salty foods
If you're cooking a salty dish or one that contains substantial amounts of acid like tomatoes, lemons or vinegar, don't use aluminum foil. The acids can trigger a chemical reaction with the foil that will result in small specks of aluminum in your food.