Cooking different foods in the air fryer is a pleasure. This versatile and handy cooking appliance, so its popularity is growing immensely. Hence, air fryer owners have lots of questions. Which types of cookery can you put inside it? Is it okay to place a paper plate in an air fryer?
We are going to guide you through the world of air fryers and clarify whether can you put a paper plate in the air fryer or not!
Is it OK to cook on paper plates in an air fryer?
This question has two opposite answers. It is both safe and dangerous, depending on the many details!
To understand this question better, you should understand the air frying process.
The air fryer provides a cooking process by constant hot air circulating inside. The intensive air movement inside the air fryer requires free ventilation with no obstacles. The cooking items inserted into the air fryer must withstand high temperatures and be safe.
Hence, can paper plates meet these requirements? The answers are both “yes” and “no”!
Let’s take a closer look and learn more about paper plates’ pros and cons.
Which paper plates are suitable for the air fryer?
Paper plates can be used as liners in air fryers. If you are going to cook food quickly, or to reheat some food, grabbing a paper plate is okay. Just don’t let the plate heat for a long time!
In case your plate is thick and durable, it is good to go. Too thin plates are prone to tear and become hazardous.
When the material that a plate is created of is eco-friendly, there is no risk to get poisoned with any toxic contaminants released into your food.
When is it forbidden to insert a paper plate in an air fryer?
Too large paper plates in an air fryer are always hazardous. The wide edges can block the airflow, so this situation can end up with a real danger. However, too small plates can flow over the inner space, especially when cooking some lightweight food. That’s why the right size of a plate always matters.
You can’t insert paper plates into an air fryer for longer cooking sessions. When exposed to high temperatures for too long, they can warp and ruin the cooking process. Hence, you can face the food mess over the air fryer. The worst result of such a situation can be a real fire hazard.
In addition, there is a risk to overheat the plate so it starts smoking and releasing toxins. This issue may also happen if the air flow is enclosed.
What kind of plates can you put in an air fryer?
Inserting a plate into the air fryer is a super way to cook in the basket cleanly and safely. However, is every plate suitable for this case?
The main point to keep in mind is that not all types of plates and kitchen items are compatible with the air fryer. In addition, your options mainly depend on which type of food you are going to cook.
Generally, the allowed plates for the air fryers must be heat resistant, durable, oven-safe, and perfectly match your air fryer’s size.
#1. Air fryer basket
Your first and best bet is the air fryer basket or inner rack from your device set! Most air fryers come with these additional elements so that you can use them without any doubts. They are specifically designed for your machine, so you won’t have any troubles when using them.
#2. Ceramic plates
Ceramic plates are one more great item to put into the air fryer. A common ceramic plate has many pros as it is heat-resistant and oven safe. Quick and even heat distribution of a ceramic plate is what you need exactly.
Remember that your ceramic plates must be the proper size! Larger ceramic plates can damage the inner parts of the device, and too small ones can’t be fixed inside properly.
#3. Glass plates
When cooking on a glass plate in an air fryer, ensure that your plate is air fryer safe. The most durable plates are fully compatible with the air fryer, whereas too thick and not oven-safe ones can’t be opted for.
Ensure that your chosen glass plate is created of a heat-resistant type of glass. Some glass plates are prone to melt in high heat and don’t work for this type of cooking.
#4. Metal plates
Metal plates are compatible with air fryers. However, don’t be so sure that any metal is okay for your purpose! Double-check if it fits perfectly its size and can’t damage any inner parts. If there is a risk to touch the heating element or the other inner parts, don’t place a metal plate inside!
The best metal plates compatible with this type of cooking are:
- Aluminum plates
- Cast iron plates
- Stainless steel plates
Since these metals distribute heat quickly and evenly, the metal plates make cooking faster and easier.
There is a drawback to using a metal plate. If the chosen metal plate is not able to withstand high temperatures up to 400°F, it is not compatible with an air fryer.
It is also possible to use other metal cookery, such as iron pans or steel bowls. However, double-check if the metal plate is high-resistant enough and safe for heating in ovens.
#5. Parchment paper plates
Parchment paper itself is suitable for an air fryer, so you can opt for parchment paper plates as well.
This type of plate is perfect for non-sticky foods. Since parchment paper itself is used for wrapping and simplifies the cleaning process, it is also good for lining the air fryer’s bottom.
Measure the parchment paper plate to know its size. Too small a plate will move and fly freely moved by the hot air circulation. If too large, the edges of the plate can run into the air fryer’s heating element and quickly catch fire.
#6. Silicone plates
A silicone plate is one more good variant for an air fryer. The durable silicone plates are made to withstand high temperatures (up to 570°F), so they work well with air fryers.
However, there are a couple of tips to bear in mind when you cook on silicone plates in an air fryer:
- When you insert a silicone plate into an air fryer, be sure that you don’t block air vents inside it.
- Use only the plates made of pure silicone (no less than 100%). When having extra contaminants, such plates can be hazardous and release harmful chemicals at high temperatures. Moreover, some of these plates can’t survive the high heat of your air fryer.
What you can not put in an air fryer?
If you want to stay on the safe side, you have to know a list of items that are forbidden to put in an air fryer.
#1. Paper towels
Inserting paper towels into the air fryer is one of the worst ideas. Exposed to extreme heat, they are prone to catch fire quickly. In case you need something to line your air fryer’s bottom, opt for a commercial liner or parchment paper instead.
#2. Cold items
Never insert any cold items into the hot air fryer! That is especially true for cold glass plates that have a high risk to shatter when exposed to intense heat. The high-heat air flow can simply make thermal stress on the cold bowl or plate in an air fryer.
Keep away items that are cooler than room temperature in the air fryer. Warm the bowl a bit before inserting it into the preheated space.
#3. Frozen food without thawing it previously
Never place non-thawed foods in the air fryer! As you already know, high heat can make thermal stress on frozen items. As a result, thawing in the air fryer will end up in a real disaster.
#4.Liquid or juicy foods
As you already know, any liquids are a definitely “no” when cooking in the air fryer. Forget about saucy and juicy foods, as well as soups and other liquid foods.
#5. Large pieces of food
Avoid placing too large food items in the air fryer! You can’t properly cook such immense pieces of food, so you will face a waste of time and food sources.
#6. The containers that don’t suit the size of your air fryer
As you already know, too large items can easily block the air vents and affect the cooking process. Opt for a plate that is just the right size before placing it in the machine.
#7. Plastic plates
Don’t even think of cooking on plastic plates in the air fryer! When exposed to extreme heat, they start melting and releasing toxic chemicals.
#8. Damaged cookery
Never place cracked bowls and plates in an air fryer! Even the smallest crack can turn into serious problems while cooking, so it is never worth such a risk.
How to choose paper plates for the air fryer?
This question is not a science if you follow these easy tips.
Tip #1: Fit the size
A good rule of thumb is to find paper plates that fit an air fryer. Larger plates can’t properly fit the air fryer basket and are a real fire hazard.
Tip #2: High-quality materials
Opt for the high-quality items only! The proper material is essential so as not to affect your health. Remember that quality is not what you can save your money on.
Tip #3: Check for the compatibility
Always remember that you can cook only on paper plates that are compatible with air fryers. The oven-safety label is usually placed on the bottom of the plate.
As a rule, you can see a label that depicts the flame inside of a circle. It means that your paper plate is oven-safe, and so does it work in the air fryer. Keep it away from the air fryer if you can’t find any similar symbols.
Tip #4: Watch out for the materials
Before you cook on your paper plate in an air fryer, check its material. Make sure it is neither damaged nor dirty and greasy, or else it will make a sure-fire hazard.
Such materials as aluminum foil can only be used with caution. In high temperatures, they can either make some damage or start releasing toxic contaminants.
Tip #5: Heat the air fryer previously
For better results, always preheat your device a bit before you put a plate inside it. Preheating helps you to cook food evenly and avoid many possible issues.
Tip #6: Right cooking time
Remember that you can cook on paper plates only briefly or reheat the prepared food! For longer cooking sessions, opt for commercial air fryer inserts or a sheet of parchment paper instead.
Tip #7: No plastic plates!
As you already know, by no means you can cook on plastic plates in the air fryer. Don’t think that plastic plates are good to go in the air fryer just because they are compatible with microwave ovens. Remember that air fryers have different heating mechanisms than microwave ovens.
An air fryer is a handy kitchen helper when you know all the essential tips. We hope this guide is helpful to you!
Q: What can I line my air fryer with?
Most air fryers come with special inserts that you can line the basket with. However, if you don’t have one, there are several alternatives to use instead:
• Parchment paper is the best lining material for air fryers. It prevents the basket from getting greasy and messy and keeps the food evenly cooked.
• A silicone mat is a good alternative to the parchment paper lining. It provides a safe non-stick surface for cooking food. However, be sure that your mat contains 100% of pure silicone.
• Aluminum foil is also okay to place in the air fryer, but it has a few drawbacks. Avoid lining the basket with a sheet of aluminum foil, as it prevents air flow from free circulating. What is more, the tin foil can simply melt at high temperatures and spoil both your food and your device.
You can just line the top of the inserted plate with an aluminum foil sheet so that no obstacles are caused to the air flow. Avoid placing too much tin foil in the air fryer! Since this material conducts heat poorly, don’t wrap your food in a sheet of foil if you want to cook it evenly.
Q: Which kitchen items can be used with air fryers?
Opt for the special tools and items that are designed for air fryers. You can be sure that your food cooks evenly and safely, without sticking to the bottom and catching fire. Created specifically for handling intense heat, these items are your best variant to opt for.
These specific tools usually come with air fryers in a set. They can include:
• Air fryer racks
• Metal skewers
• Specific inner trivets