As air fryers have gained popularity in recent years, many people have started to wonder if it’s safe to put metal in an air fryer. After all, metal cookware is a staple in most kitchens, and it would be convenient to use it in this versatile appliance.
In this article, we will explore the topic in-depth to provide you with a comprehensive answer to the question, “Can you put metal in an air fryer?“
But before going in-depth into the answer let’s find out how the fryers work.
How an Air Fryer Works
Before we delve into the topic of using metal in an air fryer, let’s briefly understand how an air fryer works. Air fryers come in different types, including oven style, classic basket style, and larger dual basket style. They all have a heating element at the top that generates heat, and fans that circulate the hot air around the food.
The rapid circulation of hot air creates a convection effect, cooking the food and producing a crispy exterior coating. This cooking method is similar to that of a traditional convection oven, but air fryers can achieve the desired result more quickly due to their compact size.
Can You Put Metal in an Air Fryer?
The short answer is yes, you can put metal in an air fryer. Unlike microwaves, which can cause issues when used with metallic objects, air fryers are designed to handle metal cookware.
Most metal cookware, such as cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum, can withstand the high temperatures generated by air fryers without any problems.
It’s important to note that air fryers function as miniature convection ovens. Therefore, any metal cookware that is safe for a conventional oven is generally safe to use in an air fryer as well. Metal cookware is a popular choice among chefs and home cooks due to its durability and ease of maintenance.
Is It Safe to Use Metal Containers in an Air Fryer?
Oven-safe metal containers can be safely used in an air fryer. These containers are specifically designed to withstand high temperatures without warping or melting.
To ensure that a metal container is safe for use in an air fryer, look for the “oven-safe” label or any indications from the manufacturer that it can withstand high heat.
However, if a metal container does not have any markings or indications of being oven-safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it in an air fryer.
What Metals Can Safely Go in an Air Fryer?
Several types of metal cookware can safely go in an air fryer. Here are some of the commonly used metals in air fryers:
Cast iron cookware, such as pans and skillets, can be used in an air fryer. Cast iron is known for its durability and ability to distribute heat evenly. It can create a great non-stick surface and give your food an extra crispy texture. Cast iron pans are versatile and can be used to cook a variety of dishes.
Stainless steel is another metal that is safe to use in an air fryer. It is widely used in the restaurant industry due to its durability, resistance to corrosion, and resistance to bacteria.
While it may not conduct heat as efficiently as aluminum, stainless steel retains heat well, making it a popular choice among home cooks and professional chefs.
Oven-safe aluminum cookware can also go in an air fryer. Aluminum is lightweight and affordable, making it a popular choice for many home cooks. It can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for use in an air fryer.
What Metals Can’t Go in an Air Fryer?
While most metal cookware is safe to use in an air fryer, there are some exceptions. Here are a few types of metal cookware that should not be used in an air fryer:
Metal Containers With Handles
Metal containers with handles, especially those made of wood, plastic, or low-grade silicone, should not be used in an air fryer. These materials can melt or burn when exposed to high heat, posing a safety risk.
Metal containers made of lead, pewter, or zinc should be avoided in an air fryer. These metals can release toxins into the food and produce harmful fumes when exposed to high temperatures.
Cookware With Painting
Cookware with painted designs should not be used in an air fryer. The paint can melt and leach chemicals or smoke into the food. However, pans with enamel engravings can be an exception as they are considered food-safe.
What Is the Problem with Putting Metal Bowls in an Air Fryer?
While it is generally safe to use metal cookware in an air fryer, there are a few things to consider when using metal bowls. First, ensure that the metal bowl is oven-safe. Air fryers function similarly to ovens, so if the bowl is safe for a conventional oven, it should be safe for an air fryer.
Additionally, consider the size of the metal bowl. Air fryers rely on hot air circulation to cook food properly. Large metal bowls can block air circulation, resulting in less crispy food and longer cooking times. Choose the smallest bowl that can safely contain the food without spilling over.
It’s important to note that metal bowls should not touch the heating element of the air fryer, as this can cause the bowl to break or overheat.
Can You Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer, but there are a few things to keep in mind. If you choose to use aluminum foil, make sure it is weighed down. This prevents the foil from being blown into the heating elements and potentially causing a fire hazard.
Aluminum foil is an excellent liner for air fryers as it conducts heat well and protects the basket or rack from sticky messes. It can be used directly on the food or to line the basket or rack. If you wrap food in aluminum foil, leave an opening at the top to allow steam to escape and prevent steaming instead of frying.
What Utensils Can You Use in an Air Fryer?
When it comes to utensils, stainless steel and metal utensils are safe to use in an air fryer. They can withstand high temperatures without warping or melting and are easy to clean. Ceramic and glass utensils can also be used in an air fryer.
Metal skewers are handy utensils, especially when dehydrating food in an air fryer. They allow for more air circulation and space, resulting in better dehydration. Metal thermometers can be safely used in an air fryer if they are safe for use in ovens or grills. They help ensure that your food is cooked to the perfect temperature.
Some air fryers come with stainless steel metal racks, which are ideal for better air circulation and even cooking. If your air fryer doesn’t have a metal rack, you can purchase one separately.
What Can You Cook in a Metal Bowl?
Metal bowls are versatile and can be used to cook a variety of dishes in an air fryer. Desserts like cookies, cakes, and brownies bake best in metal pans because metal conducts heat evenly, allowing the baked goods to rise and cook uniformly. Savory dishes like green bean casserole, baked chicken, and fish also cook well in metal pans.
When using a metal bowl, ensure that it is oven-safe and the right size for your air fryer. Avoid blocking the air circulation in the air fryer as it may affect the cooking process. Always use oven mitts when removing the metal bowl from the air fryer, as both the bowl and the inside walls of the cooking chamber will be hot.
Do Air Fryers Have Stainless Steel Baskets?
Some air fryers come with stainless steel baskets, while others have Teflon-coated baskets. Stainless steel is the preferred option between the two. While both materials can produce crispy textures, stainless steel is more durable and heat resistant. Teflon coatings may start to flake over time, especially at high temperatures.
Stainless steel baskets are heat resistant and tend to last longer than Teflon-coated ones. However, Teflon coatings provide a non-stick surface, making them easier to clean. Each material has its pros and cons, so consider your needs and preferences when choosing an air fryer with a specific basket material.
Alternatives to Metal Bowls
If you don’t have an oven-safe metal bowl or prefer not to use one in your air fryer, there are alternative options available. Here are a few alternatives to consider:
Aluminum foil can be an excellent alternative to metal cookware. It is durable, inexpensive, and recyclable. Aluminum foil can be used to wrap food or line the air fryer basket or rack.
Parchment paper is a popular air fryer liner. It is affordable, non-stick, and available in pre-formed sheets that fit air fryer baskets. After cooking, simply lift out the parchment paper and discard it.
Silicone liners are gaining popularity for their weight and ability to stay in place during preheating. They are non-stick, reusable, and dishwasher-safe. When using liners, ensure that they do not block the air circulation in the air fryer.
FAQ about Can You Put Metal in an Air Fryer?
Can you put copper cookware in an air fryer?
No, copper cookware should not be used in an air fryer. Copper heats up quickly and unevenly, and it can release harmful compounds when exposed to high heat.
Can you season a cast iron pan in an air fryer?
It is not recommended to season a cast iron pan in an air fryer. Seasoning a cast iron pan usually requires an hour in an oven, which can affect the air circulation in the air fryer and lead to uneven heating.
Can you put glass in an air fryer?
Yes, glass dishes like Pyrex can safely go in an air fryer. However, make sure the glassware is free from cracks or defects, as heat can cause it to break.
Can you put food wrapped in aluminum foil in an air fryer?
Yes, you can wrap food in aluminum foil and cook it in an air fryer. Just make sure to leave an opening for steam to escape.
Can you put metal utensils in an air fryer?
Yes, stainless steel and metal utensils can be safely used in an air fryer. They can withstand high temperatures and are easy to clean.
Can you put painted metal cookware in an air fryer?
Painted metal cookware should not be used in an air fryer, as the paint can melt and leach chemicals into the food. However, pans with enamel engravings are safe to use.
Can you put air fryer baskets with Teflon coatings in the dishwasher?
It is generally not recommended to put air fryer baskets with Teflon coatings in the dishwasher. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning and maintenance.
Can you put wooden or plastic handles on metal cookware in an air fryer?
No, metal cookware with wooden or plastic handles should not be used in an air fryer. These handles can melt, warp, or burn at high temperatures.
Can you use metal skewers in an air fryer?
Yes, metal skewers can be safely used in an air fryer. They are particularly useful for dehydrating food and allowing better air circulation.
Can you use metal thermometers in an air fryer?
Yes, metal thermometers that are safe to use in ovens or grills can be used in an air fryer. They help ensure that your food is cooked to the perfect temperature.
It is generally safe to use metal cookware in an air fryer as long as it is oven-safe. Cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum are commonly used metals in air fryers. However, certain metals, such as those with non-oven-safe handles or painted designs, should be avoided.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and exercise caution when using metal in an air fryer. With the right cookware and proper precautions, you can enjoy delicious meals cooked in your air fryer.