What Cannot Be Cooked In An Air Fryer? (Explained)

The air fryer is one of the most popular appliances that you can set up in your kitchen nowadays. Its demand has been growing as we keep moving forward in time.

An air fryer saves you a lot of money on oil since it’s a one-time investment and requires very little oil to cook food.

However, you’d be wondering if an air fryer is sustainable. Yes, it’s pretty sustainable and works for quite a long time.

No doubt, there can be many questions in your mind about air fryers, including whether they are healthy or not. Is it safe to use aluminum foil in the air fryer or not? And if there are foods that can not be cooked in an air fryer.

To answer these questions, you will have to keep on reading and figure them out.

What Is An Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a popular kitchen appliance that generates and distributes hot air throughout the cooking chamber.

All slides expose the food to hot air, allowing it to cook evenly and thoroughly. This produces food with a crunchy exterior while retaining moisture and flavor on the inside.

You don’t have to submerge your french fries or fried chicken in boiling oil thanks to this innovative air frying method. This is how air fryers earned their reputation as a healthier alternative to deep-fried food.

How Does An Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer is similar to an oven in that it bakes and roasts, but the difference is that its heating elements are only located on the top and are accompanied by a large, powerful fan, resulting in super crispy food in no time and, importantly, with less oil than its deep-fried counterparts.

Because of the combination of a concentrated heat source and the size and placement of the fan, air fryers typically heat up quickly and cook food quickly and evenly.

Is It Possible To Cook Everything In An Air Fryer?

For good reason, air fryers are becoming increasingly popular around the world. They are an excellent choice for cooking multiple items at the same time without having to cook them all separately.

One disadvantage is that they are inefficient at cooking food. This means that some dishes may not be perfectly cooked or may even be dry. Another disadvantage of using an air fryer is that it produces a lot of heat. This means that your food may burn or become too hot.

What Can’t You Cook In An Air Fryer?

Egg being fried in a pan
Not every appliance can cater to your needs

Well, when it comes to an air fryer there are quite a few things that you can’t cook in it like you can in a deep fryer:

Fresh Greens

Since the machine uses high-speed air to cook the food, leafy greens like spinach will cook unevenly. When selecting vegetables to cook in the air fryer, choose those with some weight, such as broccoli and zucchini.

Kale chips may also be successful if the kale is coated in enough oil to weigh down the leaves. Finally, experts agree that frozen vegetables are the best option for air fryers because they retain more moisture from the ice. This is just one of those food facts you might not have considered before.

Battered Food

Do not use wet batter in the air fryer. It’ll make a sloppy mess, and the wet batter won’t set like it does when submerged in oil so that the food won’t have that crunchy shell.

Coat your food in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs to add a little crispiness and get it perfectly golden every time. However, if battered food is pre-fried and frozen, it is safe to use in an air fryer.


Unfortunately, because your air fryer isn’t frying your food, cheese placed inside will simply melt into a puddle and make a mess you don’t want to clean up. Unless you scavenge the freezer aisle for some frozen mozzarella sticks, your air fryer will not produce any fried cheese.

This also applies to grilled cheese, which will most likely burn due to the hot air’s intense pressure. For this classic comfort food, stick to the stovetop.

Chicken Roast

When using an air fryer for cooking a whole roast, the most important consideration is whether or not the entire roast will fit into the air fryer’s basket.

Even if the meat does fit, it’s best to use the standard oven. The roast will not cook evenly, and the portion closest to the heat source will most likely burn before the portion farthest away from the heat is safe to eat.

Everything boils down to overcrowding. Because hot air requires space to circulate, it’s best to cook the roast in smaller pieces. When cooking a chicken, place the breast face down with the skin facing up, as air fryers heat from the top.

Grains And Pasta

Grains like rice and pasta crisp nicely in an air fryer, but they must first be cooked on the stovetop. Because air fryers are designed to dry cook food, attempting to cook something that requires immersion in water during the cooking process will fail.

Even with a water insert, the fan will never get hot enough to boil the water and successfully cook your grains.


Before microwaving popcorn and premade popcorn bags, people had to make their popcorn by combining kernels and oil in a pot. Although an air fryer chamber appears similar to an enclosed pot, an air fryer rarely gets hot enough to pop popcorn.

The temperature of an air fryer is typically between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but popcorn requires a temperature between 400 and 460 degrees Fahrenheit to pop.

For more information, you can read Can You Put A Bag Of Popcorn In An Air Fryer? (Explained)


With all of its evenly distributed hot air, an air fryer should toast a piece of bread fairly well. You may have seen air fryer kitchen hacks praising the device’s ability to toast bread, but the high air pressure will cause the bread to move around and scatter crumbs all over the basket.

It is critical to understand that an air fryer is not a toaster oven. When you want a crispy piece of toast, stick to toasters and toaster ovens.

Red Meat

Air fryers aren’t made for grilling red meat, especially if you prefer your burgers medium-rare. Though an air fryer cooks the inside of meat to medium-rare in a relatively short amount of time, the outside of the burger does not brown as quickly.

If you prefer your meat to be red and juicy, an air fryer will not provide the char that balances it out. However, if you like your burgers cooked to perfection, an air fryer should suffice.

Let’s take look at the table below for a better understanding:

Food coated in wet batterNo
Cooking food on aluminum foilYes
Safety Tips

Can You Put Foil in An Air Fryer?

Aluminum foil placed on wooded table.
Aluminum foil is safe to be used in the air fryer

Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer because the air fryer’s cooking process, which consists of rushing hot air, will not ruin your aluminum foil or the meal you’re cooking with it. Due to the hot air, the foil must be secured to the food or the air fryer basket.

Otherwise, the foil may become loose and fly around the device as your food cooks. You must shape the foil to fit the air fryer basket or the food you’re cooking. Make sure to secure the foil to the basket or the food rather than the bottom of the air fryer, as this will disrupt the airflow and the cooking of your food.

Using aluminum foil with your food while air frying helps the spices stay mixed with the food rather than dripping through the basket and under the food. It also distributes heat more evenly across the food, making cleanup easier.

Is Wax Paper Safe For Air Fryer?

No, you cannot put wax paper in an air fryer. Wax paper is heat sensitive, and the air fryer cooking process relies on hot air, so this might not be a good idea.

Can I Use Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer?

Yes, without any doubt, you can use parchment paper in an air fryer.

Because of its silicone coating, it is heat resistant and can be used in air fryers. In an air fryer, parchment paper can be used to prevent food splatter.

Is It Safe To Cook Raw Meat In An Air Fryer?

Assortment of meat and seafood, Beef, chicken, fish and pork on wooden table
Raw meat can be cooked to perfection with temperature management

You might not believe it but cooking red meat in the air fryer is safe. However, using your air fryer to cook a whole chicken or a batch of crispy french fries is not the same thing.

To successfully cook raw meat in an air fryer, you must monitor the temperature and the time it takes for the meat to cook.

Unlike thin or pre-cooked foods, raw meat will take a little longer to cook through in the air fryer and might need flipping. To thoroughly cook a whole chicken in an air fryer set to 360 degrees, allow at least 30 minutes. Even so, the air fryer is much faster than roasting a chicken in the oven.

While the air fryer is an excellent way to quickly cook raw meat, you must double-check the internal temperature to ensure it is safe to eat. Internal temperatures of many types of meat, such as beef and pork, should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

All poultry needs to be cooked at a slightly higher temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, throw the meat in the air fryer and grab your meat thermometer. You can cook almost anything with these two tools.

Are Steaks Good In An Air Fryer?

Yes, steaks can be good in an air fryer until you keep an eye on the temperature.

When I say this I mean it. The air fryer can give you that crispy crust seared outside and a tender juicy inside that you have been longing for. Grilling steak is still fantastic, but as the weather cools, no one wants to stand outside grilling a steak.

Although a cast iron steak on the stove is delicious, no one wants to fill their home with smoke all the time. Cooking it in the Air Fryer also eliminates the guesswork of how long to cook it for. You don’t have to be concerned about it being overdone or underdone.

You can cook the steak evenly and quickly so you wouldn’t have to keep your guests waiting and have all the time to yourself for side dishes.

Here’s a little tip for you:

A video on making the perfect air fryer steak


Air fryers have grown in popularity in such a short time. They are great for on-time investment and can save you money on oil.

Air fryers don’t actually fry food, instead, they cook your food by circulating hot air till the food is crispy brown.

Cooking in an air fryer is easy, however, many foods can not be cooked in the air fryer since they can cause damage to the machine or the food can burn.

However, the good news is, that you can use aluminum foil in the air fryer and parchment paper too, but be aware of using wax paper since it’s attached to heat.

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