What materials can you put in an Air fryer? (Safely hazard!)

Air fryers are the talk of the town from the kitchen appliance department and I can understand why. I mean, who does not want to make their meals quickly and healthily?

One thing is for sure here, the more you will get into this kitchen appliance, the more you will learn about what things can you cook in it and what can you not, and much more.

If you have been using an air fryer for some time now or even if you are a new bee, you must have realized now that there are things that can be done and put in an air fryer and there are things that do not do well in an air fryer.

Just like an oven or a microwave, you cannot just put any cookware in an air fryer the material must be approved to be used in the appliance to avoid any accident.

Today we are going to discuss materials that can be put in an air fryer and that are safe to use. To know more about it, keep the reading going!

How does the Air Fryer work?

The air fryer, despite its name, does not fry food. It does, however, imitate the cooking process of fried food by giving it that outer crispy look and delicious taste.

The air fryer, like a convection oven, uses heat to cook food. The electronic device has a mechanical fan that rapidly circulates hot air. Hot air circulates through the food, causing a convection heating effect that cooks it.

However, unlike a convection oven, an air fryer holds the food in a perforated basket, allowing hot air to circulate and evenly cook the food.

What can cook in an Air Fryer?

French fries, frozen pizzas, fish sticks, and other quick frozen meals may come to mind when you think of air-fried foods. The air fryer, on the other hand, can bake, grill, roast, broil, and even oven fry.

Most meals that can be prepared in the oven can also be prepared in the air fryer. An air fryer recipe will be useful when deciding what to cook in the air fryer, such as fried rice, kale chips, and many other dishes. Here are just a few of the best foods to cook in an air fryer.

  • Fried chicken
  • Steak
  • Chop
  • Fish
  • Bacon

What can you put inside an Air fryer?

fries are a great addition to air fryers
Fries are a great addition to air fryers

To use an appliance to the fullest, it is important to know all about its dos and don’ts.

Tin foil, steel bowls, oven-proof trays, iron skillets, silicon molds, parchment papers, and toothpicks are safe picks that can be placed in an air fryer and the appliance would not mind at all.

One learns from experience, especially when it is a skill, like cooking food. The more variety we have got now for making food, the more skills we require now to keep us and the kitchen up to date.

I am sure when you started with your air fryer journey, you must be thinking about the ifs and buts of everything because you do not want that money going down the drain with a damaged air fryer due to your lack of experience

Even if not, I am gonna let you know. Here see the table of the things you can put in an air fryer without worrying.

Material Reasons:

  • Tin foil: Foils are often misunderstood as dangerous material. They are safe for air fryers until they are wrapped perfectly. 
  • Steel bowls are great for cooking evenly especially if they are sealed with foil. 
  • Oven-proof trays and dishes are a good option to avoid cleaning the mess in an air fryer. 
  • Iron skillets are a good option for food that has cheese in it. The condition is, that the skillet must be small enough to adjust in an air fryer. 
  • Silicon molds: Baking is fun when you have cute-shaped silicon molds. You can even use them in an air fryer with no concerns whatsoever. 
  • Parchment papers: If you are up for making or air frying sticky food, it is important to use parchment paper. Also, it makes cleaning easy.
  • Toothpicks: The hot air in an air fryer can make your food fly around, hence, uneven cooking and a mess. Toothpicks are used to keep small foods in one place and for avoiding mess.

These are the materials that are safe for air fryers.

Can you use a metal pan in an Air fryer?

Drops of oil in a teflon frying pan close up.
Drops of oil in a Teflon frying pan close up.

Let me put it in the simplest way possible. YES! you can use a metal pan in an air fryer.

Before doing so, make sure that you have read the user manual provided by your particular brand just to be on the safe side.

One more thing that must be kept in consideration is that the metal pan you are using must be of such dimension that leaves some space in the basket so that the air can pass easily.

The airflow needs to work properly for an evenly cooked meal.

You can also use glass and ceramic dishes to get your work done from an air fryer as these two cookwares are also good conductors of heat just like metal.

Safety comes first!

What are the things that are not safe to put in an Air fryer?

French fries in a plastic plate
Plastic plate

I have already made my point on things that can be safely put in an air fryer without hesitation. Now let’s get into talking about how some materials can be harmful if kept in an air fryer for cooking.

Plastic dishes and paper towels are the two things topping the list of ‘not to put in an air fryer materials’ so far!

Air fryers work by circulating extremely hot air around the dish and if that dish is made up of plastic, there is a high chance of it getting melted and that can end up damaging your air fryer pretty bad.

Also, the heat in an air fryer is not good for paper towels. They can only end up burnt and can your air fryer can also catch fire in the process.

Check out this table to learn the reasons for not putting the following materials in an air fryer.

Plastic dishesPlastic can melt in an air fryer.
Paper towelsPaper towels can burn from the heat.
WaterToo much water can reach the machine and cause serious damage.
SaucesSauces can drip into the machinery and will harm the air fryer.
Material that cannot be put in an air fryer

Why is plastic dangerous for an Air fryer?

Plastic is considered the most dangerous material for an air fryer.

Why? because it can be harmful to your health or your air fryer. Plastic is never considered to be a good pick when using it for cooking.

The air fryer has very hot air inside it for making meals quicker than ever and that hot air makes our cookware choices limited.

Plastic can easily melt in your air fryer and will end up messing up the whole interior of your appliance. This can do some serious damage to your air fryer.

Even if you are thinking to put your plastic dish just for a few minutes with the possibility of the material not getting melted. There is a huge chance of the effects of the material getting into your food.

Plastic can cause metabolic disorders and reduced fertility.

See this video to know better what plastic can do in an air fryer.

A video about placing plastic in the air fryer


Even though air fryers can make almost anything, some things must be kept in consideration when you are using an advanced appliance.

Materials are one thing that gives people a tough time in deciding what to choose and what not. Before getting your air fryer started, keep in mind that,

  • There are so many things like metal pans, iron skillets, silicon molds, tin foils, Parchment paper, toothpicks, and oven-approved trays that are a good choice to use in an air fryer.
  • Before using anything, be sure that you choose cookware that leaves some space for the air to flow from the basket.
  • Metal pans are also a good choice for air fryers but you can also go for glass wares.
  • Plastics and paper towels are a no-go for air fryers, these materials can damage your appliance badly.

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