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Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer? Expert Answers in 2023

An air fryer is a great appliance for your kitchen that not only makes cooking easier but also helps you create more delicious and healthier meals for your family.

However, in order to use this appliance optimally and safely, there are things you always need to keep in mind, especially about the material of your cookware or anything you put in your air fryer.

So, Can you put plastic in an air fryer? What can be used with an air fryer to ensure safety and convenience for users? Let’s find out the answer in the article below!

Benefits of an air fryer

Benefits of an air fryer

#1. Cook several recipes in “healthier” ways

Deep-fried dishes are considered unhealthy, but almost everyone can’t resist their appeal.

So, one of the biggest appeals of an air fryer is that it allows you to enjoy the taste of deep-fried foods like crisps or fried chicken without deep-frying!

It may sound hard to believe, but this is what makes the air fryer such a popular kitchen appliance today. Air fryers require significantly less oil to produce dishes with a taste and texture similar to deep-frying.

Limiting the amount of fat in fried foods has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.

In addition, with the air fryer, you can also make a lot of different recipes, including main courses or some desserts.

Cooking in an air fryer can help reduce the risk of forming harmful compounds like acrylamide, which develop during high-temperature cooking with oil.

It also makes it easier and safer to create frugal and delicious dishes. You will no longer have to worry about hot oil splashing when cooking or the smell of food filling your kitchen!

***Read More: Can I Use An Air Fryer As A Microwave? – The Expert’s Answer?

#2. Reheat leftovers easily 

Air Fryer reheat leftovers easily 

Do you want to use leftovers for the next meal but are afraid that the taste of the food when reheated will not be as attractive as the original?

Especially fried food, if it is re-fried, it will be greasy and no longer taste good. In this case, an air fryer will solve your problem!

An air fryer is a great appliance for reheating food, even better than a microwave. It makes food crispy again, not dry or soggy.

Pizzas, bread, fries, or fried chicken… that are reheated with an air fryer will regain the same great taste and texture as if they were just cooked.

With this compact appliance, you no longer have to throw away any leftovers. All you need to do is just put them in the air fryer at a suitable temperature!

#3. Save your time and your kitchen space 

With an air fryer, you can save a lot of time and effort when cooking. For example, when making fried chicken or French fries, you no longer have to watch over it like when deep-frying, just put it in the fryer, choose the right cooking mode (time and temperature), and wait for the results!

In addition, with a compact and convenient design that includes many cooking functions, the air fryer can replace some other types of kitchen equipment to free up your kitchen space.

What’s more, some types of compact air fryers can even be taken with you when you go on a picnic or travel, which is very convenient!

***Read More: Can I Use An Air Fryer As A Dehydrator? – The Answer

Can you put plastic in an air fryer?

Can you put plastic in an air fryer_

Many people often have the habit of storing leftovers in plastic containers and reheating the container for convenience. As mentioned in the previous section, an air fryer is a great appliance for reheating food.

However, is it possible to put plastic in an air fryer? This is probably the most common question of many people. To answer this question, let’s first learn briefly about how the air fryer works.

Air fryers work by using heating elements and fans to circulate hot air around foods, helping to cook them from the outside to the inside.

With just a small amount of oil, the air fryer can take the moisture out of food and take advantage of the high heat to give it a crispy texture as well as an appealing flavor and golden crust like when deep-fried in oil.

However, foods cooked by air fryers are not as greasy as when fried in oil, they also have much fewer calories.

As such, during operation, the temperature in the air fryer is very high, possibly up to 400 degrees F. So when you put plastic in an air fryer to cook, this high heat can produce harmful chemicals and can even melt the plastic.

These chemicals will penetrate directly into food, thereby causing adverse health effects, even dangerous to humans. Also, if the heat causes the plastic to melt, you’ll end up with a mess that needs cleaning up! This can even damage your air fryer.

In general, people who use plastic for air fryers often mistakenly believe that the operation of air fryers is similar to microwave ovens. But the reality is completely different.

The operation of air fryers & microwave ovens

The operation of a microwave oven is to generate microwaves inside the oven that cause the water molecules in the food to vibrate in order to produce heat that cooks the food.

Meanwhile, the air fryer works by generating hot air flows that are continuously circulated. Therefore, it is necessary to keep this in mind when choosing the material of cookware or anything put in the air fryer, especially plastic.

***Read More: Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer To Clean? – Useful Tip For User

Some alternatives for plastic

So, if you shouldn’t use plastic to put in an air fryer, which material should you choose? There are several materials that are friendlier to this kitchen appliance, and importantly, they are just as popular as plastic.

Here are some ideal alternatives to plastic to use in air fryers: 

Some alternatives for plastic

#1. Metal

Metal is a durable and safe material for making cooking utensils. You can rest assured because the metal melts at extremely high temperatures, and the temperature of the air fryer does not change anyway.

Metal cookware also does not produce any harmful chemicals for human health during high-temperature cooking.

#2. Ceramic

Ceramic is usually metal with a ceramic coating. Therefore, the high heat in the air fryer when operating does not affect this material.

Cooking utensils made of ceramic, especially bowls or plates also come in a variety of designs and textures to give you plenty to choose from!

You can conveniently and safely place ceramic plates or bowls in your air fryer whenever you want.

Ceramic can be used in air fryer

#3. Glass

Thick glass is also a safe material for an air fryer. Glass containers are also very popular because of their aesthetics, convenience, and durability.

They are especially suitable in case you are reheating leftovers stored in a glass container in an air fryer.

#4. Silicone 

Silicone is a tough and durable material. Instead of using paper or plastic cupcake molds, silicone molds are not only safer and more convenient, minimizing the risk of fire, but also can be reused many times to save you money.

***Read More: Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer – How To Use Safely 

4 Things you should avoid putting in your air fryer?

To ensure the safety of cooking with an air fryer, there are a few things you need to be careful not to put in an air fryer, especially the following 4 things:

4 Things you should avoid putting in your air fryer_

#1. Plastic

Sure, as we learned in the previous section, plastic is an unsafe material for air fryers. It may melt at high temperatures during cooking with this appliance, and produce compounds that are harmful to human health.

#2. Water

Many people often have the habit of putting water in the air fryer when cooking like when baking food in a microwave oven. This is really unnecessary, and can even cause negative effects.

The operation method of an air fryer and microwave oven is completely different. Boiling water in an air fryer can create high levels of steam that can affect the heat transfer in the appliance and even cause damage to your machine.

#3. Sauces

You can use thick sauces like marinades when cooking with an air fryer, but liquid sauces like gravy or stews can’t. Because liquid sauces will flow easily and in general, they are not much better than water!

#4. Paper Towels

High heat in an air fryer can cause the paper towels to catch on fire. Therefore, do not put them in your air fryer or you will face a lot of trouble and danger!

Instead, you have a couple of ideal alternatives in this case. Find out in the section below!

***Read More: Can Silicone Molds Be Used In An Air Fryer? Why Is It Secure?

7 Things you can use to put safely in your air fryer?

7 Things you can use to put safely in your air fryer_

Of course, the 8 things below are not all you can put in an air fryer, but these are the most common ones that many people use in their cooking.

As long as it’s air fryer safe, you can choose any cookware with material or design to suit your needs and preferences!

#1. Parchment Paper

Since the air fryer uses very little oil, sticky foods such as marinated chicken wings or baked goods can stick to the compartment of the air fryer which creates messes after cooking.

Parchment paper is a “savior” in this case, helping your air fryer clean and tidy no matter whether it’s after baking or cooking marinated dishes.

This paper is safe for high temperatures in an air fryer, without the risk of burning like tissue paper or other ordinary paper. It is also very common and can be found at any grocery store or supermarket.

You can line the bottom of the air fryer with parchment paper, then spread the food evenly over this liner to make sure the parchment paper doesn’t move out of place during the cooking process.

This parchment liner prevents food from sticking to your appliance, especially preventing food crumbs from getting into the nooks and crannies of the air fryer, making it difficult to clean or unexpected problems.

#2. Foil

Aluminum foil is often used to cook many dishes, especially baked goods because it conducts heat well and does not burn at high temperatures in an oven or air fryer.

The air fryer with foil

It is also very safe for human health and helps to prevent food from sticking to the air fryer compartment or spilling all over the appliance.

You can marinate foods (if needed) and then cover them with foil before cooking in the air fryer.

Note that foil is quite fragile, so you need to use 2 or more layers of foil to wrap food, and also need to be careful when turning this food wrap during cooking to prevent the foil from tearing.

Alternatively, you can also line the bottom of the air fryer with foil. In this case, it also has the same effect as the parchment paper mentioned above.

#3. The ceramic cookware or container

Ceramic cookware includes metal ones coated with heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant ceramic, such as pans or casseroles. And ceramic container includes ceramic bowls, cups, plates, etc.

These cookwares can keep their shape and structure under high temperatures, and are also very easy to clean, leaving no unpleasant food odors after last cooking.

***Read More: Do I Need To Preheat My Air Fryer? – Pros of Preheat Air Flyer

#4. Glass containers

One of the advantages of a glass container is that it allows a see-through to see the condition of the food inside.

Glass is rarely used for pans or cookware under a direct flame but is ideal for baking or for use in an air fryer. In particular, it helps food to be reheated conveniently and effectively while preserving the original flavor of the food.

Glass containers are heat-safe in your air fryer. However, keep in mind to let them cool slowly after taking them out of the air fryer to prevent the glass from cracking or breaking.

#5. Metal containers

You can use any type of metal container to place in the air fryer

You can use any type of metal container to place in the air fryer, such as metal bowls, pots, pans, plates, trays,… as long as they don’t have plastic lids or handles or any attachments that can be melted by high temperature. They are perfect for your air-frying dishes and are also very durable.

Besides, aluminum food containers, usually single-use aluminum trays, are very convenient and hygienic. All you need to do is just put the food on it, cook it in the air fryer, and enjoy, no mess to clean up waiting for you.

However, we do not recommend excessive use of this convenient tray, as it increases the amount of waste in the environment and is not economical.

#6. Non-stick teflon containers

Teflon is a modern and quite expensive material with the outstanding advantage of the perfect non-stick ability. Even with the most sticky foods or when you’re baking, cleaning is super easy with just a paper towel!

However, when using containers made of this material, it is necessary to choose appropriate tools when handling food or cleaning the container to avoid scratching the Teflon layer.

#7. Silicone containers

One of the main benefits of silicone containers is that they allow food to be taken out easily, which is very convenient when making cupcakes or other dishes that need to be removed from the mold.

This material is also very supple, soft, and especially does not melt under relatively high temperatures. This means you can safely use it in your air fryer, as long as it’s designed for cooking.

***Read More: Air Fryer Rusting – How To Treat It

Final words

Hopefully, the sharing in this article will help you have more knowledge about the materials that should and should not be placed in the air fryer.

Perhaps by now you already know the answer to the question “Can you put plastic in an air fryer?” Of course not! Be careful in the cooking process with your air fryer and choose the most suitable cookware for your safety and convenience!

If you have any questions, feel free to share them with us in the comments section to get a timely response! Thank you very much for reading!

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