One of several great culinary-related innovations of the twenty-first century is the air fryer. They help provide a desirable crispy fried texture characteristic of deep-fried recipes. During use, it’s important to protect the bottom surface of air fryers to prevent scratches, keep cooked food from sticking to the air fryer, and make cleaning easier.
Many home cooks opt for parchment paper as a suitable liner, but that’s certainly not the only option. This article will show you the best air fryer liner options to consider using and how to use them to ensure a smooth cooking process with your air fryers.
Tips for Using Air Fryer Liners
What is an air fryer liner? – An air fryer liner typically sits at the base part of an air fryer, positioned to absorb fat and trap food crumbs. Tiny holes in the liner let hot air flow and crisp up the food.
Reasons to use an air fryer liner – You don’t always have to use liners to use your air fryer. However, there are some good reasons to consider using them:
- Liners reduce sticking: With your air fryer, cooked food may stick in places using only the machine or wire racks inside it. This will inevitably cause an additional mess to deal with, and in some cases, harm may be caused to delicate foods such as fish (they may split or shred due to the sticking). Air fryer liners fully eliminate this issue.
- Liners make cleaning easier: Using air fryer liners helps save time and energy. Still, they’ll also minimize strain and damage on your machine, thus extending your air fryer’s lifespan and efficiency.
- Liners crisp up food while reducing the chance of burning: At extreme temperature ranges, air fryer liners remain quite safe to use. This property allows food to heat and crisp up wonderfully while also keeping it from direct contact with the heat source and reducing the chance of burning. There’s still a need to keep an eye on the food being cooked and use the liners correctly, but it’s a lot less work.
The ideal way to use parchment paper – When lining your air fryer, it’s okay to use parchment paper. It’s the most widely used form of air fryer liners, and it’s safe if used properly.
However, there are certain key guidelines to follow when using parchment paper as an air fryer liner:
- Never use parchment paper alone in the air fryer: So that the parchment paper doesn’t blow around inside the air fryer and become stuck in the heat source, always make sure to weigh it down with your food. This is critical because it could result in a fire if care is not taken.
It’s also important to preheat your air fryer always, making sure to keep the lid off. Also, only line your machine right before you add your food, making sure the parchment paper is adequately weighted.
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- Perforate your parchment paper: To promote ventilation during cooking, ensure that your parchment paper is perforated before using it to line your air fryer. The food will have a hard time warming up or cooking correctly if there are no perforations in your parchment.
- Get the right size: Make sure the parchment paper you’re using is the right size for your machine. It should completely line the base of the air fryer but not overhang the basket’s sides.
With all of these guidelines in mind, it’s clear that buying pre-perforated, appropriately sized, and already cut air fryer liners will offer the most convenience. However, making liners for your air fryer at home using regular parchment paper is not impossible.
Working with aluminum foil – With an air fryer, aluminum foil can typically be used without other options, but it has restrictions.
The basket of your air fryer features several holes in its base. This allows air to circulate within and around your food, evenly cooking it and achieving the desired crispiness. If you wrap aluminum foil around all of these openings, the airflow will be blocked, and the food being cooked will not crisp up or cook as it should within the air fryer.
Cleaning up with aluminum foil is simple, but it’s best used when you’re cooking only a small quantity of food and don’t need to cover the full base of your air fryer. This way, some air holes remain free.
Pre-made air fryer liners – You can buy pre-made air fryer liners if you frequently make use of your air fryer and don’t want to deal with making your liners. There are several styles to pick from, appealing to various types and personalities of home cooks:
- Silicone baskets: You can use a silicone basket to enclose your food and place it directly inside your air fryer. Raised lines are frequently included on the bottom to let air circulate beneath food and provide some area to absorb drippings.
This air fryer liner is a one-time purchase that can be used as many times as necessary. When you’re done cooking, pull out the entire basket, which is exceptionally easy to clean and virtually indestructible, thanks to its silicone construction.
- Air fryer silicone mats: A silicone pad for air fryers are also available. They are a hybrid of parchment paper liners and silicone baskets.
These liners are perforated with holes and made to match the base of your air fryer. Because they’re composed of silicone, they’re reusable and virtually unbreakable.
These mats can also shield your counter or tables from heat.
When lining your air fryer for optimized use, there are several options to choose from. If you’re confused, go through the suggestions in this article to guide you to the right choice and help you get the best out of your cooking.