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How to Use Aluminum Foil in An Air Fryer

The air fryer, just like the Instant Pot and a few other useful kitchen equipments, has become quite the countertop must-have for many home cooks. Air fryers are very useful when you’re in a hurry, don’t have enough oven space to cook, or want to make a healthy version of a deep-fried dish.

As with other favorite kitchen gadgets, the first thing you need to establish with your air fryer is how much you can and can’t do with it. One of such popular can/cannot questions is whether or not aluminum foil can be used for cooking in an air fryer.

This article has thus been compiled to answer this question and provide some extra tips for safe use and getting the best results.

Tips for Using Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer

Before moving on, it’s important to establish that anything that can be used in a conventional oven can be used in an air fryer, even aluminum foil. Therefore, if you’d normally prefer to avoid an oven mess by adding this extra layer, aluminum foils are also safe with your air fryer.

There are still a few things to keep in mind, however, so take note of the following tips:

Only use the foil in the air fryer basket – When using aluminum foil to line an air fryer, the golden rule is only to use it in the air fryer’s basket. If you put it in the drawer’s bottom, it could get blown about and eventually fall out.

The foil could then blow into the heat source, overheat, and spark a fire in the worst-case situation. As a result, it’s important to remember never to keep a foil-lined basket in a preheating air fryer. Also, make sure that the foil is weighted down with the food you’re cooking, or it will blow around and catch fire on the heating element.

Food items to steer clear of – certain foods should be avoided while using aluminum foil with just about any type of heating appliance. Aluminum has reactive properties, and it tends to react badly with extremely acidic substances.

When aluminum is used in the air fryer while cooking acidic food substances, they react with the foil and break it down, resulting in aluminum contamination of your meal. That’s unpleasant to eat, but it’s also bad for your health.

The following foods should not be cooked in foil in an air fryer:

Avoid covering the holes in your air fryer – When you block the openings at the bottom of your air fryer’s basket, you’re obstructing the optimum advantages of an air fryer. Those holes have been put there for a reason: to allow optimal air circulation throughout the full surface of the meal, including the bottom.

You’re simply browning the top of your food rather than cooking it through when these perforations are covered, so whatever you do, avoid using the aluminum foil to cover them.

Don’t poke holes in your foil – On the internet, some people suggest poking holes in aluminum foil before using it in the air fryer during cooking. It’s easy to see why; it provides you a little extra airflow for your food.

However, this is not recommended because it undermines the entire point of employing foil in the cooking process. Oil and bits of food will leak down into the air fryer’s bottom if holes are poked in the foil. Using foil is supposed to prevent this in the first place, saving you time for cleaning up in the kitchen after cooking.

Use the foil to get your food closer to the heat source – Food can also be positioned closer to the heat source. If you’re preparing a steak and want a particularly brown crust, bunch up a piece of foil so it’s quite uneven, then place it in the basket. When you place the steak on top of that, it lifts it more to the heating element, allowing for a nicer browning.

Easy steps for safe use – Follow these steps when using aluminum foil in your air fryer during cooking:

  • Cut out the amount of foil you estimate you’ll need from your piece of foil. We do this by holding out the foil roll, then pulling it until it completely covers the basket on all sides. The foil should then be cut long-ways with a pair of scissors.
  • Tear off the piece of foil you need, then insert it into the air fryer basket’s bottom. Make a half-inch “lip” on edge by pressing it to the bottom. This will prevent any oil from spilling down the edges of the pan.
  • The purpose of an air fryer is essential to “air fry” the food using circulating hot air. In the air fryer, using foil decreases the quantity of heated air that reaches the food being cooked inside it.

The ideal course of action is to use as little foil as possible. More air circulation will be possible as a result of this.

  • To reiterate the above state point, aluminum foil tends to restrict the amount of air that hits your food while it’s cooking. Therefore, it is important to make sure your basket isn’t too stuffed or overflowing with food. It’s ideal to ensure that much of your food’s surface area is as exposed as possible. This may mean that you need to cook your dish in many batches.

By following these steps and keeping the above tips and guidelines in mind, you’ll achieve a successful cooking process with your air fryer.


Using aluminum foil in your air fryer during cooking is perfectly okay as long as basic safety precautions are followed.

However, you may want to consider that aluminum foil isn’t exactly the best lining option for your air fryer. If you must use it, though, pay attention to all our helpful tips to get the best results.