Knowing whether a container is safe for a microwave, oven, or toaster oven is usually pretty easy. Air fryer safe dishes will usually have a symbol on the bottom or side of the dish.
Further, society is simply more familiar with these common household appliances - as opposed to air fryers. Good luck finding an air fryer safe symbol on the bottom of a container.
Air fryers are relatively new, launched only in 2010. Hence, there's not as much general awareness about which materials, containers, and packaging are safe and acceptable.
A combination toaster oven air fryer with a rotisserie rack
Knowing what containers are air fryer safe can help you choose the correct container for your air fryer. The following guide is meant as a helpful tool to answer any related questions you might have about air fryers and containers that are safe for air frying.
Please note, you should always consult the user manual and follow the instructions for your specific appliance make and model specifications.
Air fryers work similarly to a convection oven by circulating hot air around the food, so it's vital to use a safe container for high temperatures.
Any heat-resistant container for oven use is also acceptable for an air fryer. So oven safe dishes should also be air fryer safe dishes. This includes containers made from:
It is important to note that some glass cookware is weaker and lower-quality than others, meaning the glass bowl you wish to use might not be as heat-resistant as you think.
An air fryer container (or rack) should allow air to flow freely around what your cooking
The last thing you want in your dinner is shattered pieces of any of these materials.
So, when in doubt, it's always a good idea to read the manual and instructions for any new dish you purchase to know whether it's safe for your air fryer and what specific temperature it can withstand.
When it comes to meal prep, you might need other items and materials besides the dish and the edible ingredients. Here is a list of perfectly safe materials that can go into an air fryer.
People tend to use tin foil when cooking to help food cook more evenly or keep it from sticking. Foil is safe to use in air fryers - you can even use it in the air fryer basket - just make sure it's not directly touching any heating elements.
It's also crucial to purchase high-quality, thick foil. Lower quality foil can be too delicate for air fryers, causing the hot air force to rip apart the foil.
You can also line air fryer safe dishes with tin foil to make cleanup a bit easier after cooking.
Heavy Duty aluminum foil can be used in an air fryer - but it may prevent proper air circulation for optimal cooking
Like foil, parchment paper can also help with even cooking and sticking. This specific paper is also safe to use in an air fryer up to temperatures of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit - be sure to read the instructions on your parchment paper for specific temperature threshholds.
You can simply line the bottom of your air fryer with parchment paper and be good to go.
Wooden skewers, toothpicks, and popsicle sticks can be used in an air fryer for tasks like holding together small pieces of food, making kebabs, or shish kabobs.
Remember to soak the sticks in water for 30 minutes before using them, so they don't overheat.
Not everything can go into an air fryer. In fact, there are a few things that you should never put in your air fryer, as doing so could ultimately damage the machine or start a fire.
Here are some items to avoid putting in your air fryer:
You should never put much water or other liquids in your air fryer. The liquids will just evaporate and can cause the hot air to circulate unevenly, resulting in uneven cooking.
Even putting liquids in an air fryer safe bowl or dish isn't recommended for the same reasons. Liquids can also pose an electrocution hazard when used in air fryers.
Any wet or soggy food should not go into an air fryer. This includes things like raw chicken that has not been adequately patted dry.
Again, the water will evaporate quickly, impact the cooking process, and even potentially damage the fryer in the long run.
Paper products, like napkins and paper towels, should not go into an air fryer. Attempting to air fry any item wrapped in or resting on or containing paper will likely result in a fire. Paper products don't have to be ignited by flame - they can ignite from heat alone starting at around 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Air fryers are great for crisping up items like french fries - but shouldn’t be used for items that have a high liquid content
Cardboard is another material that should not go into an air fryer. It is a paper product and will catch fire relatively easily - starting at temps around 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Frequently frozen pizza will be wrapped in plastic around a round cardboard disc.
You must remove both the plastic and the cardboard before placing the pizza in an air fryer, conventional oven, or toaster ovens. You can reheat your cold pizza in an air fryer, just keep paper products away.
Sauces and condiments should not go into the air fryer, as they can cause the food to stick or burn. This applies even if your container is fine for the air fryer - like a steel bowl (that is an air fryer safe bowl).
If you want to add sauce or condiments to your food, do so after cooking. However, light meat marinades are typically okay for use.
No. Air frying any sort of plastic can be a danger to your health and can damage the inner workings of your air fryer.
Do not use a plastic bowl, plastic plates, or plastic containers of any kind in an air fryer, as they can melt.
Plastic melts in an air fryer because it has relatively low heat resistance. The heating element of an air fryer is capable of generating extreme heat - up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
The circulating hot air hits the plastic and causes it to break down and release harmful chemicals with a distinct plastic odor.
Even if you don't see any signs of plastic melting, the fumes can give your food a plastic taste that is unhealthy - in this case the food should be discarded.
No. The “no plastic” rule isn't limited to just plastic containers. No plastic is eligible for use in an air fryer. This includes any type of plastic including plastic wrap and plastic utensils.
When you burn plastic, you're releasing a plastic fume that is toxic and poses a major health risk. The burning plastic smell is more than just an unpleasant acrid stench - it is bad for you.
The high heat will result in burnt plastic on the inside of your air fryer - meaning your air fryer will have to be replaced.
You might have seen people use paper plates in air fryers, but we don't recommend it.
While the paper plate itself may or may not catch fire, the grease and food particles that will inevitably get on the plate can cause it to smoke and even catch fire.
So, to be on the safe side, it's best to use a heat-resistant dish.
No, you don't need to use a special dish made specifically for air fryers. Any oven-safe dish will work.
Pyrex glass bakeware used to exclusively be made of tempered borosilicate glass. This type of glass is more resistant to thermal shock than other types of glass.
Borosilicate glass is more resistant to breaking due to rapid temperature change.
These days, Pyrex bakeware is usually made of tempered or soda lime glass and isn't nearly as resistant to sudden changes of temperature.
Don't assume that your Pyrex bakeware will survive a stint in the air fryer. Read your manufacturer instructions, or reach out to Pyrex on their website.
They have a chat feature where you can ask about your specific Pyrex product.
Finally, be sure to look for oven safe markings on your Pyrex. If it is oven safe, it is likely safe for the air fryer as well.
When choosing a container to use in your air fryer, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.
First, check to make sure the container is oven-safe. Oven safe means it can withstand the high temperature in an air fryer without melting, warping, or breaking; thus, it will be safe enough to use for your air fryer.
Second, consider the size of the container. You'll want to make sure that it fits comfortably in your air fryer without being too tightly squeezed in.
Make sure to keep in mind the size of your air fryer’s basket when making your selection.
Third, think about the shape of the container. A round or square container will work well in an air fryer, but a rectangular one might not fit as well.
Some recipes might call for a specific type of dish, so it's always best to follow the recipe to the letter to get the desired taste.
This article has addressed several important questions regarding air fryer safe containers.
However, if you still have questions or concerns, keep reading for the answers to more commonly asked air fryer container questions.
Yes, you can put an aluminum pan in an air fryer. However, you'll want to use caution as the aluminum can cause the food to stick and burn.
If you use an aluminum pan, coat it with a non-stick cooking spray, just as you would in a standard oven.
Yes, you can use regular metal pans in an air fryer. However, as with aluminum pans, you'll want to be sure to coat them with a non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking and burning.
Yes, stainless steel is metal. Thus, you are safe to use stainless steel in an air fryer.
Keep in mind that not everything that says "stainless steel" is 100% stainless steel.
Some containers only have stainless reel coating or coloring. If the label doesn't say it's 100% stainless steel, then assume it isn't and don't use it in your air fryer.
Yes - you can use a ceramic bowl in your air fryer. In fact, many people prefer to use ceramic bowls because they evenly distribute heat and don't cause the food to stick.
Just be sure that the bowl is oven-safe and big enough to fit comfortably in your air fryer.
Maybe. The Instant Pot company created a highly-rated air fryer lid that enables users to transform their Instant Pot into an air fryer.
So, technically, yes, you can use your Instant Pot as an air fryer. However, it's important to note that not all Instant Pots are created equal. Some models aren't compatible with the air fryer lid, so check whether your model is compatible before you buy this lid.
Air fryers are special because they use hot air for cooking food.
This hot air circulates around the food, cooking it evenly on all sides. Additionally, the air fryer cooks food quickly and with little to no oil, making it a healthier option than deep frying.