Air fryers are increasing in popularity with each day that passes. And it is really easy to see why this is happening. Air fryers provide even heat distribution with a consistent temperature. They are as effective as oil-frying. But as it uses dry heat, there is no additional oil on your food. Air fryers provide benefits such as even cooking and quick cooking speeds. One of the only negatives of an air fryer, except from its limited space in the air fryer basket, is how dirty they can get. They can be a hassle to clean. To counter this issue, a lot of people have started to think about lining their air fryer basket with paper towels as a way to absorb grease. Let’s discuss if this is a bad idea or not, and potentially view some safer alternatives.
Table of Contents
- Is It Safe To Put Paper Towels In The Air Fryer?
- Benefits Of Putting Paper Towels In The Air Fryer
- Using Paper Towels While Air Frying
- FAQs On Paper Towels In Air Fryer
Is It Safe To Put Paper Towels In The Air Fryer?
To immediately make sure that everyone is on the same page and that no accidents happen: it is incredibly unsafe to put paper towels in the air fryer. An air fryer acts very similarly to a convection oven and will circulate a lot of high temperature heat. This can burn the paper towel, which will turn it into a fire hazard.
As an air fryer uses air and has a fan system that circulates the heated air, it can blow the paper towel around. If this paper towel then touches the heating element of your air fryer, it can ignite and cause a fire.
Paper Towel Alternatives
While you cannot and should not use a paper towel, there are some alternatives that will provide the same purpose that you are looking for. Whether you are wanting to absorb excess grease or make for an easy cleanup, you have some great options for what to line your air fryer basket with.
The best alternatives for paper towels are;
- Perforated parchment paper
- Aluminum foil
- Baking Paper
- Silicone Air Fryer Baskets
When placing something inside of your air fryer (such as a bowl), you want to make sure it can withstand high temperatures. There are many products that can do this. The best ones are easily going to already be in your kitchen.
Parchment paper, baking paper, and aluminum foil are all inexpensive kitchen items that you likely already have in a drawer somewhere.
All three of these can withstand incredibly high temperatures as they are sold to be used in cooking. While it is true that they might block the air flow of your frying basket, they still help ensure there is not a mess afterwards.
Once empty, parchment paper or any other choice can be placed inside of your frying basket. Regarding parchment paper or lining, It is best to quickly measure it and trim accordingly. This way, you do not have any excess of your liner poking out of the top.
If you are wanting to use a liner but still want the best air flow possible, you will want to poke little holes in your liner with a thumb tack or a safety pin. Air fryer baskets have little holes at the bottom that help with circulating hot air. So use your fingers to find these through the aluminum foil or parchment paper and then poke holes in their place. This will make sure that the heating element will continue to perform as intended.
If you have one of the popular air fryer models that are considered very well-known, you might be able to find pre-cut and pre-prepared linings for your exact model. These will easily fit in your basket and will already have all the holes and necessary cuts to ensure they are perfect.
Another option you will have is for a silicone air fryer basket. To save you using a few sheets of parchment papers, or multiple rolls of aluminum foil every now and then, you can buy reusable air fryer liners that are made out of silicone. These will fit most air fryers and can be cleaned after each use. They are very easy to put in and take out. Plus, they can be cleaned much easier than the actual air fryers basket.
Benefits Of Putting Paper Towels In The Air Fryer
It’s established that you should not put paper towels in an air fryer. But you might still be interested in the benefits of it and any alternatives.
Again, paper towel cannot be used. But the reasons you want to place a lining inside an air fryer are going to be met by any alternative you can think of.
Firstly, an air fryer basket can get very dirty incredibly quickly. This can lead to you needing to clean it regularly. While this may not sound like an issue, the entire air fryer basket has to be cleaned. This can be quite a chore if you are doing it every other day. The basket can get greasy and can also get covered in food particles that can be difficult to wash off. Instead of having to clean an entire basket, you can simply line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Obviously, it is recommended that you still clean your basket every so often. But when you use a liner, it’s lot easier. There will be no grease or food covering or stuck to the bottom surface.
Secondly, despite air fryers using hot air to cook food, there can still be a fair amount of grease that comes off of your food. This can be an unwelcome sight for a lot of people. Lining your basket with parchment paper or aluminum foil can result in the grease being absorbed or moved away. This way, it is not on the food when you come to eat it.
Using Paper Towels While Air Frying
To summarize what was previously mentioned, as it is very important in terms of safety, paper towels are a fire risk. They should not ever be placed in an air fryer.
To help get this point across, let’s ask the question, “how does an air fryer work”? Well, an air fryer has a heating element inside that will warm the air. There is also a fan that will circulate the air around the cooking compartment. This means that there are extreme temperatures with extreme air movement inside your air fryer. Placing paper towels inside is a fire risk because you risk the paper towel burning or touching the heating element.
The way an air fryer works is reason enough as to why you should not place any paper towels in there. Parchment papers and more high heat resistant materials are much better suited to this.
FAQs On Paper Towels In Air Fryer
Can you put cardboard in air fryer?
Neither cardboard nor paper towels should be placed in an air fryer. The hot air will either burn them, causing a risk of fire, or the air will blow them which can potentially lead to them coming into contact with the heating element. Both of these scenarios can result in a fire, which would be incredibly hazardous.
Can you put wax paper in air fryer?
Wax paper, parchment paper, and baking paper are all completely fine to be placed in an air fryer. They are made to be resistant to high temperatures and are used in cooking all the time. The only reason you might not want to use these is because it can mess with the circulation of the air fryer, causing uneven cooking. To counter this, poke some holes in your liner that are in line with the holes on the bottom of your cooking basket. This will help the air circulation.
Will paper catch fire in an air fryer?
Paper is likely to catch fire in an air fryer. Some people suggest using a wet paper towel instead but this is also just as likely to catch fire. It is important to remember that air fryers commonly go to temperatures above 350 degrees F, which can easily burn paper towels.