What Can You Line an Air Fryer With?

If you have experience frying chicken in a deep fryer, then you are likely aware of the thick layer of grease that accumulates inside. However, is it possible for this to occur in an air fryer? And if so, is there a method to avoid it?

While air fryers are not as prone to grease buildup as deep fryers, they can still accumulate it. To prevent this, you have the option of lining your air fryer with any of the following materials:

  • Parchment paper 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Ceramic dishes 
  • Silicone liners

To ensure proper airflow, it is recommended to avoid using flammable items or those coated in wax in your air fryer. The best option for lining the fryer would be perforated liners.

If you don’t have a perforated liner, what are your options? Is it advisable to create holes in the liner yourself? And if you use a coffee filter as a substitute, what are the consequences? Continue reading for answers to these and other related questions!

You Can Line an Air Fryer With Parchment Paper 

Parchment paper is a popular choice among air fryer enthusiasts, but caution should be exercised as it may trap grease from certain foods, resulting in excessively greasy and unpleasant food, although this poses no harm.

Using parchment paper is a popular method to cook low-fat foods in an air fryer. This technique works well for fish, vegetables, and other naturally low-fat foods. Additionally, the steam trapped inside the parchment paper due to limited ventilation helps to retain moisture and flavor in these foods.

Another less common solution is to poke holes in your parchment paper or purchase pre-perforated parchment sheets. You can find air fryer parchment sheets on Amazon, such as the Katbite Air fryer Parchment sheets. 

If you decide to create your own lining for the air fryer, it is suggested that you puncture 6-7 holes into a parchment sheet. It is important to ensure that the size of the sheet matches that of your air fryer tray, and when puncturing the sheet, it is recommended to use scissors or a sewing needle while keeping the circumference of each hole no larger than a dime.

You can Line an Air Fryer With Aluminum Foil

If you want to prevent your air fryer from getting dirty and sticky, using aluminum foil is a viable option, but it has some drawbacks that make it less than ideal.

Aluminum foil is a safe option to use as a lining material in an air fryer, and there is no risk of sparking or catching fire, unlike in the microwave. However, it is important to note that this metal can react with acidic foods such as tomatoes and pineapple, so it is best to avoid using it with such dishes.

To achieve optimal outcomes, it is recommended to utilize aluminum foil when cooking chicken, beef, and other fatty meats in an air fryer. To prevent grease buildup, perforate the foil with holes and restrict its usage to the fryer’s basket. If possible, refrain from using foil on the tray and avoid placing it on the lower rack.

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The hot air circulation in an air fryer can dislodge and move around foil placed inside, affecting the cooking process and potentially causing it to float around the machine.

You can Line Your Air Fryer With Silicone Liners

Silicone mats or liners made of flame retardant silicone are an excellent and long-lasting choice for air fryers, available in various sizes to fit different models. It is recommended to select the appropriate size of the silicone liner that matches your machine for optimal outcomes.

The mats are created with tiny holes to enhance the circulation of air and avoid any oil from spilling. The perforations guarantee that your food items, such as meat and vegetables, become crispy just like they would in a traditional deep fryer.

Silicone sheets are the most flexible choice among all options available for lining an air fryer. The only downside is that they require a slightly higher initial investment and need to be washed after every use. Nevertheless, they are easier to clean than fryer trays and do not have food baked onto them.

Airway Aeromats and Lotteli Kitchen Liners are some of the best varieties available on Amazon. Both of these brands are designed for smaller machines, but Lotelli Kitchen does have two varieties. They are magnetic making them a wind-resistant variety and less likely to blow away in the machine. 

You can Line Your Air Fryer With a Ceramic Dish 

While not as popular, ceramic dishes are an excellent option for maintaining the cleanliness of your air fryer, although they lack aeration holes and are best suited for preparing casseroles and air fryer lasagna.

The ideal choice for lining your air fryer is ceramic dishes that are safe to use in ovens. Nevertheless, you can also utilize oven-safe disposable foil pans and reusable metal trays that are oven-safe. It is crucial to ensure that the size of the pan or tray fits your air fryer.

Simax Casserole dish is an excellent option and will fit inside most air fryers. We do not recommend using the lid, however, unless you want your food to be tender rather than crisp. 

Do You Line the Bottom of an Air Fryer?

Unless you are cooking on the bottom rack, it is not recommended to line the bottom of your air fryer, particularly if you use a liner that hinders the flow of hot air. Additionally, avoid using aluminum foil or ceramic containers on the bottom when cooking on the top rack.

The method of lining your air fryer depends on the type of machine you own. If you have a basket-style cylindrical air fryer, you can choose to line the basket in any way you prefer, but it’s important to avoid using materials that may impede the airflow.

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For a cylindrical basket fryer, the most suitable liners are:

  • Sheets made of silicone with small holes in them
  • Parchment paper with small holes
  • A ceramic dish can be used to cook delicate meals in the air fryer.

Foil is not recommended for basket fryers as it can hinder airflow, even if perforated. To avoid grease sticking to the tray below the basket, you can add some water to the drawer underneath.

It is important to refer to the manual of your machine before adding water to this part, but in general, doing so can be beneficial as it prevents grease from adhering and damaging the machine.

If you have an upright air fryer oven, then you can make use of the following liners:

  • Parchment paper
  • Silicone sheets 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Ceramic dish 

Parchment and silicone liners are the most suitable options for air fryers, although aluminum foil can also be used with some conditions.

Why Do Air Fryer Liners Have Holes?

Air fryer liners are designed with holes to avoid any blockage of hot air. If the air flow is disrupted, it can lead to undercooked food and damp dishes. Adequate ventilation guarantees that all sections of your meal are cooked evenly and become crispy.

The presence of holes in liners used for air fryers serves two crucial purposes:

  • Allows air to flow freely without any obstructions
  • Helps to keep the liner in place and prevent it from moving or shifting

Using liners in an air fryer can result in them getting trapped in the airflow, which may cause damage to your food. While silicone liners are less likely to cause this issue due to their weight and magnetic properties, it is still a possibility with parchment or foil liners.

Holes in the sheets enable proper air circulation, preventing them from sticking and tearing while ensuring that your food is cooked and crispy; it’s best to avoid placing food directly on top of these holes to ensure even crispiness.

Do You Need Liners For an Air Fryer?

While not essential, using a liner in your air fryer can aid in preventing grease build-up and potential damage to the machine, although it is still important to clean the appliance thoroughly after each use.

If you don’t want to clean your air fryer after every use, liners are necessary as they can trap most of the grease and allow for proper airflow.

Using air fryer liners can also avoid the problem of food sticking to the tray, allowing you to achieve the desired crispy texture with less oil and without any unpleasant adhesion to the tray.

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What Liners Are Not Safe To Use In an Air Fryer?

When using an air fryer, it is important to steer clear of liners that have been coated in flammable materials or wax. To prevent any potential damage to your machine or fire hazards, make sure to only use oven-safe liners.

Unlike microwaves, air fryers do not require you to avoid metal objects. Nevertheless, it is advisable to steer clear of the subsequent liners:

  • Non-perforated parchment paper or aluminum foil can be used as a lining for an air fryer.
  • Silicone sheets that cannot be used in ovens
  • Wax coated liners 
  • Wooden liners 
  • Non-oven safe paper liners
  • The text remains the same.

Parchment paper is safe to use in both ovens and air fryers, but wax paper should be avoided as it can easily catch fire and drip wax into the fryer basket, potentially causing damage to the machine’s interior.

Using wooden bowls or bamboo sushi rollers to line your air fryer is not recommended as they pose a risk. Even though some websites suggest using bamboo liners, it is better to avoid them unless they are specifically marketed as safe for use in ovens.

It is not recommended to use paper plates or bowls in your air fryer due to the high flammability of paper, which can cause a fire in the machine. Additionally, some paper plates and bowls have a wax or plastic coating that can further increase the risk of fire and damage to the air fryer.

Finally, it is important to avoid using paper towels as a lining for your air fryer. It is crucial to keep in mind that air fryers operate differently from microwaves, and while paper products may be suitable for use in some microwaves, they are not recommended for use in an air fryer.

Can You Use Coffee Filters To Line the Air Fryer?

Unless specifically designed for an air fryer, coffee filters should not be used as a liner due to their flammability. While they can replace parchment paper in baking and are less flammable than paper plates and towels, they should still be avoided when frying foods with oil.

While it may not be a popular choice, certain individuals prefer to use their air fryer for baking desserts. If you intend to bake cupcakes, muffins, or other pastries, utilizing a coffee filter as a lining material should suffice.

If you’re looking for a substitute for muffin liners and parchment paper in your air fryer, coffee filters can be used. Nevertheless, it’s not recommended to use them when frying greasy foods as the grease may accumulate and ignite. Hence, they are ideal for baked goods but not suitable for fried foods.

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