What are the differences between aluminum foil and Tin foil? Can they go in the air fryer?
As a user of air fryers for the past five years, every time I enjoy delicious food, I will have a very troublesome problem-clean the air fryer, all food lovers know that we can wrap food with tin foil or aluminum foil, it will be more convenient to clean up the air fryer. But: can I put tin foil or aluminum foil in the air fryer, is it safe to do? Today we will talk about these questions.
After reading the article, you will know the answer and more detail such as how to use them correctly, the best foil for the air fryer, Is there any substitute, etc
Here’s what I have concluded from my experience with an air fryer:
Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
The answer to can you put foil in an air fryer is not a simple yes or no. You can put foil in an air fryer but you need to follow some rules.
First, let’s know some basic information about the air fryer
The air fryer uses hot air to give crispiness similar to oil-fried items. Almost all air fryers have three essential components:
- A basket
- A basket base
- Air fryer base
The air fryer basket and the air fryer base usually have holes, or they are made of mesh material so that the hot air can circulate freely inside the air fryer.
When you use foil in the air fryer, you block the free flow of hot air that cooks food. So, although it may not be dangerous to use aluminum foil in the air fryer, it will affect the cooking process.
We will discuss those details and tell you how to use them correctly later.
Can you put tin foil in an air fryer?
Yes, you can put tin foil in an air fryer. But it may take a longer time to finish the cooking process without correct use.
Tin foil and aluminum foil both serve the same purposes. We use them to cover food, store food, and cover baking surfaces.
Both aluminum and tin foil need some caution if you want to use them inside the air fryer. If you don’t follow the correct way of putting tin foil inside the air fryer, the food will not cook properly.
The reason why tin foil leaves the food uncooked is the same as aluminum foil. It blocks the air from flowing freely inside the air fryer basket.
Difference between aluminum foil and tin foil
The fundamental difference between aluminum and tin foil is their appearance. Tin foil is much brighter than aluminum foil.
Other than the appearance, tin foil is less ductile than aluminum foil. It means that if you, by chance, pull it, it will tear immediately.
While aluminum foil can also tear if force is applied, tin foil is much more fragile. The ductility of tin foil made it harder to handle. Thus, now you mostly see aluminum foil in the superstores and not tin foil.
Another difference between the two is the taste they impart to the food inside. You will not experience the taste of aluminum if you are cooking in aluminum foil, but you will experience the taste of tin in food cooked in tin foil.
Is it safe to put foil in the air fryer? We will talk about that later. First, let’s learn how to use them correctly!
How to put foil in the air fryer correctly?
There’s only one point to remember when you’re using foil inside an air fryer. You should never block the free flow of air in the air fryer. To achieve that, you need to follow these steps:
- Poke holes in the foil when you use aluminum foil in your air fryer
- Only cover the base of the air fryer basket and not the edges so that the hot air can circulate freely.
- Never cover the air fryer base with foil because it will constrict air circulation altogether.
Another way to cook your food correctly using aluminum foil inside an air fryer is to wrap your food in it and put it in the basket compartment.
Why should you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
The primary reason to put aluminum foil in an air fryer is easy cleanup. You know that the cleanup of the basket and the base becomes a hassle when you’re cooking foods with drippings. Maybe you end up in a delicious fish steak, but the mesh design of the basket will make the cleanup extremely tough.
But when you’re using the foil to ease the cleaning process, you compromise the food quality. Remember why did you buy that air fryer? To get crisp and delicious food results without oil. So, to only ease the cleaning process, is it wise to get soggy and undercooked food?
Another reason not to put aluminum foil in an air fryer is that it can blow and get stuck in the mechanical part of the air fryer base. It will cause damage to the overall functionality of your air fryer.
Do and Don’t when putting foil
With all the discussion, one point is clear. Foil is not an ideal lining material inside an air fryer. It can negatively impact the food taste and can also cause damage to the machine. However, it is convenient. Thus, many of us would like to use aluminum foil in an air fryer. Here’s what you should do if you’re choosing to use foil in an air fryer:
- Make holes in the foil before using it in an air fryer
- Use the foil only on the base of the air fryer basket
- Use proper weight on the foil so that it doesn’t blow inside the air fryer and get stuck in the mechanical parts
- Cover the food with the foil that you want to cook in the air fryer
- Use a foil strip inside the air fryer instead of using a square piece
Here are some don’ts of using foil in an air fryer:
- Never cover the holes in the air fryer base with foil
- Do not cook acidic foods in foil inside an air fryer because aluminum will react with such foods and leach into them
Is it safe to put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
As far as health is concerned, cooking in aluminum foil is almost safe. There’s no strong evidence of aluminum toxicity due to using aluminum foil in the cooking process. However, when the question of using aluminum foil in an air fryer arises, there’s more skepticism than solid knowledge.
The worst aluminum foil can do in an air fryer is catch fire if it dislodges from its place to the heating element. It is better to check your appliance’s user manual to get some certainty.
Some brands outright reject the idea of putting aluminum foil in your air fryer, while others may have specific instructions to use foil in the air fryer. So, whatever your air fryer manufacturer suggests, you should stick to that only instead of your Google results.
Food that should stay away from the foil
Some foods should not come in contact with aluminum. These include acidic foods like:
- Any alcohol-based dressing
- Anything with high sodium content in it, like processed meat
- Any dish that uses orange juice or grapefruit juice
You should avoid meat marinating in vinegar or salt to cook in foil. Other than meat, do not use foil in an orange cake preparation or a lemon tart. Anything citrus or acidic will react with the aluminum and leach into the final dish.
That may affect the taste and even look of the food.
Best foil for air fryer in 2022
Here are several brands that you can use in an air fryer, they are chosen by my 5 years of experience:
- Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil
Reynolds is a kitchen brand manufacturing kitchen products for over 70 years now. The Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil is one of the finest you can find. The total length of the roll is 175 feet (a roll can last for a long time).
With easy tear edge packing, you can cut any size of the foil wrap you wish to cut and avoid splatter of the food inside appliances.
- Solimo Aluminum Foil
Solimo aluminum foil is an Amazon brand that offers a money-back guarantee for a year. The size of the wrap is 250 square feet which means that you can wrap your food for cooking and storage for quite a long time.
One of the most prominent features of the product is its Kosher nature, so it promotes inclusivity naturally.
- Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Aluminum Foil
Reynolds has another excellent product to boast about. The non-stick aluminum foil roll comes in a 50-square-foot packing that is certainly less than other competitor products. But the product’s supreme quality makes up for the length.
The manufacturer recommends using the dull side for cooking and the brighter side for wrapping or packing the leftovers.
- Crystal by Crystalware Aluminum Foil Sheets
If you are someone like me who hates cutting foil, this product is your best bet. A single pack of Crystal aluminum foil sheets contains 500 pre-cut sheets that you can use to line the baking sheets or wrap your chicken in.
Can you use parchment paper instead of foil in an air fryer?
People often use parchment paper in an air fryer instead of foil. However, parchment paper to has the same problems. It will block the free flow of air to the food, making it soggy and unevenly cooked.
To avoid the problems, some companies even started manufacturing perforated parchment papers to use in air fryers. However, you can substitute foil with parchment paper with only one condition in mind. Never go beyond 400 degrees Fahrenheit for cooking anything in an air fryer with parchment paper inside.
There’s a fire hazard because almost all the parchment paper brands can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips when using foil in your air fryer
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when you’re using foil in the air fryer:
- Only line the middle portion of the basket when you’re using foil in an air fryer. That way, you will not obstruct the hot air to come in contact with the food.
- Keep the edges of the basket open for the air to flow freely inside the air fryer. This way, there will be no impact of the foil on the cooking process.
- Never cover the heating element of the air fryer; it can cause a fire inside the air fryer.
- Always weigh down the foil so that it doesn’t blow away due to the hot air and dislodge the mechanical parts of the air fryer.
- To get the foil easily in the air fryer, make a rectangular sling out of it that fits perfectly in the middle of the mesh basket without blocking the air.
For oven users, using foil comes naturally. However, when it comes to an electronic kitchen appliance like an air fryer, using foil can stir questions. As a calorie-counting enthusiast and someone who is an air fryer pro, this piece is a synopsis of all the do’s, don’ts, and nitty-gritty of using foil in an air fryer.
In a nutshell, you can use foil in an air fryer safely by ensuring that the foil doesn’t meddle with the heating element or airflow of the appliance. Happy low-calorie cooking!
At last, do you have any more suggestions about put foil in the air fryer？ Just leave a comment here about what are you thinking now! If not, share the article with your friends on social media, maybe they have some great opinions!
Thanks for your reading!
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!