The Must-Know Rules For Safely Using Tin Foil In An Air Fryer

For many home cooks, air fryers have become one of their go-to kitchen appliance staples. Since they require less oil and cook faster than many other appliances, some people like to use their air fryers for everything from their morning hash browns to their dinnertime roasts.

As with any appliance that's in high rotation, one of the main challenges becomes how to keep it clean. Since the use of tin foil is one of the key ways to minimize messes when cooking or baking in the oven, you may be tempted to use that same method in the air fryer. The question is, is using foil in the appliance safe? The quick and easy answer is yes. However, it's important to always keep a few key rules in mind when using foil in your air fryer to ensure your safety and to make sure that your food is properly cooked.

When using foil, consider the three Ws: where, when, and what

Just because you can use foil in the air fryer doesn't mean you can put it just anywhere. The foil should be placed exclusively in the fryer basket. Placing foil anywhere else, such as in the fryer drawer or at the bottom of your machine, will likely block air from properly circulating. This can prevent your food from cooking properly. When placed improperly, your foil may also shift around the unit, which can result in a fire hazard.

In addition to the placement of your foil, you also need to think about timing. Add your foil and your food at the same time after the preheating process. This will ensure your foil is properly weighed down, and won't blow around the unit.

Lastly, it's important to consider your ingredients. Never use foil when cooking with highly acidic foods or condiments, such as tomatoes, vinegar, or citrus fruits. These ingredients "react with the foil and start to break it down, so you'll actually have aluminum in your food," Meredith Laurence of Blue Jean Chef explained to Insider. This rule applies not only to your air fryer but also to any other cooking appliance.

As long as you keep in mind these simple rules, don't hesitate to use foil in your air fryer to ensure a quick and easy cleanup. Want to know more ways to get the most out of this appliance? Check out these great air fryer hacks!