Can You Put Wax Paper In An Air Fryer? [Quick Answer & FAQ]

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You’ve just received your new air fryer and now you want to put everything inside it. 

Tasty salmon that’s a little crunchy on the outside, but juicy in the middle? Definitely cooked best in the air fryer. 

French Fries that come out golden and have just the right amount of bite to them? Takes half the time to cook in the air fryer!

The opportunities are endless, but as with any kitchen tool, there are a few rules to observe. This enables  you to take good care of your new and shiny appliance. 

You may be tempted to try out different things in the air fryer. Items that could help you with cooking. 

Cooking and baking can be messy! If you’ve ever thought of wrapping something in wax paper to reduce cleanup of the fryer basket and interior, you’re not alone. 

Did you know certain materials are not suitable for use with an air fryer? Wax paper is one of them. 

You shouldn’t use wax paper in an air fryer because you may wind up with burnt food and a damaged air fryer. 

Keep reading our guide to learn more about the different papers you can safely use in your air fryer and the ones to avoid. 

Using Different Items in an Air Fryer 

Food cooks in the air fryer via a very powerful fan and high heat. This method of cooking means that you don’t have to use any oil* in the process. 

With such a  versatile kitchen appliance sitting on your countertop,  you may find yourself wondering about using different materials in your air fryer. 

*Health tip: Are you sick of using oil when cooking? Take a look at our fun guide on how to cook an egg without oil

What are the Benefits of Using Paper in An Air Fryer? 

Lining the air fryer basket with something like foil or paper can protect the fryer in the long term. You must have noticed this before. When you cook food in an air fryer without any protection, it ends up greasy, leaves an unpleasant odor,  and sometimes is hard to clean. 

Just to recap on the upsides of using paper in your air fryer: 

  • Easier clean up 
  • Protection for longer term 
  • Reduced odors of trapped food in the cooking chamber 
  • Layering more food in the basket with paper dividers
  • Recyclable material

Are There Cons? 

Parchment paper and aluminum foil are great ways to keep your air fryer grease free and tidy. However, using these materials for all types of cooking and frying can  result in burnt paper or even burnt food. 

An eco warrior will likely question the use of paper. A potential con for using paper in your air fryer, is that it may not be recyclable. 

If you’re purchasing an air fryer for the convenience factor, keeping a track of liners and materials can quickly become a hassle. 

List of Lining Materials for Air Frying

Check out this quick list of lining materials that you may be considering. We list out the pros and cons for each to help you decide which ones to use. 





Wax paper

  • Easy clean up 
  • Affordable 
  • Versatile
  • Not air fryer appropriate 
  • May melt at high temperatures
  • Not sustainable

Aluminum foil

  • Retains heat and moisture

  • Affordable 

  • Air fryer appropriate 

  • Recyclable

  • Can get too hot

  • May block air flow

Parchment paper

  • Easy clean up

  • Safe to use in the air fryer 

  • Some brands made specifically for air frying

  • Not as easy to clean up as other materials

  • Doesn’t retain heat too well  

  • Disposable

Aluminum Foil 

Most of us save aluminum foils  for ovens, especially when you're  using the oven to bake chicken or even salmon. The material can keep in moisture and prevent the food from drying out.

You can use aluminum foil in an air fryer, There are key things to bear in mind if you decide to use it: 

  1. Ensure there is no overflow of  the aluminum foil, There should be enough room for airflow, otherwise the food will not cook properly and you risk damaging your new air fryer!
  2. Place the foil at the bottom of the basket, there should be none of it sticking out.
  3. Only use what you need. 

Using aluminum foil when you next reheat steak in an air fryer will keep your steak juicy and your air fryer squeaky clean. 


Parchment Paper 

Parchment paper is fairly harmless and should be okay to go inside an air fryer. I use this kind of cooking paper for other things as well – like baking cookies. If you decide to use parchment paper, choose the perforated variety. . 

Poke some holes yourself using a scissor or other sharp device, but do be careful! 

Related reading: Did you know that you can also use parchment paper for storing and freezing foods? Parchment paper protects against browning. Have a look at our article on How to Freeze Pears for Smoothies [Complete Guide].

Looking for air fryer proof parchment paper? Check out the latest price of these on Amazon. 


Wax Paper 

Wax paper is probably the most controversial paper to consider. Wax paper is a better option for other types  of cooking such as steaming. 

The coating material used in making wax paper is likely to melt. This will make it burn in your air fryer, so avoid using it. 


Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Below we go into some of the most pressing questions about materials that can and cannot be placed inside an air fryer.

wax paper with small cookies on top

Why is Wax Paper Bad for an Air Fryer? 

Wax paper should not go inside an air fryer because there is a coating on it. It is coated in wax and when heated at high temperatures, it melts. There is a slight risk as well that the wax paper may burn inside your air fryer. 

Important note: Wax paper and parchment paper look very similar, but they are different and shouldn’t be used interchangably. 

What Happens If I Put Wax Paper In My Air Fryer? 

If you stick wax paper in your air fryer a few issues may ensue: 

  • The wax will have melted and leached on to your food 
  • The paper may burn.
  • Your food may burn. 

It is best to avoid using wax paper at all costs. 

Will Wax Paper Catch on Fire in an Air Fryer? 

I have never personally tried putting wax paper in my air fryer, but there are greater chance of it burning inside your air fryer. This means there is a chance that it may catch on fire. 

What Can  Use Wax Paper For? 

Stuck with a box of  wax paper and unsure of what to do with it? Here are a few ideas:


Food Separator

Use wax paper to separate food before the cooking process. For example, if you’re grilling burgers for friends and family, you can stack a lot of burgers on top of each other by separating them with wax paper. 

Hate it when food sticks to your kitchen appliances? Read our latest article on how to prevent rice from sticking to your pots and pans ever again. 

Food Cover or Lid 

If you have containers but no lids, a great way of making use of your wax paper is by covering the container with wax paper. Secure the paper on the container by wrapping a  rubber band around your dish. 

Is Wax Paper Recyclable? 

This question requires a little context. Although wax paper is paper, in many cases it typically cannot be recycled. This is unsettling if you have a lot of rolls in your kitchen cupboard. 

Because wax paper is coated in wax, this makes it very difficult to break down and recycle. 

You can buy recyclable wax paper on Amazon. For those of you who are environmentally conscious,  you have  to go to the extra effort to check the wax paper before you buy. 

Difference Between Unbleached and Bleached Wax Paper

If you frequently visit the grocery store, you’d have noticed a variety of wax papers. Look closely because you’ll find that some are bleached and others are unbleached. 

Bleached wax paper is made with chlorine which gives it that pearly white color. 

Unbleached wax paper does not have chlorine and therefore is brown or beige in color. 

Final Thoughts 

Because air fryers create air flow that surrounds the food and cooks it, the use of any kind of paper can potentially be disruptive. 

This isn’t to say you should never use parchment paper or aluminum foil in an air fryer.  Bear in mind there are occasions when it helps your cooking, and times when it will not. 

You can use parchment paper and aluminum foil inside air fryers, but be wary of using wax paper as this can damage your appliance. 

What materials do you use inside your air fryer? Do you have any cooking hacks? Let us know in the comments below. 

Jennifer Ulloa

Last update on 2024-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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