Can You Use Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer? [Five Tips & Tricks]

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The Philips Air Fryer has taken the culinary world by storm, changing the way people cook their food. The air fryer is an extremely versatile and efficient cooking appliance that you may find in many homes across America and beyond.  

Its popularity stems from the fact that it will cook food perfectly with less time than an oven and little to no oil. 

You can pretty much cook anything at half the speed with a Philips air fryer, but what about aluminum foil? Are you able to place this inside your air fryer without ruining it? 

The short answer: Yes, you can use aluminum foil in an air fryer, and it will not damage it. 

As more people start to adopt air fryers in their homes, many are left wondering what materials should be avoided while using a Philips air fryer. 

In this article, we delve deeper into which materials are best and worst for the air fryer.

Is it safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer? 

First thing is first. We want to address any safety issue surrounding using aluminum foil in an air fryer. 

When considering the safety of your Philips air fryer, it's essential to recognize that air fryers operate by circulating hot air around the food to cook it evenly. 

Aluminum foil can be used effectively in this process, but some precautions must first be considered. 

First and foremost, it's crucial to use heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent tearing during the cooking process. This means that it is best to not use foil that is low quality because it may rip open and ruin your food and your air fryer! 

Chef’s note: I have personally put aluminum foil inside my air fryer when I am heating things up, and it hasn’t been a problem! Keep on reading to learn more about this cooking technique and when you should and should not do it. 

How do I use aluminum foil in an air fryer? 

Using aluminum foil in an air fryer can be a useful technique when handled correctly. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the right foil: Use heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent tearing and ensure the safety of your cooking process. Check out this brand of aluminum foil, I’ve used this brand before and it has never failed me.

  2. Create a foil "basket" or "packet": Place your food on a sheet of foil, then fold up the edges to form a shallow basket or a packet. This technique is quite common and actually speeds up the cooking time even more! 

  1. Make some space: Ensure there's enough space around the edges to allow air circulation. Please avoid filling up the entire bottom of the cooking basket. This will prevent your food from cooking through properly.

  2. Avoid the heating elements and fan: Do not let the foil come into contact with the air fryer's heating element or fan, as this can pose a fire hazard.

Reading this and don’t own an air fryer? Have a look at this highly rated Philips air fryer (spoiler alert: this is the one I own!). 

Why wouldn’t you use aluminum foil in an air fryer?

While aluminum foil is generally safe to use in an air fryer, there are limitations you should be aware of. 

Using too much foil or covering the entire bottom of the basket can prohibit air circulation, which is essential for thorough cooking. 

It can also block heat and affect your cooking process. Therefore, moderation is key when using foil in an air fryer and should be reserved for specific types of food. 

For example, you wouldn’t use aluminum foil in an air fryer if you wanted to cook some vegetables. This is because the aluminum foil may make the veggies soggy. 

Overall, the risks are very low when it comes to using aluminum foil in air fryers. I heat up food all the time in my Philips air fryer with no issue. 

What about the nutrients?

Air frying and oven cooking are two sides of the same coin, both use heat to cook food. This means that you will end up with the same nutrient profile no matter which cooking method you choose. 

Important note: Any time you cook food, chemistry happens and the composition changes. If you have any more nutritional questions regarding food, it is advised to speak to a professional dietician. 

Interested in what Nutritionists have to say? Have a read at this article, ‘When is the Best Time to Eat Yogurt According to Nutritionists?

Can I wrap chicken in aluminum foil in the air fryer?

Yes, you can wrap chicken in foil in an air fryer, particularly if you want to contain juices, marinades, or seasonings. 

However, ensure that the foil wrap is loose and doesn't obstruct airflow, allowing your chicken to cook evenly.

My favorite foods to cook in the air fryer are meats: salmon, chicken, and even hamburgers and steaks (yes, you heard that correctly!). 

Is it better to use parchment paper or foil in an air fryer?

When it comes to choosing between parchment paper and foil for your air fryer, parchment paper is another safe and commonly used option. Cooking parchment paper  won't hinder air circulation or pose safety risks. 

Here's how you can use parchment paper:

  1. Line the basket: Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the air fryer basket, allowing it to sit flat beneath your food.

  1. Create parchment paper packets: Similar to foil packets, you can also use parchment paper to create cooking packets for delicate or saucy foods.

Does using aluminum foil make food taste better?

This is a great question because different foods will react differently to aluminum foil. The main takeaway when using aluminum foil in a Philips air fryer is that foil keeps moisture inside.

If you prefer your food a little charred on the outside or slightly crunchy, which the air fryer executes perfectly, then maybe using aluminum foil is not the prescribed course of action. 

Tips and tricks on air frying with aluminum foil

We’ve put together five of the most common air fried foods (with the best for last) and how to best cook them using aluminum foil. 

You won’t want to skip reading this section! 

Tip 1 - How to air fry salmon 

When it comes to cooking salmon, using aluminum foil can be a game-changer. Wrapping salmon in foil helps to lock in moisture, creating a steamy environment within the foil packet. 

This method not only ensures that the salmon remains moist but also allows it to absorb flavors from added herbs, spices, or marinades. 

The result is a flavorful and delicious piece of salmon that retains its natural juices, providing a delightful dining experience. Pair it with some mango salsa and you cannot go wrong! 

Tip 2 - How to air fry chicken 

Similarly, when cooking chicken, aluminum foil can contribute to enhancing the taste. 

By wrapping chicken in foil, especially when marinated or seasoned, the foil helps to trap and intensify the flavors. 

The foil also plays a role in keeping the chicken tender and preventing it from drying out during the cooking process. The result is juicy, well-seasoned chicken that is sure to satisfy the taste buds.

One caveat to look out for is ensuring the chicken is well-cooked all the way through, no pink! 

Psst.. did you know reheating sauced wings in an air fryer is 100% doable and delicious? Trust me, it is! 

Tip 3 - How to air fry burgers

For burgers, the use of aluminum foil can be employed in various ways to influence taste. 

Wrapping burgers individually in foil can help to maintain their shape and prevent the loss of juices on the grill. 

Additionally, creating foil packets with burger ingredients allows for the mixing of flavors as the components cook together. 

The foil essentially acts as a flavor enhancer, ensuring that each bite is infused with the combined tastes of the burger ingredients. Remember to let the meat sit to ensure it is cooked through. 

Tip 4 - How to air fry steak

While some prefer the direct sear and grill method, others opt for the "foil packet" approach. 

Wrapping steak in foil, especially when marinated, can intensify the flavors and contribute to a more tender texture. 

However, for those who appreciate the distinct taste of a well-seared crust, the foil may not be the preferred method. 

Ultimately, the choice between using aluminum foil or not when cooking steak depends on individual taste preferences and desired cooking outcomes. 

If you want to reheat food, especially meat, using aluminum foil is the right call. Check out how I do it here in this article: How to Reheat Steak in an Air Fryer [How-to and FAQ].

Tip 5 - How to air fry french fries 

The air fryer is known to cook french fries to perfection. In this instance, it is actually NOT advised to use aluminum foil. The crunchy outer texture and slightly brown color is what folks strive to achieve. 

To air fry fries, you can make the fries yourself or buy them frozen from the grocery store.

Related Reading: Learn how to cook onion rings in the air fryer in this article: How to Cook Onion Rings in the Philips Air Fryer

Final Remarks

In short, while aluminum foil is safe to use in an air fryer when used appropriately, it's crucial to be cautious and avoid overuse to maintain proper air circulation and safety. 

I find that reheating food is a great use case for using aluminum foil in your air fryer, but always double check your air fryer user manual for any additional bits of information. 

For a hassle-free and equally effective alternative, parchment paper is often the preferred choice for lining the basket or creating cooking packets in your air fryer.

As always, to continue learning about all things air fryers… keep reading our articles. Here’s one you should read next: Can you put Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?

Have you tried out aluminum foil in your air fryer? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Jennifer Ulloa

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