An air fryer is kitchen equipment that cooks a range of dishes by circulating hot air. Air fryers do not cook food, despite their name. They operate in a manner akin to a convection oven. Asparagus and chicken breasts may be cooked in air fryers in addition to commonly fried dishes like tater tots and French fries.
Today’s market offers a wide variety of air fryer models, including Instant Vortex, Gourmia, Dash, Cosori, and others which compete for the top slots. An air fryer may use any heat-resistant container made for use in an oven. So, foods meant for the oven should also be OK for the air fryer. Containers composed of metal, silicone, ceramic, and glass are safe for use in the air fryer.
Can You Use Plastic in an Air Fryer?
Unfortunately, using an air fryer to reheat food in plastic containers like Tupperware or takeout containers is not an option (like you can in a microwave). Anything baked or fried in an oven also works in an air fryer. So no – plastic should not be used in air fryers, plastic will shrivel up and melt. Many plastics have melting points well within an air fryer’s temperature range.
At not very high temperatures plastic products begin to soften; at somewhat higher degrees, they start to melt and emit fumes. Long before the plastic begins melting, it will start to leak chemicals as it heats up, and once it does, it will be very difficult to clean and may even catch fire. In an air fryer, only ovenproof pots and containers are permitted.
Is There Any Plastic That is Safe to Use in an Air Fryer?
Some plastics can be used in ovens. Silicone has an extremely high melting point, around 260 degrees Celsius or 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This indicates that it will be secure in your air fryer if you do not raise the temperature over that.
In an air fryer, silicone is also an option. Crystallized Polyethylene Terephthalate, or CPET for short, is a particular kind of plastic that has been crystallized to improve its heat resistance. This does not imply that they won’t melt when placed in an oven or air fryer; it just indicates that melting them will require much greater heat for longer.
According to estimates, CPET may remain solid at temperatures between 32 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This doesn’t only suggest that using a CPET in an air fryer is completely safe; it merely indicates that it can withstand heat better than conventional plastic.
Plastic may possibly start melting and leaking into your food if the air fryer’s temperature rises beyond 400 degrees, which might lead to disease. It’s crucial to monitor the temperature while using CPET oven-safe containers to ensure it doesn’t get over 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
What are the Potential Risks Associated with Putting Plastic in an Air Fryer?
There are various dangerous compounds in plastics. Some of these ingredients may contaminate your meal when they are heated. From allergies to cancer, it causes a variety of illnesses. As a result, it may prevent the body from producing hormones normally. Congenital impairments and reproductive problems are the results.
Plastic may generate toxic gases when heated. These vapors are poisonous and can lead to several health issues. They include headaches, vomiting, and nausea. Additionally, the gases may exacerbate allergies and other respiratory conditions like asthma. We are unsure of the applicable upper limit and material level we can endure. To keep it safe, one must stay away from plastic.
Distortion and Discoloration
plastic may distort and get discolored due to the air fryer’s intense heat. Plastic could melt or burn as a result of this. It may emit harmful substances that end up in your diet.
What are Some Alternatives to Using Plastic in an Air Fryer?
Any ovenproof container, whether made of silicone, aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic, or glass, may be used in an air fryer. You can also use parchment paper (not the type covered in wax though!) or aluminum foil to line the basket or cover your food in the basket.
Silicone is the only substance that can be classified as plastic that does work in an air fryer. It’s a particular kind of plastic that must be ignited to melt. As a result, it may be utilized to create food containers because heating does not cause the substance to distort.
Using silicone containers in your air fryer is a terrific alternative to conventional or microwave-safe plastics. They are dishwasher safe and may be used safely in ovens and air fryers without melting.
The ease with which the food can be removed from the silicone container, which makes cleanup a pleasure, is one of the main benefits of utilizing silicone containers in an air fryer. The melting point of some of the most heat-resistant silicones can reach up to 2570 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the kind of silicone.
You can use glass cookware in the oven without worrying about it breaking. It is oven safe. Glass cookware is a flexible alternative for your culinary requirements because it also functions well in an air fryer. At the same time, there are a few exceptions to this generalization. Glass cookware functions in an air fryer. Because it transmits heat uniformly and does not react with the oils used in air frying, glass cookware is a fantastic choice for air frying. Glass dishes that have been taken out of the freezer and are ready to be air-fried are a few exceptions to the rule. The glass might break under sudden temperature fluctuations from cold to hot. Despite a melting point close to 2732 degrees Fahrenheit, glass will expand and contract at extraordinarily stressful rates due to the significant temperature variations. The glass breaks as a result of this. When placing your glass bowl in the air fryer, it is advised that you gradually raise the heat until it is steady at room temperature.
In air fryers, ceramic containers and pots are a great replacement for plastic ones. They are a material that may be used at high temperatures with great safety. In actuality, ceramic wouldn’t melt until 3632 degrees Fahrenheit.
This substance is among the most heat-resistant ones available and is ideal for use with air fryers. Be careful not to touch ceramics in your air fryer before they have had a chance to cool off. You might easily burn yourself since they will quickly absorb the heat. Cover your hands with towels or oven mitts if you must handle them.
Due to how well they cook food, aluminum air fryer containers are growing in popularity. Since they are often single-use items, you can prepare the food without worrying about cleaning it afterward or doing anything else. There are many different sizes of disposable metal containers, some of which even have coverings. As a result, they may be used for various tasks, including marinating meals or keeping leftovers. And you can put your meal right into the air fryer without removing it from the metal container. You have nothing to fear while air-frying it because aluminum has a melting temperature of 1221 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stainless steel frying baskets may be used to air-fry a range of meals and are oven-safe. Additionally, using it in an air fryer is safe. It is simple to clean and does not react with food. Bowls, pots, and pans constructed of stainless steel without a loop handle perform best when used with air fryers.
Because of its inherent non-stick qualities, metal distributes heat evenly while preventing food from clinging to its surfaces. The maximum temperature that stainless steel can tolerate, much higher than an air fryer can handle, is 2,790 degrees Fahrenheit.
When choosing a stainless-steel container for your air fryer, there are a few things to consider. To begin with, confirm that the entire container — not just the surface — is made of stainless steel. Second, be sure that no portion of the lid, including the handle, is made of plastic – if it is, don’t use it in an air fryer.