Air fryers are extremely useful and fun to use. As the owner of one of these convenient cooking appliances, you certainly want to get as much use out of it as you can. You want to create delicious meals quickly and easily. But you also want to do it safely. Putting wax paper in your air fryer is not recommended!
The issue arises when we start to want to do things a little better than we can with just the simple, stock air fryer as it comes off the shelf. People run into trouble when the things they cook in their fryers make a tough mess inside that is difficult to clean out. Experienced chefs also realize that they could turn out better meals with their cooking appliances if they were to insert some kind of material in there.
Aluminum foil is a great example, as is parchment paper. These let you enjoy all kinds of advantages in an air fryer. But then people also want to use wax paper, which is dangerous. Here, we’re going to talk about why you shouldn’t use wax paper and the alternatives.
What is Wax Paper?
According to the USDA, “Wax paper is triple waxed tissue paper made with a food safe paraffin wax forced into the paper and spread over it as a coating. It is not to be used as a lining for cookie sheets because wax paper cannot withstand the heat and will smoke and burn.”
The food safe paraffin wax with which the tissue paper is covered will melt and expose the delicate tissue within. The tissue paper will then smoke and burn. In the best case scenario, this will only ruin the food and make it inedible or unpleasant to eat. It may also start a fire that could damage your air fryer or worse.
As air fryers have become increasingly popular, and home cooks are looking for more ways to use them, the use of wax paper in these devices has proven disastrous in many unfortunate instances.
Wax paper is similar to parchment paper in many ways. But parchment is sealed in silicone, not paraffin. Paraffin wax melts far more readily than the silicone parchment is covered in, and is not able to withstand the temperatures produced by an air fryer.
- Viable uses for wax paper include:
- Lining cabinets
- Polishing faucets
- Cleaning can openers
- Sealing wooden utensils
- Forming a funnel
- Guarding against microwave spatter
- Corking a wine bottle
- Lubricating a stuck zipper or curtain rail
- Starting a fire
Safety and Usage of Wax Paper in Air Fryers
The issue likely arises from a misunderstanding about the apparent similarity between parchment paper and wax paper. As far as their looks and the way they feel, they really are quite similar. It may also be easy for an inexperienced chef to mistake one for the other. Someone who has used parchment paper successfully may accidentally use wax paper instead and encounter trouble.
If you have wax paper and parchment paper in your home and have used the parchment for cooking in an air fryer, there is a risk for accidents like this to happen. If that’s the case in your home, make sure the two materials are labeled properly and clearly. Also, make sure anyone who might use these materials for cooking knows the difference between the two and especially since the wax paper is not suitable for use in an air fryer.
The one viable use wax paper may have with an air fryer is cleaning. It is a relatively soft scouring material that is easy on painted and treated surfaces and will not scratch them. The paraffin wax may also flake off and form a lubricating coating that will not cause harm in the absence of the paper that is inside the wax paper.
Remember, wax paper and air fryer cooking do not mix.
If you do cook with wax paper you can expect to:
- Ruin your food
- Damage your air fryer
- Possibly start a fire
You’ll have to forgive us for beleaguering the point. But many people have made this mistake and paid for it, some dearly.
Alternatives to Wax Paper
If you had your heart set on using wax paper in your air fryer, all is not lost. There are viable alternatives, namely parchment paper and aluminum foil. Both materials can be used safely and effectively for many cooking and baking applications, even air fryer cooking.
Using Aluminum Foil With Your Air Fryer
To use aluminum foil, curl down the edges of a sheet of foil until it matches the shape of the inside of the air fryer basket. Place the shaped foil into the basket. Make sure it is not touching the bottom of the fryer but that it remains in the basket. You can poke holes in the foil if you wish. Do not allow the foil to touch the cooling fan or make contact with the heating element of your fryer.
Using Parchment paper With Your Air fryer
Parchment paper will need to be cut to conform to the shape of the basket. You will need to perforate the paper to make the holes needed. This can be done by setting the parchment on a cutting board and using a razor to cut clean triangles, or you can simply poke the paper to make the holes. Again, make sure the parchment does not make contact with the ventilation fan or the heating element.
Both parchment paper and aluminum foil are excellent materials to protect your air fryer from the mess, make cleanup easier, and produce better meals. Both are safe and effective alternatives to wax paper. Once again, please, do not use wax paper in your air fryer. It will ruin your food. It may damage your appliance, and it can be dangerous.