Once you get your air fryer and start using it with any frequency, a few questions are highly likely to come up. “Can you put parchment paper in the air fryer?” is one of the first questions everyone asks. Yes. You can. Lining your air fryer basket with parchment paper will help with clean-up and food sticking, so let’s talk about how to use it in safely.
What is Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper is food-safe heavy white paper made from cellulose and a thin layer of silicone. It is designed to be non-stick and disposable. Parchment paper is often used in baking to help make clean-up easier. It is also used to wrap food for freezer storage.
The parchment paper keeps foods from sticking and is grease and heat resistant. When the food is served, the parchment paper can be thrown away so clean-up is a breeze. No crumbs stuck to your dishes anymore.
You can use a regular liner in the air fryer, and you can read about all the different air fryer liners here. But parchment paper is cheaper.
How to Use
To use parchment paper in an air fryer you should cut pieces to fit exactly under your food of choice and place it in the basket or tray of your air fryer.
Note: Do not put the parchment paper under the basket. Do not put parchment paper on top of your food as it will be blown up into the fan and heat coil in the top of the air fryer unit.
The parchment paper should be securely held down either by food or by an air fryer rack insert to avoid a risk of fire. If you do not want to cut parchment paper to fit or wrap your food en papillote, you can purchase air fryer parchment paper with holes in the bottom to allow airflow.
Cooking “en papillote”
“En papillote” is French for “in paper” and is a technique where foods are wrapped in parchment paper to trap the steam as the food is cooked. With this method, the food is steamed in it’s own liquids.
Since the food is wrapped, there is still plenty of room for air circulation when en papillote is placed in an air fryer. This is a great method to use in the air fryer, because the circulation of heated air around the packet of food will cook your en papillote more quickly while the parchment will trap the steam inside. It’s the best of both worlds.
Parchment Paper Vs. Waxed Paper
Besides “Can you put parchment paper in the air fryer?”, lots of people also ask “Can I put wax paper in air fryer?” and the answer is No.
This is because the waxed paper has been coated in paraffin wax. This wax will melt when heated and get on your food and in the base of your air fryer. Wax paper is not as heat resistant and is not supposed to be used in the oven or air fryer.
Parchment paper is treated with acid during production and then coated with an extremely thin layer of silicone designed to make it heat-resistant, food-safe, and non-stick.
Neither wax paper nor parchment paper can be recycled. Both will end up in a landfill where the wax paper will eventually decompose. Parchment paper is not considered biodegradable.
Parchment Paper Vs. Aluminum Foil
Another big question we hear often is “Can you put foil in an air fryer?” We’ve answered that question in great detail in the linked article, but you might like to know how the two compare.
Both aluminum foil and parchment have high heat resistance and work well in the air fryer. Both products are used similarly to prevent sticking and mess.
Parchment paper has a temperature rating between 420º and 450ºF. Aluminum foil has a temperature rating as high as 650ºF. Most of the time you will be using your air fryer at temperatures lower than either maximum so this is not a concern. However, if you want to purchase one product for multiple uses, aluminum foil can also be used on a grill at higher temps.
A quick check of the prices on Amazon shows that both products cost roughly five cents per square foot. Cost is not really a deciding factor.
Neither parchment paper nor aluminum foil is biodegradable. However, cleaned aluminum foil can be recycled.
Some cooks are concerned that aluminum foil might leach aluminum into food. The risks of aluminum leaching into food are unclear. If you are concerned about aluminum foil you should use parchment paper instead.
No. Waxed paper is coated with paraffin wax and cannot be used in an air fryer. Parchment paper is coated with silicone and can be used in an air fryer.
Parchment paper usually has a temperature rating between 420ºF and 450ºF. At higher temperatures it will start to brown.
The best choice is to use perforated parchment paper for air fryer. This product comes sized for air fryers with holes already cut into the parchment so that air circulation is not blocked.
If you are looking for perforated parchment paper for the air fryer you can find it on many online stores. I have not seen it in a physical store location yet.
Parchment paper, aluminum foil, and silicone baking containers can all be used to line air fryers as long as you follow safety guidelines to allow air flow and prevent fire.
Using parchment paper in the air fryer is smart and really saves on cleanup. The cost is pretty inexpensive, but you really should make sure that the paper is secured to avoid it blowing up into the heating coils. Either use an insert or make sure the food is heavy enough to keep it held down.
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