Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer? Today we take a look at the do’s and don’ts when it comes to using parchment paper in this handy appliance. We’ll look at how to use it, when to use it, and how to make your own parchment paper sheets for the baskets.
Can You Put Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer?
This is one of the most controversial questions when it comes to using an air fryer: Can I put parchment paper in an air fryer?
The short answer is yes. But there is more to this than you may have thought.
Parchment paper is a relatively stiff sheet of very thin paper. It is made from cellulose fibers from plants. Usually, cotton or flax fibers are used because of their availability and cost-effectiveness.
This paper also goes by other names including baking paper or bakery paper. This material has been specifically designed for baking purposes, aka. to withstand immense temperatures and direct heat.
Simultaneously, its main purpose is to act as a non-stick barrier between the cooking surface and food. This will help prevent the food from sticking to the baking dish, roasting pan, or in this case, air-frying basket while the food cooks at high temperatures.
Parchment paper can withstand temperatures up to 428ºF (220ºC). This is usually the highest you will roast or air-fry food at.
So, what happens if the temperature exceeds this range? Well, don’t worry too much about it. The parchment paper won’t suddenly set alight!
It will, however, start to crisp up immensely and lose its natural non-stick qualities.
Using Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer – When Is It Not Okay?
As I’ve mentioned, parchment paper can easily withstand baking, roasting, and air-frying temperatures up to 428ºF (220ºC).
If the temperature exceeds this, the food will start sticking to the paper. The paper will also start to dry out and crisp up. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is that it will start to scorch.
Again, it’s highly unlikely that the paper will catch alight, but it’s better not to test that.
So, if you need to grill, broil, or char foods in your air-fryer, don’t use parchment paper. All of these cooking methods use temperatures far above 428ºF (220ºC).
Benefits Of Using Parchment Paper In Your Air Fryer
Believe it or not, but there are actually many benefits to using this paper inside an air fryer.
The first reason is quite obvious. The parchment paper acts as a non-stick barrier between the metal chamber and the food.
This is sometimes needed if you are making saucy or basted foods (like this Air Fryer Honey Balsamic Chicken Breast Recipe) or if you are cooking at higher temperatures.
Protects Your Appliance
Another important, yet underrated reason, is that it helps protect the non-stick coating that is already on your air-frying basket.
Think of it this way: the more food sticks, the more you need to scrub. Scrubbing a non-stick coating weakens and chips it away, eventually making it useless.
So, using parchment paper in your basket from the get-go will help ensure your (expensive) appliance has a long shelf life. I use parchment paper on my air fryer Homer Simpson donut.
Makes The Mess Easy To Clean
The sheet of parchment paper will help catch juices from meaty or basted food items. It will also help catch crumbs and seasonings from dishes like these Crispy Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan Slices or air-fried lemony falafel recipe.
When you are finished baking, roasting, or frying your items, you can simply toss the dirty sheet of baking paper.
Alternatively, depending on how dirty it is, you can reuse it. Just give it a wipe with a hot damp cloth to remove any oil and stains.
How To Use Parchment Paper In Air Fryer
It is really easy! You can simply cut out a piece of parchment paper that fits perfectly inside your air-frying basket.
I highly recommend adding some holes in the sheet to help the hot air circulate. After all, that’s kind of the entire point of using an air-fryer and not a deep-frying or using the oven.
If you are cooking items that are a little bit saucy or messy, you can cut the sheet a little bigger so it folds up the sides and catches all the drippings.
The easiest way to measure out the exact size of your basket is to place it directly on a large sheet of parchment paper. Then, trace the outside and cut it out.
Where Can You Buy Parchment Paper?
You can use any type and brand of baking or parchment paper you can find. If you use your air-fryer regularly, you can pre-cut sheets that fit through your basket.
However, you can actually buy pre-cut sheets in many appliance shops or online (like on Amazon). While this obviously will cost you extra money, you can buy about 200 pieces for less than $10. And it’s definitely very convenient.
No, you cannot! Wax paper is not the same as parchment paper and is not resistant to heat. While it is non-stick, it’s meant to function as a wrapping to keep foods, like sandwiches, fresh. If you use wax paper in an air fryer, it will melt and burn.
You definitely can! An air fryer does not function like a microwave and won’t cause the foil to spark and create a flame. You can use foil to line the air-frying basket. The same way you would use it inside an oven. And it’s arguably more reusable than parchment paper.
You can use aluminum foil, oven-safe silicone mats or sheets, and silicone air-frying baskets. These will all function like parchment paper, and some can even do a better job!