Can you put wax paper in an air fryer? Not to spoil the question from the get-go, but you can’t. The real and more important question is, why not?
In today’s guide, we will explore exactly what wax paper is and why it can never be used inside an air fryer. But don’t worry. I’ve included three of the best alternatives so you can still make an effortless and easy-to-clean dinner in no time at all.
Why Do You Want To Use Wax Paper In An Air Fryer?
There are a shocking amount of reasons people are looking for air fryer liners.
The main one is to help protect the non-stick coating on the air frying basket. This will ensure that the fryer has a longer shelf life and never loses its new look. Because let’s be honest, there are very few occasions that call for a vintage scratched-up look on your kitchen tools.
Another reason people may want to use wax paper in an air fryer is to create a non-stick layer between the basket and the food.
A layer of paper will also help make cleaning up a lot easier. If you’ve ever cooked something like seasoned veggies or roasted chicken pieces, you know that it takes quite a while to get the hardened burnt juices off the basket.
Now, while all of the reasons are very valid, that doesn’t mean just any piece of paper will do. Today, we will be focusing on exactly that!
What Is The Difference Between Parchment Paper And Wax Paper?
Now, you may have seen my article, Can You Put Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer? If you have not, definitely give it a read to see how you can use it (because you definitely can) and what you should avoid doing.
Parchment paper and wax paper are both commonly used in cooking and baking, but they have distinct differences in terms of composition and recommended usage.
Parchment Paper: Parchment paper is made from paper that is treated with a thin layer of silicone, which gives it non-stick properties. It is usually heat-resistant and can withstand high temperatures without burning or melting.
Wax Paper: Wax paper, on the other hand, is coated with a thin layer of wax, typically paraffin or soybean wax. The wax coating provides a non-stick surface and acts as a moisture barrier.
Parchment Paper: Parchment paper is heat-resistant and can withstand the heating element of air fryers up to around 420°F (215°C), and can be used for various baking and cooking purposes, such as oven baking and roasting.
Wax Paper: Wax paper, however, has a lower heat resistance and can melt or catch fire at high temperatures. It is not recommended for use in the oven or for direct contact with heat sources such as grills or broilers.
Parchment Paper: Parchment paper has excellent non-stick properties, and perfect for covering baking sheets and pans. It prevents food from sticking and simplifies the release of baked goods without the need for greasing or oiling.
Wax Paper: While wax paper also provides a non-stick surface, it only works at well in cold or room temperature applications. You can use it for wrapping food items such as sandwiches and cheese, or as a protective layer between layers of baked goods.
Parchment Paper: Parchment paper has good moisture resistance and can withstand some liquid or oil without becoming soggy. It is often used for cooking dishes with sauces or marinades.
Wax Paper: Wax paper has a higher moisture resistance due to its wax coating, making it suitable for wrapping moist or greasy food items. However, I do not recommend using wax paper with high-fat foods or acidic ingredients, as the wax can melt or transfer onto the food.
Can You Put Wax Paper In An Air Fryer?
I won’t beat around the bush with this question. Can you put wax paper in the air fryer?
No. There is no potential scenario where you will be able to use wax paper inside of an air-fryer safely. And it’s for the exact same reason you cannot even use it inside a microwave, dehydrator, oven, or toaster oven. Any appliance that uses heat.
It all comes down to the coating. Remember, the wax paper has a coating of either paraffin wax or soybean wax. These melt at relatively low temperatures. Once they melt, they run off of the paper and expose it completely. When the paper gets exposed to direct and intense heat, it will burn and can even catch alight!
Now, especially seeing how air fryers produce immense and almost instant heat, again, there is no scenario where you will be able to utilize this type of kitchen paper.
Uses of Wax Paper: How Should You Use Wax Paper?
Wax paper has really specific and somewhat limited functions. You’re only supposed to use it at either room temperature, fridge temperature, or even freezer temperatures.
The waxy layer is non-stick. So, if you layer dried pieces of fruit between sheets of wax paper, it will help prevent them from sticking to each other.
The layer of wax is also insulating, which will help prevent your wrapped-up item inside from drying out very quickly.
What Can You Use In An Air-Fryer Instead Of Wax Paper?
Now that we know you will never be able to use wax paper inside of an air-fryer, what are the alternatives?
Hands down, parchment paper is the best heat-resistant alternative you can use. And, as I’ve already mentioned in my parchment paper guide, it is completely safe to use in an air fryer – even at extreme temperatures.
If you’re new to cooking and don’t know what parchment paper looks like, just look at the paper lining baking trays in bakeshops. That’s what parchment paper looks like. You may also use baking sheets or baking paper if you already have them, as they are both heat resistant.
Parchment paper has silicone coating, making it heat-resistant up to 420⁰F (215.5⁰C). That’s why you will sometimes see the paper scorched if you use it at roasting or grilling temperatures. The silicone layer melts away and exposes the paper, which then begins to burn.
You can cut out sheets of parchment paper that fit perfectly in your air fryer basket. Alternatively, you can buy pre-cut sheets. They are a little more expensive but make the preparation and cleaning process easier.
Perforated Parchment Paper
Perforated parchment paper is a game-changer when it comes to air frying. This specialized paper has tiny holes that promote enhanced air circulation, resulting in perfectly crispy and evenly cooked food.
Unlike traditional parchment paper or wax paper, the perforated version allows hot air flow to circulate around the food, ensuring a delightful crunch.
Whatever it is you’re making, using perforated parchment paper inside an air fryer will help you with your favorite recipes with ease. Its non-stick surface also prevents food from sticking and makes cleanup a breeze.
So, if you own perforated parchment paper in your kitchen, go ahead and use it in your air fryer basket! And if you don’t, simply grab a hole puncher and punch holes in your cooking paper or parchment paper.
This is also a material that is completely safe to use inside an air fryer, just like it is inside an oven.
Aluminum foil sheets will not spark up and cause an explosion as they do in the microwave. Remember, the type of heat used for these appliances differs. Metal cannot go inside a microwave under any circumstances.
If you use foil in an air fryer, keep in mind that it may cause uneven cooking because it reflects heat. In a pinch, it still works great as a non-stick protective surface.
If you use your air fryer often, it may be worth investing in a silicone mold for your basket. There are many options out there, and you will definitely be able to find one that fits your basket perfectly.
These molds are reusable and much better for the environment than single-use sheets of parchment paper and foil.
Furthermore, one mold will save you a ton of money in the long run.
Why Should You Use Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer
- Non-Stick Surface: Parchment paper provides a non-stick surface that prevents food from sticking to the air fryer basket or tray. This makes it easier to remove food after cooking and simplifies the cleaning process.
- Crispy Texture: Parchment paper allows hot air to circulate around the food evenly, resulting in a crispy and golden texture. It helps to achieve that desirable crunch on foods like chicken wings, french fries, and even baked goods.
- Protection for the Air Fryer: Using parchment paper as a protective layer helps to prevent food residue from directly contacting the air fryer basket or tray. This can prolong the lifespan of the air fryer and reduce the need for extensive cleaning.
- Easy Cleanup: Parchment paper simplifies the cleaning process of the air fryer. After cooking, you can simply remove the parchment paper along with any food residue, leaving behind a clean and mess-free air fryer basket or tray. This saves time and effort in cleaning up.
- Versatility: You can use parchment paper for a wide range of ingredients and recipes in the air fryer. Moreover, you can use parchment paper to easily transfer food from the basket to the air fryer rack and wrap food.