With air fryers increasing in popularity over standard kitchen appliances in the last few years, it is clear that they are a staple item that will be around for a while. They allow you to fry food with much less oil, and do so in a fraction of the time of a convection oven. With all of these perks comes one nuisance: That is, cleaning out the air fryer basket when you are done. One item that makes this task easier is parchment paper.
You can use parchment paper in your air fryer to make cleanup easier. It is recommended to use perforated parchment paper to allow the air to flow freely and evenly to cook your food. Only place parchment paper in the air fryer basket with food to weigh it down to reduce the risk of burning it.
Air fryers are an efficient way to cook however, cleaning grease and crumbs out of the basket can be tedious and time-consuming. Parchment paper can help alleviate this and there are some best practices to keep in mind when using it.
Can You Buy Parchment Paper Designed for Your Air Fryer?
When using parchment paper in an air fryer, it is best to use perforated parchment so that the air can circulate evenly without the buildup of steam that could inhibit your food from being as crispy as you would like. Air fryer baskets typically come in one of two shapes: round or square. Luckily, there are parchment paper options designed specifically for air fryers with baskets of either shape.
These square air fryer parchment paper liners are compatible with large to extra-large air fryer baskets. These wax-free liners are waterproof and heat resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Made from 100% food-grade pulp, this non-stick parchment will uphold the appearance and taste of your food without compromising your food or fryer in any way.
This circular air fryer parchment paper is available in a variety of sizes. These liners are waterproof and heat resistant up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit. They are non-toxic, non-waxed, eco-friendly liners that offer the quality of food-grade silicone paper.
It is important to remember that even with parchment paper designed specifically for air fryers, these liners should never be placed in an air fryer when pre-heating without food to weigh it down. Placing parchment paper in an air fryer without food can cause it to fly around and hit the heating element which poses a potential fire and burn hazard.
How to Use Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer
While it seems relatively straightforward, there are a few tips to keep in mind when using parchment paper in an air fryer.
Ensure the parchment paper you have selected has a heat resistance that matches or exceeds the maximum temperature of your air fryer to avoid the risk of it igniting or burning when in use.
The Right Fit
To minimize the risk of a fire and to ensure even cooking of your food, the parchment paper liner should fit the bottom of the air fryer basket well. You can either buy pre-cut, perforated parchment paper liners for your air fryer or you can measure and cut your own parchment paper from rolled sheets. Either way, there should not be an excess of parchment paper sitting in your air fryer basket for the best and safest use.
When to Put Parchment Paper into the Air Fryer
Never place parchment paper into the air fryer while it is pre-heating as it could fly around, hit the heating element, and burn. It is best to wait until your air fryer is heated, placing it onto the bottom of your air fryer basket when you are ready to add food that can keep it weighted down.
The Pros of Using Parchment Paper in Your Air Fryer
There are a plethora of positive aspects when it comes to using parchment paper in your air fryer.
1. Clean up is much easier!
Fats and crumbs from food can quickly become caked onto wire racks and other surfaces at the bottom of your airy fryer basket. Parchment paper creates a non-stick surface saving you the time and effort it would otherwise take to scrub the basket clean.
2. Parchment paper prolongs the life of your air fryer basket.
With less scrubbing and abrasion to your air fryer basket, the use of parchment paper can prolong its life. Even air fryer baskets that come with a non-stick basket gradually lose their coating over time from cleaning and parchment paper can help prevent this.
3. Parchment paper is food safe.
Parchment paper is food safe and will not transfer any harmful substances to your food.
4. Parchment paper has high heat resistance.
Most parchment paper has a high heat resistance of 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit which is compatible with the highest heat settings on most air fryers however, always be sure to check the heat grading of your parchment paper before use.
5. Delicate foods are more easily cooked on parchment paper.
Delicate foods like fish that can easily break apart are easier to keep intact on parchment paper as you will not have to handle it excessively to remove it from the air fryer basket that it could otherwise stick to.
6. Parchment paper is affordable
Parchment paper is affordable! You can buy pre-cut, perforated sheets that come in quantities of 100 at a really low price point on Amazon. The benefits to your food and air fryer of using parchment paper also make it worthwhile.
Are There Any Cons to Using Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer?
There are not many cons to using parchment paper in an air fryer. They are typically designed to be one-time use only however, most parchment paper is compostable and biodegradable. While parchment paper makes cleaning up significantly easier, it is still a good idea to wipe down and gently wash the racks of your airy fryer of any food particles that may have slipped through the perforations.
Parchment paper can be a fire hazard if used improperly, oversized for the basket, or placed into the air fryer without any food to weigh it down however, this risk is easily reduced by following the aforementioned steps.
Do I Need to Use an Air Fryer Liner?
You do not need to use an air fryer liner when cooking food in your air fryer. Using liners, typically made of parchment paper, is a great way to prevent food from sticking to the bottom of the basket and make clean up much easier but air fryers can be used without them.
Can You Use Regular Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer?
You can use regular sheet parchment paper in an air fryer as it is made of the same materials as the pre-cut perforated options.
Can You Make Your Own Parchment Paper for an Air Fryer?
If you do not have pre-cut and perforated parchment paper, you can make your own with regular rolled, sheet parchment paper. You just need to measure the size of the base inside of the air fryer basket (some have removable bases that can be traced with a lead-free pencil) and cut a piece that fits while being careful not to leave an excess of parchment paper that could burn when in use. You can add perforations to your parchment paper with a hole puncher or scissors.
Does Air Fryer Parchment Paper Need Holes?
Using perforated parchment paper in your air fryer is best when cooking foods that are intended to be crispy like fried chicken or fries. This is because the holes allow the air to circulate evenly, causing the food to also cook through evenly. Perforation prevents any steam from building up which could compromise the crispness of your food.
If you are preparing food that does not necessarily need to be crispy like bread items, it is acceptable to use parchment paper that does not have holes as long as the piece of parchment paper fits the basket well with no over-hang and leaves some of the holes of the air fryer basket exposed for better air circulation.
Alternative Liner Options to Use in an Air Fryer Instead of Parchment Paper
1. Reusable Air Fryer Liners
These Lotteli Kitchen Reusable Silicone Air Fryer Liners are available in round and square options in two different sizes each. They are made with food-grade silicone meaning they are BPA and plastic-free. These reusable liners are easily washed, stored, and are a fantastic option if you are concerned about throwing away parchment paper after each use. Reusable air fryer liners do not have a burn risk like parchment paper and distribute heat evenly when cooking to ensure a high-quality taste.
2. Aluminum Foil
You can use aluminum foil in an air fryer as it is heat resistant and behaves similarly to parchment paper. If you choose to use aluminum foil, be sure to place it in the base of the basket, weighted down with food to avoid it from flying up to the heating element, which could cause a fire.
Similar to parchment paper, it is ideal to perforate your foil or place it in a way that it is not covering all of the holes at the bottom of your air fryer so as not to compromise the even air circulation needed for your food to cook in an air fryer.
3. Metal Rack for Air Fryers
If your air fryer does not come with an air fryer rack, you can use an oven-safe metal rack for cooking. It is important to clean metal racks between each use as fat and crumbs from food can easily stick to metal racks and over time become very difficult to clean off and hazardous to continue cooking on.
4. Dehydrator Racks
You can use heat-resistant metal dehydrator racks in your air fryer however, these should be cleaned between each use as food particles and grease can stick to the rack and become increasingly difficult to clean off if left over time.
Air fryers are a phenomenal way to make healthy food quickly and efficiently. While cleanup can be the worst part, using liners like parchment paper make light work of it while also protecting the life span of your air fryer basket and maintaining the taste and texture of your food.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.