Is It Safe To Put Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer?

Whether it's for something sweet or savory, you can use an air fryer to cook, reheat, or crisp up many different foods. The kitchen appliance is relatively easy and straightforward to operate, which is why it's popular among cooking pros and amateurs alike, but there are definitely mistakes to avoid and best practices for an optimal experience.

So you might be wondering: Is it OK to place parchment paper into an air fryer? Is it safe, or a hazardous step you should be skipping?

The short answer is yes, but with some caveats. While parchment paper can make clean-up after using the air fryer quick and effortless, it's not recommended for regular use because it could potentially block 99% of airflow, Consumer Reports' test engineer Larry Ciufo explains. Good circulation is necessary for the internal heat inside the air fryer to properly cook food.

To help with airflow, consider using parchment paper with holes in it. You can create these holes yourself or purchase perforated parchment paper specifically designed for air fryers. Having holes also adds another benefit: allowing the grease to drain away, thus lending a crispy exterior to the food in the mesh basket (via Insider).

How to safely use parchment paper in an air fryer

In addition to making sure you don't block airflow, there are other things to consider when using parchment paper in an air fryer, such as keeping the paper secure. If there is nothing, like food, holding the parchment down, it could potentially get in contact with the heating components, due to the high-velocity fans inside the appliance, and catch on fire. To avoid this, preheat the air fryer without any parchment paper inside and later, when cooking or heating up something, make sure the food is heavy enough to keep the paper down (via Insider).

Another thing you should look out for is the temperature. According to Cook's Illustrated, parchment paper is temperature-sensitive and can withstand heat up to 450 degrees. Most air fryers go up to 400 or 390 degrees maximum, but if you happen to have one that goes to higher temperatures, be mindful of not using parchment unless you have it set under 450 degrees. Otherwise, the paper could turn brittle and become a fire hazard.

Additionally, be sure to use parchment paper, not wax paper. The two liners may look similar, but they differ when it comes to function. Since wax paper is coated, it isn't appropriate for the air fryer since the wax would melt.

If you keep all of these tips in mind, you can use parchment paper for your air fryer in a clean and safe way.