The Best Way To Prevent Fish From Sticking To Your Air Fryer

Air fryers might not have the time-tested notoriety of other kitchen appliances, but they have managed to build a passionate fan base since their debut in 2010 (via The New York Times). The Air Fryers Tips and Recipes Facebook group currently has more than 1.5 million members, and the social media app TikTok is full of viral recipes made by air fryer-devoted accounts.

Air fryers are fast, versatile, and easy to use for the most part, but even these convenient cookers can run into some snags with certain foods. One of these food is likely fish. They are notorious for breaking apart into little bits or getting stuck on your cooking surface any way they're prepared and making fish in the air fryer is no different. Even though most have a nonstick cooking surface, clingy foods like fish hav been known to get stuck.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using a non-stick cooking spray like Pam to coat your cooking surface before putting your fish inside the basket. It might work great the first time, but cooking sprays tend to damage these surfaces over time, per Real Simple. Kitchen Snitches notes that some of the chemicals in these sprays leave a residue that will build up and cover the non-stick surface. Luckily, there is a better way.

Use parchment paper to keep fish from sticking to your air fryer

According to Delish, the best way to keep fish from sticking to your air fryer is to use parchment paper. The key is to make sure that it is an air fryer-safe version of the classic baking tool. Air fryers are basically big convection ovens (via Spruce Eats), which means that they work by circulating the warm air throughout the cooking chamber. If you lay down a piece of plain old parchment paper, it's likely that the air won't be able to properly circulate and cook your food.

One option is to go online and buy air fryer safe parchment paper. It's relatively cheap to grab a pack of them on Amazon. But because they're basically just parchment paper sheets that are cut to the size of an air fryer basket with holes for the warm air to pass through, it is more than possible to make your own, and it will be well worth the hours saved cleaning off charred fish.

Delish advises to imply poke a series of holes into parchment paper cut in the dimensions of your air fryer, and voila! Now, whether it's salmon, catfish, or tuna steaks, you're ready to air fry any fish without dreading the extra clean up.