Air fryers are known to cook crisp and delicious food. However, before hitting the power button, you should figure out what kind of pans to use in an air fryer.
The reason is that some items are air fryer safe and others aren’t. Therefore, it is important for you to know what kitchen items and appliances you can use with an air fryer without risking the process.
You can use any kind of oven-proof pan in an air fryer. Before purchasing a pan or using it, make sure that it has a “Safe for air frying” or “Oven safe” label on it. Ceramic, silicone, metal, and tempered glass are completely safe for use in air fryers.
That said, let’s take the discussion further and see what types of pans you should avoid and whether a pan is even necessary for air frying.
Types of pans that are safe to use in an air fryer
When it comes to using metal pans, you have unlimited options. The most common metals for bakeware tend to be stainless steel and aluminum, but metals such as cast iron and copper will also work.
The difference in the types is based on how well the metals conduct heat. For instance, aluminum is known to warp at very high temperatures, while stainless steel can withstand extremely high temperatures without warping. However, aluminum is air fryer safe!
If you plan on making or reheating a pizza in your air fryer, you can do that by using a pizza stone. The good news is that pizza stones are completely safe for air fryers. However, the only problem is finding a pizza stone that is small enough to fit inside the air fryer.
When compared to stone and cast iron, ceramic tends to absorb heat exceptionally well. This is why Dutch ovens and casserole dishes cook food much more quickly. But make sure that you do not bash the dish against the food basket’s walls to protect and keep the outer coating intact.
Tempered glass works great under high temperatures. If you want to use a glass baking dish in your air fryer, you should look for the “tempered” label. Tempered glass is a special type of glass that has been treated in a way that it won’t break into a million pieces when exposed to high temperatures.
Silicone happens to be perfectly safe for your air fryer. In fact, you can also opt for silicone liners and baking molds.
However, silicone tends to have a very low heat conductivity. This means that the food will take a bit longer to cook as the heat transfer process is slow. But that should not be a problem if you are using silicone molds for muffins and cupcakes.
Types of pans that are unsafe for air fryers
Paper cupcake molds
Although paper cupcake molds tend to be safe for use in the oven, you should avoid them when it comes to air fryers. Technically, using baked paper cupcake liners for baking in an air fryer is safe, but if there is a short distance from the heating coil, it is possible that the cupcake paper liners can catch fire.
Even though it is a no-brainer, surprisingly, you would often come across melted plastic as it is not safe for both ovens and air fryers. Plastic is not made to withstand extremely high temperatures. Therefore, it should be avoided at all costs.
If you didn’t know already, the inside of your air fryer’s food basket or grill is coated with Teflon. However, using Teflon in air fryers is not suggested as it can make the food inside toxic when exposed to extreme heat.
Is a pan necessary for cooking in an air fryer?
Typically, air fryers consist of three parts, the food basket, the motor base, and the food pan. Honestly, these are all the items you are going to need to cook food in an air fryer.
However, you will need to use a pan for food items that may spill all over the place. But in other cases, you can directly place the food items in the air fryer without using a pan.
Also, it is always better to go for parchment paper in case you’re worried about greasy foods and cleaning!
In the end, you should not be worried about using metal pans in your air fryer provided they are termed and tested safe. Just make sure that you avoid plastics, paper molds, etc., to avoid catching fire. And if you are still not sure, go through the user manual to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.