Air Fryer Ceramic vs Stainless Steel – Debunking the Myths


Last Updated: July 5th, 2023

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Air Fryer Ceramic vs Stainless Steel – As air fryers are becoming more and more popular, manufacturers come up with all kinds of innovation, including the material they are made of. Let’s see how does ceramic coated air fryers vs stainless steel air fryers compare to one another.

Or can we even compare these 2 types of air fryers? What are the differences between them?

As you’ll learn we are talking about a totally different feature of the air fryer when we are referring to stainless steel or ceramic coated air fryers. And this is really important if you are comparing air fryers based on the materials.

So again, let’s debunk a few myths in this article.

Air Fryer Ceramic vs Stainless Steel_featured

What Is A Ceramic Coated Air Fryer

Ceramic coated air fryers have gained popularity in recent years, but they may not necessarily have a ceramic basket as the name might suggest. They actually have a metal base with a small layer of silicon on top that gives them their outstanding non-stick properties. The name was derived from the fact that this silicon layer is composed of sand, much like ceramics.

It’s important to note that air fryers with ceramic coatings have a lot in common with their Teflon-coated nonstick equivalents. They do have the advantage of not containing PFOA and PTFE, which some manufacturers promote as a healthier alternative. Nevertheless, since Teflon coatings no longer contain PFOA and PTFE has FDA approval, this is actually just seen as a marketing gimmick.

Compared to conventional Teflon, ceramic coatings can resist higher temperatures. Teflon can only survive temperatures of 500 degrees, but ceramic-coated materials can withstand temperatures of up to 800 degrees. Although most air fryers won’t operate over 500 degrees, this might not be a big deal, but it’s still important to keep in mind because overheating can cause food to burn quickly.

Because ceramic coated materials are a relatively new technology, it’s vital to remember that some unethical manufacturers may attempt to skirt laws. Teflon, in comparison, has been in use for a long time but is currently subject to very tight FDA rules because of worries about its toxicity.

If you’re interested in buying an air fryer with ceramic coating, check out our full buying guide.

Benefits Of Ceramic Coated Air Fryers

Air fryers with ceramic coating have grown more and more well-liked in recent years, and for good reason.

These air fryers have a greater smoking point than conventional non-stick options. This translates to a larger temperature tolerance of up to 800 degrees, giving you more freedom to prepare a wider variety of meals. Teflon and other conventional non-stick coatings, on the other hand, are limited to temperatures of 500 degrees.

Although I’ll be honest with you, I never use the air fryer above 390 degrees. Its just too powerful and could easily burn my food. So for the high smoking point isn’t a great advantage. Also 99% of air fryers won’t go above 500 degrees.

The non-stick surface of ceramic-coated air fryers is another important benefit. Ceramic coatings offer a non-stick surface that is smooth and easy to clean after cooking, similar to Teflon. This helps keep your air fryer looking beautiful for longer while also saving you time and work.

Further to these advantages, ceramic-coated air fryers are PTFE-free. I think this is the main selling point for these types of air fryers. The chemical PTFE, which was once employed in non-stick coatings, has recently become the focus of significant debate. Although the FDA has approved PTFE for use in cooking items, many individuals still choose to stay away from it out of fear for its possible negative effects on their health. You may take advantage of the ease of a non-stick surface with an air fryer that has a ceramic coating without having to worry about PTFE.

All things considered, ceramic coated air fryers are a fantastic option for anyone who wishes to experience the advantages of non-stick cooking without the potential health dangers linked to regular non-stick coatings. They outperform their Teflon equivalents in terms of durability, are simpler to clean, and can withstand higher temperatures. A ceramic coated air fryer can be exactly what you need if you’re looking for an air fryer that offers great cooking results and peace of mind.

What Is A Stainless Steel Air Fryer

So this is where there is a lot of miscommunication with people who are looking to buy stainless steel air fryers.

It is important to understand that 99% of air fryers that are marketed as “stainless steel” refer to the body of the air fryer and not the inside of the basket.

You can check out our article on the best stainless steel air fryers, where you can see that it refers to the body of the air fryer. This is important too because these air fryers are more durable than their plastic counterparts.

To be honest, I have only found one air fryer (out of thousands) that has a stainless steel basket, and even that air fryer isn’t available anymore.

If you are insisting on air frying on stainless steel material, I think your best bet would be to use an air fryer oven. Many air fryer ovens come with a stainless steel baskets, and racks like this Cosori air fryer with several racks.

Air Fryer Ceramic vs Stainless Steel_air fryer oven

It is no secret why you won’t really find air fryers with stainless steel baskets. If you own a steel frying pan, you’ll know. Stainless steel is not non-stick, for sure. Most of the recipes for air fryers can be quite sticky (like chicken wings or veal cutlets, to name a few examples), so it doesn’t really make sense to make the basket from stainless steel.

Air Fryer Ceramic vs Stainless Steel

As you can see, it is very hard to compare ceramic air fryers with stainless steel air fryers. Since ceramic air fryers mean that the basket of the air fryer has a ceramic coat and stainless steel air fryers mostly refer to the body of the air fryer, it is like comparing apples and oranges.

This means, for example, that a stainless steel air fryer can have a ceramic-coated basket.

If you ask me, I would go with traditional non-stick Teflon coatings because they have been around for decades and the FDA is very strict now with their production (unlike with ceramic coated ones).

Also, if you keep in mind a few precautionary steps while cooking, you’ll be fine:

  • Do not use metal utensils that scratch the surface.
  • If you wash it by hand, use a soft sponge and wash it gently.
  • It is advisable to use parchment paper or a silicon pot.


So the myths of air fryer ceramic vs stainles steel has been debunked. As we learned by comparing ceramic-coated air fryers with stainless steel air fryers, these are features that we cannot compare to one another. Ceramic-coated air fryers refer to the material of the basket of the air fryer. They are a great new innovation, but to be honest, they don’t bring much to the table compared to non-stick Teflon baskets. Maybe just the ease of mind that it doesn’t contain any PFOA.

On the other hand, stainless steel air fryers refer to the body of the air fryer being made of stainless steel. As pointed out, there isn’t really a stainless steel basket air fryer (or I just haven’t seen one), and it also wouldn’t be a great choice as stainless steel can be very sticky and burdensome to clean.

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Thomas S.

Hey there! I've been cooking for myself and loved ones since the age of 18. In our busy world I've always looked for ways to be more time efficient when it comes to preparing food but also creating tasty and healthy dishes. That's when I came accross air fryers a few years ago and eversince I am trying to spread the word of the benefits of these wonderful machines.