Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer? This is a common question that many air fryer users ask, especially those who are new to using this cooking appliance. While an air fryer is a versatile and convenient tool for preparing a variety of foods, it’s important to know what you can and can’t put in it to avoid any potential hazards.
In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of whether or not it is safe to put plastic in an air fryer and explore the reasons why doing so can be dangerous for your health and your appliance.
We’ll also provide you with some safe alternatives to use instead of plastic containers in your air fryer.
Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer
Plastic containers are a convenient option for food storage and reheating in the microwave, but can you put plastic in an air fryer?
The answer is no. Plastic containers, such as tupperware or takeout containers, have a melting point around 240-260°F.
With air fryers typically heating foods between 350-400°F, plastic will undoubtedly melt and release toxic chemicals into your food. It’s not just the melting that poses a problem, as plastic will also soften at lower temperatures, leading to the release of harmful toxins like BPA. So, it’s best to avoid putting plastic in an air fryer altogether.
Risks associated with putting plastic in an air fryer
The plastic will melt in the air fryer
As mentioned before putting plastic in an air fryer can lead to disastrous consequences. The high temperatures used in air fryers will cause plastic to melt quickly, which can be a major safety hazard. For instance, Tupperware containers are typically made of polypropylene plastic, which has a melting point of around 260°F.
Since air fryers typically operate at temperatures between 350-400°F, it’s almost guaranteed that plastic placed in the air fryer will melt. In addition to ruining your food, melted plastic can also create a toxic mess that is difficult to clean up. Therefore, it’s important to never put plastic in an air fryer.
It can damage the air fryer
In addition to the health risks, putting plastic in an air fryer can also damage the device. The melted plastic can stick to the basket, heating element, or any other part of the air fryer, which can be difficult to clean and may permanently damage the device. This can result in costly repairs or even having to replace the air fryer altogether.
It’s important to always use cookware that is safe for use in an air fryer to avoid any potential hazards or damage to your kitchen appliances.
Plastic containers used for food storage and takeout are typically made of Polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (LPDE) (Source: PopScience.com), which contain harmful chemicals like BPA and Phthalates.
When heated, these toxins can leach into your food, increasing the risk of health problems such as cancer and asthma. It’s important to note that these toxins can peel off the plastic at much lower temperatures, than its melting point. Read more about this at WebMD
Therefore, it is vital to avoid using plastic containers in the air fryer or any other high-heat cooking method to prevent the release of these toxic compounds into your food.
But don’t worry, there are many alternatives you can use instead of plastic containers, like parchment paper, silicon pot, ceramic bowls, glass bowls, and metal bowls.
What can you put in an air fryer instead of plastic?
We have established that it’s important to avoid using plastic, as it can be harmful to your health and cause damage to the device. However, there are alternatives that you can use instead of plastic that are safe and effective.
One option is to use perforated parchment paper. Parchment paper has holes in it that allow for better air flow, which is crucial for even cooking in an air fryer. It is also heat-resistant and safe to use. It’s important to check the label to ensure that the parchment paper is 100% organic and safe to use at high temperatures.
Another option is to use a silicon pot. These are a more environmentally friendly option than parchment paper, as they can be used multiple times. They are heat-resistant and non-stick, making them a safe choice for air fryer users.
Ceramic bowls or plates can also be used in an air fryer, but it’s important to check if they are oven-safe. They can obstruct the air flow of the air fryer, which can affect the cooking process.
Glass bowls can also be used, but only oven-safe glass bowls should be used. Like ceramic bowls, they can obstruct the air flow of the air fryer, which can affect the cooking process.
Lastly, metal bowls can be used, but they are not the best heat conductors. Stainless steel or aluminum are the best choices for metal bowls. They are hard to put in and take out of a basket-style air fryer and can also have a negative effect on your cooking experience.
Using the aforementioned accessories, such as parchment paper, silicon pots, etc., can make your air fryer experience easier since the clean-up will be much less. The food won’t stick to the air fryer basket. This can prolong your air fryer’s life because the non-stick layer of your basket won’t peel off for a long time if you use bowls, pots, or parchment paper.
What containers can you put in an air fryer?
As mentioned before, you can put it in ceramic, metal, or glass containers. You can also use parchment paper and silicon pots. A good rule of thumb here is that you can put it in an oven or use it in an air fryer.
What happens if you put plastic in an air fryer?
The plastic will melt away and your food will mesh with toxic materials, so you should never put plastic containers in your air fryer. Even if the plastic doesn’t melt but just softens, it can still emit dangerous toxins like BPA or phthalates.
Is a microwavable plastic air fryer safe?
No, you can’t use microwaveable plastic containers in an air fryer, as all kinds of plastic containers should be avoided since their melting point is much lower than the air fryer’s heat output. Use the above-mentioned accessories instead of microwaveable plastic containers.
Are there any oven-safe plastics that could go into an air fryer?
There is a plastic container called CPET (Crystallized Polyethylene Terephthalate) that has a melting point of 400°F, as stated by the manufacturer. Although I wouldn’t use it in an oven, you can’t be sure if the toxic materials will peel off the container even if it doesn’t melt.
In conclusion, putting plastic in an air fryer is not safe and can lead to health risks as well as damage to your air fryer.
It is important to choose safe alternatives, such as perforated parchment paper, silicone pots, ceramic and oven-safe glass bowls, or stainless steel or aluminum bowls. By using these safe alternatives, you can enjoy healthy and delicious meals without worrying about toxic compounds in your food or damaging your air fryer.
Remember to always read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow proper cleaning and maintenance procedures to ensure the longevity of your air fryer.
With the right tools and techniques, you can enjoy the benefits of air-frying without compromising your health or the quality of your food.