We are just as excited as you are about the new buzz going around air fryers and all their wonders but it is only dutiful of us to explain to you what you can and cannot do while using this new wonder kitchen gadget so that while you enjoy its sleekness, you can also take necessary precautions.
The question of using aluminum foil is one of the most frequently asked questions about air fryers. Foods that can be made in an air fryer vary from chicken, chips, and doughnuts to roasted vegetables, brownies, etc. It’s a useful appliance yes, so let’s get into the question of if aluminum foils can be used with air fryers.
Can I Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?
Aluminum foil, also called tin foil is a material that has been in use in kitchens to cover, wrap, store and transport foods. It is made from aluminum and usually comes in large wraps of paper-like packaging. It can easily be cut out by gentle tearing to fit desired sizes and is used to wrap foods such as cakes, pies, barbecues and so on.
Aluminum foils in themselves are harmless and really useful in the kitchen but the question of whether to use them in air fryers is entirely another ball game. The real question is whether to use them in cooking at all.
The simple answer to this question is YES, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer, but no, you cannot just put it without being aware of some things.
Aluminum Foil and Cooking, Explained
The principle the air fryer uses is the convection principle where warm air upwards and cold air go downwards in a closed system. Its size is just countertop and it is one of those new inventions by Philips that comes in handy for restaurants and food freaks while making our lives way more delicious than they have ever been.
Our bodies make use of aluminum from time to time. In fact, aluminum is one of the trace elements that the body needs to function properly. However, just as it is described, the body needs aluminum in “trace”, i.e. “little” quantities at a time. Many foods that we consume already contain aluminum, and although a healthy body will only make use of some of the ingested aluminum and then pass out the rest as feces, the little that goes into the body plays a significant role in making our bodies work.
When there is aluminum overdose in the body, there is an increased risk of exposure to some health hazards which we will discuss as we go on. The pots and pans that we use in cooking also add up their own contribution of aluminum to the foods that we eat, making us have a high amount of it going into our bodies every time.
It would then be rather unwise to yet shoot up the aluminum dosage in our meals when we already have a dosage high enough to make us want to reduce it already. The buildup of excess aluminum in our bodies may not be obvious because it takes a long time to accumulate to the point where it can be an underlying cause of a serious disease.
You can make use of aluminum foil when cooking with your air fryer or with any other thing, but it is highly advisable not to.
If you must, make sure that you keep the frequency minimal and keep the following precautions in mind.
Does Aluminum Foil Make Cooking in an Air Fryer Faster?
Aluminum is mostly an insulator and not a conductor, which is why it is better in wrapping up goods than in cooking them. It is commonplace for restaurants to use aluminum foil while baking or using the microwave mainly because the foils are believed to make cooking faster.
There is no doubt that aluminum pots and pans reduce cooking time. But as for the foil, the trap is more with how people want the food to taste rather than how fast they want it to cook. The speed of cooking may be increased in some foods, but there are no substantial proofs there. Fishes like salmon, for example, give the barbecue taste when they are heated with aluminum foil than when they are not.
Precautionary Steps in Putting Aluminum Foil in Air Fryer
- Whatever you do in the course of your usage of the air fryer, make sure that you do not cover the basket of the fryer nor should you put the aluminum foil in the pan’s bottom. If you do not take note of this, the convection method of circulating heat in the air fryer will be impeded and you will eventually not get a well-made product at the end of your cooking.
- Never put aluminum foil in an air fryer without putting food on it, because if you do, you risk the air fryer thinking that the aluminum foil is the food. It will then heat up the foil and may cause a fire to break out in the fryer. That sort of thing is better prevented than cured because you may lose your air fryer as well as other things if you don’t take this precaution.
- When placing aluminum or tin foil in your air fryer, make sure to not allow the foil stick out of the basket edge. This follows the principle in the first and second precautions above, to make sure that the foil does not catch fire, and to make sure that it does not inhibit the convection process
- Never use aluminum foil to wrap up acidic foods in the air fryer. Acidic foods such as vinegar dishes, tomatoes or tomato dishes, fruits like pineapple and oranges are not exactly great candidates of aluminum foil type heating. They react with the foil very fast and you will be consuming a large amount of aluminum which is really bad for your health.
- If you will be making use of aluminum foil to wrap any food that will be air fried, make sure to seal up the food well before you carefully place it in the air fryer.
- You can use aluminum foil to wrap foods after they have cooled down. There has not been any study flagging this use of aluminum foil as dangerous because the leaching of aluminum into foods only occurs when the food is hot.
We admonish you not to use aluminum foil while heating up foods, and especially not while air frying foods but if you must, if you really must, then follow the precautions that we have listed above.
Why You Should not Use Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer
The aluminum foil is just less than 0.2mm thick, but when allowed to heat up with our foods, it can be really dangerous for health.
Generally, two kinds of diseases have been associated with overconsumption of aluminum in humans.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): The IBD is a wide term used to describe diseases caused by chronic inflammation in the digestive system. Although its cause has not yet been established, it has been found to be associated with an overdose of the aluminum element. Its symptoms include severe pains in the abdomen, fatigue, fever, weight loss, and severe diarrhea. The two main diseases that are considered BID are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: This largely involves loss of a person’s brain cells leading to severe memory loss and reduced activity of the brain. It is not proven that the overconsumption of aluminum is the cause of this disease, but patients suffering from Alzheimer’s are diagnosed with increased levels of aluminum in their bodies.
One other disease associated with an excess of aluminum in the diet is osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is aggravated when aluminum competes with calcium in the bones. The calcium that ought to be deposited in the bones for normal bone development is forced to stay in the blood because of the aluminum competition and as such calcium accumulated in the blood, leading to serious health problems that may be fatal.
Considering all of these, it is mostly better to avoid the use of aluminum foil in heating foods.
Non-dangerous Use of Aluminium Foil in Cooking
Aluminum foil is very useful in packaging and transporting foods especially baked and grilled foods.
Aluminum foil is not dangerous when it is used to package cooled foods and non-acidic foods. It is also less dangerous when the cooking in which aluminum foil is being used does not involve a high level of heat.
Other than those, some precautions will have to be taken.
Enjoy Your Air Fryer without Risks
On a final note, it will be really great for you to get an air fryer, and if you already have one, you’re spot on. Enjoy your wonder kitchen appliance without increasing health risks to yourself. Do without the aluminum foil while air frying and every one of your family and friends will be able to enjoy your cooking without risking their brain cells.