Can You Put Metal In An Air Fryer? (metal pans, cake tins etc.)

The short answer is yes, you can put metal in an air fryer, but there are some limitations. Air fryers are one of the newest kitchen appliances and in our opinion, one of the best.

Air fryers often look slightly like microwave ovens (especially the toaster oven type air fryers) which is probably where the question about using metal pots etc originated.

Before we get into which metals are safe to use in an air fryer, we need to get a basic understanding of how an air fryer works.

How Does An Air Fryer Work?

Air fryers are basically convection ovens. They rely on electrical elements to heat the air which is then forced around the air fryer using a powerful fan.

The hot air passes over the food at all different angles to crisp the outside and seal all of the juices inside the food.

Air fryers rely on hot air to cook the food which is why air fryer baskets are perforated to allow that hot air to circulate around the food as it cooks.

What Metals Can Go In An Air Fryer?

Most air fryer owners had a conventional oven before getting an air fryer. Which means most air fryer owners already have a bunch of oven trays and other cookware.

The good news is, the majority of your existing metal cookware can be used in an air fryer.

Oven Safe

You will need to check the instruction label that came with the metal pan. Either on the packaging or on the base of the actual pan, there should be the words “Oven Safe”.

This means the pan is suitable for use in a conventional oven and can be used in temperatures up to 260 C (500 F). This means they will be safe to use in an air fryer.

Can You Put Cast Iron Pans In An Air Fryer?

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Cast iron pans can be used in an air fryer and they are a great choice because they last for years and as cast iron conducts heat so well, it makes it non-stick and cooks food evenly.

Plus, due to their versatility, cast iron pans can be used to cook almost anything.

Can You Put Stainless Steel Pans In An Air Fryer?

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As long as it says “oven safe” it is perfectly fine to use stainless steel pans in an air fryer. 

Stainless steel cookware is the choice of many chefs because it is long lasting, non-toxic and able to withstand high temperatures. It also retains heat really well.

Be warned; Stainless steel pans can become discoloured if they become too hot. 

Can You Put Aluminium In An Air Fryer?

caterly Large Aluminium Disposable Foil Trays 32x26x7cm Tin Foil Trays for BBQ, Cooking, Baking, Broiling, Roasting - Takeaway Containers - Catering Trays for Storage-Pack of 10
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Oven safe aluminium can withstand high temperatures, it is lightweight and inexpensive. 

Disposable aluminium trays can be used in the air fryer basket (or shelf) to cook foods and any grease or mess is contained within the tray which can be thrown away once the food is cooked.

The only downfall with aluminium is it is reactive with acidic foods. If aluminium comes into contact with any acidic food the chemical reaction allows aluminium to leach into the food.

Whilst nobody wants to consume aluminium (or any other metal), there have also been scientific studies that link aluminium with Alzheimer’s.

Never cook any acidic foods in aluminium foil, acidic foods include;

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Citrus Fruits/Juices
  • Vinegar
  • Wine

Or any sauce or marinade containing any acidic foods.

What Metals Should Never Be Put In An Air Fryer?

There are a number of metals that can’t be put in an air fryer, they include any containers made from or containing;

  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Pewter

Or any other metal that can leak toxins into food or cause harmful fumes if exposed to high temperatures.

Painted Pots

There are many pots which have designs painted on them. These should never be used in an air fryer because the paint can be toxic either the fumes or if it gets into the food.

Pots With Wooden Or Plastic Handles

Many metal pots which are technically air fryer safe, have wooden or plastic handles which could burn, melt or catch fire due to the extreme heat produced in an air fryer.

Pots That Are Too Big

Due to the way an air fryer cooks food, (by circulating hot air all round the food) the basket or shelf will be perforated. 

To cook food evenly you need to keep as many of these holes clear to allow the hot air to circulate freely.

This means using as small a pot as possible to allow a free flow of hot air. Large metal pots will block a significant number of holes and thus prevent the food from cooking.

Personal Safety

Remember that metal pots and pans will become extremely hot when used in an air fryer. You will need to use oven gloves when removing metal trays from the air fryer after cooking has completed.

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It is also a good idea to place the pan onto a trivet to prevent burning your countertop. You can get metal trivets which are quite heavy or silicone trivets which are far lighter.

Are There Any Alternatives To Metal Pans That Can Be Used In An Air Fryer?

There are several alternatives to metal pots and pans that can be used in an air fryer.

These include;

Ceramic Dishes

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You can use ceramic ramekins, casserole dishes or bowls in an air fryer as long as they are “oven safe”.

Ceramic dishes are typically durable, heat resistant and easy to clean. As well as being good conductors of heat to help to cook food evenly.

Pyrex Dishes

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Pyrex is the brand name for a type of glass that is heat resistant. It is actually called borosilicate glass and is handy as it is see through which allows you to monitor your food as it is cooking.

Before using a glass dish in your air fryer, be sure it is borosilicate glass because standard glass is likely to shatter if exposed to extreme temperatures.

Air Fryer Accessory Sets

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  • What you will receive: 5 pieces of air fryer accessories, 1 cake bucket, 1 pizza pan, 1 metal stand, 1 multipurpose tilting rack, 1 silicone mat, simple and practical for your air fryer's basic needs.
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There are several of these sets available, all of which typically consist of a cake bucket, a pizza pan, a metal rack, a metal stand and other useful utensils.

They are typically durable, dishwasher safe and heat resistant as well as being designed exclusively for use in an air fryer.

Silicone Oven Dishes

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There are various size silicone dishes available for use in an air fryer. They are a great way to cook your food without getting the air fryer greasy.

They are made from top quality grease proof, waterproof, non-stick, non-toxic silicone. Silicone oven liners are also dishwasher safe too.

Disposable Liners

Air Fryer Disposable Liners, 50 PCS Airfryer Liners, Non-Stick Cooking Parchment Baking Paper for Air Fryer Accessories Oil Proof (6.3Inch)
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Made from reinforced baking paper (parchment paper) these liners are designed to fit into the basket of your air fryer.

They are quite versatile as they can be used in air fryers, microwave ovens and steamers and can withstand temperatures up to 220 C (428 F).

They are grease proof, waterproof and non-stick and can either be disposed of in your waste bin or in some areas they can be recycled (check with your local council).

SEE ALSO:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put metal takeaway containers in the air fryer?

You can put aluminium foil containers in an air fryer as long as you remove the cardboard lid first.

Can I put a cast iron pot in the air fryer?

You can put a cast iron pot in the air fryer as long as it does not have wooden or plastic handles as these are likely to melt under the intense heat produced in an air fryer. Also, be sure that the pot does not cover all of the perforations in the shelf or basket as this will prevent the hot air from flowing all around the food which will result in some of the food being undercooked whilst the rest is overcooked.

Can you put stainless steel in an air fryer?

You can put stainless steel in an air fryer as long as it is oven safe stainless steel. If stainless steel becomes too hot, it is likely to become discoloured.

Can I use my painted pot In my air fryer?

You should not put a painted pot in an air fryer because the paint could give off toxic fumes as it melts or burns due to the high heat produced in an air fryer.

Are there any metals that are not safe to use in an air fryer?

You should never use any pots, pans or utensils containing any of the following metals in an air fryer; Lead, pewter or zinc. As these could leach harmful chemicals into your food.

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