Can you use parchment paper in an air fryer? Absolutely yes. Definitely yes. Yes all the way.
Parchment paper is one of the best air fryer liners. And it’s also quite an affordable option if we want to maintain a clean basket that won’t have be washed after each air frying session.
When I wrote my article answering the question can you put plastic in an air fryer, I answered that we absolutely can’t. Unless we use the heat-resistant alternative, which is silicone.
What I wanted to say by bringing that article up is that whenever you think of air fryers, you simply have to compare them to ovens.
An air fryer is like a convection oven in a different shape sometimes for basket-type air fryers. Air fryers use heating elements and fans to cook our food quickly, resembling what we get from frying but cooked with any or barely any oil.
Thus, they’re just like ovens with the difference that we barely use oil and we cook the food fast due to that circulating hot air in a smaller chamber. That’s why I also often mention that air fryers can also be considered energy efficient.
Can You Use Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer? Yes
Getting back to our question about whether we can use parchment paper in an air fryer, once again the answer is yes.
The explanation is simple: we use parchment paper in ovens all the time. Thus, we can use parchment paper in air fryers all the time, whenever we want, whatever we’re cooking.
Why that is possible is simple: parchment paper is heat resistant.
Thus, whenever you wonder whether you can use something in an air fryer or in an oven, ask yourself: is that thing heat resistant?
What max temperature can the object be subjected to? That’s the second question you must answer.
Parchment paper has a max temperature, just as silicone mats do and silicone liners.
The same also applies to aluminum foil. Another example is that even saucepans that are oven safe are only oven safe up to 500 degrees F. Some ceramic cookware can be oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees F. It depends.
Parchment paper has a lower heat resistance than aluminum foil, which is understandable because we’re comparing heat-resistant paper vs metal sheets.
Still, there is good news. We don’t have to concern ourselves with max temperatures when it comes to the appliances we’re covering in this article.
While ovens can reach very high temperatures, air fryers max temperature is 450 degrees F. And most basket models only reach 400 degrees F. They don’t need a higher temperature to cook our food fast and crispy in that small chamber.
What is parchment paper?
There are main things we can find in pretty much any kitchen: parchment paper, aluminum foil, and wax paper.
Parchment paper and aluminum foil are heat resistant.
Wax paper is not heat resistant so don’t use it anywhere near heat. It works in the microwave because a microwave oven doesn’t use heating elements to heat up our food.
Parchment paper and wax paper are non-stick. That’s what these two have in common, while the heat-resistant feature sets them clearly apart.
Aluminum foil is heat resistant but it’s not non-stick and that’s why parchment paper and aluminum foil are not interchangeable.
Parchment paper is an odorless and tasteless paper that is made from cotton fiber and/or pure chemical wood pulps.
In order to make it heat resistant, it is coated with silicone on both sides. That also makes it nonstick and grease-proof.
It is mainly used in baking as a pan liner or to wrap foods in for cooking.
There are two types to choose from:
- bleached (the white one)
- unbleached (brown)
My recommendation is to use unbleached parchment paper because it’s biodegradable and compostable.
Moreover, if your paper is not covered in grease or other liquids, it can be reused a few more times. For example, I bake a few loaves of bread on the same sheet of parchment paper. I don’t immediately throw it out if it’s not dirty.
What is parchment paper used for?
Air fryer baskets are non-stick. Overall, that’s a positive thing. But there’s also a downside.
Whenever we’re talking about nonstick cooking tools, be it air fryer baskets, pans or pots, we’re talking about a layer that coats metal that doesn’t always have a long shelf life.
Non-stick coatings are not exactly the most durable things.
Thus, if we want to protect our non-stick coatings and keep them from peeling during years of using our air fryer, then we can resort to using parchment paper to protect that surface.
Another reason for using parchment paper is that it saves us from doing some cleaning after cooking.
We can simply throw away the parchment paper and reveal a clean basket that is free of any mess. In my opinion, this is the main reason for wanting to know if we can use parchment paper in an air fryer.
How to use parchment paper in air fryer
We have two main types of parchment paper that we can use in an air fryer:
- buying a roll of parchment paper as we do when we use it in the oven on baking sheets, loaf pans, Dutch ovens, baking stones, cake pans, etc.
- buying air fryer parchment paper that is already shaped, sized, and some are perforated
Buying a roll
First, we have the option of buying a roll of parchment paper. The role is pretty cheap, big, and it will last a long time.
Since it comes in the form of a roll, that means that we need to cut it, size it, and shape it to fit our baking tools.
Thus, if we’re using it in basket-type air fryers, then we need to cut it to match our basket, which will have a pretty small surface.
Also, cut it a bit bigger than the base, to cover the walls a bit if you cook something like chicken breasts, chicken wings, fish, chicken nuggets, etc.
Or cut the parchment paper to cover the walls of the basket entirely if you’re making French fries or vegetables in a bigger quantity. That will allow us to keep the basket squeaky clean so, once the food is done and we get rid of our sheet of paper, there’s no additional cleaning we must do. It’s awesome.
First, cut the parchment paper to match the size of the basket.
Then, fold it in two.
The last thing is to pop in some holes just like our air fryer basket has. That will allow the hot air to circulate all around our food. I think popping holes in the parchment paper is important for hot air circulation.
If you use a toaster oven air fryer, the process is the same. The difference is that the parchment paper will have a rectangular shape instead of a square one. But the process is the same.
Buying air fryer parchment paper
If we don’t want to deal with buying a whole roll and the cutting and popping holes in the parchment paper, then we can buy sheets of air fryer parchment paper.
Most are perforated but others aren’t.
We will find sheets that fit baskets and sheets that work for toaster oven air fryers.
Personally, I prefer buying a big roll because I can use it both in the air fryer and in the oven or in the microwave. The roll provides more versatility.
Are silicone liners/air fryer silicone pots better?
I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other. I would say that both are alternatives to each other.
Thus, if you don’t want to continue using parchment paper but you still want to cover the surface of your basket with something, then you can use silicone liners/pots for air fryers and vice versa.
Just like we have silicone baking mats for our baking sheets so we have air fryer silicone liners.
The major pro for silicone liners is that they’re reusable. Once we’re done cooking, we wash them and we can use them again and again, for years to come.
Thus, we don’t have to always buy rolls of parchment paper throughout the years.
They’re also quite cheap so you don’t have to make a huge investment if you want to use a silicone liner.
All in all, the answer to the question can you use parchment paper in air fryer is yes but silicone liners are also a good alternative if you don’t want a disposable product to protect your basket and to save you a good deal of cleaning time.