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Can You Put Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer?

Parchment paper is useful to use when you’re cooking because it reduces mess and prevents food from sticking to the pan. One question I often get asked is ‘can you put parchment paper in an air fryer?’. In this article, we break down when you can use parchment in an air fryer, when you shouldn’t, and the best ways to use it safely.

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Homemade chicken tenders on a sheet of parchment.
Can you put parchment in an air fryer?

Using parchment in an air fryer

Parchment paper (also called baking paper) is a kitchen staple; it’s useful to use when you’re cooking to stop food from sticking and it helps reduce mess. You can use it in your oven, on your stovetop, and in the microwave.

Whether you are new to air frying or have been rocking your air fryer for years, you might be wondering: can you use parchment in an air fryer? The answer may surprise you!

>> Important! Parchment paper and wax paper are not the same things. For more see: Can you put wax paper in an air fryer?

So…

…Can I use parchment in an air fryer?

In general, yes, you can use parchment in an air fryer. However, it is essential to check the manual for your particular air fryer model as it is not recommended for some makes and models.

There are also a few things you need to know about using parchment safely in an air fryer, so read on for all the details.  

Why use parchment in an air fryer? 

So you might want to use parchment in an air fryer anyway? 

The main advantage of using parchment in an air fryer is that it prevents food from sticking to the basket, and will also prevent smaller food particles from falling through.

Some foods are much more likely to stick to your air fryer basket (like anything with a wet batter), and some smaller foods could fall through the basket. Using parchment can help to prevent this.

Also, this means that your air fryer will be easier to clean after cooking. The parchment paper catches the grease and any burnt bits, which are then easy to remove after cooking without needing to scrub. 

Why it is sometimes not a good idea to put parchment in an air fryer

If your model of air fryer can use parchment paper, there are still a few reasons why you may not want to use it. 

The way that air fryers get such great results from cooking is that they circulate hot air over and around the food you are cooking. If you put parchment in the air fryer basket you will be blocking the flow of heated air around the food, meaning it won’t cook as efficiently.

This means that the effectiveness of the air fryer will be reduced, and the food may cook unevenly and may not get as crisp as if you cooked it without parchment.

How to use parchment paper in air fryer safely

To use parchment safely in an air fryer, there are a few important things to consider: 

  1. Firstly, check your manual to be sure that it is ok to use poarchment in your air fryer.
  2. Ensure that the parchment is not able to touch the heating element (even it if moves during cooking, which it will), and
  3. Ensure that the parchment does not block the flow of hot air. 
  4. Most brands of parchment will have a maximum temperature that they can be used to. Check this for your parchment, and make sure you don’t exceed it.

Here are some guidelines for using parchment in an air fryer

  • Don’t preheat an air fryer with parchment paper in it. The loose paper could be blown up onto the heating element by the hot air, and cause a fire or damage the element. 
  • Only use it with foods that are heavy enough to weight it down once the fan starts up. Otherwise the paper may blow around inside your air fryer causing a fire hazard.
  • Don’t line the entire air fryer basket edge to edge with paper, as this will prevent the hot air from being able to circulate properly leading to uneven cooking. 
  • Don’t place parchment in your air fryer pan (underneath the cooking basket), as it will block the air from circulating properly. Also, it could blow up around the cooking basket and onto the heating coil, which could cause a fire. 
  • Ensure that the paper does not stick up above the edge of the air fryer basket. This again could touch the heating element and create a fire hazard. 
  • Use the smallest piece of parchment that you can – cut it to the size of the food you are cooking.
  • Don’t over-crowd the basket. Because the hot air circulation is being blocked from the bottom, you want to make sure that it can reach all sides of the food as it is blown down from the top. 
  • Flip the food during cooking. Again, because the hot air flow is being blocked from underneath, it is important to flip your food over during cooking or you can end up with unevenly cooked food.  

Step by step instructions

Homemade chicken tenders on a sheet of parchment.

How to Use Parchment in an Air Fryer

Instructions

  1. Confirm that your air fryer make and model recommends that parchment or baking paper [Note 1] can be used. 
  2. Preheat your air fryer before placing the paper into it. 
  3. Cut the smallest piece of paper needed.
  4. Place it in the air fryer basket and ensure it is weighed down by food. Don't overcrowd the basket. 
  5. Check that there is space around the parchment within the basket for air to circulate. 
  6. Ensure that the paper is not sticking up out of the basket in a way that it could touch the heating element. 
  7. Flip the food over halfway through the cooking time.

Notes

  1. Wax paper is not parchment and shouldn't be used in an air fryer.

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Final thoughts

So there you have it. Parchment can be used in your air fryer as long as you take care to use it safely (make sure it doesn’t go anywhere near the heating element), and as long as your make and model allows its use (check your manual if you are unsure).

The results of cooking food in your air fryer with parchment may not be quite as good as without it, but the clean-up will almost certainly be easier!

You may also like:

Air fryer sweet potato wedges on a white plate.

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I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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