Cooking in an air fryer is an experience in itself. You get to cook the most exotic recipes with delicious tastes.
The best part?
No need to worry about stained dishes & utensils. You can put your food directly inside the basket and let it cook while you listen to your favorite music.
However, the need to use a bowl or a plate inside your air fryer can arise anytime. It can be a recipe with marinades. And using a plate seems more reasonable.
Because on a plate, the hot air can circulate around your food evenly, cooking it right.
But can you put a plate in an air fryer? Let me explain.
Putting a plate inside your air fryer is not a problem as long as it’s made from a material that can survive temperatures up to 500oF (260oC). The plate should also be the right size to fit inside your air fryer.
Besides that, look for the ‘oven-safe’ label on your plate. You can use any plate with that label inside your air fryer.
Now the real question is, which plate materials are best suited to use inside an air fryer? And what things do you need to consider when using a plate inside your air fryer basket?
I’ll provide as much information as possible about this query in this post. So, let’s dive right in.
Problems With Using Plates In An Air Fryer- Is It Safe?
Using a plate in your air fryer is not a strange thing. I’ve seen a lot of people do it without any problem. It’s the same thing as using a bowl or an iron skillet.
The problem starts when you use a plate not meant to be inside an air fryer basket. Or if you do it carelessly.
But what problems can using a plate cause?
Let’s have a look.
Can Block The Airflow Inside The Air Fryer
As you may know, your air fryer depends on hot air circulation for cooking.
Proper airflow inside the air fryer is crucial. It helps cook the food evenly from all sides. Any blockage to the flow of this hot air can cause problems with your food.
So, if you don’t place your plate correctly inside the air fryer, it’ll restrict the airflow. This results in a half-cooked meal at the end.
To eliminate this problem, use a smaller plate that leaves ample space on the sides after going inside the basket.
Placing the plate on an elevated surface like a wire rack also ensures that air flows equally on all sides.
Can Release Toxins Into Your Food
Putting your food on a plate inside the air fryer can also result in toxins leaching into the food.
Some plates have a chemical coating on their surface that protects them from stains & damage. Others come with beautiful designs made using various paints & lacquer.
Keeping such plates inside the air fryer can prove toxic. An air fryer can reach very high temperatures in a short time.
You don’t want these chemicals or paint to melt and seep inside the food, as it can be dangerous. Your beautiful plate will also get destroyed in the process.
So the best thing to do is to avoid putting such plates inside your air fryer. If it’s really necessary, cover the plate in aluminum foil before putting it in the basket.
Can Be A Fire Hazard
This is something you should always think about & care for. Fire is not a good thing when not under your control.
As I said, air fryers operate at high temperatures. Using a flammable plate for cooking or warming your food at such a temperature isn’t a good idea. Paper and plastic plates fall into this category.
Paper and plastic can ignite over the temperature of 400oF. If you cook at high heat, your plate can catch fire when the air fryer is running. Your food will be ruined.
It can also lead to dangerous situations. Since your kitchen is full of combustible materials, an uncontrolled fire has the potential to spread beyond control.
Even if you contain the fire somehow, there’s no doubt that your air fryer will sustain severe damage.
So, plastic and paper plates are a strict no-no for keeping inside your air fryer.
Which Plates Can You Put In An Air Fryer?
There are various types of plates you can use inside an air fryer. You need to consider the material of the plate you’re going to use.
Other than that, look for the ‘Oven-Safe’ label. If your plate is oven-safe, then there shouldn’t be a problem putting it in an air fryer.
Here’s a list of plate materials you can use inside an air fryer.
Ceramic cookware is made from clay & other earthen elements. It can endure high heat without any problem. They are of two types:
- Ceramic cookware made using 100% earth materials
- Ceramic-coated cookware having a metal base.
You can use ceramic plates of both types inside an air fryer. They won’t get spoiled or burn under the heat of an air fryer.
If your ceramic plate has an ‘oven-safe’ label, it’s a cherry on top. Just make sure that you use the right size of plate. A bigger plate won’t fit in the basket and will break if you force it inside.
Porcelain Enamel Plates
Porcelain enamel (or vitreous enamel) is a coating applied to cookware with a metal base. These types of cookware share similar characteristics to ceramic ones.
Putting a porcelain enamel-coated plate inside your air fryer won’t cause a problem.
That’s not it. Porcelain enamel and ceramic plates are also free from harmful chemicals. So, heating them won’t release any toxins into your food. Just make sure that they are ‘lead-free’.
You can find this cookware with ‘oven-safe’ or ‘air fryer safe’ labels too.
Metal cookware can be made of many different types, including:
- Cast iron
- Stainless steel
However, metal plates made of stainless steel are the most common. You can also find plates made of copper or brass, but they are very rare.
Whatever the material, using metal plates inside your air fryer should not cause any issues. They are:
- Non-reactive most of the time
You can see that they have all the properties you’ll need for putting them inside an air fryer.
Remember to use a mitten or a glove to handle the plate when you cook food on a metal plate in an air fryer. Metal plates get too hot and retain the heat for quite some time.
What you need to worry about is the type of food you put into them.
Metals like copper, aluminum, and cast iron can react to acidic or alkaline foods. So, make sure you don’t put these types of food items in them.
Glass Or Pyrex Plates
Glass cookware is non-reactive and can withstand high temperatures too. So, you can use a glass plate inside an air fryer without any problem. If unsure, get an oven-safe glass plate from any store and use it to place your food.
Make sure you use a thick, good-quality glass plate so it doesn’t crack while cooking. Some glass plates are very thin and can crack due to high heat.
Another thing you should worry about is the temperature of the glass plate before putting it inside the air fryer. Glass is prone to thermal shock. Raising its temperature rapidly can cause it to crack or break apart.
An air fryer heats up pretty fast, which can cause thermal shock to your glass plate if it’s too cold. To prevent this, set a low temperature on your air fryer for the first few minutes. After the plate heats up, you can then increase the temperature.
On the other hand, Pyrex glass plates are safe from thermal shock and can be used inside an air fryer without any problems.
Pyrex glass cookware is made from high-quality borosilicate tempered glass. It can easily withstand temperatures up to 500oF, and there’s no scope for a thermal shock if you use it.
Additionally, you can look for an ‘oven-safe’ or ‘air fryer safe’ label on your Pyrex glass plate to ensure its safety.
Silicone molds are becoming popular because of their ability to withstand intense heat or cold. Silicone molds or trays can withstand temperatures from -76oF to 550oF without being deformed or damaged.
Therefore, using a silicone plate inside your air fryer won’t be an issue. Remember to only buy food-grade silicone plates as they’re safe for health.
You can also look for plates that are oven or air fryer safe to ensure extra safety.
Plates You Should Avoid Putting Inside An Air Fryer
Just as there are many plate types you can use inside an air fryer, there are some you should never use. Since not all plates can sustain the high temperature of an air fryer.
Paper plates are not a good choice to use inside an air fryer. But why so?
It’s simple. Using a paper plate to cook your food can result in badly cooked food or, worse, a fire. Paper is a soft material that can’t sustain exposure to high heat for extended periods.
A paper plate has almost 90% cellulose content in it. Cellulose has strong water absorption properties. To prevent the paper plates from soaking up all the liquids from your food, it’s layered with either petroleum-based coatings or polythene.
If you heat food on a paper plate, these coating materials can melt and get in your food. The plate will also soak up all the food liquids and become soggy. As a result, you’ll have to throw away your meal after cooking it.
In short, avoid using paper plates inside your air fryer at all costs. A better alternative is to use parchment paper. They have more heat resistance than paper plates and are safe to use inside the fryer.
Just like paper plates, using a plastic plate inside an air fryer is not recommended. Plastic will melt under the heat of an air fryer and seep inside your food.
If there’s too much heat, it can also catch fire, damaging your air fryer. So it’s best to avoid using plastic plates if you want to keep your air fryer and food safe.
Designer Or Wooden Plates
If you have a plate with beautiful patterns & designs on it, you shouldn’t expose it to the high temperature inside an air fryer.
Designer plates have paint and lacquer used in them. These paints have different types of chemicals that aren’t dangerous in normal circumstances. However, the paint can melt under too much heat, and all those harmful chemicals will escape into your food. You don’t want to eat a meal infused with so many chemicals. It’s an open invitation for different health problems.
The same goes for the wood plates. Using them under high heat can damage their texture and outer layer. Any paintwork or polish on it will leach inside your food.
Things To Keep In Mind When Using A Plate Inside An Air Fryer
Now that you know which plates you can use in an air fryer, keep these points in mind while doing so:
- Put the plate in such a way that it doesn’t block the airflow inside the air fryer. This can result in uncooked food.
- Use a small plate. Air fryers don’t have a fixed dimension standard, but their basket diameter can generally be around 8 inches or more. So, use a plate that fits perfectly inside the basket. Don’t force your plate inside the basket.
- Don’t use a plate having designer patterns made all over it. The paint can leach inside your food.
- Use tongs or an oven mitten to handle the plate after cooking to avoid any mishaps.
- Don’t overcrowd the plate before putting it inside the air fryer.
- Don’t put plastic plates or bowls inside your air fryer, even though it says ‘microwave safe’. Microwaves have a different heating method. Always look for the ‘oven-safe’ label if you want to be sure.
Using a plate inside an air fryer is not a problem if you follow certain precautions. The 3 main thing to consider while doing so is:
- not to block the airflow
- using a plate that can safely endure the air fryer heat
- avoiding any plate that can be a fire or chemical hazard
There are certain plate materials that you can easily use inside an air fryer without any worries. They include:
- Glass or Pyrex
- Porcelain enamel
Then, there are certain materials that you should never use inside your air fryer:
- Designer plates
Apart from using the right material, you should also be cautious while using a plate in your air fryer. A small mistake can turn into a huge accident if you’re not careful around these electrical devices.
So, be careful and use your plates inside the air fryer without any worries. Happy cooking!