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Can You Put Plastic In An Air Fryer? Ultimate Guide

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Air fryers have become one of the most popular kitchen appliances in recent years. Their ability to make crispy “fried” foods using little to no oil is attractive to many home cooks looking for healthier cooking options.

But there is some confusion around what types of materials are safe to use in an air fryer. So can you put plastic in an air fryer?

How Do Air Fryers Work?

To understand if plastic can go in an air fryer, it helps to know how air fryers work.

Air fryers circulate very hot air at high speeds to create a convection environment. This allows food to cook and get crispy with little to no oil. Most air fryers heat up to temperatures between 350°F and 400°F.

The heating elements and fans are located on the top, bottom, or sides, depending on the model. Food is placed in a drawer-like basket that gets inserted into the air fryer. The hot, high-velocity air quickly cooks and browns the food to mimic deep frying.

So in summary:

  • Air fryers cook with very hot, fast-moving air rather than oil.
  • Temperatures inside typically reach 350°F to 400°F.
  • Food cooks in a removable basket that sits inside the appliance.

The Risks of Putting Plastic in an Air Fryer

With temperatures reaching up to 400°F, putting plastic in an air fryer is extremely risky.

Plastic is derived from petroleum and made up of polymers that can melt and deform under high heat. Most plastics start to soften around 200°F and can completely melt, warp, or release toxic fumes around 300°F to 350°F.

Since air fryers exceed these temperatures during cooking, putting any plastic materials like containers, wrappers, or bags in an air fryer could be very dangerous.

Here are some potential risks:

  • The plastic could melt and stick to the food, basket, or interior walls of the appliance. This can damage the air fryer and contaminate your food.
  • Melting plastic can release toxic fumes and chemicals. These fumes can coat the inside of the appliance and your food.
  • The plastic may combust or catch fire if it gets hot enough. This poses a serious fire hazard.
  • Melted plastic can drip onto the heating elements and cause smoke, burns, or electrical damage.

So in general, putting plastics in any high-heat appliance like an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer is extremely risky. The hot air and temperatures can quickly cause plastic to melt, release toxins, or catch fire.

What Types of Materials Are Safe?

You definitely don’t want to put plastic in an air fryer. But what types of materials can you safely use?

Here are the best options for air-frying:

  • Metal pans or baking dishes made from aluminum, stainless steel, copper, etc. Metals withstand high temperatures.
  • Ceramic or glass dishes that are oven-safe. Look for heat-resistant glass and ceramic.
  • Silicone molds and trays. 100% food-grade silicone can withstand temperatures up to 425°F.
  • Oven-safe plastic. Some high-heat plastics rated for use up to 450°F may be okay, but check carefully.
  • Wood, bamboo, or silicone utensils Do not use plastic utensils.
  • The removable non-stick basket that came with your air fryer
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil for lining the basket Use non-wax and non-plastic papers.

Stick to materials specifically marketed as oven, broiler, and air fryer safe to be cautious. Avoid any plastic, wax paper, plastic-lined paper, or plastic bags and wrapping.

FAQ About Putting Plastic in Air Fryers

Still have some questions about whether certain plastics are safe to use in your air fryer? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can you put a plastic air fryer liner or baking mat in an air fryer?

No, you should never put plastic liners or mats in an air fryer. These accessories may be marketed as “air fryer safe,” but plastic starts melting at much lower temperatures than air fryers reach. The plastic could release toxins into your food. Stick to parchment paper or a well-greased basket.

What about silicone or latex air fryer liners? Are they safe?

100% food-grade silicone liners are usually fine since silicone withstands temperatures up to about 425°F. Avoid latex liners, as these have a lower melting point. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure. Metal, glass, or ceramic liners are best.

Can I use plastic Tupperware or other plastic containers in an air fryer?

Do not use any plastic containers, Tupperware, plastic bags, or plastic wrap in an air fryer. The hot air will melt the plastic and release toxic chemicals. Only use oven-safe glass, metal, or ceramic dishes. If a dish is not labeled oven-safe, don’t put it in an air fryer.

What about Ziploc steam bags for the air fryer? Can I use those?

No, do not use Ziploc steam bags or any other plastic bags in the air fryer, even if they are labeled for air frying. They can melt in the high heat. Vegetable steaming bags are designed for microwave and stovetop use only up to 212°F. Try parchment pouches or foil instead.

Are the plastic inserts or top racks that come with my air fryer oven safe?

The baskets, trays, and inserts that come with your air fryer are designed to withstand air fryer temperatures. But it’s still best to verify with the manufacturer that any accessories are rated for 400°F. Do not use plastic accessories from other appliances.

The Bottom Line

Air fryers are a great kitchen appliance for enjoying fried foods in a healthier way. But the very high temperatures that air fryers reach make them incompatible with plastic.

Putting any type of plastic—bags, containers, liners, or wraps—in an air fryer is risky. Even plastics designed for other heat sources like the oven can melt or burn at air fryer temperatures.

Stick to certified oven-safe materials like metal, glass, and ceramic. Use parchment, not plastic, for liners and packets.

Check accessory guidelines carefully, and never put generic plastic in your air fryer. Following these guidelines will keep your air fryer performing safely for years of crispy and healthy “fried” foods.


Hopefully, this overview has helped explain why plastic and air fryers don’t mix. While air fryers provide a great way to get crispy results without all the oil, their super high heat makes plastic a no-go.

Play it safe by using only certified oven-safe and air fryer-safe materials. Avoid any uncertainty around plastics or accessories not specifically rated for your appliance.

Following basic safety guidelines, your air fryer can be a healthy, handy cooking appliance that lasts for years. Crisp on!


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