Can You Put Metal In an Air Fryer? A Complete Guide
can you put metal in an air fryer

You’ve probably heard of the new must-have countertop kitchen appliance — the air fryer. Essentially, it is a deep fryer without the hassle of fat and oil. It’s a healthier option, so to say. However, you might find that it is not the easiest of gadgets to navigate.

That brings us to some big questions. What do you cook in it? What items are air fryer-safe? Can you put metal in an air fryer? 

If you have these questions, too, then you’re in luck as you’ve come to the right place. Without further delay, let’s jump into the guide. 

Can You Put Metal In an Air Fryer?

How do you know if you can use a particular metal utensil with this appliance? The answer is simple. The inner workings of an air fryer resemble those of an oven. Particular metals that are oven safe may also be safe for air fryers.

So how do you know what to use and what not to? Fret not, as we’ll explain below all that you need to know about metal and air fryers. 

What Types of Metals Are Air Fryer-Safe?

air fryer and rack

If you’re looking for a utensil to place in the air fryer and you only have metal dishes on hand, a stainless steel bowl or a cast iron container may be your best bet. Titanium is also another metal commonly found in the kitchen that you can use in an air fryer.. 

However, if you don’t know what kind of metal you’re working with, you can always refer to its packaging. Kitchen products will often mention if they are safe for use in air fryers. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you can use something in a regular oven, you can most likely use it here.

You can also buy air fryer accessory kits, including items like an air frying rack, a basket, ceramic pots, and glass bowls. These usually come in shapes and sizes optimized to use with your air fryer.

What Types of Metals Are Not Air Fryer-Safe?

Now, how do you know if a metal item is not oven safe? If your metal item has some nonmetal attachment, such as wood, plastic, or silicone handles or bases, then you probably shouldn’t put it in the air fryer. These parts will almost definitely melt. Similarly, skillets should also be avoided. 

Most air fryers work from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If your object is not meant to withstand this temperature, then don’t use it in the air fryer.

Additionally, painted utensils are best avoided as well since the heat can cause the metal or paint to chip away, potentially contaminating the food. 

Which Foods Should You Cook In an Air Fryer?

foods cooked in air fryer

From pasta and chicken to fries, an air fryer has a lot of uses. Many air fryer recipes can also be found on the internet for free. Some of the best uses for this appliance include:

  • Making fries
  • Cooking vegetables
  • Making steaks
  • Reheating food
  • Baking cakes
  • Cooking frozen items

How Long Does It Take to Cook In an Air Fryer?

Different items have different cook times. However, the average cooking time is less than an oven’s. So if you’re in a rush and can’t decide between the two, the air fryer would be your best bet. Generally, chicken nuggets take about 12 minutes to cook, a chicken steak takes 20 minutes, and fries will take approximately 15 minutes.

Is It Safe to Use Metal Utensils In an Air Fryer?

The answer depends on the type of metal that you’re using. It is always better to use the correct accessories to avoid any accidents.

If you have an ovenproof dish, then nothing will happen. However, it may overheat and burn you if it is not oven safe. It could also contaminate the food with harmful chemicals.


Is it safe to use stainless steel in an air fryer?

stainless steel in air fryer

Yes, a stainless steel item can be used in most air fryers. This may vary from model to model, so to be safe, always read the instructions or check with the manufacturer. If it is not ovenproof, it may emit toxic fumes, which can cause health issues as many fumes can be cancerous.

Is it safe to use steel or metal bowls in an air fryer?

Yes, a steel or metal bowl is usually compatible with an air fryer. But one thing to consider is the size of the bowl. If it’s too big or too small, air won’t circulate evenly. This will leave your food uncooked.

Additionally, a stainless steel bowl is not a great conductor of heat and thus may not cook the food evenly. A solution to this would be to line it with aluminum foil, baking paper, or parchment paper. 

What types of utensils can I use in an air fryer?

You can use a wide variety of utensils in this kitchen appliance. Silicone and wood spatulas are great tools to use. Ceramic, glass, metal, and oven-safe plastic bowls and pans may also be used. Stainless steel bowls are also a great option.

In addition to these, items such as aluminum foil or parchment paper may also be used. However, don’t use paper towels as they will catch on fire.  

Do air fryers come with stainless steel baskets?

Many air fryers come with a wide variety of accessories. A common one is the air fryer basket, which is primarily made from steel or plastic. An air fryer basket that comes with your appliance would be the perfect shape and size for your air fryer.

Some common examples of air fryers that come with baskets are the Phillips air fryer, the Cuisinart air fryer, and the T-Fal air fryer, with the least to most holding capacities, respectively. 

Why are air fryers with stainless steel baskets a better option?

Air fryer baskets are arguably the best thing to use to cook your food in. It cooks food better than a bowl because it allows better airflow towards the food as there are holes in the bottom. It does the same job as an oven rack. 

Another good thing about it is that it is easy to remove, which makes it easier to clean. You also don’t need to use parchment paper with baskets, which is a win in our books.

When buying an air fryer, you might find a variety in their baskets. Things to consider include the optimum shape and size for your needs and its material. It may be made out of plastic or metal. The stainless steel option is better as it cooks food evenly and is non-stick. 

My metal bowl does not have any information

If your metal bowl does not have any information printed on it, then your best bet would be to not use it in the air fryer. You don’t want to risk a potential fire or an explosion. It’s best to err on the side of caution.

Alternatives to metal or steel bowls

There are many alternatives to steel or metal bowls. You could use glass dishes, silicone molds, or ceramic pots. Pyrex dishes are especially popular for this purpose. 

Is it safe to use aluminum foil with an air fryer?

Aluminum foil, or tin foil as it is commonly known, is also great to use in this particular machine. Food wrapped in aluminum foil cooks more evenly as the foil is a heat conductor and does a better job at heat distribution, air-frying food more evenly and speeding up the cooking process.


It’s common to be paranoid when using metal utensils with air fryers, and rightfully so. Microwaves have essentially made all metal products a thing to be worried about. However, in the case of air fryers, the precautions are similar to those of an oven. If you can use something in your oven, then it is likely that you can use it in the air fryer as well.

Knowing the correct information about your dish, such as the type and make of its metal, may help you decide if it is okay to use. Cooking can make a lot of mess, so click here to learn the best way to clean your kitchen.

In this guide, we talked about which metal utensils can be used in an air fryer along with the downsides of using the wrong type of metal. That brings us to the end of this guide. Thank you for reading.

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