Air Fryer Liners: The Key To Keeping Your Appliance Clean

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When I first heard about air fryer liners, I was skeptical for the simple reason that I already love my air fryer. I doubted an additional product could improve on a convenient and delicious cooking experience. It wasn’t until my husband gave me some last Christmas that I actually tried them out. And then I realized how badly mistaken I had been.

In this post, I’ll explain how to use air fryer liners to their full potential and let you in on the four best types of air fryer liners — and their pros and cons.

air fryer

Why Should I Use Liners in My Air Fryer?

Air fryer liners present three huge benefits:

  1. They cook things more evenly – Most air fryer liners are covered with very tiny pre-cut holes. The holes allow for even better air circulation than the walls or an air fryer’s basket. Also, since the food doesn’t touch the air fryer, the outside edges never burn. It’s the same concept as using a silicone baking sheet, wax paper, or tin foil to line the bottom of a cookie sheet in the oven.
  2. They make cleanup easier – Air fryer foods often release a bit of grease, juices, or crumbs while they’re cooking. The point is, they often make a mess on the walls of the fryer. You’re generally able to take apart air fryers and wash them by hand or in the dishwasher. However, it’s even easier and more convenient to just toss out the liner used during cooking.
  3. They prevent stickage – Air fryer manufacturers do their best to make the interiors of the appliances non-stick. But some foods – especially meats – will sometimes stick to a metal surface no matter what precautions are taken. The sleek surfaces of air fryer liners, though, are even better at nonstick than any metal. This means almost any food will slide off them after cooking like a hot knife gliding through soft butter.

So while air fryer liners are not necessities, they definitely improve the cooking experience in more ways than one. And, considering they’re such affordable products, there is really no reason not to at least try them out.

Using Air Fryer Liners

“Liner” is actually a bit of a misleading term. It suggests you have to carefully fold and cut the material like you do when you’re lining a cake pan. In reality, though, air fryer liners are just single-piece materials that you slip into the bottom of the air fryer basket. Putting in an air fryer liner takes only a few seconds.

After cooking the foods on the liner and serving them, simply remove the fryer. If it is a one time use liner, throw it out. If it is a reusable air fryer liner, rise it off and dry it in preparation for next time.

The Best Air Fryer Liners

1. Disposable Air Fryer Liner

These unbleached paper air fryer liners (see Reynolds version here) are the most convenient ones I’ve ever used. They’re about 7.9” in diameter and the walls are 2” high, so they basically eliminate the need for any cleanup. The paper even has a thin silicone coating, which makes it impossible for any liquid or grease to soak through. In fact, those foods will cook in their own juices, which often makes them turn out even better. The coating also makes the liners totally nonstick and ups the heat resistance to over 425 degrees Fahrenheit. What really sets liners apart, though, is the thickness. Just a few extra grams per square meter makes a huge difference and helps make sure the paper will not tear, even when you pick it up with food on it.

IMPORTANT: Like with any paper air fryer liners, MAKE SURE not to leave this liner in the oven while it is preheating unless it is weighted down. The fan in the fryer can blow the paper-light liner into the heating element, igniting the liner and thereby ruining the air fryer.

2. Perforated Disposable Air Fryer Liner

The liners are perforated (see example at GoWise), meaning that the hot air flow will be a little more even and will reach the bottom surface of the food. They’re ideal for foods like fries or dry vegetables that won’t leak juice or grease during cooking. Foods that do drip liquid, like meats and vegetables that have a high water content, will cook well on these liners but will also drip through the paper and make a mess.

3. Walled Silicone

I may very well be the #1 fan of silicone liners (see examples at WaveLu). They are flexible, naturally nonstick, basically heatproof, durable, non-toxic, and don’t look half bad. I also prefer air fryer liners with walls, because they eliminate the need for cleanup.

Look for liners that have raised lines of silicone on the bottom. They create better air circulation, allowing air to reach all surfaces of the food without perforations in the liner. Unfortunately, the lines do not allow the food to simmer in its own juices, which is, in my opinion, one of the best things about air fryer liners. The improved crunchy texture they cause is worth the sacrifice, though. That being said, the lined bottom also allows any grease coming from the food to drip down and so makes food cooked in the liner a bit less fatty.

4. Flat Silicone

If you’re looking for silicone air fryer liners on a budget, you should go with the flat ones (see example at Lotteli). It includes three vibrantly-colored wall-less silicone liners plus air fryer “cheat sheets” that show the optimal cooking times and temperatures for certain foods. It’s an especially great buy for those who have an oven-style air fryer with several racks and want a liner for each of them.

They’re great at catching residue and heatproof all the way up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The one downside is that they’re not made of the highest quality silicone so they can be a bit tough to clean, but what can you expect for the amazing price?

Air Fryer Liner FAQ 

Now to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about air fryer liners.

Where do you put the liners in an air fryer?

Just place the liner on the bottom of the basket or rack. If it’s a bowl-style liner, it’s fine if the sides of the liner touch the side walls of the fryer basket.

Are air fryer paper liners safe?

In general, yes. I have heard about cheap knockoff air fryer liners that can overheat and catch fire even at relatively low temperature, though, so it’s important to make sure any model you’re looking at is from a reputable company or has a lot of good (and credible) reviews.

Also, and I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT LEAVE PAPER AIR FRYER LINERS IN THE FRYER WITHOUT FOOD ON THEM! If you leave them in during the preheating phase, for example, the air fryer’s fan can blow the paper up into the heater and set it aflame.

Is parchment paper safer than aluminum foil?

If you’re cooking for long periods of time, parchment paper is indeed safer than aluminum foil. Studies have shown that, if it is heated at high temperatures for long periods of time, particles of aluminum transfer to the food. You wouldn’t be able to taste it, but it is unhealthy.

It’s important to note that bleached (white) parchment paper is unhealthier than even aluminum foil, so you should only use unbleached (brown) parchment paper.

Is wax paper considered parchment paper?

No. Parchment paper is coated with silicone, which is heat-resistant up to 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Wax paper is covered with wax, which will melt when exposed to high temperatures and should not be put in a hot oven.

Wrapping Up

I love my air fryers and they’ll never be replaced. But now I know they can be made even better by adding air fryer liners during their use. I encourage you to give the liners a try, too.

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