Can you put Paper Towels in Air Fryers? - Kitchens Bible
can you use paper towel in air fryer

Can you put Paper Towels in Air Fryers?

No one can deny that an air fryer is a highly efficient and kitchen-friendly appliance. Air Fryer is being used in many kitchens now.  Because of its versatility, it is taking its rightful place on kitchen counters.

I bet you have one for your kitchen or thinking about it at least. However, some useful tips and hacks can work like icing on the cake to give you a trouble-free experience. Things included but not restricted to are precautions to take, considering what can be put inside or not, and so on.

Here in this article, I am going to answer a question I received via email and that is if paper towels can be used in an Air Fryer. The answer is YOU SHOULD NOT. Straight and simple. Not to mention, you can use paper towels for seasoning and cleaning but never ever try cooking using it in the Air Fryer. For further explanation follow along.

General Tips: we all know air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food at a high temperature. So only accessories that can be resistant to high heat should be put inside Air Fryer while cooking.

Why should you not put Paper Towels in Air Fryers, Ever: Explanation

Paper towels are a kind of sheet that is not perforated and through which natural air circulation can’t be achieved. And since the mechanism of the air fryer is to process food by circulating hot air around the food, wrapping food with paper towels before putting it into the air fryer for cooking is not recommended.

But if you want to use paper towels on the surface level for instance seasoning the air fryer before cooking or to soak the extra fats from food then it’s perfectly alright. But using it directly underneath the food or put it in the basket and thus hindering the free airflow can make it dangerously risky. This is because when paper towels come in contact with the extreme temperature of the air fryer, it will cause a fire.

Suggested Read : Can you Put Foil in an Air Fryer?

What trouble you can get yourself into using Paper Towel in an Air Fryer

To give you a clear idea of ​​the risk of using paper towels in air fryers, I have decided to give you a brief overview of the consequences. 

Uneven Cooking

First of all, as paper towels are not perforated, it interferes with the normal circulation of the air fryer. The air fryer prepares the food by providing equal amounts of air around the food.  So when normal air flow is interrupted, the food is not prepared properly and ends up cooked unevenly. Who wants to taste semi-cooked or unhealthy food, not me!

Potential Fire

Using a towel underneath the food and then putting it in the air fryer is quite risky, as it will disrupt normal air-flow and possibly towels can catch fire. So if anyone wants a  messy kitchen with an air fryer on fire then go ahead!

Moreover, there is one more thing. When the food is wrapped in a paper towel and served in an air fryer, even if it does not catch fire, it almost always loses its stance underneath the food and flies around within the basket. Then you may have to eat paper towel pieces with uneven food at mealtime!

So no Paper Towel in the Air Fryer?

Yes, if you were planning to put paper towels in the air fryers then we have to disappoint you. It’s absolutely a NO to put a paper towel inside an air fryer. 

Well, there are some other where you can use paper towels with an air fryer method such as seasoning the surface of the air fryer basket or to prevent food from sticking in the basket or to clean the grease or soak the extra fats from the foods. But putting it directly inside the air fryer basket has its own risk.

You can also simply wipe off the basket or drawer with a paper towel. Again with a paper towel, you can rub coconut oil on the walls of the basket until all the parts are covered with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent direct contact with the ingredients. It may prevent your basket from peeling.

So to cut short, the use of paper towels should only be on the surface and never inside of the air fryer.

What can you use in an Air Fryer?

So let’s talk about what can be used in the air fryer. Tons of kitchen tools are available to use in an air fryer. For example Aluminum foil, Baling or Parchment Paper, etc. Choose what kind of tools to use in the air fryer depending on what kind of food you want to make.

Although you are restricted to use paper towels there are myriad options available for you. For instance, aluminum foil is very handy in reheating foods or while baking cake or any delicate food. Aluminum foil is very useful to protect your food against ruining due to exposure to high temperatures.

However, while cooking in an air fryer by using any tools some things you should keep in mind.

  • kitchen materials that can be damaged in high heat are surely prohibited.
  • Accessories that would disrupt the natural airflow within the air fryer are also not allowed.
  • You should use those tools which you need or what is readily available to you.

Parchment Paper: The best Alternatives of Paper Towel?

Silicone-coated parchment paper is a familiar thing in the kitchen. The coating of silicone makes it non-sticky and heat resistant which can withstand heat above 420 Fahrenheit. You can keep a roll of parchment paper in your kitchen for using it in an air fryer.

Parchment paper fills in the blanks for the reasons you were thinking of using paper towels. Rather parchment paper is even more convenient. Parchment papers are minutely perforated which never disrupts the natural air flows within the air fryer and are high heat survival which makes it a great alternative to paper towels.

You should also follow some general tips for using parchment paper properly. Such as

  • Papers must be put in the basket in precise measure. If you cover the bottom entirely with parchment paper then this will result in the same as paper towels.
  • It’s very risky to put empty parchment paper in the air fryer as it can catch fire because of being dry.

So using paper towels in the air fryer has its own risk. So the alternative to paper towels is parchment paper which can make everything much more convenient and risk-free.


The discussion on whether paper towels can be used in air fryers ends here today.  Hopefully, the above article will help you to remove all the confusion related to this. Since there is a risk in using paper towels, it is better to leave them and use something else, maybe Parchment Papers.

You can use paper towels for seasoning or cleaning, but please do not use them for wrapping food then putting them on baskets, unless you are a mad scientist and loves to do risky experiments. Until you want a messed up kitchen please follow our tips!

Happy Cooking folks!

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