Can You Put a Plate in the Air Fryer? What to Know

Nicole Austin

Think you know the answer to this common question? Think again.

Air fryers are all the rage, and it’s not a surprise. With so many on-the-go lifestyle needs, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the world of processed foods and drive thru dinners.

Using little to no oil and a fraction of the time of a conventional oven, air frying is a convenient way to enjoy crispy, hot, delicious food in no time. And it makes it easier to eat healthy.

Thankfully, air frying your food from home is a snap.

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What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a countertop appliance that combines a heating element and a fan, and therefore is essentially a small convection oven. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food.

Using convection heat makes the food crunchy and crispy on the exterior. This process requires minimal fat, so it’s a healthier way to eat traditionally deep-fried foods like chicken or chips.

You can even use it to make healthier items in a new, interesting way, like broccoli or falafel. Oh, and garlic bread, too!

The smaller size means it heats up and cooks your food much faster than a traditional oven.

There's no consensus about who makes the best air fryers, but the good news is you have a wide array of options, including aesthetically pleasing great option like the Dash Tasti-Crisp air fryer or the Cosori air fryer with its dishwasher-safe air fryer basket.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using an Air Fryer?

As with anything, there are pros and cons to purchasing and using an air fryer.


  • Healthier: Air fryers are significantly healthier than traditional deep-frying methods. The reduced fat and caloric content can help individuals lose or maintain weight, and also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Foods cooked with hot air retain more nutrients than those that are deep fried. The simplicity and speed of an air fryer can encourage users to include a variety of foods in their diet, such as vegetables and lean meats, helping to limit the consumption of processed foods.
  • Quick and easy: Air fryers reduce cooking time and do not require a lengthy preheating process before cooking. Even beginners can use an air fryer successfully. Most foods you already know and love can be modified to be cooked in an air fryer.
  • Easy to clean: Most air fryers are easy to take apart, making cleaning a breeze. Many parts of an air fryer are dishwasher safe.
  • Cost-effective: Oil is expensive, so using less or no oil to achieve the same results will save you money on groceries. Air fryers do not use a lot of electricity, so the energy consumption is low.
  • Safer: Air fryers are much safer than traditional deep-frying methods. It is less likely to have a spill on your floor that will cause a fall injury in the kitchen.
  • Environmentally friendly: With less waste produced, air fryers are preferred to deep fryers for environmental reasons, too.
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  • Limited capacity: The main complaint about air fryers is the lack of space for large meals or to serve multiple people.
  • Initial cost: While they will save money over time, air fryers do have an initial cost of purchasing the machine as well as any accessories needed.
  • Noise: Some air fryers are loud while running.
  • Not intuitive: Air fryers require a user to learn a new cooking method. This can be discouraging for some people, as they may have a preference for methods that they are already comfortable with. Experimenting with your recipe or foods can cause some undesirable results initially until you determine the proper heat and time settings.
  • Maintenance: As with any appliance, air fryers require cleaning and maintenance. Monitoring and cleaning of the cooking basket and heating element are required for safe, efficient use.
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Can You Put a Plate in an Air Fryer?

You may have seen some viral videos online showing the influencer using a regular plate or bowl to hold ingredients together in an air fryer. Or you may have stumbled upon a recipe or food blog that tells you to do this.

So, you may be wondering — can you really put a plate, bowl, or other dish in the air fryer?

Remembering that an air fryer is just a convection oven will help you always remember the simplest component to this answer:

The short answer is yes, technically you can — if the dish is oven safe.

In other words, if you can safely put the plate in your regular oven, it can go in the air fryer too, as long as it safely fits inside your air fryer!

Oven-safe material should be clearly marked on the bottom of the dish and on the packaging. Glass, metal, cast iron, and ceramic are the most commonly used oven safe dishes, but should be used only when appropriately marked. Anything not labeled safe for an oven will not be safe for your air fryer.

This should go without saying, but paper plates and paper towels are not safe to put inside any oven, including an air fryer, as high heat can cause the entire thing to catch fire.

Plastic utensils should also never be put inside! These are not oven-safe materials.

You should additionally consider what temperature their recipe calls for when deciding what they will use for bakeware. Ceramic or glass dishes, even those that are oven safe, are not safe for broiler-like conditions.

(Not all types of glass are oven-safe, so please check the bottom of your glass bowl or glass plates before use! You're looking for tempered or borosilicate glass products.)

Air fryers may fall into that category during use as the heat source rests close to the dish and temperatures may be quite high. Not heeding the standards for oven safety can lead to serious health and safety hazards.

Products not meant to be exposed to high temperatures can catch fire, shatter, or melt. Dangerous fumes or fires, as well as exposure to sharp fragments or scalding hot spills, are all threats to take seriously when deciding what you will use in your air fryer.

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What is the Best Insert or Liner to Use in an Air Fryer?

The most common type of air fryer used in homes is a basket air fryer.

These have one or two drawers of varying sizes, and the shape of these baskets vary based on the brand or their capacity. Typically they are circular or rectangular/square.

Liners are a great way to contain any debris during cooking in your air fryer, and can also be used to help make new, unique recipes.

Here are the various types of liners you can use in your air fryer to make your recipe more successful and save you time:

SiliconeSilicone liners are widely available, affordable, and reusable. They are available in various sizes and fit most types of air fryers with ease. A major benefit is that silicone air fryer liners are multi-use. They are easy to wash and most of them are dishwasher safe. Silicone liners are available in the following types:

  • Walled silicone linersThis type of liner has a wall that lines the interior basket of the air fryer on the sides as well as the bottom. They may have holes or be solid.
  • Flat silicone linersThese are used to line the bottom of the basket or tray in an air fryer. Because this type does not have walls, it cannot be used to prevent sticking to the sides.

Parchment: Disposable parchment paper liners are available in various sizes and shapes to fit most air fryers. These appear similar to a coffee filter, but they are not interchangeable. Parchment liners typically do not have holes for ventilation. These are single use liners and need to be thrown away after use.

Tin Foil / Aluminum Foil: If you don’t wish to purchase specialty liners for your air fryer, you can use tin foil when needed. Tin foil is versatile, as it can be bent into any shape or size to fit air fryers. Foil can be used as long as it does not touch the heating element and is weighted down enough to prevent it from blowing around in the basket during cooking. You do not want to use tin foil when cooking acidic foods, as these ingredients may cause the foil to leach into your food.

With all things considered — including cost, eco-friendliness, and ease of use — silicone liners are your best bet because they will save you time and money in the long run and will prevent unnecessary waste.

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How to Pick a Heat Resistant Surface for Air Fryer Success

Air fryers are a small appliance that will work on a countertop, table, or other steady surface.

But not all surfaces are heatproof. Most countertops are not considered heatproof, and air fryers, especially with repeated use, can cause damage.

This damage can appear in the form of scorch marks, cracking, warping, or discoloration. It is recommended to insulate your countertop from your air fryer if it is made from any material that is not stainless steel.

Even stone countertops such as marble, granite, quartz, or concrete can have defects or sealant issues that can allow the heat to discolor or damage the surface.

The best practice for using an air fryer to prevent damage to your surfaces is to purchase a heat resistant mat. Waterproof, non-skid, easy to wash, and food grade, these affordable mats cover the surface area under your air fryer to transform your traditional countertop into a heat resistant surface.

Remember, it's a potential fire hazard not to have one, so err on the side of caution, especially since they're so cheap and will last a long time.

Even if you don't end up with a dangerous cleanup situation, it will keep your weeknight cooking chill and relaxed, maintaining the care-free approach you were looking for when you decided to experiment with some air fryer recipes in the first place.

Whether you rent or own, smart air fryer users know it's a good idea to protect countertops from the intense heat created in the cooking process of air fryer cooking. Silicone mats can handle hot temperatures over 400° F.

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Happy cooking in your mini convection ovens, everyone!

Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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