Most air fryers include a basket, oven racks, trays, or other inserts. These are specially made for an air fryer. However, what happens when these inserts are dirty, or you are making a dish that can’t be made with basic accessories that come with the air fryer? Luckily there are numerous containers you can use in an air fryer to prepare your desired meal.
I use several containers myself, but in order to find other available options, I researched in detail containers that correspond with air fryer capacities and are at the same time air fryer proof. So the answer to what containers can you use in an air fryer is listed in the table below:
|What Containers Can You Use In An Air Fryer|
|2||Ceramic baking dish|
|3||Ceramic oval bakeware|
|4||Souffle Dish Ramekins|
|7||Cast iron dutch oven|
|8||Cast iron mini lodge pan|
|10||Multi use Aluminum containers and pans|
|11||Copper - detachable handles|
|13||Silicone cupcake liners|
|14||Silicone air fryer basket|
If you need to check container dimensions that will fit your air fryer, click on the picture, and you will be taken directly to Amazon, where you can check all the details.
Best Containers You Can Use In An Air Fryer
The term ceramics can mean either ceramic crockery, such as bowls, plates, and cups that do not contain metal and ceramic cookware, which is metal with a ceramic coating. Both should be suitable for air frying as they can keep their shape and structure under high temperatures.
However, if the ceramic bowl or cup has decorative additions, this may make it not safe for use in an air fryer. Be sure to check with the manufacturer. If you can not find the information, do not risk it.
Ceramic cookware is metal cookware, such as pans and casserole dishes, that has been coated with a layer of heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant ceramic such as clay.
Because the cookware is coated, it is great at retaining heat without holding onto flavors of what you cooked in it last time. Using ceramic cookware in an air fryer is a great way to make stews and soups without a direct gas flame. The heat will penetrate the food from all directions.
Ceramic bowls, unlike cookware, do not contain any metal and are therefore more easily broken. Cereal bowls, soup bowls, and coffee mugs are often made out of this material. Because ceramic is heat resistant, ceramic crockery will be fine in an air fryer.
Glass containers boast the benefit of being see-through, of course. This can be great if you want to keep an eye on your food as it cooks. As well as being transparent, glass as a material is good at warming up fast and good at not holding onto flavors of past food.
Glass is rarely used as a material for pans and cooking instruments that go under a direct flame. It is more often used for bake-ware such as roasting dishes and pie dishes.
Glass can be used in an air fryer because it can resist oven temperatures. However, be sure to let the glass cool slowly, as plunging the temperature of the glass too quickly can make it shatter.
There are many different types of metals that are used for cooking. As long as the metal container is made entirely out of metal, with no plastic handles or lids, then they will be fine for air frying.
Cast Iron Skillets
A favorite amongst some chefs, cast iron as a material is great for retaining heat and holding onto a depth of flavor from previously cooked meals. Cast iron pans and skillets can be used in an air fryer safely. Just make sure the lid you use, if you are using one, is oven safe too.
Stainless Steel pots and Pans
Most households have at least one stainless steel pot and pan. They are great for cooking dishes that require frying and for making delicious sauces. As long as your stainless steel pot or pan does not have any attachments on it that could melt, it will be suitable for the air fryer.
It is best to use stainless steel pots and pans with loop handles because of the space in the air fryer.
Occasionally stainless steel pans will feature a plastic handle or a plastic section on the handle of the lid. If your pan has any plastic on it, it will not be safe for the air fryer. If you are unsure, do not run the risk, as there are many other options.
Believe it or not but silicone can go in the air fryer. The soft, bendy, pliable material is great for use in baking and other types of cooking that involve getting something out of the container easily. Silicone loaf and muffin containers are a great way to bake in an air fryer.
When one ‘needs’ & futilely looks in every container to find.. a muffin.. one has no choice but to throw a few things in the air fryer & 15mins later. Voilà! Yum! 😂 pic.twitter.com/94bz3Z7Gc7
— Nancy Cato (@nancycato1) August 13, 2020
Silicone is a type of plastic that does not melt until it is actually on fire. This means that it is safe for use in ovens and air fryers without melting. Make sure your silicone molds are designed for cooking, just in case.
The main benefit of using silicone is being able to remove the food from the container easily. We have all experienced the difficulty of getting brownies out of the greaseproof paper or having a cupcake stuck to the cupcake paper wrapper. Silicone is a great solution to these problems.
Aluminum and Copper
When you think of aluminum containers for air fryers, you think of single-use containers. They are very convenient. Put any food in these containers, place them in the air fryer, and when it’s done, you easily eat out of them. They come in various sizes and some even with a cover and for multiple uses, like these ones:
Copper cookware is expensive and not often used in air fryers. But if you have a small saucepot or skillet without a handle, you can easily use it in the air fryer.
Cheats take away.
Fish and Chips
Nuggets and Chips
Cooked everything in the air fryer and dished up in take away containers.
Kids loved it 🥰
Sidenote. Henrys take away for dinner was apple and blueberries.
— ItsAJBack 🏏🏏 (@itsArnaBack) August 1, 2020
The rule of thumb here is that if it is oven-proof, then it will be air fryer proof. Even stone containers or implements that you use in oven cooking can be used in an air fryer. A good example would be a pizza stone; if you can fit it in the air fryer, it will work fine.
What to look for when buying a container for an air fryer
Check these three characteristics, and you will find the perfect container for your air fryer:
1. Material – Oven safe = air fryer safe
2. Size and capacity
Material – Oven safe = air fryer safe
Air fryers are a great way to cook food in a convenient, safe, and healthier way. Many foods can be made in an air fryer, and many different containers can be used inside them. If your container is overproof, then it will also be air fryer proof.
Because air fryers get as hot as ovens and work similarly, using a container that could melt can be not only detrimental to your food but could also be quite dangerous. If you are unsure what the container is made of, do not run the risk.
Size and capacity
Air fryer capacity will quickly determine which containers you can use. The smaller the air fryer, the less containers available and vice versa.
Most standard-sized containers that are great for a small family would fit in a 6-quart air fryer.
Let’s say you already picked the right size air fryer, so the maximum container size is determined by the maximum capacity that the air fryer can hold. But the size and capacity of a container also correspond with the dish you are making and the quantity you eat.
That is why it is best to choose the container for food you mostly prepare in the air fryer.
Why does a handle attached to the pan or container matter? Not like cooktops or regular ovens, air fryers have limited capacity. For example, if you buy a cast-iron skillet with a handle, you will need to find a very, very small one to fit in the air fryer. On the other hand, if you get a container without a handle, how will you pick it up?
Luckily skillets and containers come with loop handles that don’t take much space. So, when choosing a container, choose one without a handle or ones with loop handles like this lodge cast iron skillet.
What should you not put in an air fryer?
A rule to remember is not to put anything in your air fryer that could melt or burn at high temperatures. Here are a few suggestions of what not to put in an air fryer.
These containers are unsuitable as they are made of plastic that has a low melting point. Although they are commonly used in microwaves, direct heat will see them melting and potentially catching fire. Not only will this ruin your meal, but it may also cause harmful fumes to be expelled into the air.
Make sure everyone who uses the air fryer knows not to use Tupperware as it is a very common mistake to make.
Containers, such as Asian steamers, are made of wood. These cannot go into an air fryer as the wood will singe or even catch fire. Some air fryer users add flavored wood chips to their air fryers to replicate a smoked effect in their food.
You do not want to accidentally smoke your food by using a wooden container. If you’re going to steam your food, use an airtight and suitable container inside the air fryer, so it can heat up and steam within itself.
If you absolutely must infuse your food with the smokey flavor of wood, it is best to smoke it beforehand in a designated smoker or barbecue before finishing it off in the air fryer. Although some people claim that wood chips are usable in an air fryer, it is not safe to do so.
To recap, ceramic, glass, metal, and silicone containers can all be used in an air fryer. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s details and instructions and follow them accordingly.
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