Aluminum foil is the best friend of practically everybody who is looking to make a mean roast dinner. It insulates brilliantly, letting food crisp wonderfully, whilst also saving all that juicy goodness that tends to get lost in an oven without it being there.
Deep fryers are also a treasured part of any kitchen experience. They turn any meal into an occasion, making pretty much all food, from fish to Mars Bars, a crispy taste sensation.
Whether it’s chicken, onion rings, or plenty of other foods, you better believe it has some sort of culinary relationship with this frying tool loved by so many. Even its little cousin, the air fryer, is no slouch in this regard, being a great way of crisping your food whilst cutting down on fat and grease.
So what happens if you put these two pieces of kitchenware together? Would placing aluminum foil in deep fat or air fryer lead to catastrophe, or do these bits of kitchen-dwelling gear make the perfect team?
Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. We’re going to discuss this interesting little kitchen hack that might prove beneficial to you and your cooking!
Can You Put Aluminum Foil In A Deep Fryer?
So, on to the main question of this article: Can you put aluminum foil in your deep fryer? Maybe you’ve got some of this shiny stuff in your kitchen, and you’re wondering if you can shape it into a makeshift basket for your soon-to-be fried chicken.
Or possibly, you’re just worried about an errant piece of foil causing some issues down the road, potentially even being toxic to you or those you are feeding.
So, Can You Just Put Sheets Of Aluminum Foil In A Deep Fryer?
Well, in a sense, yes… a little. Perhaps. But it is not necessary.
It’s a little complicated.
Being a very thin layer of metal in a large container of boiling hot oil is a tough job. There is a chance that the boiling heat will cause your foil to fall apart, disintegrate, perhaps even catch fire or melt.
That said, foil is incredibly strong, so it’s unlikely that it would ever break or fail under normal circumstances. But why take a chance? It’s always better to use a specialist fryer basket for lowering your food items into the hot oil.
Now, on to the second part of the question:
Does Having Aluminum In Your Deep Fat Fryer Make The Oil Or Your Food Toxic?
Well… no. Not really. But it’s not great either.
Whilst humans are obviously not supposed to eat foil, there should be nothing to worry about if a small fragment of a foil sheet falls in. Simply fish it out whilst it is in the deep fryer, or remove the foil once you have finished frying whatever food the foil fell in with.
However, try to not make a habit of consuming foil as part of your meal! It’s not good for you. Unlike iron, zinc, and magnesium, which we all need in our system to some extent, we humans have no physiological dependence on aluminum. It simply shouldn’t be in our bodies.
Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer?
So, if using aluminum foil is out of the question for your deep fryer, what about those air fryers that you’ve heard so much about? Would they be suitable for putting aluminum foil in?
Well, they’re certainly better than putting your foil in a deep-fat fryer. The incredibly hot air and light oiling are less likely to warp or destroy your foil whilst it is inside your air fryer. Plus, it will help separate any different foods you wish to fry at the same time.
However, it is still not ideal by any measure. An air fryer works by making the air within your deep fryer incredibly hot and using a small amount of oil to crisp your food up.
Aluminum foil inhibits the hot airflow in your air fryer, meaning the outcome won’t be anywhere near as crispy, golden, or indeed delicious!
The foil will also be incredibly hot to handle, given that foil is an excellent conductor of heat, so watch out if you are dead set on this idea!
What Are The Best Ways Of Frying Your Food?
So whilst using aluminum foil is out of the question, here are a few methods of frying that you may find interesting.
The traditional way of deep-frying, and the one we highly recommend, is to use a deep fryer. A deep fryer has a wide-rimmed pan, usually about 3/4″ thick. This pan is filled with oil which is subsequently heated to between 360 °F (180 °C) and 375 °F (190 °C), and when food is placed into said oil, it fries and browns.
You can cook multiple things at once in a deep fryer, and the temperature is controlled for consistency and safety.
An air fryer uses dry heating rather than oil. Food is placed into the basket of the air fryer and then fried in a high-pressure stream of hot air. Air fryers tend to be smaller than regular deep fryers, but they typically have larger baskets.
Air fryers require very little maintenance and also do away with dangerous fats and oils. Maintaining them is also relatively easy. Simply wash and wipe the excess oil from the side of your basket after use, and you’ll be ready to use it next time.
Another method that you may find handy if you have neither of these options is using a good old-fashioned pan. Pan-frying involves placing food into a pan, adding some fat such as butter or oil, and cooking until the desired level of crispiness is achieved. This type of frying is often done for vegetables, though other types of food like meat and poultry can also be prepared this way.
All of these methods have their benefits and drawbacks, and the choice depends largely on your preference.
So, there you have it! In your next culinary experiment, even if you are tempted, it might be best to avoid using aluminum foil for your air or deep frying. Foil has many uses in the kitchen, but it seems that use with these tools is definitely not one of them!