Parchment paper is popular in the kitchen due to its non-stick properties. It is widely used in air fryers for this reason but what if you do not have any at home? The good news is that there are several alternatives, which we will run through with you.
We will take a look at items that you have in the kitchen that will enable you to use your air fryer when you have run out of parchment paper.
The most common alternatives to parchment paper are non-stick baking trays and aluminum foil.
When it comes to baking or preparing food, such as non-bake desserts, items such as wax paper is used but this will not be suitable for your air fryer so care and attention need to be paid to what materials you are putting in your fryer.
What Is Parchment Paper?
As we know, parchment paper has non-stick properties which are why it is used in various aspects of cooking and baking.
The non-stick element of the paper is silicone which is cellulose-based and a process that makes it heat-resistant, water-resistant, and grease-resistant.
The paper is put through high heat during the manufacturing process which means that it can withstand the very high heat that is required for air fryers.
Generally used in baking, parchment paper is put on baking trays but it can also be put in your air fryer. When you use parchment paper in air fryers it stops food from sticking and allows for an efficient and fuss-free cooking experience.
Alternatives to Parchment Paper
There are several household items you can use in an air fryer. The most common items to use are silicone bakeware and aluminum foil along with food items such as oil and butter. We take a look at the best options. We also take a look at what items are not suitable for use in your air fryer.
Oil is a great way on making your cooking equipment and utensils non-stick. You can regulate how much oil you use by using a cooking brush to coat the fryer or spread it on your hand rather than simply pouring the oil in.
You can use any oil you like although stronger-smelling oils, like sesame, may linger in the fryer for longer. The obvious downside of using oil in your air fryer is that the for will become greasy which is the opposite of why many people choose to use an air fryer.
If you are wanting to reduce the greasiness, and the calories, you can cooking oil spray instead. Try not to worry too much about using oil though as a little goes a long way and it is particularly good for cooking meat as t will prevent it from sticking but also allow for a crisper finish to fatty meats.
Types of oil that can be used include vegetable oil, canola oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.
Butter is also an option if you don’t want to use oil as it will prevent your food from sticking to the air fryer tray. You can use the stick of butter to run it along the tray before placing your food on it.
The butter will give your food a richer flavor and will brown the food which is visually pleasing as well as adds to the taste.
Be careful to use unsalted butter if you are cooking food that is already salty or cooking any sweet foods. Butter is also high in calories so you may want to factor this into your meal plan if you are looking to eat as healthy as possible.
Many bakers use flour instead of oil or parchment paper when kneading dough for bread or buns and the same procedure can be implemented for air fryers. When baking in an air fryer you can sprinkle a dusting of flour, not the tray or basket before adding your baked goods and they will not stick.
You should take care not to use too much flour as the oil or butter in the products you are baking withdraw the flour in and it may become too sticky. As flour can get sticky you. May find that the air fryer basket is more difficult to clean so this will need to be taken into account.
4. Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil is used in many aspects of cooking and baking, from lining baking trays to steaming meat and vegetables. You can replace parchment paper with aluminum foil in your air fryer but, while it can withstand high heat, it does not have the non-stick credentials so some of the sticker foods and baked goods may not perform as well when you use aluminum foil.
You can either use the aluminum foil to line a tray like you would parchment paper or you can wrap up meat, fish, and vegetables to steam them. One benefit of using aluminum foil is that it is sturdy so is easy to remove from the air fryer without any spillages once your food is cooked.
This option offers easy cleaning as it will not leave as much food debris behind compared to the above items.
6. Iron Skillets
If you don’t have parchment paper and you have an oven air fryer then you can use iron skillets to cook your food. The iron skillet will need to fit in with enough space as you don’t want it to get jammed but it will be effective in cooking food without it sticking.
Iron skillets are a great way to evenly cook food as they are naturally good heat conductors. Skillets are good for foods that leak juice or sauce as they hold in the liquid due to the design of the pan.
7. Silicone Baking Mats
Silicone baking sheets, also known as Silpat paper are great for baking as they are designed to cook food that tends to stick to surfaces, such as cookies and baked goods.
Silicone mats can be expensive compared to standard baking sheets but they are very durable so they are worth the investment. Like most alternatives to parchment paper, silicone mats and silat paper can withstand very high temperatures and the bonus is that you do not need o use expensive butter and oils.
8. Non-Stick Baking Sheets
If silicone baking mats are out of your price bracket there are lots of non-stick baking sheets on the market that work in the same way.
Generally, these non-stick sheets are used in the oven for baking and roasting but they can be used in your air fryer If the sheet is the correct size. Using baking sheets in your air fryer is convenient and easy to clean.
9. Glass Baking Sheet
Another type of baking sheet that can be used in your air fryer is glass baking sheets. Glass is a very sturdy and durable material that can withstand high temperatures. These baking trays are good alternatives to parchment paper and, like silicone sheets, are cost-effective in the initial cost is worth it in the long run.
The downside to glass sheets is that you have to take extra care not to smash them so do not try and force the sheet into your air fryer and you need to be careful taking them out.
You will also find that the glass will cool your food quicker so you should serve it as soon as possible after cooking.
10. Pizza/Bread Stones
If you have a large air fryer then you may be able to use a pizza stone to cook your food. Pizza stones are made from materials such as cordierite fireclay which can withstand very high temperatures. Food will cook quicker on a stone so you will need to adjust the cookie times when using your air fryer.
What Not to Use in an Air Fryer
As you can see, there are lots of items that can be used in place of parchment paper but there are some that should never be used so do take care. Wax paper, paper bags, and paper towels are all items that cannot be used as they cannot tolerate heat.
While parchment paper is a great way to cook food in your air fryer without it sticking other popular items can be used. Oil, butter, and flour can be added to food in your air fryer or you can use popular kitchen equipment such as silicone trays and glass trays if they are compatible.
The most important thing to consider is the size of the item you use instead of parchment paper as they should not be forced into your air fryer as this will cause damage.
You should also check the instructions on the items you buy as using an incompatible material in your air fryer can cause a fire or your air fryer to break down.