So you’ve gotten yourself an air fryer and have been enjoying all your deep-fried dishes without all the extra oil.
An air fryer ‘fries’ food with superheated air instead of oil as seen in a conventional deep fryer. It can reduce your oil usage by more than 80% which is good for your health and waistline.
Still, most recipes do require some oil – something like 1 – 2 tablespoons. On top of this, you might be lathering your food in some seasonings, spices, and sauces.
By the end of cooking, a lot of this may drip and stick to your basket as well as the base of the air fryer, making clean up a bit of a chore. In some cases, it may also splatter upwards, and hit the heating element. Burning smell anyone?
You’ve probably also noticed food sticking to the air fryer basket itself, which can tear as you try to remove it.
So, what’s the solution to these problems? The answer lies in using parchment paper, but specifically, the perforated kind.
What Is Perforated Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper is pretty much another term for baking paper. It’s greaseproof, non-stick, and heat resistant. It’s these qualities that make it perfect for being used as an air fryer liner.
Perforated parchment paper is when normal parchment paper has a pattern of holes in it. This makes it even better for air fryers since it allows air to flow around the food and provide an even cooking experience.
Perforated parchment paper comes in different shapes and sizes and we’d recommend choosing a size that suits the capacity of your air fryer.
Why You Should Use Perforated Parchment Paper As An Air Fryer Liner
If you never used perforated parchment paper as an air fryer liner, I’d highly recommend it. Here are just some of the reasons why:
- It will prevent food from sticking to the basket. An air fryer basket or rack is pretty wiry, and as we know food loves to get stuck in between those spaces. Perforated parchment paper will prevent this from happening.
- It will promote good airflow resulting in an even and effective cooking process. Since the parchment paper is perforated, the air will be able to flow through the holes.
- It will stop the air fryer from getting dirty. Parchment paper will prevent saucy flavorings from splattering the inside of your air fryer. This will save you time and prevent the natural wear and tear of your air fryer that is the result of using harsh cleaning detergents.
- Can withstand the air fryer heat. Most perforated parchment paper is safe up to around 400°F which covers all air fryer recipes. Of course, I’d recommend checking the exact specifications with your manufacturer.
Using Perforated Parchment Paper
Using perforated parchment paper is a straightforward process.
Place the paper in the basket and then put the food on top. You may also want to fold the paper so it covers the walls of the basket. This is especially handy if the food is extra saucy and is likely to splatter a bit. You can even put the paper on top of the food to offer more protection.
But what if you don’t have the perforated kind?
Alternatively, you can use plain parchment paper or even tin foil. It’s best to use these materials to only cover the basket itself. Test it out and see if the results are to your liking.
Here are some helpful tips:
- You might want to stack a couple of parchment papers or tinfoil on top of each other. That way, it will be better at containing any juices from the food.
- To prevent the paper from flying around, make sure the food weighs it down. You can also tuck the paper/tinfoil into any cervices you see around the basket. If the paper is on top of the food, you can tuck it under the ingredients or weigh it down with something that can withstand the temperatures of the air fryer (like a grill pan). If you do not weigh down the parchment paper, it can be sucked up into the heater and catch fire!
- Do not put the parchment paper/tin foil into the air fryer until you are using it with food (i.e. not while the air fryer is preheating!) otherwise, it will be certain to blow around.
Where to Buy Perforated Parchment Paper
One of best places to buy perforated parchment paper is on Amazon.
I’d recommend one of the most popular choices which come in a set of 100. If you use your air fryer several times a week, this should last you more than 2 months. You can choose anywhere from 6.5” to 10” which will cover the majority of air fryer sizes.
These air fryer liners are also unbleached, non-toxic and FDA approved, meaning that no extra chemicals are being added to your cooking process. If your air fryer has a square basket, here is another good option.
How to Make Perforated Parchment Paper
If you only have normal parchment paper with you, you can follow these simple steps to perforate it:
1. Cut the parchment paper to your desired size.
2. Using a rotary cutter with a perforated blade, roll it over the paper to create the desired holes. You may stack several sheets on top of each other to speed up this process.
And that’s pretty much it. I’d recommend doing this on top of a newspaper or cardboard to prevent damage to your kitchen top. Also, you may decide it’s easier to create the holes first and then cut to your desired size.