Paper towel with instructions to whether put or not in an air fryer.

Can You Put Paper Towel in Air Fryer?

Can You Use Paper Towel in an Air Fryer? While paper towel can help absorb the oils from your food, it is unsafe to use in air fryer. [1]

Many people who use an air fryer want to know if they can use a paper towel in it. Even though it might seem easy to use paper towels to soak up extra oil or keep food from sticking to the air fryer basket, this is not a good idea for a number of reasons. It’s important to know what happens when you use paper towel in an air fryer and how to use it safely.

Potential Risks and Concerns of Using Paper Towel

Fire Hazard: Air fryers use a lot of heat to cook food, and paper towel can catch fire. If the paper towel touches the heating element directly or gets too close to it, it could catch fire and create a possibly dangerous situation.

Airflow Restriction: If you put a thick layer of paper towel in the air fryer, it can block the airflow, which is important for cooking. If the airflow is blocked, the food might not cook properly, or the air fryer might get broken.

Paper Towel Residue: While cooking, some paper towels may leave behind lint or residue. This residue can build up in the air fryer, making it work less well and possibly giving food bad smells or tastes in the future.

Don’t forget, you are using air fryer at 400-degree Fahrenheit range which is extremely high temperature for paper and thus it can easily burn and cause fire.

In this video, the person experimented to see if towel paper causes fire.

Safe Usage of Paper Towel in Specific Scenarios in Air Fryer

Even though it can be dangerous to use paper towel in an air fryer, there are times when it can be used safely:

Absorbing Excess Oil: If you want to get rid of extra oil from air-fried food, you can put a single layer of paper towel on a plate or cooling rack. When you take the food out of the air fryer, put it on the paper towel to soak up any extra oil.

Clean Air Fryer: You can use a paper towel to clean your air fryer, but it shouldn’t be done while the air fryer is running.

It’s important to remember that if you use a paper towel in these situations, you should always keep a close eye on the cooking and make sure the paper towel is not touching the heating source. Also, use your air fryer safely by following the guidelines and suggestions given by the manufacturer.

Alternatives to Paper Towel in Air Fryer

Even though paper towel is often used to soak up extra oil in an air fryer, there are other materials that can do the same job just as well. These options not only soak up oil well, but they also have other advantages. Here are some options to paper towels that can be used in an air fryer:

Parchment Paper or Baking Paper

In an air fryer, people often use parchment paper, which is also known as baking paper. It is paper that doesn’t stick and can stand up to high temperatures. The pros and cons of using parchment paper are as follows:


  • Food doesn’t stick to the air fryer basket because it has a non-stick surface.
  • Makes it easy to clean up because the food can be pulled off the paper.
  • Allows for good movement, so the food cooks evenly and stays crispy.
  • It can handle the high temperatures of the air fryer because it is heat resistant.


  • For parchment paper to fit in the air fryer basket, it may need to be cut or bent.
  • It might not be as good as paper towel at soaking up oil.

Silicone Mats or Baking Mats

Silicone mats, which are often called baking mats or silicone baking sheets, are another good choice to paper towels. These mats are made of plastic that is safe for food and offer several benefits:


  • Food doesn’t stick to the surface, which makes cleaning up easy.
  • It gives you a stable place to cook things that might fall through the air fryer pan.
  • Allows for better airflow, which makes food cook more evenly and crispier.
  • Reusable and good for the environment.


  • When you first buy them, silicone mats can be more expensive than paper towels.
  • Due to the higher airflow, some users may find it hard to change the cooking times.

Perforated Air Fryer Liners

Air fryer items like perforated air fryer liners are made for air fryers. Most of the time, these liners are made from materials that are safe for food and already have holes or perforations in them to let air move. Here are the pros and cons of using air fryer covers with holes:


  • Made just for air fryers, so they fit perfectly.
  • Food will cook and brown more evenly because the holes are in the right places.
  • They are easy to clean because you can put them in the machine.
  • Some covers don’t stick to food, which makes it easier to get the food out.


  • Liners need to be changed out every so often, which adds to the cost.
  • It might not be as easy to find as paper towels or other options.
  • When picking an alternative to paper towel for an air fryer, think about things like how well it can handle heat, how well it doesn’t stick, and how easy it is to clean.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil can be used in air fryer.

Glass Bowl

Glass Bowl can be used in air fryer.

Metal Plate

Metal plate can be used in air fryer.

Can paper towels catch fire in an air fryer?

Yes, a paper towel could catch fire in an air fryer if it touches the hot element directly or gets too close to it. Air fryers make a lot of heat, and paper towel can catch on fire. To keep this from happening, it’s important to make sure the paper towel is in the right place and doesn’t touch the heating element or any other hot parts of the air fryer.

Is it safe to use paper towel with greasy foods?

Using a paper towel to clean up fried food in an air fryer is safe if you take certain steps. Using a paper towel to soak up oil from food can make it less greasy. But you should do the cleaning only after air fryer is switched off.

Can I use regular napkins instead of paper towels?

Even though regular napkins may look like paper towels, you shouldn’t use them while cooking food inside an air fryer.

Are there specific paper towel brands recommended for air fryers?

There are no specific paper towel brands recommended exclusively for air fryer usage.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap