Air fryers have grown in popularity recently due to their ability to cook food quickly and efficiently while using less oil than traditional frying methods. With this increase in popularity, however, comes concern about the safety and proper use of certain cooking materials, such as wax paper. This article seeks to answer the question of whether or not you can put wax paper in an air fryer, as well as to provide alternative options for safe cooking.
Check out our detailed article on
- Is Air Frying Healthy? Debunking Myths and Facts
- The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Air Fryer
- Can you use vegetable oil in an air fryer?
- Can you use olive oil in an air fryer?
- How to add oil to an air fryer?
- 10 things you shouldn’t cook in an air fryer?
- Preheating Your Air Fryer
- Maximizing Energy Efficiency: Tips to Reduce Electricity Consumption with Your Air Fryer
- Can you put plastic in the air fryer?
- Do the air fryers use a lot of electricity?
Do you want to use wax paper in your air fryer but aren’t sure if it’s safe? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know!
So, What exactly is Wax Paper?
Wax paper, a popular type of baking and cooking paper, is coated on both sides with a thin layer of wax, giving it a nonstick and moisture-resistant surface. Line baking pans, separate layers of baked goods, and wrap foods with paper. The wax coating is usually made of paraffin or soybean wax, which allows it to retain its nonstick properties and resist moisture, making it an excellent choice for wrapping food to keep it fresh.
Wax paper comes in two types: bleached and unbleached. Unbleached wax paper is naturally brown, whereas bleached wax paper is typically white. Both are available in rolls and sheets.
Bleached wax paper is typically more durable and moisture-resistant than unbleached wax paper, making it an excellent choice for wrapping moist or greasy foods or for use in baking where the paper may come into contact with moisture. It’s also a better option if you need white for crafts or decorations.
What Happens When You Put Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?
When wax paper is heated in an air fryer, the wax coating can melt (can withstand heat only up to 350°F) and potentially catch fire, creating a potentially hazardous situation. Furthermore, even if the wax paper does not catch fire, it can still emit hazardous chemicals into the air and onto your food.
Parchment paper and aluminum foil, on the other hand, are both safe to use in an air fryer. Parchment paper is made of vegetable pulp and can withstand temperatures of up to 420°F, whereas aluminum foil is heat resistant and can withstand temperatures of up to 450°F.
Studies on the Safety of Using Wax Paper for Food-Related Purposes
There have been scientific studies on the safety of using wax paper for food-related purposes. One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2012 examined various types of food packaging materials, including wax paper, for the presence of potentially harmful chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol A. (BPA). The study discovered that some types of wax paper did contain trace amounts of these chemicals, but the levels were well below the established safety thresholds. 
Another study, published in the Journal of Food Protection in 2003, looked into the migration of substances from wax-coated paper into food. The study discovered that, while small amounts of wax did transfer to food, the amounts were not considered harmful to human health. 
If you’re wondering if air fryers cause cancer, check out our detailed article on Do Air Fryer Cause Cancer?
The Dangers of Using Wax Paper in an Air Fryer, as well as Safer Alternatives
When using wax paper in an air fryer, you run the risk of it catching fire and releasing harmful chemicals into your food and the air. To make sure that cooking is safe and healthy, it is best to use alternatives like parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Wax Can Get Into Your Food: Shouldn’t be used in an air fryer
Using wax paper in an air fryer to prevent food from sticking to the basket may appear to be a good idea. However, wax paper is not intended for use in high-heat cooking and may be hazardous to your health. When heated, the wax coating on the paper can melt and leak into your food, introducing chemicals that may be harmful to your health.
For example, if you cook a batch of french fries on wax paper in an air fryer, the wax coating on the paper could melt and mix with the oil from the fries, resulting in a potentially dangerous chemical combination. Ingesting these chemicals could harm your digestive system and overall health.
It’s also worth noting that the quality and composition of wax paper can differ between brands, which can affect its properties when exposed to heat. As a result, it’s not a good idea to assume that a particular brand of wax paper that worked in the past will be safe to use in your air fryer.
Instead of wax paper, use parchment paper to line the air fryer basket because it is heat-resistant and will not catch fire. Aluminum foil is another option, but be careful not to let it come into contact with the heating element, as it can catch fire or melt.
Effect of Heat on Wax Paper
Wax paper is coated with a thin layer of wax, making it nonstick and heat resistant. It is not, however, designed to withstand the high temperatures, around 400 °F that air fryer creates.
When the wax on the paper is heated, it can melt and transfer to your food. This can not only alter the flavor and texture of your food, but it can also pose health risks if consumed. Furthermore, the wax coating can cause the paper to smoke, burn, or catch fire.
Read about the things you should never do in an air fryer for your own and your family’s safety.
The Potential Hazards of Using Wax Paper in an Air Fryer
The risks of using wax paper in an air fryer are significant. As previously stated, the wax coating has the potential to melt, smoke, or catch fire, resulting in accidents or damage to your air fryer.
Furthermore, if the wax paper catches fire, it will spread quickly to other items in your kitchen, potentially causing a larger fire.
So, if not in the air fryer, where can I use wax paper then?
Wax paper can be used in the kitchen for a variety of purposes, including lining baking sheets, wrapping food for storage, and separating layers of baked goods.
It is also commonly used to prevent dough from sticking to surfaces when rolling it out. It should not, however, be used in high-heat applications such as an air fryer, an oven, or on a stovetop because it can melt, smoke, or even catch fire.
Furthermore, it should not be used with acidic or fatty foods because the wax coating may break down and transfer to the food. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended uses of wax paper.
Comparison with Other Types of Paper (Parchment Paper, Aluminum Foil)
Although the wax paper has a nonstick surface, it is not recommended for use in air fryers due to its poor moisture and grease resistance. Furthermore, it is only heat resistant up to 350°F (177°C), which is lower than the typical air fryer cooking temperature.
Moreover, it is non-biodegradable and cannot be recycled, making it an unsustainable cooking option. As a result, it is best to avoid using wax paper in air fryers and instead use parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Aluminum foil is a metal sheet that can be used for air frying as well as wrapping and covering food. It is grease- and heat-resistant up to 450°F (232°C). It is recyclable but not biodegradable, as well as reasonably priced.
The table below compares Wax paper with parchment paper and aluminum foil:
|Up to 350°F (177°C)
|Up to 425°F (218°C)
|Up to 450°F (232°C)
|Suitable for air frying
|Recyclable, but not biodegradable
Try our favorite recipes:
- Butter Cake Recipe using Air Fryer
- Frying Whole fish in the air fryer
- Frozen salmon in the air fryer
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use parchment paper instead of wax paper in an air fryer?
Yes, parchment paper is a safe and effective alternative to wax paper for lining your air fryer basket.
What are the common mistakes to avoid when using paper in an air fryer?
Some common mistakes to avoid include using paper that isn’t heat-resistant, allowing the paper to touch the heating element in your air fryer, and using too much paper, which can restrict airflow and affect the cooking process.
How can you tell if the paper is safe for air fryers?
Look for paper that is specifically labeled as heat-resistant and safe for use in ovens or other high-heat applications.
What should you do if the wax paper catches fire in an air fryer?
If the wax paper catches fire in your air fryer, turn off the appliance immediately and unplug it if possible. Don’t open the air fryer until the fire has been extinguished, and use a fire extinguisher or baking soda to put out the flames if necessary.