Silicone molds and cookware are great options in the kitchen as they can withstand high temperatures and are easy to clean. But can you use silicone in an air fryer? Let’s find out if these two kitchen staples can work together.
On the one hand, you have silicone molds or silicone pans. From cupcakes to muffins to banana bread and more, they’re great for cooking and baking.
They’re flexible, heat resistant, and nonstick. That means clean up is pretty easy. Plus, they come in lots of different shapes and a variety of colors, which are very photo friendly!
On the other hand, there’s the air fryer. In the past few years, air fryers have skyrocketed in popularity and air fryer recipes abound. They’re easy to use, require less oil than deep frying, cook food fast, and can cook a variety of foods well.
So can these two kitchen tools work together?
The good news is that you absolutely can use silicone molds in the fryer, as long as you adhere to some simple guidelines.
- What are silicone molds and what are their benefits?
- Great things to make in the air fryer with silicone molds and silicone bakeware
- Can I use silicone liners in the air fryer?
- Can I use silicone baskets in the air fryer?
- What should I watch out for when using silicone cookware in the air fryer?
- How do I clean silicone molds after air fryer use?
- More cooking equipment answers
What are silicone molds and what are their benefits?
First, let’s take a look at what silicone molds are and how they’re used in the kitchen.
Silicone molds are made up of a polymer that has characteristics of rubber and plastic. But they’re chemically stable and inert (or not chemically reactive). That means they won’t leach into food or emit any harmful gases or hazardous chemicals when heated, like some plastic containers that contain BPA can.
Silicone molds also hold a wide range of other benefits:
- Good quality molds have no fillers or by-products, so they won’t break down when heated.
- FDA approved molds are non-toxic and food-safe.
- They won’t absorb odors from foods or contaminate foods they touch.
- They’re highly heat resistant. They can withstand a maximum temperature of nearly 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Silicone molds are nonstick and easy to maintain. You won’t need to spend a lot of time scrubbing them to get them clean.
- Their flexibility makes them easy to bend or compress, which means they’re easy to store.
- They’re microwave-safe, unlike metal baking trays.
- The molds cool quickly, so they’re easy to safely handle just a few minutes after coming out of the air fryer or oven.
- In most cases, silicone molds are easy to find and affordable, making them a great option to add to your kitchen toolset.
Great things to make in the air fryer with silicone molds and silicone bakeware
Silicone molds are particularly great for baking. And that’s true when it comes to using them in the air fryer as well.
You can use them for delicious foods like:
The molds will help the foods cook evenly and throughout. And the concentrated heat can help foods cook more quickly than in a conventional oven.
That means if you’re following a traditional oven or convection oven recipe, you’ll need to adjust it for the air fryer by likely reducing both the temperature and the baking time.
To help prevent burning your foods or having them turn out too crispy, keep them away from the heating element, which is usually found on the top of the unit. So depending on the size of your air fryer, you may want to avoid trying to make large items in it, like a whole cake.
Also, for best results double check on your dish a few times during the cooking process and reduce the heat if necessary.
Can I use silicone liners in the air fryer?
Silicone liners are flat sheets of silicone that are good for baking or to make things like homemade brittle.
Since these kinds of silicone accessories can also withstand high temperatures, they can be used in the air fryer. In fact, some manufacturers make specific silicone air fryer liners.
A great way to use them is as a non-stick surface when air frying various types of food.
Place frozen french fries or chicken nuggets on them so they don’t adhere to the bottom of the air fryer’s basket. Or use the air fryer silicone mats as non-stick pads for air frying vegetables or fish.
When you’re done, the food should simply come off of the liners easily.
Can I use silicone baskets in the air fryer?
Other popular silicone products include silicone baskets. These can come in basket shapes or as a sort of silicone net with perforated holes and handles on each side.
They’re commonly used for steaming multiple items at once like veggies in an Instant Pot, for example. But you can also get a silicone basket made specifically for the air fryer. It’s a great accessory to help make cooking easier and they’re as durable as other silicone cooking equipment.
What should I watch out for when using silicone cookware in the air fryer?
While silicone can be a great tool to use in the air fryer, there are some things that can help make sure you’re using them as safely as possible.
- Make sure you buy high-quality silicone molds that are made from top-grade heat-resistant materials. These are designed not to break down, preventing the release of harmful chemicals while in the air fryer.
- To help you choose, look for molds that are made with FDA-approved premium food grade silicone or ones that comply with FDA food standards. Those that don’t may not hold up as well and end up making the food they come in contact with unsafe.
- Don’t exceed air fryer cooking temperatures of 450° Fahrenheit, as that surpasses the heat threshold for most silicone and can damage them.
- Since air fryers can produce high heat, consider placing the molds on a metal rack inside the air fryer basket to prevent them from overheating. That way the bottom of the mold doesn’t rest on the basket itself throughout cooking.
- Be careful when removing the molds from the air fryer. Since they bend easily, they could move unpredictably when you take them out and they’ll still be hot. A good idea is to wear silicone baking mitts or oven mitts to grab each side of the mold when transferring them out of the air fryer to help prevent any accidents.
How do I clean silicone molds after air fryer use?
Silicone molds are non-stick and easy to clean, but some molds may have intricate patterns or ridges where food can get stuck. These include silicone cupcake liners or even simple squares and rectangles.
Simply use warm soapy water and a sponge to clean out the stuck-on food residue, then dry the molds on a drying rack.
You can use silicone molds in any type of air fryer. The one I use the most in my kitchen is the Ninja Foodi 10-quart Dual Zone Air Fryer (pictured at the top of this post). It’s got two baskets (for twice the food!) and it’s a snap to clean.
If you’ve just bought a new mold, it’s a good idea to wash it thoroughly before you use it to make any food. Then pat dry with a clean towel. Consider doing this prior to any subsequent use to remove any dirt or grime that may have collected.
Silicone molds are meant to be nonstick, so in most cases, you won’t need to grease them with cooking spray. If you use larger molds or ones with intricate mold patterns, greasing may help release food more evenly. And it can clean up easier afterwards.
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