You want to get in on the air fryer craze and start frying all kinds of delicious dishes.
Yet, even though you’ve read the manual and plugged the device in, you hesitate.
What can go in there, and what can’t?
You have a Pyrex baking dish that you want to try…but is it safe to put inside the machine?
Yes, you can use Pyrex and over-safe glassware in an air fryer.
In this article, we’ll discuss what materials are safe to use with an air fryer, some maintenance tips, and some dos and don’ts when preparing and storing Pyrex dishes.
Glassware In An Air Fryer
In short, using Pyrex inside an air fryer is safe.
Ever since its inception in the early 1900s, Pyrex has been used for ovens just about everywhere.
It was originally intended for railroad lanterns, to endure the heat of flames as well as the outside cold. However, ever since Bessie Littleton recognized its cooking potential in 1913, the rest is history.
As to why it’s so heat-resistant, we have to understand what it’s made of.
Most kitchen and laboratory glassware is composed of what’s known as borosilicate glass, a material “more resistant to thermal shock” than just about any other kind of glass out there.
It can endure temperatures as hot as 297 degrees Fahrenheit!
It might be able to go over that limit, but could also fracture and break.
However, this is where you’ll have to be careful when using Pyrex dishes inside an air fryer.
Whereas the material is designed to withstand high temperatures, going over the 297 degree limit may not be a good idea.
Air fryers can heat up to a whopping 482 degrees F, way past what’s labeled the limit of what Pyrex can take.
So if you decide to fry any dish using that particular glass, make sure the machine won’t heat up too hot.
When preparing a meal for air frying, keep in mind that materials other than Pyrex do well at high temperatures.
Some of these materials are, but not limited to:
- Iron Skillets
- Steel Bowls
- PAM Oil
- Parchment Paper
Glassware Alternatives For Air Fryer Cooking
Whereas some of these materials may be more heat resistant than Pyrex, such as cookware made from steel and cast iron, the items you have on hand may not fit inside your air fryer.
If your model is a lot smaller than what your cooking hardware permits, try using flexible and heat-resistant foil or parchment paper.
Not only are both of these materials good for high amounts of heat (for example, parchment paper can withstand up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit!), but they can also have grease-resistant properties.
However, a line has to be drawn, especially when dealing with high amounts of heat.
What NOT To Put In Your Air Fryer
Here’s a brief list of some things you should not put inside your air fryer:
- Paper Towels
The idea is to avoid using anything that could either start a fire, or damage your machine.
Avoiding plastic and paper towels should go without saying, as either are simply not designed to withstand high amounts of heat.
Plastic will melt and ruin your air fryer (your food too!), and paper towels will burst into flame.
Sauces and water have minor exceptions, provided the sauce is thick enough to not be blown all over the inside of your machine, and water in small enough amounts that it doesn’t cause the same problem.
Air Fryer Care & Maintenance
When it comes to maintaining your air fryer, usually a good cleaning after each use can keep your machine going for years.
Doing so will not only retain cooking efficiency, but will also prevent bacteria and other nasty things from growing inside.
Some food and oil particles will get blown into certain parts such as the heating coil, and can accumulate overtime if the whole unit isn’t washed out.
When cleaning, avoid using disinfectants, as most aren’t approved for use on food-contact surfaces. Instead, use a bit of soap and water to clean out the cooking tray.
You can also use your dishwasher, provided the air fryer parts you wish to clean are dishwasher safe.
Check the owner’s manual to make absolutely sure that your machine won’t degrade or break up straight up if you put certain pieces through a wash cycle.
Speaking of degradation, avoid using utensils to scrape away food and grease particles.
Most surfaces inside air fryers are designed to be non-stick, and can be easily scratched by things made of metal and plastic.
This will make the inner surfaces stickier, increasing the chances that your next dish will be ruined.
Should you decide to do hand washing instead, make sure the unit is unplugged to prevent any parts from short-circuiting.
This can also happen if you try and submerge the air fryer in a sink full of water.
Again, consult your owner’s manual to see which parts can get wet and which parts can’t.
Keep in mind, not every part of the air fryer needs a cleaning after a single use.
The parts that do, however, are the basket, tray and pan.
Other areas such as the exterior might only need a simple wipe down with a microfiber cloth after every other meal you cook.
For a more comprehensive cleaning regime, you can check out this website for further details.
After cooking a dish using Pyrex (or any other kind of cooking glassware), leave it out to cool off on a dry, non-flammable surface for a while.
Whereas Pyrex is good for both heat and cold, a rapid change from one extreme to the other can cause it to break apart.
Avoid placing your freshly air-fried meal inside the fridge or even on a damp rag, as doing so can destroy the cookware!
However, placing a cold glass dish in a warmer place may not destroy it, provided that you carefully preheat your machine prior to doing so.
If this sounds a tad too risky for you, especially if you require temperatures that exceed 297 degrees Fahrenheit, try using the other safe-for-cooking materials mentioned in this article instead.