Summary – Yes, you can use a steel bowl in your air fryer. However, before you air fry, ensure that it is marked as oven safe, or you know for sure it is. This way, you know that it can manage the heat generated within your air fryer. You should also ensure that it is suitably sized with no part of it touching any of the heating elements.
Regardless of how long you have been using your air fryer, there are always questions that will come up from time to time. One of the most often asked questions is ‘can I use steel bowl in air fryer’.
Do I find this question a surprise? Simply…no. There are a number of reasons why people want answers before they do something unfamiliar.
Putting something incompatible with your air fryer could cause damage…to both your air fryer and yourself. It is always wise to err on the side of caution.
Therefore, question like ‘can I use steel bowl in air fryer’ or ‘can you use aluminum pans in air fryer?’ are perfectly good questions to ask if you are unsure.
Understand what an air fryer is…
Many people don’t actually realize how an air fryer works. In essence, it is a kitchen appliance that is basically a powerful convection oven, that circulates heat very quickly. The word ‘fryer’ in the title causes some confusion…essentially, it is more accurately described as an air fryer oven. You don’t necessarily have to add any oil to your cooking in an air fryer.
Therefore, if your steel or metal bowl is suitable to put in an oven, they are more than likely safe to use in an air fryer.
Can I use steel bowl in air fryer?
The simple answer is yes. However, there a couple of things that you need to check before it is safe to put your metal bowl into your air fryer.
In many cases, your steel bowl will actually have some markings at the bottom which indicate what it is suitable for. You are basically looking for a marking that tells you it is oven safe. This can be done through an icon or actually marked on the steel bowl.
This principle applies to all air fryers, so whether you have an Instant Pot, Philips, Cosori or Tefal, the same principle applies.
What if my steel bowl does not have any markings?
Personally, I would err on the side of caution if I was unsure. Air fryers can be quite expensive and you don’t want to risk any damage. You also need to consider your own personal safety. I would probably not use it under these circumstances.
However, if I had previously used that steel bowl…it might well be an aluminum bowl…in the oven at high temperatures, then you can have confidence that it can handle the temperatures generated in an air fryer. Remember, we are talking of temperatures over 400°F.
Why do you need to use a steel bowl?
There is much talk about the health issues regarding non-stick surfaces like Teflon. It is a much-discussed area which might be driving your research into alternative materials. If this is the case, you may be happier with a stainless steel basket.
Manufacturers sell stainless steel versions of their baskets, although I warn you that it is not that common. If you are yet to purchase your air fryer, it is certainly a decision to make.
Generally, there are very few occasions that should require you to use a steel bowl. I suspect that a cake tin scenario may be one of these, but there shouldn’t be many occasions where this is necessary.
Remember, that the beauty of air fried cooking is the speed and consistency. The way it does this is to push the hot air through very quickly and surrounding the food. The whole process works best when there are no obstructions preventing this happening.
A bowl in the air fryer basket will reduce the efficiency of your air fryer.
Exceptions you need to consider
There are a couple of things you need to consider before putting a steel or metal bowl into your air fryer.
Firstly, consider the steel bowl itself. Does it have a coating over it? Is it painted? Is it patterned in any way? The base material may well be suitable for an air fryer, but will the surface coating be able to handle these temperatures?
Secondly, will it cause damage to other surfaces within the air fryer? Many of the air fryer baskets have a nonstick coating, more often than not, a form of Teflon. Putting another material like metal on it while it heats up may well cause damage to your non-stick coating.
This means that food particles and residue will stick to the surface, making cleaning a real chore.
You can read more about cleaning your air fryer here.
What are the alternatives to steel bowls?
Personally, I don’t put steel bowls into my air fryer. I simply don’t see the need to do that. There are many other materials that are more suitable.
Silicone – In my view, this is the safest material to use in your air fryer. It can handle the heat and it is safe to use it. The risks are much greatly reduced. This is the perfect material if you are making cakes in your air fryer. The same principle also applies to air fryer accessories.
Glass – Glass dishes like Pyrex glass can handle the heat generated, so may be a safer option than steel. However, it is glass at the end of the day so proceed with caution.
Ceramics – Most ceramic bowls are oven proof and you can find the markings on the base of it. They are designed to handle the heat, thus making them a perfect substitute to your air fryer.
Can I use steel bowl in air fryer? Hopefully, this post should have alleviated any concerns you have and given you a few things to consider before air frying. I would reiterate, if you are unsure and the suitability of your bowl…don’t take the risk. The best thing you can do is a buy a bowl that is specifically for use in your air fryer.
Let me know what you think…have you done this successfully? Have you ever had any disasters? Leave a comment below and share your story with our community.
Since you are here…can I ask you to pin this image!
It would be really nice if you could share this article and image on your social media.
It’s just a couple of clicks for you but it means the world to me.
Thank you so much…