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The air fryer is truly the it-appliance of the 21st century. It can do everything from frying foods without using copious amounts of oil to warming up frozen foods.
While it is tempting to start using your air fryer for everything since it is such a convenient appliance, you probably have some safety concerns. After all, you already know that not every dish is microwave-safe, so it’s safe to assume that there are probably some restrictions on using your air fryer as well.
One of the most common questions that comes up for owners of air fryers is whether silicone molds are safe to use in the air fryer. Using the air fryer is the perfect cheat for baking when you don’t feel like turning on the oven, but is it safe to use baking items such as silicone molds in the air fryer?
Here is everything that you need to know about silicone molds and the air fryer.
What Are Silicone Molds Used for?
Silicone molds, despite the name, are not just used to shape and form baked goods. Many bakers like to use them to replace baking trays and pans.
Silicone molds are baking equipment made out of silicone rubber, a flexible artificial material that is a polymer similar to plastic. You can get silicone molds in all colors, ranging from neutrals to colorful neon shades.
They also come in many different shapes, from regular loaf tins and muffin trays to nontraditional baking shapes including butterflies, cars, and more. Many bakers like to use silicone molds to make candy or desserts in funky shapes, particularly for children.
Silicone molds have a few advantages over traditional bakeware made of metal. They are non-stick and often easier to maneuver. However, because they are flexible and bendy, it is easy to accidentally spill your batter when putting them into the oven!
Can You Use Silicone Molds in the Air Fryer?
One of the hidden advantages of the air fryer is the way that it makes baking so much easier. As long as you adjust for temperature and time, you can make baked goods in the fryer without waiting to preheat the oven.
The good news is that you can use silicone molds in the air fryer. That means that you can make all of the cookies and cupcakes that you want in your air fryer with no trouble!
Why Is it Safe?
Oven-safe silicone molds can withstand temperatures up to 440 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest an air fryer gets is usually between 325 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so much cooler than the oven. If your silicone molds can withstand the oven, they are safe to use in an air fryer.
Silicone bakeware is safe to use overall, despite the fact that it is a newer material than metal or earthenware. Silicone molds and pans are FDA-certified to withstand heating and cooling without leaching off hazardous chemicals that could go into your food, a common concern with plastic tins.
Before putting your silicone mold or cooking gear into an air fryer, just be sure that it is oven-safe. Not everything that is made of silicone can withstand high temperatures because silicone molds are made with a special polymer that is heat-resistant. That means that you shouldn’t put random silicone objects into your air fryer!
What If You Don’t Have Silicone Molds?
If you don’t have silicone molds, you can still use your air fryer to make baked goods. Other materials that are air-fryer safe include glass, metal, and steel. Bowls and pans made out of these materials can go into the air fryer just like they would in the oven.
If you are heating up some frozen meals or want to bake mozzarella sticks, maybe you don’t want to get a whole baking sheet dirty (or you don’t have one on hand). The good thing about air fryers is that they are even safe for disposable materials.
You can wrap your food in aluminum foil or even parchment paper to heat it in an air fryer. This is best for reheating food or frozen meals, not if you are trying to bake cookies. When using foil or parchment paper, you also need to be careful that it doesn’t block any heating elements or air ducts.
Tips for Using Silicone Molds
If you are using silicone molds in your air fryer, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Shake the Molds
The one drawback of silicone molds compared to other bakeware is that they bake food unevenly. This is particularly a problem in an air fryer, which is more compact.
To combat this issue, take the molds out about halfway through the baking time, shake them, then turn them around. This ensures that all sides of your food get even access to the heat source and you won’t have a raw and burnt patchwork of cake.
Don’t Overfill the Silicone
The other drawback of silicone molds compared to metal or glass baking trays is that they are sometimes a little too flexible. This means that if you’re not careful, the mold could bend when you are putting it into the oven or fryer and your batter could spill.
The best way to avoid spilling, besides being careful, is to be careful not to overfill your molds. This will also give your baked goods plenty of space to rise and prevent different items from sticking together.
Use the Mold for Frying
You can use a silicone mold even when you’re not making baked goods. A silicone pot or basket is perfect for holding goods that you are trying to fry, from chicken nuggets to french fries.
Using a silicone mold for frying is more eco-friendly than parchment paper and makes it easier to clean up after frying because you don’t have to clean the basket of the air fryer itself.
You can even get silicone molds fitted specifically for air fryers.
Clean Your Molds Regularly
Just because food doesn’t stick to silicone as easily as it does to other materials doesn’t mean that you can get away with not washing your molds regularly. You still want to get rid of the built-up grease.
Wash your silicone molds with warm water and regular dish soap. Most silicone molds are also dishwasher-safe to make your life even easier.
Silicone Molds and the Air Fryer
The great news is that you can use silicone molds in an air fryer without any trouble. As long as you pick oven-safe food-grade silicone molds, they are made to withstand temperatures that are higher than what your air fryer can produce.
Silicone molds are perfectly safe to use because they do not leech, or bleed hazardous materials into food at hot or cold temperatures. Use them to make cupcakes or cookies in your air fryer, heat up frozen foods, or even fry chicken nuggets.
For best results, shake your silicone molds part of the way through the baking time for an even bake. You should also be careful not to overfill the molds and to wash them regularly.
Baking in an air fryer is better when you are in a hurry because you do not need to wait for the oven to preheat. Use your silicone molds for added convenience.