Can You Use Steel Bowl in Air Fryer?

As you explore the world of air frying, you might wonder if you can use a steel bowl in your air fryer.

The answer is yes, you can use a steel bowl, but there are certain factors to consider.

I came across a discussion where a person asked the same question. Although people answered him to go ahead, the reply was not complete as there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Can You Use Steel Bowl in Air Fryer?

Yes! However, the steel bowl should be oven-safe so it can withstand the high temperatures used in an air fryer.

Stainless steel bowls are a great option, as they are durable and heat-resistant. 

You also need to be aware of the size of the bowl. It should fit properly in your air fryer and not block the circulation of hot air.

When using a steel bowl in your air fryer, avoid bowls or pans with handles, as limited space may cause issues. Stick to stainless steel pans without loop handles for the best results. 

Also read: What Utensils Can Be Used in Air Fryer?

Compatibility of Steel Bowls and Air Fryers

Let us have a look at considering factors 

Material Considerations

When using a steel bowl in your air fryer, it’s important to make sure that it’s made of stainless steel.

Stainless steel is durable and can withstand high temperatures without warping or melting. 

Additionally, it is oven-safe up to 500˚F, making it perfect for air frying.

Avoid painted or decorated bowls, as the artwork may not be safe at high temperatures.

Stick to plain-colored steel bowls that don’t have any coatings, which could potentially release harmful chemicals when heated.

Size and Shape Factors

Another important aspect to consider is the size and shape of the steel bowl you plan to use in your air fryer.

Since air fryers have limited space, it’s essential to choose a bowl that fits comfortably in your air fryer’s basket. 

For example, if you need a small bowl, try this oven-safe Japanese-style stainless steel bowl measuring 3.30z.

Below is a set of different-sized bowls that are oven safe.

E-far Mixing Bowls with Lids Set of 5, Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls Metal Nesting Bowls with Airtight Lids, Non-toxic & Dishwasher Safe, Great for Cooking, Baking, Serving - Size 0.7/1/1.5/3/4.5QT

A simple test to find the perfect fit is to place the bowl inside the basket and make sure it doesn’t touch the sides or stick out from the top.

When selecting a steel bowl, also keep in mind the following:

  • Avoid bowls or pans with handles, as they can take up too much space inside the air fryer.
  • Opt for a bowl with a wide and shallow design, allowing the hot air to circulate more easily.
  • Make sure the steel bowl is marked as suitable for air frying or has a symbol indicating it can withstand high temperatures.
Also read: Can You Put a Glass Bowl in an Air Fryer?

Alternatives to Steel Bowls in Air Fryers

Sometimes, you might not have a steel bowl handy, or you might want to explore other options for cooking in your air fryer.

Don’t worry. There are alternatives you can use without sacrificing the quality of your meals.

Aluminum Foil and Pans

If you need a quick and easy solution, you can use aluminum foil or aluminum pans in your air fryer.

However, make sure to leave some space for air circulation. Here are some tips:

  • Use a small amount of foil to create a barrier between your food and the air fryer basket
  • Place aluminum pans on the bottom of the basket
  • Do not cover the entire basket with foil, as it can cause uneven cooking and reduce air circulation

Glass and Ceramic Bowls

Glass and ceramic bowls can also be used in air fryers as long as they are oven-safe. Here’s how to use them:

  • Make sure the glass or ceramic bowl is heat resistant and can withstand air fryer temperatures.
  • Do not use bowls with cracks or chips, as they can break during the cooking process.
  • Place the bowl inside the air fryer basket, but ensure that there is enough space around it for proper air circulation.

Silicon and Oven-Safe Plastic Containers

Silicon and oven-safe plastic containers can also be a great alternative to steel bowls in an air fryer. Just follow these guidelines:

  • Verify that the silicon or plastic container is specifically designed for high-temperature cooking (oven-safe)
  • Choose containers that fit comfortably inside your air fryer basket without touching the sides or the heating element
  • Keep in mind that plastic containers may not provide the same crispy results compared to steel or aluminum options
Also read: Can Silicone Go in Air Fryer?

Tips When Using Steel Bowls in Air Fryers

Follow the tips mentioned below to cook food well using a steel bowl in the air fryer

Uneven Cooking Prevention

When using a steel bowl in an air fryer, you need to ensure even cooking.

Since steel bowls can hinder air circulation, it is important to choose a shallow bowl that allows proper airflow. 

Remember not to overcrowd the bowl, as this can also lead to uneven cooking. 

Using Parchment Paper in the Bowl

To prevent food from sticking to the steel bowl, you can use parchment paper as a liner.

However, you need to poke holes in the parchment paper to maintain proper air circulation within the air fryer. 

These holes will allow hot air to flow around your food and cook it evenly.

You can either use pre-cut parchment paper with holes or simply use a toothpick to create holes in a regular parchment sheet.

Adjusting Cooking Time

When cooking with a steel bowl in an air fryer, the cooking time might need some adjustments compared to the usual air fryer basket. 

Keep a close eye on your food and check it a few minutes earlier than the recipe suggests. 

This will prevent overcooking and ensure your food is cooked to perfection. It’s also helpful to rotate or stir your food halfway through the cooking process to guarantee even cooking.

Health and Safety Concerns

Let us also look at some of the health and safety concerns associated with using steel bowls in the air fryer.

Potential Chemical Leaching

When using a steel bowl in your air fryer, it is important to ensure that the bowl is labeled as air fryer safe or oven-safe. 

Some steel bowls may have coatings or treatments on them that could potentially leach harmful chemicals when exposed to high temperatures in an air fryer. 

Always check for proper labeling and use only air fryer-safe or oven-safe steel bowls to avoid potential dangers.

Use Oven Mitts

Steel and metal bowls are excellent conductors of heat.

This characteristic allows them to heat up quickly and evenly in an air fryer, which is beneficial for cooking your food uniformly. 

However, this also means they will become very hot to the touch.

To avoid burns, always use oven mitts or other protective gear when handling your steel bowl during and after cooking in the air fryer.

Cleaning of the Steel Bowl and Air Fryer 

One of the best things about using a steel bowl in your air fryer is how easy it is to clean.

Since steel bowls are typically non-stick and dishwasher-safe, it saves you a lot of time and effort.

Here’s a simple cleaning guide for your steel bowl and air fryer:

Wash the steel bowl

You can place your steel bowl directly in the dishwasher, or hand wash it with warm soapy water and a sponge.

Clean the Air Fryer Basket and Drawer

Remove these parts from your air fryer and wash them with warm soapy water.

Be gentle to avoid scratching the non-stick coating.

Wipe down the air fryer interior

Use a damp cloth with warm soapy water to wipe down the inside of the air fryer. Be sure to reach all the corners.

Recipes and Cooking Methods with Steel Bowls

Let us dive into different recipes and cooking methods you can try using a steel bowl in the air fryer.

Fried Foods and Chicken Wings

Using a steel bowl in your air fryer is a great way to make crispy textures on fried foods and chicken wings. 

Simply place the food in the steel bowl and add your favorite seasoning. You’ll enjoy the crispy outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender.

Roasting and Baking

A steel bowl also allows for versatile cooking methods, such as roasting and baking.

Place your vegetables or fruits inside, and the air fryer will cook them evenly, giving them a delicious roasted flavor. 

Baking with a steel bowl works well for dishes like casseroles or quiches. Make sure to coat the bowl with non-stick spray or oil for easy removal once cooked.

Also read: Can You Bake Cupcakes in Air Fryer?

Meats, Burgers, and Sauces

Steel bowls are ideal for cooking meats and burgers in your air fryer.

Place the meat or burger patties in the bowl, and the hot air circulation will cook them evenly while retaining their juices. 

You can even add sauces or marinades to the bowl, and they’ll mix well with the meat as it cooks.

Experiment with different recipes and cooking methods using steel bowls in your air fryer to enhance the flavors and textures in your dishes.

Also read: Does Air Fryer Dry Out Food (Meat/Chicken)?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions:

Why is it Important to Use an Oven-Safe Steel Bowl?

Steel bowls that are not labeled oven-safe might be unable to handle the heat generated by your air fryer, causing them to warp or become damaged.

Do Steel Bowls Affect Cooking Time in Air Fryers?

Using a steel bowl in your air fryer may result in longer cooking times and sometimes uneven cooking, depending on what you’re cooking.

Can I Use a Steel Bowl with a Handle in an Air Fryer?

It’s best to avoid using steel bowls or pans with handles, as the limited space in your air fryer may cause difficulties in fitting them.

How Can I Evenly Cook with a Steel Bowl in My Air Fryer?

To achieve even cooking, make sure your food is spread out in the steel bowl, and consider shaking or stirring the contents halfway through the cooking process.

Do All Air Fryers Support the Use of Steel Bowls?

While most air fryers allow steel bowls, it’s essential to check your specific air fryer’s user manual to ensure compatibility and avoid any potential issues.

Is There Any Shattering Risk for Steel Bowls in the Air Fryer?

Compared to glass or ceramic bowls, steel bowls present no shattering risk when used in an air fryer. 

Glass and ceramic bowls can shatter under extreme temperatures and pressure, potentially causing injury or damage to your appliance. 

Steel bowls are a safer option, as they hold up better under extreme conditions.


In summary, using a steel bowl in your air fryer is possible, as long as it’s oven-safe. This means the bowl can withstand high temperatures, typically up to 500°F. 

Remember also to 

  • Avoid using bowls with handles or painted surfaces
  • Make sure that it fits properly within the appliance. If it’s too large, cooking may not be even, and cleaning up afterward might be a hassle.

Lastly, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for your specific air fryer model.

Now that you know it’s possible to use high-quality and oven-safe steel bowls, get creative. Enjoy cooking a variety of delicious meals, from chicken and fish to vegetables and desserts. Happy cooking!

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!