Everyone knows that air fryers cook food at extremely hot temperatures. It can turn solidly frozen leftovers into ready-to-eat, piping hot meals in 20 minutes.
But all this heat involved, should you be worried about your countertops?
Air fryers are a great appliance that does help us cut down on cooking time and have healthier options. However, they can get really hot both internally and externally. It uses a heating element that can potentially go up to 1112°F (600°C) and if you are not properly protecting your countertop, an air fryer can cause damage such as cracks and warped counters.
How do you know if your countertop is heat resistant?
Certain materials are heat resistant and the best method for determining if your counter is heat resistant is to find out what it is made of. Granite, concrete, stainless steel, quartz, and soapstone are all resistant to heat and are commonly used in countertops.
Other materials might not do well against the intense heat. Laminate, plastic, wood, and even Corian can warp and even melt at high temperatures.
Ask your builder what your counters are made of or familiarize yourself with the different types of materials that are used in countertops. For your convenience, I’ve listed the 10 most common types further down this article.
What will happen if I put my air fryer on a non-heat resistant surface
If you do put your air fryer on a non-heat-resistant surface it may not cause damage initially, but with repeated use, it can cause cracks, melted counters, warped counters, and other damage that may make your countertops need to be repaired or replaced.
Warp and melting all fall into how the molecular level of these materials begin to shift and move. If you apply enough heat to a material, its molecules will detach from other molecules allowing it to move freely. This is what happens when something melts.
10 types of countertops and how durable they are against heat
Below you’ll find a list of the top 10 most common countertops. If you’d like to learn more about countertops, I’ve written a very detailed article about the 5 different types of tables and their durability against everything you can think of. There’s also a chart!
Stainless steel countertop
Stainless steel can withstand temperatures of up to 2000 degrees before it shows any damage. Perfect for those that set pots directly on the counter after use.
Granite is very heat resistant, does not have seams that can be damaged, granite is heat resistant up to 480 degrees and can withstand up to 1200 degrees without immediate damage.
Formica countertops are a bit more heat resistant but they are still by no means impervious. They can withstand up to 275 degrees before showing damage.
This countertop can withstand up to 212 degrees before it becomes damaged.
These counters are less heat resistant and can withstand up to 150 degrees before they are damaged.
Laminate can withstand temperatures of up to 275 degrees.
Marble can withstand up to 480 degrees before cracking so it is great for use with air fryers.
Wood countertops are not heat resistant, even when treated. Any amount of prolonged exposure to heat can damage them greatly and can cause them to catch fire.
Plastic countertops have a very low heat resistance of only 150 degrees. If you are using an air fryer on a plastic countertop, heat protection is a good idea.
Concrete countertops are virtually impervious to heat, can withstand up to 1500 degrees before it cracks or showing damage.
How hot do air fryers get?
Air fryers get as hot as their settings allow. The internal temp of an air fryer can get up to 400 degrees depending on the brand of the air fryer that you are using and its max setting. The exterior is not going to get as hot as the interior but they can still get rather hot with prolonged use.
What happens if an air fryer gets too hot?
If your air fryer gets too hot it can cause damage to the fryer itself, melting parts, burning the food inside, and more.
The extra heat can also cause cracking in some countertops, bubbling in others, and overall damage to the counter underneath.
How to protect your countertop from air fryers
To protect your counter from your air fryer the best method is to put a protector under the air fryer that helps to take the brunt of the heat so that your counter does not.
What to put under your air fryer
There are tons of different protectors that you can get under your air fryer but one of the best is a silicone counter protector. The silicone helps to absorb and distribute the heat and they are very inexpensive.
The reason being is that they are designed to be heat resistant so that you can use them in the oven so they will help protect your countertop.
Why do you need it?
Countertop protectors are that added layer of protection that helps to absorb the heat so that your delicate countertop is not taking the brunt of it. This helps to prevent damage from your air fryer and keeps your counters looking better longer.
What are the types of protectors?
There are tons of different types of protectors that you can use. Silicone mats, insulated mats, wooden cutting boards, ceramic tile, bamboo chopping boards, and even glass cutting boards can all be used to keep the heat from directly hitting your countertop and potentially damaging it.
What is the best countertop protector?
The best is whatever works for you. Silicone mats are cheap, they are easy to use, they are easy to clean and they are widely accessible making them a great option if you want something that is going to work for every countertop.
Silicon mats have a melting point of approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit or 216 degrees Celsius. This is far beyond the capabilities of most air fryers so you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Why would an air fryer crack a countertop?
Air fryers put off a great amount of direct heat when they are being used. This direct heat on your counters can heat that particular area to the point that it cracks. If you are using your air fryer very often, a protector is the best way to keep your counters safe.
Heat can initiate cracks due to structural rigidity. If one area of a countertop becomes unstable and shifts and moves, then it might disrupt the molecules adjacent to it. This causes a chain reaction of movement that otherwise results in that crack you’ll see.
Where should you place your air fryer?
Air fryers should have plenty of open space around them when they are in use. You should find an area of your counter that does not have cabinets that are too close to the machine and where it can be moved out and away from everything when in use.
How much space do you need around an air fryer?
When you are using your air fryer the more space you can give it around it the better. This will prevent things from getting too hot around it when it is in use. Six inches on each side is the minimum advised.
How far should the air fryer be from the wall?
At the very least, it’s generally accepted that your air fryer should be at least 6 to 12 inches from the wall when in use. If you can give it more space, the better.
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