Is it possible to use an air fryer to bake polymer clay?
The engineer in me, is always on the lookout for faster, more efficient, ways to do things, and this applies to working with materials for model-making, including polymer clay. Recently, I’ve been exploring alternatives to using our kitchen oven for baking polymer clay, and one appliance that caught my attention is the air fryer.
Air fryers have gained popularity because of their lower energy costs for cooking, as clarified by Money Saving expert Martin Lewis and by the BBC here. I purchased a budget model to try out in the kitchen, and I began to wonder if it could be used for baking Fimo, Sculpey, and Kato polymer clays.
If you’re not familiar with air fryers, they’re appliances that use hot air to cook food, much like a convection oven. As mentioned earlier, they’re known for their quick and convenient way of cooking meals, as they can cook food in a fraction of the time it would take in a conventional oven.
So, can you bake polymer clay in an air fryer? After experimenting a bit, I’m pleased to say that the answer is definitely yes. You can certainly use air fryers for polymer clay, and I’ve had fantastic results with what I consider the best air fryer for polymer clay.
And not only is it possible, I find it faster (less space to pre-heat than with an oven) and it’s, therefore, better for my energy bills and the environment*
But if you are considering using an air fryer, please ensure that it has sufficient space inside for the projects you’re making, has temperature control (not all air fryers do), and test the brand of polymer clay you use in it. The air fryer I use works well with the Fimo and Sculpy Premo brands that I use, but try yours out with some spare clay before putting any creations you’ve spent time making into it.
In conclusion, you can bake polymer clay in an air fryer, but it’s important to take certain precautions and consider the limitations of your specific air fryer model.
- Another, albeit small advantage, of this air fryer, is that the baking tray has a handle that you use to lift it out of the fryer. While this might get in the way when cooking food it really helps when working with polymer clay. I can prop my models up against this handle, keeping them upright, and avoiding the flattened rear that sometimes occurs when models are laid flat. It’s an accidental benefit but one I’m grateful for.
Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.