Traditionally speaking, the process of deep frying food was always very messy. After you’ve done preparing your meal, you wind up with a bunch of dirty pans, dirty utensils, and a greasy cover on everything around the appliance.
On the other hand, Air fryers can be considered to be relatively clean. The cooking basket of the air fryer is completely shut off, which successfully eliminates any splattering and all the oil, grease, and fat that’s in your food goes down into the oil pan, which is located below. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s no need to clean the air fryer after you’ve used it. You should do so, every time you use your air fryer.
Here are the steps you need to take to safely and efficiently clean your air fryer:
First, you need to unplug the air fryer from the electricity socket, and let it cool down for at least 10 minutes.
You can wipe the outside of the appliance with a moist cloth.
After that, wash the pan, tray, and the cooking basket with hot water and dishwashing soap. That being said, most of the air fryers have removable components that are dishwasher safe, so instead of hand washing them, they can be placed in a dishwasher, and you can let the machine do the work for you – if that is your preference.
You may clean the inside of the air fryer, after you’ve removed the removable parts, with hot water and any cloth or sponge that is not abrasive.
It may happen that there is some food stuck to the heating element, which is located just above the food basket, but you can clean it off with a brush.
Make sure that the pan, tray, and the cooking basket are 100 percent dry, before you put them back into the air fryer.
Tips on what to do, and what to avoid, when cleaning your air fryer
Under any circumstances do not use utensils to remove any food that might have stuck to the inside of the air fryer. The components of most of the air fryers out there have been coated with a non-stick coating that’s extremely easy to damage. To remove any food that might have stuck to the cooking basket or the drip pan, or to just clean the contents of the air fryer, be sure to always use a non-abrasive washing cloth or sponge.
This may prove to be hard, if the food has hardened in the pan or basket, but you can easily resolve that issue by soaking the contents in question in hot water and washing liquid. This will soften the mentioned food and make it a lot easier to remove.
If you’re cooking several consecutive batches of food, you can wait until you are done with cooking for the night, before you clean your air fryer.
After you have finished cleaning your air fryer, you need to make sure you store it safely. Before putting it away, wait for at least thirty minutes for the air fryer to cool down, just to be sure. When you do finally store it, you need to make sure it’s in an upright position, and that it’s not plugged in. If your air fryer has a storage compartment for the cord, you can tuck the cords there, before you put it away, making thing even more tidy and organized.
Air Fryer Maintenance
In addition to the regular cleaning, your air fryer does require some very basic maintenance so it doesn’t get damaged or start malfunctioning. You could do the following to prevent that:
Inspect the cord before using the air fryer. You should never plug a damaged cord into an outlet, as that may lead to serious injury or death.
Make sure the air fryer is clean and doesn’t have any residue, before you use it. You need to check the inside of the air fryer as well, especially if some time passed since you last used your appliance, as some dust may have appeared there. Make sure the air fryer is placed upright, on a level surface, before you start cooking.
Make sure the air fryer has enough space, and that is not placed up against a wall or another appliance. This needs to be done in order to effectively and successfully vent steam and hot air that accumulate during cooking. Placing the unit in an enclosed space may cause the air fryer to overheat.
You should thoroughly inspect each component prior to each use. If you by any chance find any components that are damaged, delay the cooking you planned, and contact the manufacturer to get your air fryer fixed.
Problems you can encounter while using your air fryer
Although air fryers are durable, they may face some problems over time, like any other kitchen appliance. Usually, these problems are not that much of an issue and they are easy to fix. Most common ones include:
Most Common Air Fryer Issues
A lingering odor coming from the air fryer. If you’re preparing food that have somewhat pungent smells, that may cause a lingering odor of your air fryer. The absolute best way to get rid of odors is to be tidy and clean the air fryer immediately after you’ve finished using it. If the bad smell is persistent, and it’s still there, even after you’re done with the cleanup, you can leave the pan and the cooking basket in dishwasher soap to soak for 30-60min. This will almost always get rid of any odor, but if it’s still there, you can neutralizing it by rubbing half a lemon over the pan and the basket. You should then wait thirty minutes, and don’t forget to wash the air fryer again!
Bubbles or peeling on the inside of the air fryer. If you scratch the pan or the cooking basket the heat from the air fryer may cause bubbling. Luckily, the non-stick coating is safe and not hazardous to your health, so it won’t spoil your food, even if it gets mixed up with it. Still, if those bubbles or scraping occur, you should contact your manufacturer and fix the fryer in order to get the most out of your appliance.
Difficulty sliding the pan into the air fryer. This is a rather normal occurrence, which happens when too much food has been placed in the cooking basket. The best way to avoid this issue is cooking in two batches. If it’s not caused by the food overflow, check to see if the cooking basket is properly attached to the pan by lifting the basket from the pan and reattaching it. Make sure the basket clicks, as that’s how you know it is properly attached.
White smoke coming out of the cooking pan. The whole point of air fryers is arguably the fact that it doesn’t require any oil. Some people tend to forget that, and as a result place a lot of oil, thinking it will add to the taste. This is not recommended, as it can cause smoke. This may also occur if you forgot to clean the pan out after the last time you used your air fryer. While it won’t cause any damage, smoke is not pleasant, and fortunately, you can easily solve this issue by cleaning the unit, after it cools down.
Undercooked food. Overcrowding the food basket is the most likely cause here as well. If you put too much food in the basket, the upper layer will absorb all the heat, which means that it will be cooked a lot sooner than the rest of the food basket. Besides cooking in two or more batches, this can be avoided by shaking the basket a few times during the cooking.
Air fryer won’t start. It may sound redundant, but before you the manufacturer, make sure the fryer is plugged in. You won’t believe how many people forget to check this simple thing. However, if that’s not the issue, it means that the problem is most likely mechanical by nature. In that case, call the manufacturer and they will advise you on the best way how to proceed next.
Keeping Your Air Fryer in Optimum Working Condition
If you adhere to the abovementioned, your air fryer will probably last for many years, without causing any problems or breaking down. You should remember these few things, in order to achieve that:
What to think about
Read the user manual, so you’ll know how to properly operate your air fryer
Follow the recipes, and don’t use too much oil!
Make sure you clean up the air fryer after every use, keeping things tidy, eliminating bad odor and keeping your air fryer in top-notch condition.
Make sure every part of the air fryer is functioning, before you use it
Always store the air fryer in an upright position, and make sure it’s not plugged in, when you’re not using it.
Carol is a long-time gourmet and hedonist whose life changed upon discovering the world of air frying. One day, she went out on a limb and decided to share her obsession with healthy food with the rest of the planet. The result - this blog was born!
Reach her at [email protected] or on Google+.