Are you wondering how to clean an air fryer?
These days, air fryers are some of the most popular countertop tools for modern kitchens. The right air fryer makes it quick and straightforward to create healthier versions of your favourite crispy and fried foods. Many of these products come with a non-stick coating on the internal basket tray and pan, but that doesn’t mean that your air fryer basket and the device itself doesn’t need regular cleaning.
The better you clean your air fryer, the more likely it is that you’ll continue to enjoy delicious food for longer, without having to worry about old food residue contaminating your meals.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your air fryer clean.
Cleaning an Air Fryer: The Basics
You may not need to do a full clean of your air fryer basket and the surrounding device every time you use it. If you’re just cooking a little food, you can often get away with cleaning the fryer basket and the middle of the fryer, and nothing else.
If you’re frying food like chicken breasts or vegetables spritzed with oil, then you may need a full clean and wash the components before you cook again.
The good news for people thinking of investing in their own air fryer is that these products are often much cleaner in general than deep fryers. You don’t have nearly as much grease to worry about when you’re cleaning, and there’s no need for any steel wool or extra-tough scrub brush utensils. An air fryer keeps things simple and relatively clean. However, regular washing will keep your fryer working well.
Before you start, check the instruction manual provided by your air fryer manufacturer. You might discover a cleaning guide that offers advice on how to wash the appliance safely. If you can’t find information here, you may find more insights online by tracking down the company’s website.
Start by unplugging your air fryer from the wall socket, and make sure that the heating element for the appliance has had time to cool and air out. You can remove the central parts of the air fryer, such as the pan and basket, to make it easier to clean everything.
Everyday Cleaning Tips
After cooking a meal, it’s a good idea to use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the inside of your air fryer. This will keep your home from smelling too much like frying food. Regular maintenance can be one of the ways to protect a fryer from damage, too.
Do not place any air fryer components in the dishwasher unless the instructions tell you to do so. Some components, like the fryer basket, maybe dishwasher safe, whereas others can be damaged by too much exposure to water. After the fryer has cooled, clean the outside with a damp cloth, removing any leftover food or debris. Wash the frying pan, tray and basket using the methods recommended by the instruction guide.
Fill the pot section of the air fryer with hot water and dishwashing soap to give it a thorough cleaning, and rinse around the inside of the air fryer with your cloth or sponge. If there are any stubborn food particles stuck in your fryer, having a toothbrush on-hand can help to get rid of them.
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How Do You Clean the Inside of an Air Fryer?
Usually, you can clean the outside of an air fryer and the basic components with just a sponge and some hot water. It’ll be difficult for food particles to end up on the outside or top of your fryer, so you may be able to go without washing this for a little while.
The toughest challenge when you clean your air fryer is figuring out how to remove cooked-on food from within the air fryer basket, pan, and tray – without damaging the non-stick coating. If dish soap and hot water doesn’t work, make sure that you don’t start scratching at the device.
Start by separating the crumb basket and frying basket within your air fryer. These are often two separate components that are much easier to wash when they’re separated. You can place these components in your dishwasher to remove the majority of the dirt and soften any baked-on food. If you can’t remove residue from your chicken tenders with dish soap and elbow grease, try a combination of white vinegar and baking soda.
White vinegar and baking soda can have a gentle corrosive effect on the food stuck to your air fryer, making it slightly more effective at getting rid of all oil and food than hot water. Fill a bowl with three parts hot water, two parts vinegar, and one part baking soda to submerge your food basket and remove any grease. Leave the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour, and rinse to get rid of the remaining grease and oil.
After you’re finished cleaning the basket, you can use a cloth to wipe down the outside of the air fryer and dry off the basket and pan so it can be placed back in the device. Follow the user manual if you’re uncertain about which cleaning solutions to use.
How to Remove Tough Stains
If you’re having a significant problem with a tough stain that’s stuck to the pan of your air fryer, or you have burned food on the part of the appliance that you can’t put in the dishwasher, don’t worry. You can remove all kinds of grease and food by making a paste with baking soda and a small amount of water.
Using an old toothbrush, dip the bristles into the mixture, and use it to scrub the pan very carefully. A spritz of lemon juice with baking soda can also be very effective. Using lemon juice also has the benefit of delivering some great smells when you’re next frying up foods.
It’s worth scrubbing the inside of your air frying machine with a toothbrush every once in a while, regardless of whether you notice baked-on food. Proper scrubbing will remove excess grease and keep your product in good condition for longer.
Remember, whether you’re spot cleaning your air fryer, or washing the entire basket and pan, make sure everything is completely dry before you place the components back into the device. After your air fryer has been cleaned, if you’re not going to use it again, you can store it safely. Make sure that your fryer is fully cooled before you put it anywhere.
What Not to Do When Cleaning an Air Fryer
There are certain things you should never do when cleaning your air fryer if you want it to last for as long as possible. For instance:
• Don’t submerge your entire air fryer in water, even if it’s covered in grease. Air fryers are electrical machines that have complex internal components. Though certain portions of the air fryer are safe to wash, others will be damaged when exposed to too much water.
• Don’t use forks and knives to get rid of stuck-on food. If some bits seem to be stuck to your air fryer, it’s tempting to try and scratch it off with a utensil. However, your air fryer will have a non-stick coating that you can easily damage by doing this. A non-abrasive sponge and hot water are often the best way to remove burned-on food easily.
• Don’t try to rush with steel wool. If the food hardens onto the pan and basket of the air fryer, soak those parts in hot water and dish soap. This should help to soften the food. You can then place the parts in the dishwasher if the instructions say this is safe. An old toothbrush is a good way to remove hard stains if you’re struggling.
• Don’t place wet compartments in the air fryer. Make sure the pan, fryer basket, and other components are fully dry before you place them back into the device. Don’t expose any of the electricals in your product to excess water if you can.
• Don’t forget to check the instructions provided by your manufacturer before you begin using your air fryer or cleaning it. This should help you to avoid damaging your new device or voiding any warranty coverage you have.
Tips for Regular Air Fryer Maintenance
Looking after your air fryer with regular maintenance is important if you think this appliance is a keeper for you and your family. The more care you show your product, the more likely it is to last for as long as possible, delivering the goodness of delicious air fried foods without the excess calories.
Cleaning is just one part of the maintenance routine. However, there are other things you can do to protect one of your top kitchen gadgets, too. For instance:
1. Inspect the cords.
Pay attention to the cords and wires before and after each use. You should never plug a frayed or damaged cord into an outlet, as this can be seriously dangerous. When cleaning your air fryer, make sure that the cords are damage-free and that there’s nothing stuck to the plug section that could cause problems with your outlet.
2. Don’t cook food in a dirty fryer.
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but if you’re used to frying food in a deep fryer, you’d usually use these tools more than once before a clean. Cooking new food when your basket already has something in it increases the chances of food burning onto the surface of the device.
Made pretty okay bagels in my air fryer today so I’m ready to live off the grid pic.twitter.com/BAh0bgeVHl
— Nic🌻le (@el0cin) March 23, 2021
3. Check for possible wear and tear.
If it’s been a long time since you used your air fryer, make sure that you check everything works before you begin cooking. It’s also important to give your fryer plenty of time for cooling before you put it away again. Do not store an air fryer that’s still plugged into an outlet.
4. Keep an eye on each component.
The more you use the basket, pan, and other components of your air fryer, the more likely they are to become damaged. All it takes is for one part to stop working properly, and you might not be able to get the most out of your fryer. Keep an eye out for any damage.
5. Visually inspect your air fryer prior to use.
Make sure that all removable parts are in good condition. If there seems to be a lot of grease on your air fryer after cooking certain ingredients, you may need to clean all the components again.
6. Remember, not all foods are ideal for air fryers.
Cooking wet batter or using a lot of oil and grease in your air fryer will make it difficult to clean, as the batter will go everywhere and often seep through the basket. Read the user manual provided to find out what you can cook.
Whole roast chicken in the air fryer with homemade mashed potatoes, broccolii and carrots and homemade gravy 😉 pic.twitter.com/Gn4feF3V7s
— PinkysFunhouse (@Pinkys_Funhouse) March 23, 2021
How Often Do You Need to Clean an Air Fryer?
Because air fryers don’t use as much oil and grease as a standard deep fryer, it’s often easy to forget about cleaning them. In most cases, you won’t need to clean your air fryer on the outside every time you use it. You can simply give the exterior plastic and metal a quick wipe with a damp cloth to remove any food that you’ve noticed there.
On the other hand, the air fryer basket and internal components usually need cleaning every time you use your appliance. Fortunately, most air fryers allow you to place your air fryer basket and pans in the dishwasher, so you don’t have to worry too much about spending hours scrubbing at grease.
Wash all the internal components that you use to cook your food with each use, particularly if you’ve added oil to food to give it a crispier finish. If you’re planning on batch cooking a lot of food, you don’t need to clean the system after each batch. Do so only if you’re concerned that leftover grease and debris could be affecting how the batches taste.
Are there any other tips on how to clean an air fryer that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!
Rebekah is a writer who loves to explore new products and find hacks that make life easier. She has a knack for all things home improvement, health and fitness. So you’ll often find her on Pinterest or browsing Houzz for ideas.
She’s always looking for the next thing to fix up around the house or what gadget might be just right for her lifestyle. Rebekah enjoys exploring new recipes, taking care of her family, and making sure she stays healthy with regular workouts at the gym.