Like any other kitchen appliance, air fryers can develop unpleasant smells over time.
If you’re tired of the unpleasant smell that comes out of your air fryer when cooking your favorite meals, then you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks that will help you eliminate unwanted odors from your air fryer for good.
Why Does My Air Fryer Smell?
Your air fryer may start to smell because of the food you cook in it.
When food is cooked, it releases oils and other substances into the air, and these can stick to the surfaces of the air fryer, causing smells.
Food can also get stuck to the bottom of the air fryer or the air circulation system, leading to burning and unpleasant smells.
Common Smells in Air Fryers
Here are some of the common smells in air fryers and their possible causes:
1. Burnt Food Smell
One of the most common smells that come from an air fryer is a burnt food smell.
This happens when food is overcooked.
You might also experience this when leftover food residue burns when cooking a new batch in the air fryer.
Another possible cause is the buildup of grease or food debris on the heating element.
2. Plastic Smell
When you first use an air fryer, you may notice a plastic smell coming from the unit.
This is a common occurrence and is caused by the heating element and other parts of the air fryer being brand new and not yet fully cured.
The plastic smell may also be due to the plastic parts and coatings on the basket, tray, and other components of the air fryer.
When these plastic parts are heated for the first time, they may release some chemicals that can create a strong odor.
The good news is, the plastic smell should dissipate after a few uses.
You can try running the air fryer on its highest setting for a short period to speed up the process.
Another possible cause of the continued plastic smell is the use of plastic utensils or containers in the air fryer.
3. Chemical Smell
One possible reason for a chemical smell is the presence of manufacturing residues or oils on parts of the air fryer.
These residues can create a smell when they are heated for the first time.
You may also experience this smell when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released from the coatings or adhesives used in the air fryer.
When the air fryer is heated, these VOCs can be released into the air, creating a chemical smell.
The chemical smell may also be caused by the use of non-stick coatings, such as PTFE or PFOA.
4. Musty Smell
If you notice a musty smell, it could be due to moisture buildup in the air fryer.
This can happen if you don’t dry the basket and other components properly after washing them.
Storing the air fryer with water residue facilitates rusting of the air fryer.
5. Fish Odor
A fishy odor is likely due to cooking seafood in the air fryer.
Seafood has a distinct smell that can linger in the air fryer and other parts of your kitchen.
6. Garlic/Onion Odor
An air fryer may develop a garlic or onion odor when it is used to cook foods that contain these ingredients.
This is because the strong aromas of garlic and onion can be absorbed into the materials of the air fryer and linger even after the food has been removed.
7. Rotten Egg Smell
When an air fryer has a rotten egg smell, it may be caused by a buildup of bacteria or mold in the unit.
This can happen if the air fryer is not cleaned properly after each use, or if it is not dried thoroughly before being stored.
How To Get Rid of Air Fryer Odors
· Clean Your Air Fryer Regularly
The first and most obvious solution is to clean your air fryer.
This includes wiping down the exterior, as well as cleaning the basket thoroughly after every use.
When cleaning the basket, make sure to use warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge to avoid damaging the non-stick coating.
· Use Vinegar and Water Solution
If you have stubborn odors that won’t go away even after cleaning use vinegar and water solution.
Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then soak a cloth in the solution and wipe down the interior of your air fryer.
Be sure to rinse the interior with water and dry it thoroughly after using the vinegar solution.
· Baking Soda and Water Solution
Another effective solution is to use a baking soda and water solution.
Mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to form a paste, then apply the paste to the air fryer.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
· Soak the Basket and Pan in Dish Soap Solution
If the basket and plate are the sources of the odor, soak them in a dish soap solution.
Fill the sink with warm water and a few drops of dish soap, then soak the basket and pan for 30 minutes to an hour.
· Lemon and Water Solution
Lemons are a natural deodorizer, and they can be used to eliminate unpleasant odors from your air fryer.
Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl of water.
Soak a cloth in the lemon-water solution, then use it to wipe down the interior of your air fryer.
Rinse with water and dry.
· Coffee Grounds and Charcoal
Coffee grounds and charcoal are both great at absorbing odors.
Place a bowl of coffee grounds or activated charcoal in your air fryer.
The coffee grounds or charcoal will absorb the odors, leaving your air fryer smelling fresh.
Tips for Preventing Odors in Your Air Fryer
Preheating Your Air Fryer
Preheating your air fryer before cooking can help prevent odors by reducing the amount of time food is exposed to high heat.
This can also help prevent sticking and promote even cooking.
Cooking at the Right Temperature
Cooking at the correct temperature is important for preventing odors because overcooking or burning food can produce strong smells.
Follow the recommended cooking temperatures and times for your specific air fryer and the food you are cooking.
This air fryer cheat sheet is a great guide with temperature and cooking times for various foods.
Cooking in Proper Containers
Using the appropriate containers for cooking in your air fryer can help prevent odors by containing any liquids or juices that may produce smells.
Use containers with lids or choose recipes that are appropriate for the air fryer basket.
Apart from containers, you can consider air fryer liners to contain your food.
Using Appropriate Amounts of Oil
Using too much oil in your air fryer can lead to greasy smells and an oily buildup in the air fryer.
Use only the recommended amount of oil. Also, check on the type of oil you’re using to ensure it has a high smoke point.
Keeping the Air Fryer Clean
Regular cleaning of your air fryer can help prevent odors by removing any leftover food particles or oils that may cause smells.
Clean the air fryer after each use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.
Avoid Cooking Smelly Foods in Your Air Fryer
One of the simplest ways to prevent unpleasant odors from your air fryer is to avoid cooking smelly foods in it.
Some of the foods that are known to cause odor include fish, garlic, and onions.
If you must cook these foods in your air fryer, make sure to clean it thoroughly after.
Alternatively, use an air fryer-specific recipe that incorporates them in a way that minimizes odor.
Store Your Air Fryer Properly
Lastly, it’s essential to store your air fryer properly to prevent unpleasant odors from developing.
Read this article on Where Do You Store an Air Fryer?
Make sure to clean your air fryer before storing it and store it in a clean, dry place.
Avoid storing it near strong-smelling items, such as cleaning supplies or trash cans.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Bad?
There are various reasons why your air fryer may have an unpleasant odor.
They include the buildup of dirt, cooking smelly foods, and not cleaning the air fryer regularly.
2. Can I Use Bleach to Clean My Air Fryer?
No, bleach is too harsh for cleaning your air fryer and can damage the non-stick coating.
Instead, use warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge.
3. How Often Should I Clean My Air Fryer?
It’s recommended to clean your air fryer after every use.
This will prevent the buildup of grease and other substances that can cause odors.