When I first got an air fryer, I was very excited and anxious at the same time.
I was excited to try out new recipes while being anxious to do it right and not damage the appliance.
When I saw smoke coming out of my air fryer, to say I was scared is an understatement.
I immediately turned off the air fryer and let the smoke die down.
I switched and prepared dinner using my trusted oven.
With continuous experiments, I was able to understand my air fryer and know how to air fry the right way.
Smoke may come out of your air fryer if excess oil, grease, and food burn and produce smoke.
You may be using too much oil while air frying. Use a light coating of oil in the air fryer to help food cook evenly.
If you use too much oil, the excess can smoke when heated.
Another potential cause of the smoke is if food is sticking to the bottom of the basket. This can cause the food to burn and produce smoke.
The food sticks to the bottom of the basket when you stack, crowd it, and use a high cooking temperature that burns the food.
If you notice either of these issues, be sure to adjust your cooking accordingly.
Steam vs Smoke in Air Fryer
First, understand the difference between smoke and steam.
The fear of not knowing what to expect when using an air fryer for the first time keeps you on edge.
Understand that you can have both steam and smoke coming from an air fryer. This is not always a bad thing.
Do not confuse smoke and steam.
Steam is water coming out of the appliance in form of air. It normally odorless and colorless.
Smoke, on the other hand, has color, usually white, and a pungent smell.
If the air fryer is brand new, a bit of smoke is normal for some brands during the first few uses.
This is due to the manufacturing process and will eventually stop.
What Should I Do If My Air Fryer Is Smoking?
When you find your air fryer is smoking excessively, you should:
ü Switch off the air fryer
Stop and turn off the power to the air fryer and unplug it. This is to avoid the production of more smoke.
You also prevent any incidents as smoke can hinder visibility in the kitchen.
ü Aerate the kitchen
Ensure that you get rid of the smoke by opening the windows and doors.
Allow fresh air to penetrate the room and the air fryer.
ü Examine the air fryer
Check on the air fryer to determine if it is overheated and ensure no part is damaged.
No matter how much it cost, an air fryer is an investment.
Next, analyze the contents of the air fryer to identify the source of the smoke.
If you notice that food is stuck in the air fryer basket, remove the contents, clean, and dry the basket.
It indicates you might have overcrowded the basket. Or, you’ve used a high temperature when cooking.
If you have grease and food particles stuck to the heating element, you may have used too much oil in the food.
Also, the food might have been blown from the basket to the heating element and fan.
How Do I Stop My Air Fryer from Smoking?
There are a few things you can do to stop your air fryer from smoking:
1. Change your Cooking Oil
Make sure that the food you are cooking is not too oily. Do not add oil to food unless necessary.
Oil is the main cause of smoke in an air fryer.
When cooking with an air fryer, it’s important to use cooking oil that has a high smoke point.
A high cooking oil smoke point is 400°F and above. These oils include sunflower, canola, avocado, and sesame oil.
This will help to prevent the oil from smoking and creating a mess.
2. Clean Your Air Fryer
A build-up of oil, grease, and food in the air fryer is a common cause of smoke coming out of an air fryer.
A simple way to eliminate this build-up is thoroughly cleaning the air fryer sections.
Examine and clean the air fryer heating element and fan.
You often find dirt around these parts that you may miss when cleaning after cooking.
Depending on the type of air fryer, use warm water and dish soap.
Both the cleaning detergent and brush or cloth should not be abrasive.
This will prevent the scrapping of the non-stick protective cover that helps to prevent rusting.
I also find that baking soda and vinegar work great when removing grease from my Ninja Max air fryer.
After cleaning the air fryer, make sure to dry it before storage or use.
3. Place Bread at The Bottom of The Air Fryer
When air frying food with grease such as bacon and sausages, a great hack is to use bread.
Place a slice of bread at the bottom of the air fryer basket. This slice acts as a sponge to absorb grease and oils from the food.
Use a thin slice of bread to ensure the basket fits and properly closes before air frying.
It prevents the grease and oil from burning up and producing smoke.
4. Place Water in The Air Fryer
You can also use water in place of bread.
However, you need to be careful about the amount of water.
Use a tablespoon or two of water before placing your crisper plate in the air fryer basket.
At high temperatures, the water is converted to steam. The steam diffuses the grease drips reducing their temperature.
As a result, little to no smoke is produced by the air fryer.
5. Cook Food in Batches
Avoid crowding the air fryer basket when cooking. Instead, cook food in batches.
It is better to take longer to prepare food than to have burnt food.
Tips that help when using an air fryer include:
– Preheat your air fryer before you start cooking. This will help ensure that your food cooks evenly.
– Cut your food into similar-sized pieces. This will help them cook at the same rate.
– Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. Make sure to leave enough space between each piece of food so that the hot air can circulate.
– Check on your food while cooking. Turn or shake your food to prevent food from sticking and burning.
6. Use the appropriate Cooking Temperature and Time
Check on the temperature and cooking time.
Identify whether the temperature is set to degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit and adjust the air fryer.
When using an oven recipe, convert the cooking temperature to air fryer temperature.
You often need to reduce the temperature and cooking time. Air fryers get pretty hot and cook at higher temperatures compared to ovens.
An air fryer can produce smoke when new and in case of buildup.
Smoke is coming out of your air fryer due to excess oil, grease, and food particles burning.
To prevent your air fryer from smoking, use a high smoke point oil, clean your air fryer, and do not overcrowd your air fryer basket.
You can also use water or a bread slice when cooking greasy food.