How to clean your air fryer

How to clean your air fryer (cleaning hacks)

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One of the biggest air fryer mistakes that people can make is to skimp out on cleaning it. While it can be a boring (or daunting) task to have to take your air fryer apart, scrub off the grease from the cooking basket and pan, and then put it all back together for the next round of air frying, it’s a job that needs to be done if you want to get the most out of your appliance. To help you take care of business without fuss, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to clean your air fryer.

How often should you clean your air fryer?

You should give your air fryer a wipe-over after every single use, and give it a more thorough clean which involves soaking and scrubbing the cooking basket, pan and trays every week or so, depending on how often you use your appliance and the types of dishes you cook with it.

If you’re using your air fryer every day, then a deep clean will be necessary at least once a week or you’ll start noticing some funky odours coming from the cooking chamber. You will also want to clean it each time you cook chicken or seafood to avoid cross-contamination with other foods and unpleasant bouts of food poisoning. The same goes for dishes that contain a lot of meat fats like pork belly and bacon.

Read more: How to use an air fryer (beginners & seasoned cooks edition)

What parts of an air fryer need to be cleaned?

Both your air fryer’s main unit and removable parts need to be cleaned, although keep the main unit, which includes the external casing, the fans, and the heating element away from water at all costs. These should just get wiped down with a damp cloth (make sure the unit is unplugged from the wall).

The removable parts which include the air frying basket (or rack), any mesh grills, and the tray, should be cleaned in hot soapy water or in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. This can be done either in the dishwasher (depending on your air fryer model) or in the kitchen sink. Before cleaning, make sure your air fryer has cooled down sufficiently, but not to the point that food particles have dried or coagulated.

Read more: Top 9 air fryer mistakes to AVOID

How to clean your air fryer

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to clean your air fryer:

  • Step 1: Read your machine-specific instructions manual to see how the manufacturers recommend cleaning it. Generally, manufacturers recommend hot, soapy water and using a non-abrasive sponge to scrub off grease and food build-up.
  • Step 2: Ensure your appliance is unplugged and completely cool before cleaning.
  • Step 3: Remove the basket and tray and either put them in the dishwasher or handwash with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge. You can also use natural substitutes like baking soda and vinegar. Never clean your air fryer with a commercial oven cleaner, the fumes and chemicals will damage the non-stick coating and potentially ruin your air fryer.
  • Step 4: Wipe the outside of the appliance with a soft cloth.
  • Step 5: Check the fans and heating element for any remaining food particles and give a wipe-over with a soft cloth.
  • Step 6: Ensure everything is completely dry before reassembling your air fryer.

How to clean the outside of your air fryer

Air fryer parts than can be cleaned

The main unit of your air fryer should never ever meet your dishwasher or be submerged in water of any kind. Instead, take a soft cloth and give it a good wipe-over, making sure to concentrate on any areas that may have any food build-up or grease splashes. Models without dials and buttons are easier to clean.

Nifty air fryer cleaning hacks to try

Check out these nifty hacks to clean your air fryer in a jiffy without too much elbow grease:

  • Hack #1: To get rid of unwanted odours, cut a lemon in half, rub it all over the basket and turn your air fryer on low for five minutes to imprint the smell inside the cooking cavity, and then rinse.
  • Hack #2: Another nifty hack is to put a bit of dish soap and water into the basket and turn your appliance on low for three minutes. Then you can pour the water out, give the removable parts a quick rinse and you are good to go! Just make sure the water doesn’t get near the mechanics of the machine which could cause some damage. So, if you’re going to try this one out, make sure to check the manufacturer’s advice first!
  • Hack #3: Last but not least, you can use baking soda and water mixed together to form a paste to clean out crumbs or baked-on grease from your air fryer. Just give the inside a good scrub with something like an old toothbrush, never with something containing metal. Then give it a good wipe down with a cloth to remove any residue and your air fryer will be sparkling in no time!

Read more: What you can & can’t cook in an air fryer

Air fryer cleaning tips for the best results

Best air fryer cleaning results

The easiest way to remove baked-on grease is to soak your air fryer basket and tray in warm soapy water for at least 10 minutes. This should make scrubbing any excess food and grease much easier. Just be sure to use a non-abrasive sponge.

Avoid anything that contains metal in and around your air fryer. This includes metal utensils, abrasive sponges, and steel wire. These will scratch your appliance, degrade the non-stick coating, and damage the air fryer’s ability to cook efficiently.

If you notice a burning smell coming from your air fryer, use a toothpick, wooden skewer, or even an old toothbrush to clean nooks and crannies where food particles may have gotten stuck, which is what may be causing the burning smell.

Are air fryers dishwasher-safe?

Most air fryers have removable parts that are dishwasher-safe including the frying basket, tray, racks, mesh grills, and rotisserie accessory. The easiest (and safest) way to tell whether your appliance has dishwasher-safe parts is to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Please remember that the main unit should never be submerged in water because it contains electrical components.

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