Can Air Fryer Catch Fire Or Explode?

affiliate message-min

check best deals

A viral Facebook post about an air fryer catching fire and damaging the kitchen created a panic among users.

But are these claims valid?

Let’s check.

Air fryers are pretty safe for use; let’s be clear about it. However, yes, being a cooking appliance, an air fryer can catch fire. The air fryer fire can erupt due to electrical malfunctions, overheating, improper maintenance, and so on. Proper use of an air fryer and adhering to safety standards are essential aspects for fire prevention and protection of the house and the user.

What Causes An Air Fryer To Catch Fire?


Overheating is one of the primary causes of air fryer fires.

An air fryer can overheat when the temperature settings are too high or the unit is left unattended for extended periods.

Overheating can be prevented by following the manufacturer’s guidelines about the using an air fryer.

Grease Accumulation

Though air fryers use little to no oil for cooking, constant usage can accumulate excess grease.

This air fryer grease, if not cleaned regularly, can lead to fire hazards.

Therefore, it is advised to regularly clean the air fryer basket, crisper tray, and other parts to avoid grease accumulation.

Electrical Issues Or Damaged Wiring

Similar to other kitchen appliances, an air fryer can also experience problems.

Issues like electrical malfunction and damaged wiring can result in short circuits, sparks, and, ultimately, fire hazards.

Using Non-Approved Utensils

Some air fryers come with original accessories such as trays and racks. It is essential to use only the brand-approved accessories.

Using accessories that the manufacturer does not recommend can result in uneven heating and issues like shattering, cracking, and melting.

This can, in return, lead to smoke and fire accidents.

Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

  • Spiralizer Vegetable Slicer
  • Onion Chopper with Container
  • Slicer Dicer Cutter

Tips To Prevent Air Fryer Fires

An air fryer fire can be very dangerous; therefore, always aim to avoid it as much as you can.

Here are some tips to prevent an air fryer fire.

Pay Attention To The User Manual

The user manual accompanying the air fryer is the most important document; therefore, give it a thorough read before using your air fryer.

Get to know the precautions, safety features, operating measures, and limitations of your air fryer to ensure proper usage.

Maintain A Safe Distance

When working, always maintain a safe distance between your air fryer and the other inflammable objects, like paper towels and curtains.

Leave at least six inches of space around the cooking appliance to prevent heat buildup and a fire mishap.

Don’t Leave The Air Fryer Unattended

Stay near your air fryer, or if possible, keep an eye on it from afar while it’s working.

Regularly check the food, and if needed, adjust the temperature/time settings to prevent overheating or burning, which can potentially start a fire. 

Avoid Overfilling

Overloading the air fryer basket with food not only affects airflow and the quality of food but also decreases the distance between the food and the heating element. 

Food touching the air fryer heating element can trigger smoke and a potential fire hazard.

Therefore, always add the food till the max limit mark mentioned on the air fryer basket.

Follow the proper guidelines present in the user manual regarding the quantity of food you can add to the air fryer basket.

Don’t Preheat With Parchment Paper

Another situation in which an air fryer can potentially catch fire is preheating it with only the parchment paper or foil inside.

When the bakery liner is not weighed down with food, it can rise and reach the heating element, causing a fire. Always add the bakery to the already preheated air fryer. 

Avoid Oil Spills On The Heating Element

If you have an oven-style air fryer, oil spilling on the bottom heating element can cause smoke, leading to a fire.

Place a crumb tray under the rack or mesh basket to prevent spills on the heating coil.

This precautionary measure will help you catch oil splatters and food juices, reducing the likelihood of a fire. 

What To Do If Air Fryer Catches Fire

Although very rarely, air fryers can catch fire. To ensure your safety, it is crucial to know how to deal with a fire hazard involving your air fryer.

Act Quickly

In the event of your air fryer catching fire, it is essential to maintain your calm and act quickly.

Don’t try to move the air fryer while it is on fire. Your immediate concern should be extinguishing the fire while ensuring your safety.

Cut Off The Power Source

Unplug the air fryer from the power outlet if the fire hasn’t spread to the wire, and doing so is safe. This will cut off the power source and prevent the fire from spreading further.

Never Use Water

Don’t use water or any liquid to extinguish the fire. Water can worsen the situation and may even spread flames.

In the case of an electrical fire, water can also result in an electrocution hazard.

Use A Fire Extinguisher

If you have an appropriate fire extinguisher, use it to douse the fire. Aim at the base of the flames and put out the fire using sweeping motions.

Never Smother The Fire

Resist the temptations of using a blanket, towel, or any other fabric to smother the fire, as doing so can spread the fire.

Report To The Emergency Services

If you cannot use a fire extinguisher, you are advised to evacuate the area and immediately call the emergency services.

  • USA and Canada – 911
  • UK – 999

While leaving the area, close all the windows and doors behind you to contain the fire.

Don’t re-enter the area until professional fire extinguishers have assessed the accident site.


Can foil catch fire in the air fryer?

Yes, it is safe to use foil in the air fryer as long as you ensure two rules. Firstly, make sure the foil does not touch the heating element. Secondly, keep the foil weighed down with food, preventing it from blowing around the basket.

What is the risk of cooking with an air fryer?

Using an air fryer is generally considered safe when done properly. However, improper use and insufficient maintenance can cause smoke and fire hazards, and faulty wiring can pose a risk of an electrical malfunction.

Is it safe to leave the air fryer on when not home?

No, you shouldn’t leave your air fryer on when not home. Food can burn when left unattended inside an air fryer due to the high temperature in the unit. In addition, accidents and malfunctions can occur in the absence of supervision.

Can an air fryer catch fire when not in use?

Air fryers require a good amount of voltage to work, and the risk of electrical fires is always associated with them. Therefore, it is a wise idea to unplug the air fryer when not in use.

Can an air fryer explode?

It is rare for an air fryer to explode. Misusing it or beyond the capacity could be a reason it explodes. For example, overfilling the fryer basket, adding too much oil, or submerging an air fryer's bottom in water are some reasons an air fryer can explode.

Can food catch fire in the air fryer?

Yes, food can catch fire in an air fryer if the cooking temperature is too high or when it touches the heating coil.

Can bacon grease catch fire in the air fryer?

Yes, bacon grease can cause a fire if this extremely fatty food is cooked at high temperatures. When the bacon cooks in an air fryer, its splatters can reach the heating coil, producing smoke and increasing the likelihood of a fire hazard.

You may also like to check out:


While an air fryer is generally a safe cooking appliance, being an electronic device, it accompanies the risk of malfunction, including the possibility of fire.

In this article, we have explained the reasons for an air fryer to catch fire and guided actions to take if such an event happens. We have also shared tips for preventing air fryer fires. We hope that this article will help you use your air fryer properly, minimizing any risk to your health or the machine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *