Can An Air Fryer Overheat? [Causes & Preventions]

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An air fryer confines intense heat in its small body, so the likelihood and danger of overheating are always there.

An overheated air fryer can be dangerous for all parties involved in cooking.

Therefore, we have decided to cover this much-needed topic today.

Our focus will be to answer if an air fryer can overheat and how you can prevent it.

Yes, your air fryer can overheat if you misuse it, its heat vent is not working correctly or is blocked somehow. All the heat will be trapped inside the unit, causing it to overheat or even release smoke.

Causes Of Air Fryer Overheating

The temperature of an air fryer can reach as high as 500F. Therefore, you cannot eliminate the possibility of overheating.

But your air fryer does not overheat without any reason. Below are some things that cause even the best air fryer to overheat.

Excess Amount Of Oil

Oil helps heat transfer, but too much oil in your air fryer is dangerous.

Oil can shoot up your air fryer’s temperature and cause the unit to overheat when it reaches its smoke point.

So, using oil in the air fryer with a low smoke point increases its chances of overheating and sometimes the unit can catch fire.

Overloading The Air Fryer Basket

Overloading the basket with too much food can block the flow of air and let it concentrate at a few spots only.

When the airflow does not spread correctly, the air fryer is forced to work more to produce heat for the rest of the food.

Ultimately, this causes your air fryer to overheat.

Placement Of The Air Fryer

The placement of your air fryer is a major factor that can impact its normal functioning. An air fryer has a vent at the back to release hot air and gases.

When the machine is placed too close to the wall, and the exhaust vent gets blocked, excess heat doesn’t leave the unit properly and overheats the unit.

Always ensure that some space is left from all sides when you place your air fryer in the kitchen.

Electrical Malfunction

There can be an electrical issue with your air fryer, which causes it to act erratically and produce more heat.

It is also possible that the air fryer heating element is not working and receiving the instructions you are putting in through the control panel.

If that’s the case, you must contact the manufacturer for replacement or repair.

How To Prevent Your Air Fryer From Overheating

Overheating and smoke coming out of an air fryer can be harrowing.

Therefore, you must do everything to avoid this from happening. Here is what you can do.

Keep Your Air Fryer Clean

Often, grease and food residue from the previous cooking burns and causes your air fryer to overheat.

Therefore, keep your air fryer clean; remove stuck-on food, grease, oil residues in the drawer, and so on.

After every use, wipe down the whole unit from the inside out to keep it in mint condition and prevent overheating.

Don’t Put Excess Food In The Basket

Never overcrowd your air fryer to the point that the food starts blocking the free flow of hot air.

An overcrowded air fryer will not work properly and give suboptimal results.

Additionally, it will overheat the unit too. Therefore, always put only enough food to leave ample space for airflow.

Use Oil Wisely

Air frying is touted as a healthy way of cooking; putting too much oil ruins this purpose.

Don’t use more than a few tablespoons of oil per batch of cooking.

Using more than that is dangerous for your appliance. The oil you use must have a high smoke point.

Also, don’t use pam oil or other spray oils that harm your device and produce smoke.

What To Do When An Air Fryer Overheats

First, you must do everything to avoid air fryer problems related to overheating. But if it happens, here is what you must do to tackle this situation.

Before troubleshooting the air fryer, unplug it to prevent more harm to the unit and the people around it.

It will also give the machine some rest and time to cool down.

Turn off the unit and let it rest for a while before turning it on; this process will reset the machine.

Remove grease from the heating element, basket, and drawer of the air fryer.

Check the placement of the air fryer and vent for any blockage. If you have placed the unit in a corner, take it out and let it get air from all sides.

If anything is blocking the exhaust port, remove it and clean the port with a wet towel before restarting your unit.

Do air fryers get hot on the outside?

Air fryers confine heat at a high temperature inside their body. It will not be surprising if this heat causes your air fryer to get hot from outside. Always use mittens when handling the air fryer, even from the outside.


An air fryer getting too hot can decrease the life span of an air fryer. Some ways to avoid this problem are mentioned above. Following these ways help you prevent the issues of your air fryer not working properly or overheating.

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