Can You Open Air Fryer While Cooking? Things To Know

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Why Do You Need To Open Air Fryer During Cooking

Yes, you can open air fryer during cook to check the doneness of food.

Checking the progress of the food during the cooking prevents it from overcooking and burning. The more you pay attention to your food while it cooks, the better the outcome.

However, when cooking in an air fryer, it is not as easy to check your food as when cooking in a pan. The only way to take a peek at the food is by sliding out the air fryer basket or rack from its cooking chamber. Now, you must be thinking opening an air fryer when cooking is risky. Is it so? Let’s find out.

Can You Open Air Fryer While Cooking? Things To Know

Yes, you can open air fryer while cooking to add seasoning, brush oil, flip the food or for any other purpose. Most modern air fryers have a viewing window and auto shut-off feature. The first one allows you to view the cooking progress from outside, and the latter automatically stops the cooking process when the basket is pulled out.

Plus, the best air fryers on the market, like Ninja, Power XL, and Instant Pot air fryers, are integrated with an auto-shutoff. This mechanism senses when the air fryer basket is not in the chamber and pauses the unit. The process resumes when the oven door is closed properly or the basket fits inside the chamber.

What Happens When You Open The Air Fryer During Cooking

Broadly speaking, two things can happen to your air fryer when you open it during cooking:

  1. It pauses the cooking process
  2. The air fryer keeps working

Your air fryer not halting the cooking function upon opening the door indicates the absence of the safety feature.

What Happens When You Open The Air Fryer During Cooking

The timer will continue to elapse, increasing the overall cooking time. But not having an auto-shutoff in an air fryer is not the end of the world.

Instead of the safety feature, air fryers often have a pause button that must be pressed before opening the basket to stop the cooking process manually. So look for the pause button and hit it before taking the basket out, and you are good to go.

How Do I Know That My Air Fryer Has An Auto-Shutoff Feature

Things To Consider When Opening An Air Fryer

Most notable brands have integrated auto-shutoff in their air fryers, and they openly advertise this feature. But if your air fryer is not from a notable brand or you don’t find anything about shutoff in the manual, note these two things to determine if the unit has an auto-shutoff.

  1. When you open the air fryer door or remove the basket, the fan stops working or considerably reduces its speed. You will feel an apparent decrease in the noise of the fan. When this happens, it means your air fryer is paused.
  2. The timer present on the control panel freezes when you open the air fryer during cooking. When you push the air fryer basket back in, the timer starts again and resumes the cooking.

Things To Consider When Opening An Air Fryer

Why Do You Need To Open Air Fryer During Cooking

An air fryer with an auto-shutoff is safe to open, but sometimes even the most reliable sensors and technologies fail too. When the sensor in an air fryer fails, the fan keeps working at full speed instead of slowing down automatically.

Whenever opening the door of the air fryer, be vigilant about the change in the fan speed. You can sense it by a noticeable decrease in the noise. When this happens, you should carefully remove the basket to avoid harming yourself.

Why Do You Need To Open Air Fryer During Cooking?

Why Do You Need To Open Air Fryer During CookingRERERER

During all those years of testing our air fryers, we have found a few instances that necessitate opening an air fryer’s door during cooking. Those instances are:

  • Checking up on the browning of the food
  • Taking out the cooked portion
  • Flipping the sides or shaking the contents to promote even cooking
  • Adding sauce when the food is about to be ready
  • Adding seasoning or spritzing oil

Can You Open Air Fryer When Smoke Is Coming?

Some scenarios necessitate opening the air fryer lid or door when cooking. One of them is when air fryer start smoke is coming.

All air fryers, including the Ninja Air fryer, release some smoke when cooking foods like bacon, which is perfectly alright. However, when excessive smoke comes out due to burning residual food and grease, food touching the heating element, or electrical issues (burning wires), you should immediately open your air fryer.

If your air fryer is dirty, clean it properly before cooking. If the air fryer is overfilled, causing the food to touch the heating element, reduce the food to allow smoke-free cooking.


Do you have to pause an air fryer before opening it?

Every air fryer does not need to be paused before opening its door or removing the basket. Most high-end air fryers, such as those from Chefman or Instant Pot, are integrated with a safety feature that pauses the unit automatically when the door of your air fryer oven is not properly closed, or the basket is not resting correctly in its place.

Can you remove the air fryer basket while cooking?

Yes, you can remove an air fryer basket during cooking. In fact, it is recommended to open the air fryer and take a peek at the food during cooking. Just make sure not to leave the air fryer open for an extended time, as it will expel the hot air and increase the cooking time.

Wrapping Up!

You can definitely open air fryer while cooking food. Some air fryers have an auto-shutoff feature that automatically pauses all the settings until the basket is loaded into the air fryer again. The auto-shutoff feature is a must-have for air fryers used in houses with kids who love to experiment and poke their hands in everything. If a child’s prying gets them to open the air fryer basket with an auto-shutoff, you can rest assured that the cooking process will stop, preventing the child from any harm.


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