Can You Open Air Fryer While Cooking?

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We all know the importance of monitoring our food while it cooks to ensure optimal outcomes.

In traditional cooking, you can easily remove the lid and observe the food’s progress.

However, when using an air fryer, checking your food is not as straightforward unless you have an air fryer with a viewing window.

However, you can still do one thing.

Yes, You can open the air fryer during cooking to add seasoning, flip the food, or check the recipe status. Doing so will not damage the unit in any way. However, keeping the air fryer open for a prolonged time will let the hot air escape, most probably increasing the total cooking time.

What Happens When You Open the Air Fryer During Cooking?

Things To Consider When Opening An Air Fryer

Two things may happen to your air fryer when you open it during cooking:

  • It pauses the cooking process
  • It keeps working

Some of the best air fryers on the market, like Ninja, Power XL, and Instant Pot, are integrated with an auto-shutoff.

This mechanism senses the removal of the air fryer basket from the chamber and pauses the air fryer. Cooking resumes once the air fryer basket or door is securely closed.

In the second case, the air fryer does not stop working, and the timer continues, increasing the overall cooking time.

Instead of the safety feature, these air fryers have a pause button that must be pressed before opening the basket to stop the cooking process manually.

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

Most notable brands have integrated auto-pause in their air fryers, and they openly advertise this feature.

But if you don’t find anything about shutoff in the manual, note these two things to determine if the kitchen appliance has an auto-off.

  1. Does the fan stop working or considerably reduce its speed when you open the air fryer door or remove the basket? When this happens, an apparent decrease in the noise of the fan indicates that your air fryer has been paused.
  2. Does the timer freeze when you open the air fryer during cooking? If so, the timer starts again and resumes the cooking when you push the air fryer basket back in.

What to Consider When Opening An Air Fryer?

What Happens When You Open The Air Fryer During Cooking

An air fryer with an auto-shutoff is pretty safe to open, but sometimes, even the most reliable sensors and technologies fail.

When the sensor in an air fryer fails, the fan keeps running at full speed instead of slowing down automatically.

So, whenever opening the air fryer basket, be vigilant about the change in the fan speed. You can sense it by a noticeable decrease in the noise.

If the sensor fails to reduce fan speed, you should carefully remove the basket to avoid hurting yourself.

Why Do You Need To Open Your Air Fryer During Cooking?

Why Do You Need To Open Air Fryer During Cooking

During all those years of testing air fryers, I have found a few instances when opening an air fryer door during cooking is necessary.

  • 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 Your Air Fryer When Smoke Is Coming?

Why Do You Need To Open Air Fryer During CookingRERERER

Yes, you can open the air fryer door when excessive 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, it could be due to residual food and grease burning, food touching the heating element, or electrical issues (burning wires).

If your air fryer is dirty, clean it properly before cooking.

If it is overfilled and the food touches the heating element, reduce the quantity of food to prevent air fryer smoke.

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Nothing will happen if you open your air fryer intentionally or by mistake while the food is cooking. Some air fryers have an auto-shutoff feature that automatically pauses all the settings until the basket is reloaded into the air fryer. The auto turn off feature is a must-have, especially for air fryers used in houses with kids. Even if a child’s meddling gets them to open the air fryer basket, the cooking process will stop automatically, preventing the child from any harm. For more such useful information check air fryer tips for beginners.

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