Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer?

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It is not wrong to experiment with your air fryer as it is a versatile kitchen appliance.

But when it comes to putting water in it, you must think it through.

While some recipes may benefit from adding water, it must be understood that using water can have serious functionality and safety implications.

Here is what our experience says:

Yes, you can put water in your air fryer, but not more than a couple of tablespoons. The reason for putting water in an air fryer is to keep food moist and tender. You cannot put large quantities of water in your air fryer as water can reach the electrical components and cause the air fryer to malfunction. 

For the same reasons, adding water to the air fryer to steam food is not advised either.

What Happens When You Put Water In An Air Fryer?

What Happens If You Put Water in A Fryer

An air fryer does not have a spare compartment to hold water like a steamer.

When you add more than a few tablespoons of water, it may cause the water droplets to fly inside the chamber of the air fryer.

These water droplets can reach the electrical components of the air fryer, causing a short circuit and permanent harm.

Secondly, if you fill the air fryer drawer with water, the basket won’t sit on it properly; instead, it will float on the water.

When Can You Add Water To An Air Fryer

There are only a few instances where adding water to an air fryer is not harmful. Let’s explore what those instances are:

Catch Food and Fat Drippings

An air fryer is famous for cooking food without any oil. But some foods, such as bacon and ground meat, are greasy even if you don’t add extra oil.

They produce fats and oil splatters that cover the entire air fryer basket during cooking.

Food drippings and juices are caught in the air fryer drawer below the basket. After cooking, cleaning the air fryer basket and drawer with fat splatters can be a hassle.

Adding a few spoons of water to the air fryer can catch the oil drippings and makes cleaning easier.

Reduce Smoke

Another issue that can be significantly solved with the help of water is the production of smoke.

When the fat drippings from the food get heated, they produce smoke. Smoke coming out of an air fryer is a scary scenario.

Water catches all the fat drippings, keeps them cooler, and prevents the heat from burning them.

Hence, putting some water in the bottom of an air fryer can reduce smoke and an awful smell in the house.

Keep Your Food Moist

When you reheat food or cook meals such as chicken and vegetables in an air fryer, they become over-dry.

It is because hot air removes all the moisture.

Adding a couple of tablespoons of water or oil to the air fryer can prevent your food from drying and keep it succulent and tender.

Steps To Add Water To Your Air Fryer

Follow these steps when adding water to your air fryer to ensure the safety of your appliance.

  • Unplug your air fryer
  • Use a measuring cup or spoon to measure out water
  • Add the water to the air fryer basket slowly
  • Reconnect the air fryer to the power source


Does water evaporate in an air fryer?

An air fryer is an enclosed component, so there is no way for the water to escape. The most obvious example is frozen vegetables or meats.

All the water goes inside the food, making it succulent and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. But if there is too much water in the food, it can become mushy.

Can you put water in an air fryer to clean?

Yes, you can put water in an air fryer to clean it. However, make sure to add water in parts that are removable and have no electrical components, such as an air fryer basket and drawer.

You cannot immerse the entire unit, including electrical components, into water.

Can You Boil Water In An Air Fryer?

No, you cannot boil water in your air fryer. The temperature inside an air fryer doesn’t get hot enough to boil water.

More importantly, air fryers are designed for dry cooking methods like frying, baking, and roasting, boiling water can result in serious safety hazards.

Can You Reheat Liquid In An Air Fryer?

No, you cannot reheat liquids in an air fryer for the same reasons boiling in an air fryer is prohibited.

Hot liquids can splatter inside an air fryer, posing a fire hazard. Considering these risks, using a saucepan is a safer option for reheating liquids.

Can You Heat Soup In an Air Fryer?

Though it is not recommended to heat liquids in an air fryer, there is a way to reheat soup.

To do that, pour the soup into an oven-proof ramekin and cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent splatters. Air fry until heated through or at your desired temperature.

Wrapping Up!

Putting water in an air fryer is allowed as long as you follow the protocols. Filling your air fryer with too much water is detrimental to the air fryer. It can also cause it to break down completely. Only put a few tablespoons of water to prevent smoke, reduce oil splatters, or make your food moist and tender.

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