Why Does My Air Fryer Burn Everything? Causes & Prevention

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Fix Air Fryer Burning Every Food Problem

It happens when you cook food at high temperatures or use an oil with a low smoke point. Read on to learn more about causes and prevention.

The desire to eat healthy and delicious food motivates you to buy an air fryer. But finding that your air fryer is burning, everything dampens your spirits and your excitement to experiment with your cooking skills.

Why Does My Air Fryer Burn Everything? Causes & Prevention

The air fryer starts burning food mainly when you cook at a higher temperature or for a longer period. It can also happen when you use the wrong cook settings on your air fryer. For instance, you might use roast settings to air-fry French fries.

To avoid the future occurrence of this issue, you must identify and troubleshoot the problem in your air fryer that is causing food to burn. I will share things that might be causing your air fryer to burn food.

1. Leftover Food Particles

If you did not wash your air fryer after cooking your last meal, chances are there are leftover food particles and crumbs stuck in the crevices and holes of the air fryer.

These particles burn when you cook the new recipe and ruin your food. Therefore, you must clean your air fryer thoroughly after every use.

2. Excessive Use of Oil

Air fryers are made to cook without oil. However, some recipes require adding a couple of tablespoons of oil to the air fryer.

The oil promotes browning. Oil also increases heat transfer. So, too much oil can amplify the cooking process and burn your food. 

You have to understand that an air fryer is the opposite of a deep fryer; therefore, it does not require as much oil. Always check your recipe before adding oil to an air fryer.

3. Not Stirring the Food

An air fryer uses heated air to cook food. The super hot air cooks food from all sides, but you still need to stir/turn the sides of your food midway.

If you forget to flip the sides of the food, it will overcook or may have some burnt spots and undercooked areas. Therefore, always watch the food and change the sides when the timer is halfway through.

4. Cooking Lightweight Food Items

The hot air flowing inside the air fryer is very powerful. If the food you cook in the air fryer is lightweight, it will rise and reach the heating element above the cooking chamber and may get burned.

Spinach is one of the lighter foods you must avoid cooking in an air fryer.

5. Improper Food Arrangement in The Basket

Food arrangement is another aspect that can cause your air fryer to burn food. Improper placement or stacking food in the air fryer basket increases the chances of getting charred and burned food. The right arrangement is to spread the food in a single layer with space between the ingredients.

6. Cooking Excess Food

Apart from the arrangement, the quantity of food cooked in the air fryer is also worth consideration. If you are cooking fries, don’t overfill the basket to the point that the upper layer is very near to the heating element. This proximity not only burns food but can also damage the heating element.

7. Using Oil With Low Smoke Point

Some oils, i.e., coconut, flaxseed, and safflower oil, have a low smoke point. If you are using an oil with a low smoke point, it will start burning the food as soon as the smoking temperature points are reached.

I recommend using oils with medium or high smoke points. Some examples are olive oil, avocado, and peanut oil.


Why is everything sticking to my air fryer?

Air fryers come with a non-stick coating, but this non-stick coating is often not enough to inhibit the food from sticking to the air fryer basket. It happens when the non-stick coating flakes off or is exposed to a temperature it cannot withstand. Also, to prevent your food from sticking, you can coat the basket lightly with oil use silicone mat or aluminum foil in the air fryer.

Why did my parchment paper burn in the air fryer?

Parchment paper in the air fryer burns when you preheat the unit while it is inside the basket. Since there is nothing on the paper to keep it down during the preheating, it gets blown around, reaches the extremely hot heating element, and burns. Therefore, preheating the air fryer with parchment inside is extremely prohibited.

Why are my fries burning in air fryer?

It might be because you are cooking your fries at a higher temperature control setting. Many recommend air frying French fries at 400F for 20 minutes. But this temperature is too hot and can result in over-dried or burned fries. Our experts recommend frying at 320F; you can increase the temperature to 400F at the end to give your fries final crispiness.

Why is my Airfryer burning my chicken?

Numerous reasons can cause your air fryer to burn the chicken. It could be because you are cooking at a higher temperature or for a longer duration. Sometimes an air fryer also burns chicken when you cook at the wrong setting, for instance, using roast for air frying or forgetting to rotate/stir the chicken.

Wrapping Up!

Normally, food cooked in an air fryer is known for its palatable taste and crispiness. But sometimes, it starts burning whatever you cook in it. Many reasons contribute to air fryers burning everything; some of the most obvious ones are mentioned in the article above. Read through the article to know what might be causing your air fryer to behave erratically.

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