Why Does My Air Fryer Smoke? [Tips To Prevent & Stop It]

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A lot of smoke coming out of your air fryer can be of potential hazard and must be addressed urgently.

There can be many reasons for your air to emit smoke.

Your air fryer can smoke because of an overcrowded basket, grease build-up, or oil splatters on the heating element. While a certain level of smoke is acceptable and indicates normal cooking, in case of excessive smoke, you must unplug your air fryer immediately for inspection.

Causes Of Air Fryer Smoke & Troubleshooting Guide

To prevent your air fryer from smoking, it is important to know all the issues that might be causing this issue.

Below, we have mentioned all the possible reasons we found after research.

Oil Splatters

Highly fatty foods splatter oil when cooked at high temperatures (350F or above).

When these oil splatters land on the air fryer heating element, they produce a lot of smoke.

For instance, bacon, known for its high fat content, can generate a considerable amount of smoke if cooked in an air fryer.

Other foods that result in a smoky air fryer include hamburger patties, sausages, chicken legs and thighs etc.

As oil and food juices trickle down into the bottom drawer of the air fryer, they can further contribute to smoke production.

Burning Of Food Residue

When the culprit is not excess grease, it can be the burning of the residual food from your previous cooking cycles.

Air fryer baskets, being perforated, can trap food residues inside these holes, which can later burn.

Food bits can also reach the bottom compartment through these holes, where they burn and produce smoke.

Another possibility is the food chunks reaching and burning on the air fryer heating element.

The only solution to prevent smoke is thoroughly cleaning your air fryer after each use, including the heating element, to avoid grease and food buildup.

Oil With Low Smoke Point

When using oil in an air fryer, it is important to choose the varieties with a high smoke point, ideally exceeding the required cooking temperature.

Smoke Point of Different Oils

Among the most recommended oils for air fryers are avocado, clarified butter, sunflower, etc.

Using oil with high smoke point also saves your air fryer from fire hazard.

Bread Or Batter Coated Food

When foods cooked in the air fryer are breaded or batter-coated, the pieces of coating can become airborne due to air flowing inside the unit.

Smoke is produced when these bits of crumbs and coating rise and land on the heating element.

Too Much Food Added In The Basket

Air fryer baskets typically come with a specific mark indicating the max-fill limit—that’s the maximum you can fill an air fryer.

Overcrowding the basket doesn’t let the hot air circulate evenly through the food.

Resultantly, some food cooks from the outside, while others burn and start smoking, leaving the rest undercooked.

Additionally, there is a possibility that food is touching the heating coil.

The heating component is so hot that even a small piece of food touching it can cause a lot of smoke.

Ensure the air fryer is not filled to the brim. This helps maintain proper airflow while reducing the risk of smoke.

Cooking At High Temperature

Some air fryers cook food at higher temperatures, reaching 500 or 550°F, which can lead to smoke production.

Lowering the temperature may require more time to cook your food, but it will eliminate the risk of smoke.

Even if your recipe asks you to cook at an extra hot temperature, consider adjusting it slightly lower.

Recipes do not account for the specifications of every air fryer on the market, so consider them a guide rather than a strict rule.

How To Prevent Your Air Fryer From Smoking

To avoid the issue of smoke in the air fryer, experts recommend the following tips.

Use Water Or Broth

Put a few tablespoons of water or broth in the air fryer drawer before filling it with fatty food. All the excess grease will drip down on the water/broth, where it gets diluted, preventing excess smoke.

Try A Bread Slice

Alternatively, you can also place a bread slice in the air fryer drawer instead of water. The porous surface of the bread slice will absorb food drippings and grease, helping to prevent smoke.

Minimize Oil Usage

Another way to avoid smoke is to cook food with minimal oil. Oil behaves similarly to fat; excess oil can cause your air fryer to release smoke.

Wrapping Up!

Smoke from your air fryer can be more annoying than scary.

While some situations, such as food and foil particles reaching the heating element and causing smoke, can be concerning, a smoking air fryer is generally harmless.

Nonetheless, you must follow the above-mentioned preventive measures to prevent smoke production and use your appliance safely.

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