Air fryer smoke because of the splattering of oil or food particles on the heating element.
Why does my air fryer smoke? Smoke from air fryers is alarming and must be dealt with urgently before it damages the appliance.
There can be many reasons for your air to give off smoke. I will share everything you need to know related to air fryers emitting smoke.
Why Is Air Fryer Smoking?
Air fryer smoke can be caused by oil or food splatter on the heating element. It can also result from burning grease buildup. To stop the smoking, unplug the air fryer and remove any excess oil or clean built-up grease. Avoid overfilling the basket which leads to splattering.
Causes And Troubleshooting Smoking Air Fryer
To prevent the air fryer from smoking, it is important for you to know all the issues that can cause your air fryer to smoke. We will mention all the possible reasons we found after research and share how to troubleshoot the problems.
1. Oil Splatters In Air Fryer
Oil splatters can be one of the reasons causing your air fryer to smoke. Highly fatty meats cause oil splatters when cooked at high temperatures (350F or above). When the oil splatters land on the air fryer heating element, they produce a lot of smoke.
Here are some foods that release smoke while cooking in the air fryer:
- Hamburger patties
- Pork chops
- Chicken legs and thighs
2. Food Residue In Air Fryer
When the culprit is not excess grease, it can be the burning of the residual food from your previous cooking attempt. Air fryer baskets are perforated; there is a chance that food residues sticking inside these holes can burn later.
Food bits can also reach the bottom compartment through these holes, which burn and produce smoke. Another possibility is that food chunks might stick to the air fryer heating element.
If you don’t clean your air fryer after every use and let these food bits stubbornly stick to the air fryer heating element, you should expect some smoke.
The only solution to prevent smoke is thoroughly cleaning your air fryer after each use. Also, take the time to clean your air fryer heating element once in a while to avoid grease and food buildup.
3. Oil With Low Smoke Point
The smoke point is the maximum temperature of oil, after which it starts producing smoke. When using oil in an air fryer, ensure it has a high smoke point— more than the cooking temperature of your food.
While using oil with a low smoke point, such as coconut oil, you will see that your unit releases a lot of smoke as the temperature goes beyond its limit. The most recommended oils for use in an air fryer are avocado oil, clarified butter, sunflower oil, etc.
4. Cooking Breaded or Batter Coated Food
Often it is not the grease or the dirty food buildup that causes smoke, but the food you cook in the unit causes the smoke.
When foods cooked in the unit are breaded or batter-coated, the coating can disengage, and pieces can take flight due to heated air flowing inside the unit. The smoke is produced when these bits of crumbs and coating go up and land on the heating element.
5. Overstuffed Cooking Basket
Another reason for smoke coming out of the air fryer is an overcrowded basket. Air fryers come in various sizes, and there is a specific mark on the air fryer basket, which is the max-fill limit.
Often we are tempted to overfill the cooking chamber to the brim, thinking that it will help us cook food early. An overcrowded basket won’t let the hot air freely circulate through the food. When this happens, some food cooks from the outside, burns, and starts smoking while the rest remains under-cooked.
There is also a possibility that there is so much food that it is touching the heating coil. The heating component is so hot that even a tit-bit of food touching it will cause a lot of smoke. Avoiding eating burnt, smoked, and half-cooked snacks are as easy as ensuring that the air fryer is not filled to the brim.
6. Cooking Food At High Temperatures
Some air fryers cook food at a higher temperature, 500 or 550F; this high temperature might cause them to smoke. Lower the temperature settings— it might take some time to cook your food, but it will eliminate the risk of smoke.
Even if your recipe asks you to cook at a high temperature, take the liberty to try cooking it at a little lower temperature. Recipes are only guides, and they are not made considering the specification of every air fryer on the market—certainly not considering your air frying unit.
Still Smoke Coming Of The Air Fryer? Do This
- Try a different recipe and see if it still smokes or not. If does then:
- Call the manufacturer and report them about the smoking problem.
Can air fryers catch fire?
It does not happen frequently, but it is still possible for an air fryer to catch fire. Leaving an air fryer on for an extended period leads to burnt or melted parts and possibly a fire hazard. To find out more about this check this article.
How do I keep my air fryer from catching fire?
You can prevent your air fryer from catching fire by not leaving it unattended for hours. Also, you must ensure no food crumbs or aluminum foil pieces reach the heating element.
Smoke coming from your air fryer is more annoying than it is scary. Apart from some situations, such as food and foil particles reaching the heating element and causing smoke and fire, a smoking air fryer does not pose any risk in other situations. Nonetheless, you must follow the above-mentioned preventive measures for your and your appliance’s safety.
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