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These are the best air fryer safety tips we’ve taken note of since we first got our air fryer.
For the most part, air fryers are pretty darn safe to use. Especially when you consider other appliances in your kitchen and how they can malfunction. (Pressure cookers, anyone? Hello…)
12 Best Air Fryer Safety Tips
But as with any appliance, there are some precautions you should always take with an air fryer. Let’s dive in.
- Always assume the outside of your air fryer is hot. The truth is, you won’t know until you’ve used your air fryer for the first time, if the outside gets hot or not. This isn’t something that is advertised on an air fryer box and it doesn’t get talked about a lot in reviews either, unless somebody is complaining about getting burned. Some will get hot, some won’t. Some get hot only on the sides, but stay cool on the bottom. Some get hot on the bottom and need to sit on something to protect your countertops from cracking under the heat. So be aware that you will need to understand if and where your air fryer gets hot, but proceed with caution so you don’t burn yourself. This is especially important with kids in the house. Particularly if they like to help in the kitchen.
- Keep the cord out from under the air fryer. This is critical if your air fryer gets hot on the bottom. Melted cords are dangerous.
- Give your air fryer 5 inches of ventilation space. Some people just want to cram an air fryer into their kitchen without realizing that they actually do need ventilation space during cooking. It’s fine to cram them in when they aren’t in use, but during the cooking process, they do need ventilation. Remember, they can and often do smoke, particularly when you cook fattier foods. So ventilation is really important. Also, all that hot air they blow around has to come from somewhere. If you restrict air flow, your air fryer won’t cook as well and you run the risk of ruining it. So give it room to breathe!
- Smoke is hot. Just in case anybody was wondering. So if your air fryer is smoking, treat it like hot steam coming out of a boiling pot of water. Turn on a fan if you need to, but don’t go holding your hand over it for any reason. Hot smoke will burn you. You’re welcome for that public service announcement. (Yes, this was in our user manual. So apparently, somebody, somewhere, did just that.)
- Never submerge your air fryer in water! And for that matter, don’t try to wash it with a ton of liquid or cleaner either. Your user manual will tell you exactly how to clean your air fryer properly. But the majority of your air fryer should never be in water. Only the removable parts that need to be washed after every use should go in water. And some of them even go in the dishwasher. But no other part, particularly the main housing of your air fryer, should ever be submerged in water.
- Clean after every use. This really should go without saying, but as with most things, they need to be said. If you wouldn’t use a dirty plate or pan for eating or cooking, you probably wouldn’t want to cook in your air fryer without cleaning the tray or basket after last using it either. Cleanup is easiest right after your air fryer cools down. So immediate cleanup is both fast and easy, and your air fryer will always be ready for the next batch that way. Do not skip cleaning after every use. Food-borne illness is a thing. Especially when cooking on something dirty, no matter how hot it gets. After all, you even clean your grill between uses, right? And that basically sits in fire. So there ya go.
- Read your user’s manual. We understand that they can be dull and boring. But understanding your air fryer is the key to using it well, and there’s no better place to start than your user’s manual. Understanding what is required of your specific air fryer in order to use it safely and effectively is the safest approach to using your air fryer or any appliance.
- Parchment paper should be used properly. If you use perforated parchment in your air fryer, just be sure you have enough food on top of it to weigh it down. If parchment gets loose and starts blowing around your air fryer, it will get lodged in the fan at some point and that creates a very real hazard.
- Proper wattage. Make sure your kitchen outlets can handle the wattage of your air fryer. Overloading an outlet is always a real hazard. Different air fryers use different amounts of wattage. So find out what yours requires and be sure your kitchen can provide it.
- Don’t use wet batters. When you understand what an air fryer is and how it’s build, it becomes common sense to not use a wet batter in an air fryer. But for those new to it, it’s a warning worth heading.
- Do not add salt until after your food is cooked. Salt will easily fall off of your food during cooking and will ruin a non-stick finish on your drip pan over time.
- Do not use aerosol cooking spray. The chemicals in aerosol spray will eat away at the finishing on your air fryer.
We hope this list of our best air fryer safety tips is helpful. If you are new to air frying, just remember that while there is definitely a learning curve, it’s a relatively short one that you’ll get through pretty quickly. The best thing you can do is start with something simply like fries, and work your way up. You’ll be an Air Fry Master in no time!