Air Fryer Cleaning Tricks You Should Be Using Yourself

Air fryers are quickly working their way up the ranks from a fun countertop appliance to a home cooking necessity. All you have to do is place what you want to cook into the basket, slide it in, and get cooking. Your food will come out crispy and delicious, just like a regular deep fried item but without all the oil. Surprisingly, there's no actual "frying" going on in the traditional sense, but rather a rapid circulation of hot air. As Taste of Home notes, air fryers are like super-powered convection ovens that are small enough to live on your kitchen counter. As the hot air rushes into the frying basket and circulates around the food, it creates a crispy, fried effect without the use of hot oil.

While air fryers don't create nearly as much mess as a deep fryer, they still create some. The grease released from air frying your favorite crunchy snacks will stay behind in the basket, which can create bacteria. If you don't clean it soon after, stuck food can get burnt, leading to a fire risk as well as a lingering grease and burnt food smell, warns Cooking Light.

Clean after every use

When it comes to cleaning your air fryer, the basket should be your top priority. Cooking Light says you should clean your air fryer basket immediately after it has cooled down because leaving it to sit can create safety issues and lead to the fryer not working as well. While some air fryer baskets are marketed as dishwasher safe, it'll last longer if you hand wash it.

Luckily, hand washing your air fryer basket is remarkably easy, as long as you do it soon enough after cooking. Simply dump out any leftover food or crumbs and wash it with warm water, soap, and a sponge. Towel it dry and put it back in the main fryer. If there are harder food clumps or tough stains, you may need to give the basket a good soak in warm and soapy water. Gently scrub it with a non-abrasive sponge, being careful not to remove any of the non-stick lining. If your air fryer is a little smelly, put some lemon juice on a towel and wipe around the interior of your basket, and then wash it off after 30 minutes.

The actual machine itself doesn't need to be cleaned frequently, but it's a good idea to wipe it down in between uses. First, use a wet soapy cloth. Then wipe it again with a damp cloth followed by a dry towel. You can also use a toothbrush for harder to reach areas.