Do air fryers smell? How to deal with it?

An air fryer is a small appliance that cooks food with little to no oil. It uses the hot air circulating around it to make your food tastes delicious! The only issue is, an air fryer may sometimes give off some unusual smell even when you are not cooking in it. If this happens, why does the air fryer produce bad odors? How to deal with this inconvenience?

We have collected for you common causes of the unpleasant smell coming out from an air fryer and effective solutions on how to get rid of them.

1) Too much water left inside the machine

When cooking food in an air fryer, water left inside may evaporate and the steam will cause the temperature to rise rapidly and burn up some debris stuck on the surface. But if there is too much water left inside for a long period of time, it may eventually dry out and start giving off an unpleasant smell when you cook with it next time!

2) Food or dust particles blockage in components such as exhaust hose, pressure valves, etc………

An air fryer usually has components such as exhaust hose, pressure valves, etc around them to release heat and leftover steam away from the machine. If these components get blocked by foods or dust particles, the airflow will be hindered and make your kitchen smelly time! To deal with this inconvenience, you can try to clean up these components with a cotton bud or cotton swab. If you see some sticky residues on it, cooking oil can help get rid of them easily.

3) Setting temperature is not suitable

There are many different types of food that can be cooked in an air fryer and they may require varying degrees of heat. Though an air fryer has several options of temperatures to choose from, it’s important that you set suitable one according to your need since higher temperature will speed up the cooking process but also make the machine get excessively hot which leads to residue burns! Try adjusting down the temperature if your kitchen smells like something is burning in it.

4) Food residue is burnt

The above cause tells us that when setting the temperature, always make sure that it’s not too high for foods to burn or become blackened. When your food turns black and starts giving off a smoky smell, it means you have burnt them! Note: Excessively burnt food will never be edible so try to avoid this situation from happening by reducing the set temperature if necessary.

5) Using too much oil when cooking

If you want your fried food to taste crispy and delicious, try adding some oil into them while frying in an air fryer! But excessive amount of oil will affect the quality of your cooked dish because excess oil can burn out quickly at high temperatures causing your kitchen to smell like something is burning as well as release some unpleasant odors. To avoid this inconvenience, don’t add too much oil when cooking and check whether your food is cooked or not before removing them from the machine!

6) Food debris is burnt over time……….

Over a long period of continuous usage, residue and dirt will accumulate on the inner parts and components of an air fryer such as heating element which may obstruct airflow and affect the production of heat. Therefore, always try to clean up these components regularly so that they can perform their functions better!


Cleaning your air fryer is a necessary evil that everyone must do in order for the best use. Follow these steps to clean out any residue and plastic fumes: 

1) Get an oven-safe dish, put 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar with lime juice inside; mix them up until they’re well combined then place into basket of your choice (350 – 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Leave it on heating element for 3 minutes before removing from heat back onto cooling rack where leave it cool off completely without flipping over so more steam can escape through lid vent*. After 15 minutes remove small oven safe plate placed atop ingredients using tongs when done steaming.* Keepasket rinse with warm soap water and wipe down while disconnecting electric cord to air fryer. Leave open and dry completely without further use until next time cleaning.

If using a pot, put 1 cup water with vinegar and lemon and place on stovetop (medium-high) and bring it to boil for 5 minutes before leaving it to cool off 15 minutes afterwards found in oven safe dish placed atop cooling rack with lid opened up, keep rest of oven vent uncovered so more steam can escape through the vent when cooling down. After 15 minutes remove oven safe plate snuggled inside ingredients, carefully using tongs with wet potholders or gloves recommended when handling hot contents.)

2) Fill frying basket one-third way with warm soap water then put into the air fryer then set up timer to 10 minutes for the fryer to heat up. After heating, take out the basket of soap water and run under warm water with detergent on sponge squeezing excess moisture before wiping down wireframe not forgetting inner wall (cooking area), cord, lightbulb assembly (heating element) with cooking oil spray can if available onto all surfaces. Air dry or pat dry with paper towel when done, let sit in open space for 5-10 minutes allowing parts to dry without using the oven.

3) Get rid of excess moisture left by running it through warm water again but this time wipe down everything cleanly with dried kitchen towels or paper towels when completely dried off before putting back into the appliance in upright position.

4) Get rid of any residue by wiping down the cooking area with dry kitchen towels or paper towels if visible. If you don’t want to re-use baking tray, put 4 cups water into deep pan with 1 cup vinegar before placing baking tray right side up inside it. Bring water to boil for 10 minutes then take out and wipe dry without soapwater or leave in oven overnight to fully evaporate excess moisture which will kill off germs that might cause bad odors later on at room temperature.


Air fryer plastic smell can be avoided by following these steps in cleaning eventually. Even though it takes more time while using vinegar to steam out this smell, the amount of chemicals that will come out of your machine is much less than if you just use commercial cleaners available for home appliances. The best way to get rid off the smell is to clean soon after heating up something else – i.e., don’t cook chicken wings or fries too long so you can still catch the food residue before it hardens inside the metal mesh coils! Now go have fun with your favorite dish without worrying about bad odor lingering around anytime soon!

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By Daisy

Daisy is a food blogger and home renovator with 5 years of experience, She's the one to ask for ideas on what products are worth using in your kitchen and home improvement. Being an Electrical engineer and mother of two wonderful kids, i developed interest in reviewing baby care products and gadgets.

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