Why Does Food Stick to my Air Fryer??

Food is cooking too quickly and sticking to the basket, as well as leaving a sticky residue on it.

How do I prevent food from sticking inside my air fryer?

The scale of the problem varies with each air fryer, but many people have complained about their food sticking to the basket and causing a mess afterwards. As an example: this is what one reader of Reviewlog shared with us: “I just received this item and cooked chicken wings in it tonight. The result was 80% of them stuck – even after spraying with nonstick spray.”

It didn’t happen only to them! A quick Google search will show you hundreds of complaints… here’s another example: “I bought this product recently and am very disappointed with the quality. Food stuck to the basket and broke into pieces.”

There are countless examples of this – these are just two of them. There are many possible reasons for food sticking inside the air fryer.

Here is a list of most common issues that might prevent your machine from cooking properly:

Scrapes & Scratches inside the Basket :

It’s important that the surface of the cooking basket is smooth – if it isn’t, you should try to clean out any scratches or imperfections with a toothpick or other small implement before using it again.

Grease Buildup in between Pans :

If there’s too much grease buildup in between pans, this can cause problems while using an air fryer, especially if you’re trying to cook anything that needs to be flipped, like chicken wings.

If you think there’s too much grease in between pans – try cleaning them with baking soda and water (50/50 solution). Otherwise, you might need to replace your basket if this is a frequent issue for you… Read more about this in our “What makes an air fryer appealing” post.

Dirty Coating on Pans or Basket:

The surface of the cooking basket could be covered in dust or dirt – this can prevent food from cooking properly (or cause it to stick), so remember to always wash the pan before using an air fryer!

Material of Cooking Pans:

Some people have reported problems with food sticking after switching to non-stick coating pans. These are usually not designed to be used with high temperatures – so if you’re experiencing sticking problems, switch back to steel or aluminum pans for best results. If non-stick surface is required, it’s recommended that you follow instructions on the manual and use low temperatures during cooking time.

Unsuitable Heat Settings:

Food needs different temperature settings for air frying than other types of cooking. So, if your air fryer has just one temperature setting (or temp control), or doesn’t offer enough options. There are just too many recipes out there that require specific temperature settings!

Dirty Basket Mesh Screen:

If this screen gets too dirty after each use – food can gather around the holes and cause sticking inside the basket. We recommend that you clean it after every use, to keep the basket as clean as possible – this will prevent food from sticking inside. If there are holes on your mesh screen – you might have a problem with them being clogged. To fix this, try using a toothpick or another implement to clear out any debris. If necessary, replace old mesh screens with new ones for best results!

Air Circulation Problems:

Foods need even air circulation inside the basket during cooking, so make sure your baskets are fixed properly inside the machine! Also make sure these baskets are placed in center of the heating element – otherwise, air flow can be disrupted and cause problems while cooking. This issue could also be caused by something blocking the exhaust vent at bottom of the unit – in this case, you need to make sure all vents are clear of any food particles or other debris.

Material of the Exterior:

The exterior of your machine can also affect what kind of foods will fry best in it! For example – a stainless steel exterior is great for metal utensils and won’t scratch easily, but it’s not recommended for cooking fatty foods with high sugar content. This mesh pattern on Aicok air fryer won’t allow sugar from fried foods to stick.

In order for your air fryer to work properly, it needs to release steam. If the steam is blocked somehow (it usually happens if the lid is not closed properly or if it doesn’t fit properly onto the machine), this can cause a number of issues such as:

Food won’t cook in time (first few minutes):

If your food isn’t done cooking by the end of the timer – it’s usually because steam wasn’t released and food didn’t get enough exposure to hot air. This will cause undercooked or burnt results, and might take quite a while for unit to “recover”. If that’s the case, try turning up heat levels to high for first 5-10 minutes before lowering them again.

Vents clogged with sugar from fried foods:

Excess sugar can build up around vents at bottom of machine… This has been reported by some users who were cooking sugary foods such as pies, etc. Even if you didn’t use high heat – this sugar can get sticky and clog the bottom vents which will prevent air from reaching food in the fryer basket!

In order to avoid problems caused by wandering sugar, you need to make sure all vents are clear of any debris before cooking. Try using a toothpick for this purpose! If you have a removable mesh screen at the bottom – soak it in water after each use so no bits of food get stuck around the holes.

Unusually long cooking times:

Some foods take longer to cook than others, but if your fryer seems to be taking too long for some reason – try checking the vent system for blocked or clogged areas that might slow down air flow. The air fryer usually has a safety mechanism that’s designed to prevent overheating – if food takes too long to cook, this could kick in and cause your machine to automatically shut off. In order for it works properly, these vents have to be clear of debris!

Grease from foods:

This is another problem you might encounter with some foods unless grease tray is emptied after each use. If food bits start sticking around the bottom of the basket instead of going down the drain – this can also prevent airflow from reaching your food during cooking time. This often happens when there are no stones or other objects blocking holes at the bottom screen… To avoid problems with fried foods getting stuck around these screens, make sure they are cleaned after each use.

How Much Power You Need:

It’s important that your machine can release enough energy to properly cook your food – if it doesn’t, the fryer will just not be able to reach cooking temperatures! Make sure you’re getting a model that has wattage similar to those of other models you’re considering. Also take into account any power loss during frying and how this might affect performance and results…. You should also measure actual power consumption after unit is plugged in and note the resulting temperature at the bottom and top of the basket as well as the time it takes for oil to reach desired level (usually 340-360 degrees).

Temperature Problems:

If there isn’t enough heat inside the air fryer, food won’t cook properly even if it sits there long enough. You need to have heat circulating around ingredients in order for them to cook properly! As with most cooking appliances, temperature issues are caused by an obstructed venting system – if food bits block bottom vents, this can keep machine from reaching desired temperature or cause it to shut down prematurely.

If your fryer is heating up too quickly, there are two main things you should check :

First – make sure all small parts are placed correctly within the cooking chamber. This includes removable mesh screens which might not be fitting securely enough…

Second – make sure that none of the controls on your air fryer are sticking. These buttons don’t usually require much force in order to work properly, but if one of them sticks and causes machine to turn off during cooking. This can cause it to heat up too quickly and damage the machine. It might also prevent the fryer from reaching proper cooking temperatures if heat is released too soon!

Failure To Disengage:

If your fryer doesn’t turn off when you press the “off” button, check to see if this is due to debris clogging bottom vents…. This can keep air fryer from sending out enough heat – even when it’s on . Also note that sometimes after cooking oily foods air fryers need a little while to cool down before they’re ready for next use. Make sure all grease has drained into grease tray before attempting another cooking session or cleaning cycle.

Sticking And Scorching Issues:

If food gets stuck in basket during cooking, use slotted spoon to gently remove food bits… If you’ve got stuck-on debris on the bottom of cooking chamber, use a paper towel dampened with vinegar or soapy water. Just make sure not to scratch non-stick coating!

Inside The Machine:

If something is blocking the venting system and preventing airflow from reaching your food , this can often cause problems such as sticking and scorching issues with foods. Make sure that all parts are positioned correctly within the unit and that they’re also clean before using – especially mesh screens which might be clogged up with small particles. These screens might look very similar but they’re not interchangeable! 

Make sure everything is placed correctly within the cooking chamber – this includes removable screens. Also, make sure that none of the controls are sticking or that the venting system isn’t blocked up – these issues can often be caused by debris which accumulates over time. But check for any malfunctions with the fryer’s internal sensors as well. If one of them is faulty, it might cause the machine to turn off prematurely even if there’s a lot of cooking time left…. This can prevent food from being cooked properly and damage your fryer!

Cooking Issues:

If none of the problems listed above apply to you and you’re still having trouble with food sticking in the basket during cooking or scorching issues – this could be due to ingredients not being placed correctly within the chamber. Make sure that small pieces don’t fall through mesh screens into oil and big pieces don’t block oil spout! If none of the other solutions work, it’s possible that you need to replace your mesh screens. Make sure that these are clean and properly placed within the cooking chamber before each use…

Food Not Cooking Evenly:

Foods like fries should be cooked evenly on all sides for best results. Check if there are small pieces blocking the oil spout during cooking since this could prevent heat from reaching food in the fryer’s chambers. Also, make sure to place large foods at bottom of the basket so they can be heated up by hot air which rises during cooking time.

Burned Smell On Non-Stick Coating:

Do NOT cook anything containing sugar (like jam or caramel) on non-stick coating surfaces until you’ve cleaned off this coating thoroughly. Concentrated sugars on the non-stick surface can burn (even when the fryer is turned off ) and produce odor of burning sugar that will stick to your machine – even after it’s been washed! If your non-stick cooking pan or basket has lost its non-stick properties, you’ll need to replace these parts.

Soap And Water Cleaning:

Make sure to clean the inside of the outer housing of your unit with soapy water regularly! Food particles can get stuck in this area between protective mesh screens and vents… These bits might look unnoticeable at first but they’ll build up over time…. If left uncleaned, they’re likely to get scorched by oil during frying session and turn into a sticky mess that will be very difficult to remove later!

Grease Tray Cleaning:

If you’ve been using the fryer regularly, clean this tray each week. If it’s not properly cleaned, debris can build up inside and cause sticking issues with foods. Also, make sure that all parts are removed from housing before trying to clean the grease tray or any other interior parts of your machine.

Please check out my blog post at https://reviewlog.org/best-air-fryer/ for the best air fryers out there !!!


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Daisy
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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