How to clean your air fryer
Everything you need to know about cleaning your air fryer
No one only uses an air fryer once; after the first taste you’ll definitely find yourself going back to try more winning recipes. Over time, grease and small pieces of food will start to build up in your machine. Unless you tackle this fairly regularly, it can affect the taste of your food – what better incentive to keep your air fryer clean?!
Fortunately, protecting the flavour of your French fries and the functionality of your machine is pretty easy. Cleaning your air fryer doesn’t require specialist equipment or hours of your time. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about looking after your air fryer, from daily maintenance to deep cleaning techniques.
Why do I need to clean my air fryer?
Air fryers use hot air, rather than hot oil, to cook your food. And yes, this does mean that you’re using significantly less fat than other frying methods, but some grease will still accumulate on the surfaces and accessories of the air fryer. Food residue can also collect in the corners and niches of your machine.
These mealtime remnants will be exposed to repeated frying and can start to burn. You’ll know this is happening if you start getting a bad smell or even smoke during cooking. But don’t worry, you won’t ever have to experience this, not now that you’ve found our guide to cleaning your air fryer!
How often should I be cleaning my air fryer?
Giving your air fryer tray a quick clean after every use is great practice. A deep clean, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be quite so regular. How often exactly will depend on how much you use your air fryer and how much oil you use for each meal.
Whether or not you cook using an air fryer liner will also make a difference. These extra non-stick layers catch your crumbs and burnt bits, making the washing up even easier.
We recommend keeping an eye on your machine hygiene. It’s probably wise to get to grips with any grease build up every 2-3 weeks. As it only takes 10 minutes to clean your air fryer, you might even find yourself doing it more often!
What do I need to get started?
- Non-abrasive sponge or cloth
- Soft bristle brush or old toothbrush
- Hot water
- Washing up liquid
- Or your faithful dishwasher!
Our simple step by step guide
Step 1: Unplug your air fryer and let it cool down.
If you’ve just used the air fryer, then don’t jump straight in and start cleaning. Let your food go down, why not get a pudding? After 30 minutes (minimum) your air fryer should be cool enough for you to tackle.
It’s also important to unplug it during the cleaning process to avoid any accidents.
Step 2: Take out the air fry accessories and wash each part separately.
The chief components of any air fryer are the main body, the cooking drawer and the grate within. You might also have additional air fryer accessories, such as racks and tray liners.
You’ll be chuffed to learn that all the removable parts of your air fryer are dishwasher safe! So if you don’t feel like filling up the sink, then you can whizz them through your regular dishwasher cycle.
If any small amount of food has been burned on, you may want to leave the air fryer basket or tray to soak. Really though, the non-stick surfaces should keep you safe from this scenario.
Make sure that there is no residual soap or moisture on the air fryer parts.
Step 3: Clean the inside of the air fryer.
While the other elements of your air fryer are drying, take a damp cloth or sponge and wipe away any food residue or oil that might be building up inside the fryer.
Some surfaces may be harder-to reach. Gently scrubbing these areas with a soft bristle brush (or just an old toothbrush) will remove any hidden gunk. It’s best to avoid using anything more abrasive or any harsh chemicals as they can damage the non-stick coating on the air fryer.
Give the scrubbed interior a good wipe down with a clean cloth or paper towel, lifting any lingering food matter. Leave your air fryer to dry out before popping your clean frying tray or basket back in.
Step 4: For a deep clean, you’re also going to tackle the heating element.
It might not immediately occur to you to clean the heating element of your air fryer, but it needs TLC just like the other parts of the machine.
The heating element is usually located at the top, inside the main body of your air fryer. With the frying basket already removed, all you need to do is turn the air fryer over to access the steel coil element more easily.
Start by wiping down the heating element with a damp cloth. Due to the coiled shape of the metal heater, this bit can be fiddly. Your trusty old toothbrush will come in handy here too!
It’s best to avoid using too much water as this can damage the heating mechanism. Once free of grease and food particles, leave to dry and air out before reassembling.
Step 5: Clean the exterior of the air fryer before popping everything back together.
The outside of your air fryer might have a light oily coating after repeated use. There might also be the occasional food splatter, it happens. Cleaning these off shouldn’t require anything more drastic than a good wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. You can use a mild detergent if needed.
Make sure to thoroughly dry the exterior of the air fryer with a towel after cleaning it. Then you’re ready to reassemble! Pop all the parts back into place and make sure that everything is secure before plugging the air fryer back in.
By keeping on top of your air fryer hygiene, you’ll ensure that you and your air fryer have a long and flavour-filled future ahead! Make sure you also check out our essential tips on how to use your air fryer. Happy frying!