The Best Technique to Clean Your Air Fryer

Air fryers are the go-to appliance when it comes to satisfying a craving for something crispy, crunchy, salty, or sweet, in no time. Cutting out the extra calories of your fried food favorites without sacrificing the full flavor experience is the best part of using this device, but the cleanup requires a bit of elbow grease. While it’s certainly simpler than cleaning up the spattered oil and sticky frying pans associated with traditional deep frying techniques, there’s a few simple tricks to keep you around the dinner table instead of in the kitchen on dish duty.

Like every other kitchen appliance, the longer you wait to clean your machine, the bigger the chore it will become, so it’s important to give your air fryer a little TLC from time to time. Air fryer enthusiasts recommend cleaning the device after every use, especially if you’re cooking crumbly foods, marinated meat, or any other recipe that includes a sauce. Similar to preheating an oven that needs a good clean, heating up a dirty air fryer will also heat up last night’s leftover crumbs and excess oil which produces smoke and unpleasant smells. These side effects are easily avoided by giving your air fryer a little attention after each use. 

Before taking a deep dive into the step-by-step guide for cleaning your machine, we recommend following three simple guidelines:

  1. Always line your air fryer with baking sheets or coat the basket generously with your favorite non-stick oil. While it’s true that most air fryers come with nonstick baking trays, if you’re routinely cooking with sauces or marinades a little help from a spray will save you time when it comes to cleanup.
  2. Don’t overdo the breading. We love crispy mozzarella sticks and homemade wings as much as the next guy, but we also want to spare ourselves some time in the kitchen when the meal is all said and done. Air fryers are equipped with powerful fans that emulate the engineering of convection ovens. These fans are perfect for crisping our favorite foods, but have a tendency to send crumbs flying, which is why it’s best to coat your food in an edible glue (like an egg wash or mayonnaise) before beginning the breading process. Remember to gently tap off any additional breading before placing the food in the basket to minimize crumb chaos.
  3. If you’re cooking food with a high fat content, like bacon or sausage, it’s a good idea to pat down the air fryer’s basket after enjoying your meal. This will remove any excess grease and keep the device in pristine condition.
Now that you have a good grasp on the best tips to keep your air fryer in tip top shape, you can perform a deep clean of the device with a few simple tools.

Products You’ll Need:

  • Soft-bristle brush 
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda

First, unplug the air fryer.

Next, wash the baking pan. It’s important to clean this tray, because it collects grease which will accumulate with every use. Simply pull out the drawer, remove the grease tray, and use paper towels to wipe away any oil residue before soaking the tray in warm, soapy water.

Cleaning the fry basket comes next. The best strategy when it comes to tackling food debris and sticky oil begins with soaking the basket. Warm soapy water should loosen the majority of old food and grease, and using a soft-bristled brush to scrub away the remainder of old food will offer squeaky clean results and a basket that’s ready for use.

Dry the removable parts with your microfiber towel before inserting them back into the device, and use an additional cloth to wipe down the interior of the machine. This will remove any leftover grease and oil that was missed during the initial scrub.

Finally, clean the air fryer’s heating element with a dash of soap and water on your microfiber cloth. Use an additional cloth to remove any soapy residue once the initial wipe down is complete. If you notice any food debris caked on the fan itself, your best bet is to gently scrub with a soft bristled brush and follow up with the cloth wipe down procedure.

Air fryers are often our most well-loved kitchen appliance, which is why it’s important to follow these simple steps in order to improve the longevity of your device. Continue enjoying your favorite home-cooked meals without sweating the cleanup!