How to Clean an Air Fryer

Your air fryer is probably one of your favorite kitchen appliances, and it’s so handy for cooking food quickly and without excessive oil, perhaps using recipes from Good Housekeeping Air Fryer Cookbook. Think crispy fish fingers or chicken wings with no added oil, the perfect al dente zucchini noodles and leftovers reheated to perfection.

That said, air fryers should be cleaned after each use. Even after using little or no added oil, food bits and grease can build up and cause your air fryer to smell or even start to smoke. Whether you are using a basket or tray type air fryer, here are some tips from Good Housekeeping Institute to facilitate cleaning:

How to clean your basket type air fryer

What you will need:

  • Degreasing dish soap, such as Good Housekeeping Seal star Dawn
  • Bottle brush with soft bristles, like the one from Casabella
  • A soft cloth, such as Skura’s reusable microfiber wipes, or a paper towel, such as Good Housekeeping Seal star Bounty
    1. Turn off and unplug the air fryerand let it cool completely. Pull out the drawer and remove the basket or tray.
    2. If your air fryer is dishwasher safe, Place the drawer and basket or tray, depending on what your air fryer has, upside down in the dishwasher, preferably on the upper basket, if appropriate.
    3. If using the dishwasher is not an option, wash removable parts in hot soapy water and use the brush to scrub dirt and penetrate vents and nooks and crannies of the tray while protecting the metal or non-stick finish. Rinse well and pat dry.
    4. Wipe down the lower interior of the air fryer, as well as the outside, with a damp cloth or paper towel. Replace the basket when clean.
      1. GH Lab tip: Use the upper rack of the dishwasher (if space allows) where it is further away from heat and exposed to softer jets of water – this will help the nonstick finish to last longer.

        How to clean an oven-type air fryer

        What you will need:

        • Degreasing dish soap
        • Soft bristle bottle brush
        • Soft cloth or paper towel
          1. Turn off and unplug the air fryerand let it cool completely.
          2. Remove the racks and use the dishwasher to clean them or wash them by hand in hot soapy water using your dish brush to remove grease and pieces of food. Rinse well and pat dry.
          3. Empty any oil from the drip tray – but don’t throw it in the sink. The tray can be placed upside down in the dishwasher to clean it, or wash it by hand, then rinse and dry it well.
          4. Wipe down the lower interior of the air fryer, as well as the outside, with a damp cloth or paper towel. Replace the trays when clean.
            1. GH Lab tip: If the bottom of the drawer or drip tray contains oil, do not throw it in the kitchen sink. Instead, empty it into a box or small jar and keep the container in the fridge to throw it away when it’s full.

              How to deep clean your air fryer

              If you’ve accidentally overloaded your air fryer (or cooked something more spattered), you may have marred the heating element. If your air fryer smells bad while cooking or starts to smoke, there is likely some cooked residue on or near the heating element.

              What you will need:

              • ½ cup of baking soda
              • A few tablespoons of water to make a paste
              • Soft cloth or paper towel
                1. First remove the basket or gridsand clean them.
                2. Let it stand so that any bits of dirt you brush will fall on the bottom of the interior and not get caught in the mesh, heating element, or fan at the top.
                3. Use a clean, dry, soft bristle brush to scrub and release the burnt pieces from the mesh covering the heating element, and wipe with a clean damp cloth or paper towel. Then turn the air fryer upside down for easier cleaning of the heating element.
                4. Use the baking soda paste and a soft, damp cloth, and gently rub off the dirt.
                5. Rinse the cloth with water, wring it out and wipe off the residue. Turn the air fryer right side up and replace the clean basket and / or trays.
                  1. GH Lab tip: Overfilling the air fryer will almost certainly ensure that the heating element will need to be cleaned. To avoid this chore, make sure that the amount of food you are cooking at one time does not exceed the amount recommended for your model of air fryer.

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