We all know Ree Drummond Loves a good air fryer. Not only did she call herself “obsessed” with the super handy kitchen tools, but she also debuted a beautiful 6.3 liter vintage floral model through the Pioneer Woman line. And it’s no wonder she jumped on this trend: After all, air fryers are able to make foods that were once considered a high-fat no-no (like French fries) much healthier by cooking with fast-circulating hot air instead of hot. Fat. And, just as crucially, cleaning up is easy! That said, airfryers need to be thoroughly washed from time to time, just like any kitchen appliance, and that can leave you wondering “how to do do you clean an air fryer?”
For step-by-step instructions, we went straight to the experts: chefs who train their air fryers hard. Below is the best advice on the best ways to get your own air fryer as clean as when you first bought it. This way you can continue making all those delicious airfryer recipes such as chicken wings and Parmesan chicken.
What’s the easiest way to clean an air fryer?
There are many different air fryers on the market. (Although none are as beautiful or well-designed as Ree’s, of course!) So it’s best to always check the owner’s manual for specific directions on your model. In general, the easiest way to clean a hot air fryer, at least every other time you use it, is to do a light cleaning. “If you make something particularly messy, like something with sauce or marinade, clean it the same day or you might end up with a mess,” says Chelsea Mae Plummer, recipe developer at Mae’s Menu. “The longer something sticky is in the air fryer, the harder it is to clean.“
Not only will cleaning your air fryer regularly make the job easier, it will also prevent the build-up of food residues that can cause odors, malfunctions or even – in the worst case – fire. Here’s the easiest way to give your air fryer a light clean:
- After use, let your deep fryer cool down and unplug it.
- Pull out the basket, pan, or container and wash in the sink with warm water and dish soap. Set it aside to dry overnight.
- Wipe the inside of the fryer, including the heating element, with a damp, soapy cloth, sponge or paper towel. Wipe it again with a clean, damp cloth and then a dry cloth.
- Wipe the outside of the fryer with a soft cloth.
- When the fryer removable parts are dry, place them in the fryer.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners and scrubbers on your air fryer, which can scratch the non-stick coating and exterior.
How do I thoroughly clean my air fryer?
The process is much the same as the light cleaning you do after cooking, but with a few extra steps. “Airfryers are basically mini convection ovens with a non-stick tray, so if you have caked-on food, you can treat it just like a non-stick pan,” explains Sylvia Fountaine, chef and recipe blogger at Feasting at Home. “Water and heat help to easily remove built-in grease and grime, so add a cup of water to your air fryer basket, turn it on high for a few minutes and leave it alone. You’ll see when you open the drawer that a lot of dirt and has lifted gunk effortlessly without scrubbing or soap.”
Are your fryer’s removable parts still filthy? Soak them in hot, soapy water for about 30 minutes, then scrub lightly with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can also use a toothpick to (gently) get into hard-to-clean areas, such as the holes in the grille. However, you must never submerge the entire airfryer in water.
Even if your air fryer’s instruction manual recommends it, do not use the removable parts in your dishwasher. According to food blogger Michelle Morey of Barefoot in the Pines, “I find that washing my air fryer by hand is so much more effective, and the dishwasher gets in weird spots and can even rust my basket!”
How do you remove adhesive residue from an air fryer?
For the toughest, stuck-on messes inside your deep fryer, use half a cup of baking soda and a little water to make a thick paste. Cover the sticky areas with the paste and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it off with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Wipe the inside of the fryer with a wet cloth and follow with a dry cloth.
How do you degrease an air fryer?
If your air fryer feels particularly greasy on the inside, try Fountaine’s trick, but add a little dish soap to the water. Be sure to use a grease fighter like Dawn Ultra. To make cleaning the fryer easier after cooking, you may also want to use disposable aluminum foil or parchment paper. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to confirm they are suitable for use with your air fryer toaster oven.
If you find strong food odors such as fish lingering on your air fryer after a thorough cleaning, rub a lemon over the basket. Let it sit for about half an hour and then wash it.
Jill Gleeson is a travel journalist and memoirist based in the Appalachian Mountains in western Pennsylvania who has written for websites and publications including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Country Living, Washingtonian, Gothamist, Canadian Traveler, and EDGE Media Network. Jill is the travel editor for Enchanted Living. Read more about her journey at gleesonreboots.com.
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