Cleaning Your Air Fryer

The first step to cleaning your air fryer. Wipe out your crisper basket with a paper towel.

Step 1: Pull out your crisper basket right after cooking is finished. (Be careful to touch hot metal.)

Step 2: Use a damp paper towel to wipe out the basket, paying special attention to corners and areas where food sits after cooking.

That is all! Try not to overthink this simple task. Crisper baskets do not (typically) need to be soaked in water, washed with soap and scrubbed vigorously, or left in water for long periods of time. The goal is simply to keep grease from building up in the basket by wiping it down after each use. In addition, a top-rack dishwasher safe feature does not mean you can leave the basket on your dish rack so leftover grease can harden into a gross mess until you eventually have no choice but to soak it. Hardened, burnt on food will damage Teflon based coatings and similar nonstick coating.

Instead of thinking about everything that you should NOT do when it comes time to clean your crisper basket, think about everything that you CAN do: You can make perfect fries that are crispy on the outside yet fluffy on the inside without any oil at all! You can make breaded chicken tenders without worrying about them soaking up too much oil! And yes – you can clean a perfectly nonstick crisper basket with one hand using an air fryer-made chicken leg in your other hand!

Clean the sides with a microfiber cloth.

  • Clean the sides with a microfiber cloth.
  • The sides of the air fryer do not touch food directly and are not coated with Teflon. They are easy to clean and can be wiped down with a damp microfiber cloth. If necessary, you can use a bit of mild detergent along with water, but avoid cleaning products that have an overpowering fragrance.

The basket and pan should be cleaned by hand as well. As they are made from Teflon-coated aluminum, care must be taken to avoid scratching the surface or removing the non-stick coating. Abrasive materials like steel wool or scouring pads will damage the Teflon coating on your air fryer parts, so you should use only soft scrubbing brushes for stubborn areas or stains.

Wash them in hot water using dish soap and a soft scrubbing brush if necessary. Rinse the basket and pan thoroughly before drying them off

Use less oil.

  • Use less oil. For the most part, you can use less oil when cooking in the air fryer than you would with a regular oven. Some foods absorb more oil, so be mindful of this when following recipes.
  • Prep your basket before adding food. If your recipe calls for a light coat of oil to help achieve crispy results (as is the case with french fries), spritz directly into the crisper basket before adding your food. You can also spray an even layer of an oil-based cooking spray on top of the basket like Pam or simply brush on a thin layer. We’ve found that an oil mister works best, but do what works best for you!

Coat in baking soda.

Pour a bit of baking soda and water over the greasy areas and let it sit for a few hours before wiping it clean. If you need something with a bit more power, let the baking soda mixture sit for 5-10 minutes before gently scrubbing with a sponge or dishcloth.

Avoid abrasive materials like steel wool or scouring pads. (You can use this instead.)

While cleaning your air fryer, you should avoid using abrasive pads and harsh detergents. The base of the basket has a nonstick coating to keep food from sticking, so never use steel wool or scouring pads that could scratch this surface. Use fragrant dish soap or dishwasher detergent, as these will leave behind strong odors that will transfer to your food. Air fryers are not waterproof and will be damaged by exposure to water, so do not soak them in any liquid or use hot water during cleaning.

Clean in warm water and dish detergent.

  • Step 1: Clean in warm water and dish detergent.
  • Step 2: Use a nylon scrubbing brush to gently remove any remaining bits of food.
  • Step 3: Rinse with cold water, then dry completely before reassembling the basket and placing it back into your air fryer.
  • Step 4: Soak in warm water and dish detergent.
  • Step 5: Use a nylon scrubbing brush to gently remove any remaining bits of food or stuck-on grease.
  • Step 6: Rinse with cold water, then dry completely before placing it back into your air fryer.

Add a handful of ice cubes to your crisper basket to shake out stuck on food.

Fill your crisper basket with a handful of ice cubes and cold water, then shake the mixture in the basket for 30 seconds. This will loosen any bits of food debris that are stuck on. When you’re done, empty the water from your crisper basket and wipe it clean with a soft paper towel or sponge.

Avoid washing when hot.

It is important to ensure that you aren’t cleaning air fryer basket when it is too hot. Water that is too hot can damage the nonstick coating on the air fryer basket, which will cause it to deteriorate over time. To avoid damaging your air fryer, wash it with warm water, not hot water on hot surface. If you are going to use hot water to wash your air fryer, make sure that it is not extremely hot.

Air fry frozen foods on parchment paper to avoid stuck-on messes.

If you’ve ever had frozen foods stick to your air fryer basket, parchment paper is the solution. Using parchment paper when cooking frozen foods in your air fryer keeps food from sticking and it makes cleanup a breeze. While aluminum foil can work in a pinch, using parchment paper is better for several reasons:

  • It’s an eco-friendly alternative to aluminum foil since it can be composted or recycled.
  • It’s non-toxic and safe for use around food.
  • It’s non-stick so food won’t stick to it, making clean up easy and mess free.

You can line the bottom with aluminum foil to catch oil and debris.

To prevent the heating element from getting dirty and to keep the air fryer running smoothly, you should always line the bottom of the basket with aluminum foil. The foil will catch oil and debris that falls out off of your food as it cooks, leading to a clean heating element.

If you are in need of a new air fryer, check out our recommendations here:

The air fryer is a useful tool for health conscious cooks, but it does require some upkeep to maintain its non-stick coating and keep it running smoothly.

You can keep your air fryer clean by following these steps:

  • Wipe down the crisper basket with a paper towel after each use.
  • Avoid steel wool and scouring pads, which will scratch the non-stick coating on your air fryer’s cooking surfaces.
  • Always let the unit cool before washing or cleaning it.
  • Do not submerge any part of your air fryer in water. Instead, wipe it out with a damp cloth before drying it thoroughly.
  • Do not wash with hot water (do not wash any parts in dishwasher).

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