Do Air Fryers Smell?

by Véronique Raymond
Air fryer

Is there anything worse than lingering food odors in your kitchen which won’t disappear?

We all enjoy indulging in some home comfort food once in a while but despite taking all the preventative measures as well as thoroughly cleaning after cooking, sometimes the smell just won’t go away.

Rather than feeling satisfied after your meal, it can leave you regretting having cooked your favorite dishes,

So how do air fryers compare to your standard kitchen appliances in terms of reducing or preventing cooking odors?

Air fryers use a minimum amount of oil meaning that you can enjoy fried food without the grease or guilt.

However, does this mean air fryers are as effective as disguising food smells as they are at crisping up our ingredients?


Do new air fryers have a plastic smell?

Despite all the excitement and anticipation to unpack and test out your new air fryer once it arrives, we recommend cleaning the components before use.

While air fryer’s components are made from heat resistant plastic, it may take a few washes to completely get rid of that new plastic smell. The reason being is that air-fryers reach extremely hot temperatures and also cool down shortly after use, releasing plastic fumes if the appliance hasn’t been used before.

Nevertheless, cleaning the components should be painless and not take too long. Simply squeeze some dish wash soap onto a damp sponge with soap and lightly wipe the component’s surface. Our top tip would be to heat up the air fryer and let it cool down to test out whether there is still a plastic odor. You should find that the plastic smell will slowly fade after each wash. If the smell persists, try wiping the components with distilled vinegar and lime juice on a damp towel. These two liquids are great odor absorbents therefore may do the trick!


Are the plastic fumes from an air fryer toxic?

Don’t worry, the plastic fumes from a new air fryer are usually just the protective coating being burned which isn’t harmful for your health. Air fryer components are made from heat resistant plastic and have been designed to withstand heat.

However, you should be mindful of the smell of plastic fumes of a new air fryer in comparison to the smell of plastic components inside the air fryer burning. If you do encounter a plastic burning smell after the air fryer has been broken in, you should no longer use the appliance. Eating food with melted plastic may upset your stomach, and doing this regularly can cause health issues in the long term.


Do Air Fryers have settings to reduce food odor?

Air fryers are designed with a lid to retain heat, to avoid any oil spitting out as well as to reduce smells escaping from the air fryer. It is highly encouraged to check on the progress of your food in the air basket while it’s cooking. Unfortunately. smells will inevitably be released from the air fryer once the lid is opened. It is also important to check on the progress of food to avoid ingredients from burning. Some air fryers have a built-in timer which can be a useful setting to remind yourself to toss the ingredients about inside the air fryer to avoid any spoiled food as well as burning odors.

However, the air frying technique is not only a healthier alternative to deep frying but will also produce a lot less odor because air fryers produce much less grease. Air fryers also have a grease separator tray in order to catch any grease from food which is being cooked. You can even line the tray with aluminium foil to facilitate the cleaning process. Although an air fryer produces less grease than deep fryers, over time the grease can still build up on the grease tray which can produce some smells over time. Simply wipe it over after each use to avoid grease building up and producing unwanted lingering smells.

Evidently, some foods are smellier than others so there is no guarantee that the air fryer will completely hide all food odors. If you are sensitive to certain smells, we suggest investing in an air fryer with a tight fitting lid and high quality components. Overall, this will make the machine much more efficient as well as better retain odors. Keep the air fryer in a well ventilated room to diffuse odors quickly or consider purchasing an incense burner to cover up those unwanted smells.


What kind of foods smell the worst and best?

What classifies as a ‘bad smell’ can vary from one person to the next. However, air fryers shouldn’t make any food smell any worse or better than a convection oven.

Blue cheese is generally considered a more potent smell and while it can be melted in an oven, it is important to not put any type of cheese into an air fryer. Since air fryers are so powerful and use a fan to quickly crisp up food, cheese has a lower melting point and burns quickly inside an air fryer. Cheese will not only burn but stick onto the basket making it difficult to clean as well as deteriorating the quality of the components over time.

Air fryers are a versatile appliance allowing you to crisp up vegetables and meat such as chicken, steak and fish! If you put foods which you deem as having an unpleasant odor into an air fryer, use similar techniques which you would do if you were to put them in an oven. For example, cook in well ventilated spaces, switch on a fan and keep the air fryer’s lid on except for when you are checking on the progress of your food.


How can I avoid creating a burnt smell in my air fryer?

There are many tricks to making sure your food doesn’t burn inside an air fryer. Firstly, air fryers are extremely efficient at cooking food therefore, it is essential to keep an eye on the time. Set an alarm or use the built-in timer to remind yourself to check up on your food to avoid it burning.

By using the heat settings on the air fryer, you can choose the desired temperature for your ingredients to make sure they are crisped to perfection! The desired temperature will vary depending on what food you are cooking as well as the air fryer model. Check the instructions provided in the box to see if there is any guidance on the length of time as well as the temperature settings for certain ingredients, especially if you are cooking white meat.

The air-fryer basket should have an anti-stick coating to avoid ingredients from sticking while also making it easy to clean. If you start to notice the coating beginning to peel, food will inevitably start to stick onto the basket and therefore, burn. Before purchasing an air fryer, do your research on the brand as well as the quality of the material used.

If you do decide to use oil in the air fryer,make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point such as avocado, peanut, canola, sunflower and sesame oil. In comparison to a deep fryer, you only have to use a teaspoon of oil or even no oil at all in an air fryer, which means oil should have minimum effect on food burning in an air fryer. If you do decide to use oil, lightly spray or brush the oil onto your ingredients and let the air fryer work its magic!


Are air fryers smellier than other cooking kitchen appliances and techniques?

In comparison to convection ovens, grilling, bbqing, deep frying or even cooking in a frying pan, air fryers should retain odors more effectively. Not only do air fryers have a lid but they produce significantly less grease. Since air fryers function by electricity, you don’t have to worry about removing the coal smell from your hair and clothes like you do while bbqing.


Does reheating food smell?

It isn’t recommended to reheat ingredients that have already been crisped inside an air fryer beforehand since it may make it soggy.  However, providing that the food won’t burn, reheating ingredients inside an air fryer shouldn’t produce any additional unwanted smells.


Are there any recommended preventative measures to avoid an air fryer from producing unwanted odors?

Cleaning the inside of the air fryer basket after every use is one of the most effective ways of not only taking care of your appliance but making sure all food is removed and will not burn or stick at the bottom of the basket.

Another great trick is applying aluminum foil onto the grease tray so you don’t have to scrub the grease off directly from the tray. Additionally it will create less of a mess on the grease tray itself, meaning that you can simply just wipe the tray over with a soft sponge.  Make sure to thoroughly rinse off the soap from the components so it doesn’t affect the taste of your food the next time you use the air fryer!


Are there certain cleaning products targeted for an air fryer?

Regularly cleaning an air fryer is a key technique to avoid any unwanted smells while cooking. Mixing lemon juice or lime juice with vinegar is a great home-made cleaning recipe to absorb any smells as well as scrub away any grime. However, most air fryers are easy to clean by simply using warm water with soap on a soft sponge or paper towel.

Overall, air fryers are an effective appliance in retaining odors and shouldn’t produce any unnecessary smells providing that instructions are followed. Air fryers have been meticulously designed with a lid to avoid heat from escaping which also means odors don’t spread as much outside of the air fryer.

Since air fryers function by blowing hot air at high temperatures around the air frying basket, verify that you are using an oil with a high smoke point to prevent burning smells. Avoid placing foods which burn in an air fryer such as cheese will make components easier to clean and take less time to scrub off grime. Providing that you follow the instructions and take care of your air fryer after each use, it shouldn’t produce any alarming smells.


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