Are Air Fryers Supposed To Smoke?

Air fryers are one of the most useful modern-day appliances that help make cooking a breeze. If you notice your air fryer smoking, it could just be your food cooking. But if it’s frequently happening or producing large amounts of smoke, it could cause alarm. 

Air fryers aren’t supposed to smoke when they’re in use, in general. However, air fryers may smoke in these instances:

  • You use them for the first time as they burn off their plastic coating.
  • You’re cooking greasy food or using a lot of oil.
  • The air fryer basket is overstuffed.
  • Your food is burned. 

Smoking air fryers can be alarming. Keep reading to learn about when your air fryer might smoke and what you should do about it. 

Reasons Your Air Fryer Is Smoking

Air fryers are not supposed to smoke when you’re using them. But when they do, it might be a cause of concern that requires your attention. However, smoking air fryers is typically not a problem if they just got out of the box and used for the first time.

If your air fryer is smoking, the following reasons might cause it.

You’re Using Your Air Fryer for the First Time

It’s natural for air fryers to smoke the first time you use them.

When you cook with your air fryer for the first time, it burns off the plastic coating on its interior. This burning can produce an unpleasant odor and possibly a little smoke. As long as it’s not emitting large amounts of smoke, your air fryer should be fine. 

There’s Too Much Grease or Oil in the Air Fryer

Cooking foods that emit grease or using too much oil in your air fryer can cause the device to smoke when in use. Air fryers can cook at high temperatures, and meats and other high-fat foods can secrete a lot of moisture or grease when cooking at temperatures higher than 360°F (182°C). 

Cooking foods like pork that produce their own grease can cause your air fryer to smoke. When the fat pops and gets onto the hot parts of the air fryer, it can burn. That burning emits the smoke you see from your air fryer.

When you cook foods like red meat, chicken thighs, and pork using an air fryer, it might cause your air fryer to smoke. In this case, a little bit of smoke shouldn’t be worrying. Simply remove the excess grease and continue to cook your food as usual. 

You’re Cooking With Liquids or Sauces in Your Air Fryer

Air fryers generally don’t like moisture or liquids. Like grease burns when it’s splattered on the inside of your air fryer, sauces and other juices can do the same. When you put a sauce inside your air fryer too early, it can drip onto the pan or cook too quickly. 

A liquid that gets stuck to the pan can burn exceptionally quickly, causing your air fryer to smoke. Be mindful of putting too much oil or other fluids in your air fryer. Putting sauces on your food too early in the air fryer can also cause it to dry out and burn. 

It’s best to wait until your food is somewhat cooked before adding any sauce. Waiting ensures that your sauce won’t evaporate and that it won’t burn on the sides of your pan. If you notice smoke coming from your air fryer, check if your sauce is burning.

Suppose your sauce has burned onto the inside of the air fryer. Then you can scrape it off so that it doesn’t keep smoking. Use a spatula to scrape and remove any burnt liquid or sauce from your air fryer. 

Your Food Is Burning Inside the Air Fryer

Burning food can cause your air fryer to smoke. Like liquids burn and turn into smoke in an air fryer, so do solid foods. Bread crumbs, loose food particles, or simply overcooked food can start to burn inside an air fryer. 

Crumbs are a significant cause of food burning in an air fryer. Because food crumbs are so small, they heat exceptionally quickly and burn much faster than the rest of the food. Food also cooks much faster in some air fryers than in traditional ovens. It’s easy for a dish to start to burn in an air fryer.  

Check on your food if you see smoke or smell burned food. If you notice several small crumbs, you can quickly shake them out of your air fryer to prevent further burning and smoke. If you’re cooking a new dish, check on it often to ensure you aren’t overcooking it and causing your air fryer to smoke. 

Additionally, your food could be too close together inside the air fryer, causing it to burn. Be sure to give your food enough space to breathe to prevent it from smoking.