Why Air Fryer Smokes? (Tips to Stop It)

The joy of cooking delicious meals in your air fryer vanishes the moment you see smoke coming out of it and enveloping you in a cloud of burnt grease.

Experiencing too much smoke can make anyone scared; however, instead of getting panicky, read the article below to root out the issue with utmost precision.

In this article, we broaden your understanding of the various reasons that may cause smoke to come out of your air fryer. We will also discuss effective troubleshooting ways for stopping air fryer from smoking.

Why Air Fryer Smokes?

While cooking with an air fryer, the over-heating of leftover greasy residue from past uses may cause it to release smoke. Moreover, when you cook fatty foods in an air fryer, it splatters grease and splatter on the heating element and produces white smoke. Thus, cooking fatty foods with an air fryer may also result in burnt food with burning smells.

We have mentioned the two common causes of air fryer releasing smoke during cooking; however, there could be various other possible reasons for air fryer’s smoking issues. This does not imply you should avoid cooking higher fat air fried foods.

We discuss in-depth the various reasons for air fryer smoking and have compiled a detailed guide and tips for solving the issues related to it.

Can Air Fryer Catch Fire?

If your air fryer gets faulty due to any electrical malfunction, it may catch fire. Moreover,

the overheating of the air fryer exposes it to a potential fire hazard. However, you need not worry as the risks of air fryer catching fire are minimal.

However, if you are using the air fryer properly with all precautions, you can easily prevent fire incidences.

As the air fryer’s frame houses both the heating and electronics unit, it is always recommended to stay cautious and put safety first while cooking delicious meals.

My Air Fryer Produces Smoke. Is It Normal?

If you are using an air fryer properly with timely maintenance and cleanliness, it should not produce smoke. However, if your air fryer releases thick smoke, it indicates some underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Whenever you see the smoke released by your air fryer, disconnect the air fryer from the power socket and then attempt troubleshooting, as discussed in the following sections of the article.

Also, ensure to ventilate the room by opening windows whenever there is smoke while cooking with an air fryer. This smoke may include the harmful chemicals released from the melting of plastic material due to overheating of the air fryer.

Tips for Stopping Air Fryer From Smoking

As there could be many reasons for your air fryer to release smoke, we have discussed the tips to follow in various circumstances you may encounter while using an air fryer.

Before you explore the tips for preventing the release of smoke from the air fryer, ensure that the white stuff emitted by your air fryer is smoke and not steam. If it’s steam, you need not worry, as releasing steam makes up a normal cooking procedure.

When You are Cooking Fatty Foods

Cooking fatty foods with an excessive amount of grease and oil at high temperatures may cause grease or oil to accumulate at the bottom of the air fryer. This grease burns during heating and releases white smoke. Follow the below-mentioned tips to deal with such issues.

1. Power off the air fryer immediately. Take out the drawer from the air fryer and remove the basket from the drawer. Use a paper towel for removing all the excess oil at the bottom of the drawer. Put the basket and drawer back in place. Start cooking again.

2. Ensure to use cooking oil with a higher smoke point than the highest temperature at which an air fryer operates (200 degrees Celsius). Using oil with a lesser smoke point may result in oil burning and produce smoke in the air fryer.

For the safer side, choose an oil with a smoke point nearby 230 degrees Celsius, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, rice bran oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil. These oils cook at higher temps without producing smoke due to their high smoke points.

3. Take out the basket from the drawer and add a little quantity of water underneath the basket. This prevents the grease from getting overheated during cooking.

4. Use parchment paper in your air fryer whenever you are cooking fatty foods for ensuring easy cleaning of excess grease and oil at the bottom of the air fryer.

5.  Add a slice of bread or water at the bottom of the food basket to soak up excess oil and grease.

This also helps in preventing the splattering of oil and food particles.

When You are Cooking Meat

1. When you are cooking meat at higher temperatures in an air fryer, it may release lots of smoke. Thus, expect to see your air fryer emitting smoke while cooking chicken thighs or bacon at high temperatures due to the splattering of oil and grease on the heating element.

The smoke release in such cases normal, and you need not worry about it.

2. If you are cooking at a very high temperature as per the requirement of the recipes, then try cooking the food for a longer duration at a lower temperature for minimizing the chances of smoke.

When You are Cooking Foods Without Enough Oil and Grease

1. When you are cooking food without much oil and grease like french fries, even then, it may cause smoke if your air fryer is too small for efficient cooking in a small basket at higher temperatures.

To avoid this, don’t overcrowd the basket or food rack, as too much food in the basket may cause food particles or oil to splatter on the heating element.

2. Another likely reason is the leftover grease residue from past uses. In such cases, get rid of leftover grease residue by cleaning the air fryer.

Remove the components of the air fryer and keep them in soapy water. Scrub the components using the soft sponge till they are clean. Follow this with rinsing in clean water and wiping with a paper towel.

3. Clean the interiors of the air fryer after taking out its components. Use a paper towel for sweeping inside the air fryer. Next, use a soft sponge dipped in a soapy mixture for scrubbing the inside of the air fryer. Finish it up by scrubbing the inside with a paper towel.

4. Do regular cleaning of your air fryer as it can accumulate grease residue easily. The build-up of grease residue also damages the non-stick coating on the basket. Thus, ensure to do the cleaning every now and then.

When Food Ingredients, Breading or Herbs Get Stuck Into the Heating Coil

The air fryer uses a convection mechanism for cooking the food by circulating hot air. The small and thin slices of food may start circulating with hot air and end up in the hot heating coil of the air fryer. These ingredients are burned with a heating coil and produce smoke.

1. Power off the air fryer and allow it to cool down completely. Wait till the heating element

inside the air fryer gets cooled. Remove the stuck pieces from the heating elements and

wipe the inside of the heating coil gently for removing old grease.

2. Ensure to secure or weigh down all the ingredients during cooking so that small, thin, and

lightweight food particles don’t get blown away with the circulating hot air.

3. Use snack covers or splatter lids for weighing down the food ingredients, parchment

paper, aluminium foil, etc., in the air fryer.

4. Ensure that the herbs or breading have stuck to the food properly. Apply the breadcrumbs

or herbs when the food is moist so that these are not left flying around in the air fryer.

You may also apply a little sauce, marinade, or water for moisturizing the food surface

before sticking breadcrumbs or herbs.

When You are Air Frying in a Small Kitchen

Using an air fryer in a small kitchen for cooking may cause suffocation even with the light smoke or slightest steam.

1. Ensure to air fry in a kitchen that is well ventilated. If you have a small kitchen, then ventilate your kitchen by opening up windows and turning on your vent hood.


When you have tried out the above-mentioned tips, and even then, your air fryer produces smoke, it may be a manufacturer’s issue, and you should seek professional help to resolve the air fryer smoking.

You may also try cooking the meals by using different recipes and see if the smoke issue persists. Moreover, some food items are not meant for cooking in an air fryer. Instead, you can cook these items on the stove, cooktops or oven.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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