Imagine cooking your favorite chicken or baking your fries in the air fryer, and you suddenly see black smoke caused due to overheating! Now, you wouldn’t want that, would you?
Well, air fryers can overheat due to multiple reasons that can damage the equipment and the food you are trying to cook. Since air fryers are an expensive appliance, one must use them carefully.
In this article, we will discuss the various reasons that can cause overheating and ways to resolve it. Consider this a complete guide to preventing fire hazards using an air fryer.
Can An Air Fryer Overheat?
An air fryer may overheat if the environment inside or outside is not suitable. These devices are designed to cook food without oil, providing a healthy substitute for conventional pan frying.
Is it normal for an air fryer to get hot?
Air fryers cook at high temperatures of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. At such temperatures, naturally, the heat produced will be high and can overheat the machine if there is no space for the heat to get distributed.
Using too much oil for cooking or overloading the air fryer pan with ingredients can result in overworking the machine, which can, in turn, cause overheating.
Additionally, the machine’s placement can have an impact. The machine needs an open space to expel the hot air because the temperature inside the machine will be high. There is a danger that the air fryer could overheat if there is too little space between the wall and the appliance.
How hot do air fryers get?
The heating element in the air fryers heats at the set temperature. Once heated, the air circulates with the appliance and cooks the food in the pan.
Because the air propelled is almost 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the food gets cooked thoroughly with a crispy texture.
What happens if an air fryer gets too hot?
Consider a scenario in which your air fryer is full. In this situation, the heated air has nowhere to go and begins to collect in one location. If left unattended, this could lead to overheating and produce smoke and fire.
The air fryer will emit a burning scent if it heats up too much. If the temperature is very high, it can also ignite and may alert the smoke alarm.
Do air fryers catch on fire?
It is not common for air fryers to catch on fire; however, it is possible. If the air fryer is overheated, it can damage the appliance.
Since the appliance is not functioning properly, it increases the chance of a fire hazard every time it is used.
What To Do If An Air Fryer Overheats?
There is no need to panic if your air fryer overheats for whatever reason and you detect smoke and sparks from the appliance. Follow these steps to bring the situation under control.
Turn It Off
Air fryers use electricity to operate, just like any other electrical item. Therefore, cutting the circuit and stopping the current flow should be the first step. The problem’s likelihood of worsening grows as long the appliance is turned on.
Even though you need to troubleshoot the issue, nothing can be done if the machine is still running. Turning off the air fryer will also give the appliance some rest and time to cool down before moving to the next step.
Therefore, unplug the gadget and leave it on the counter for at least 30 minutes without touching it.
Caution: If the appliance catches fire, I know the natural reaction is to douse it with cold water to put it out. Water is a good alternative for controlling conventional fires, but never use water for electrical fires. Sand or baking soda can be used to put out the flames.
Clear Excess Grease
You can try to identify the problem’s root cause after the system has had a chance to cool down. Since air fryers are made to cook food without oil, using too much oil can be problematic.
For instance, extra oil from the pan may seep and come into contact with the metal heating element. It can cause smoke and damage the appliance.
It is recommended to cook naturally fatty foods with a slice of bread added to the pan simultaneously. The bread aids in absorbing all the extra oil generated while cooking.
The type of oil used for cooking should also be chosen wisely. Only oils that can tolerate such high temperatures should be used. Vegetable oils work very well in an air fryer, whereas pam can cause smoke and overheat.
Check the Vents
Air fryers should be stored in a well-ventilated place with room for the vents to release hot air.
Hence, check if the vents are accessible and clean. Make sure the pan is not crowded and blocking the vents. Ensure enough space between the wall and the air fryer to allow proper venting.
If there is any obstacle or blockage on the vents, clean it with a wet towel and open it up before attempting to cook the food again.
How to Stop an Air Fryer Overheating
The heat liberated can be high; one must deal with them carefully to avoid any hassles and danger.
Let’s quickly look at the various ways and methods to prevent the air fryer from getting hot.
Don’t Use Too Much Oil
Air fryers have lived up to their promise of being a healthy alternative to deep frying. However, many of us still find it difficult to fry food without oil. It may take some time to get used to this cooking style, but the method and amount of oil used while air frying are important.
Using too much oil could spill out and end up on the heating elements after passing through the frying pans. As a result, the fryer will immediately begin to heat up, emit smoke, and produce a burning smell.
Food items like fresh vegetables, chicken, and meat can be cooked without oil. Frozen food like chicken may require oil to add that grease.
Apply Oil Correctly
If you do want to use oil, don’t overdo it. Thus here are a few tips that can help when you want to use oil for air frying.
Tip 1: Make sure that the oil used is suitable to work with high temperatures. It is preferred to use sunflower oil or canola oil.
Tip 2: Don’t add oil directly into the pan; rub it with the help of a silicon brush on the item.
Tip 3: Even if you are adding oil, don’t add more than one tablespoon to prevent any damage.
Tip 4: To avoid an oil build-up in one area, try using sprays rather than applying oil with a spoon.
Don’t Overfill Your Air Fryer
Overcrowding any appliance is bad because it damages the equipment and cooks the food unevenly. Air fryers circulate hot air throughout the basket to promote cooking. However, if the basket is filled to the brim, the air will not have enough space to disperse evenly. Hence, it may overheat in certain areas and damage the fryer.
Overfilling will also prevent the vents from releasing excess heat and thus risk fire hazards.
Therefore, it is preferable to take your time and fry the food in batches rather than attempting to finish it all at once, even if you are inclined to do so.
Keep Your Air Fryer Clean
Since the pan or basket is perforated, there are chances that oil, grease, and leftover food may get accumulated if not cleaned thoroughly. These leftover bit and pieces may hinder the process of cooking.
Before starting the next cooking cycle, it is necessary to clean the device because some foods, such as meat and sausage, splatter oil and grease throughout the cooking process.
To perfectly clean them, you can use hot water along with some dishwasher liquid. If you notice strong smells, add some baking powder to the basket for 60 minutes.
Furthermore, after cleaning the equipment, make sure that you dry it using a paper towel before turning it on. If it is not completely dry, it can cause fire breakouts.
Possible reasons why the air fryer is too hot
Troubleshooting is essential to keep the appliance safe and avoid user harm. Given their high cost, air fryers should only be used with care.
Make sure it’s getting the proper voltage requirements.
Voltage fluctuations may be to blame if you discover that the air fryer works in one switch but not the other.
A specific range of voltage and current is required for electrical devices to operate. A device’s lifespan can be shortened and damaged if the voltage supplied is too high or too low.
Therefore, it is essential to confirm the voltage specified in the instructions. A majority of air fryers need between 1700 and 1800 Watts to operate.
The air fryer may overheat due to excess oil.
As mentioned earlier, oil can be a problem when used excessively while frying items in an air fryer. If the oil used exceeds the required amount, it can cause serious damage. Sometimes, it can also cause burning and fires.
The air fryer may overheat due to a lot of food.
The heat supply will not be uniform if the air fryer is fully stocked, and the cooked food will have some cold patches. If the temperature of the air fryer is high and left unattended, it can also release smoke and trigger the smoke detector.
The air fryer may overheat by placing it close to the wall.
Air fryers’ vents enable escaping surplus heat while the food is cooked. Vents serve to balance the heat if the interior temperature is high. The procedure may be hampered if the device is placed near the wall because there is less room for ventilation.
The air fryer may overheat due to blocked vents.
If the vents are blocked, it can damage the thermostat. Thermostats help in controlling the temperature and reducing the occurrence of overheating.
Hence, while placing the food in the basket, place them at an equal distance without covering the vents. Ensure the air fryer is at least 5 to 6 inches from the nearest wall to any solid body.
The air fryer may overheat due to the long timer.
If the timer set for heating is lengthy, the temperature may rise above the acceptable 500 degrees Fahrenheit. At such high temperatures, the air fryer may become hot.
If the recipe demands long cooking intervals, you may want to take breaks to prevent overheating.
FAQ 1: How long do air fryers last?
Answer: If properly utilized, air fryers can last up to 6 years. After usage, clean the equipment and position it where there is room for the vents to release any extra heat.
FAQ 2: How much ventilation does an air fryer need?
Answer: Ventilation is a key feature that helps to circulate air in an air fryer. Ensure the air fryer is at least 5 to 6 inches from the nearest wall to any solid body.
FAQ 3: How long can an air fryer run?
Answer: Temperature requirements vary depending on the recipe. For example, frozen chicken, pizza, and beef may need to be heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, yet brownies and cookies may cook successfully at 350 degrees. It is preferable to avoid operating air fryers for longer than 20 minutes at a time to prevent overheating.
Air fryers can overheat if the venting is hindered or the cooking oil exceeds the required amount. Overheating can cause smoke and fire.
To prevent that, keeping the air fryer safe from other solid substances is best to promote proper venting. It is also a good idea to ensure that the frying basket is clean without oil and leftovers before turning the device on.
I hope you found this article helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions regarding air fryers.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.