Asking us not to eat fried food is like asking Joanna Gaines not to make her famous biscuits. It’s not going to happen. But we also know frying isn’t healthy…until we discovered the air fryer. It’s still not the healthiest thing in the world, but since it uses way less oil, food that’s air-fried is lower in fat and calories. Plus, it turns out that cleaning an air fryer is much easier than a deep fryer.
Psst! We compared the most popular air fryer brands for months in our Test Kitchen. This is the product we’re proud to call our Best Loved Brand.
To help you care for your new favorite appliance, we’ve put together a quick and easy cleaning guide below, and if you need a reason to dirty up your fryer (you know, so you can clean it), try one of these delicious recipes from fried pickles to chicken wings.
What to Wash After Each Use
Basket, Tray, and Pan: These parts can be washed just like you would any other dish: with soap and warm water. Or, if you don’t feel like washing them by hand (and we don’t blame you), place them in the dishwasher. Most air fryers have pieces that are dishwasher-safe but check the instruction manual for your specific model first, just to be sure. Dry all of the parts completely before you reassemble the fryer.
For food that may have crusted onto the basket or pan, soak the parts in hot water and soap for 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove the now-softened gunk with a scrub brush.
Interior: Remove the basket, tray, and pan to clean the inside of the air fryer. Simply run a damp sponge with a little bit of dish soap over the entire interior and wipe it dry.
What to Wash Occasionally
Since there’s very little oil involved in air frying, there’s also little greasy residue, which means you don’t need to clean the outside of the air fryer as frequently. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior every couple of uses. Make sure you unplug it first!
Air Fryer Deep Cleaning Tips
If you notice a foul odor coming from your air fryer, chances are there are food particles trapped somewhere in or on it. Mix together baking soda and water to form a paste. Then use a scrub brush or an old toothbrush to thoroughly scrub the interior of the air fryer. (Seriously, did you know baking soda could do all this?!)
Never use metal utensils to remove crumbs or caked-on food from the fryer. It can damage the non-stick coating and prevent your fryer from working properly.
Knowing how to clean an air fryer isn’t hard, but it is important to care for and extend the life of your appliance. Now that you know how it’s done, here are 10 things you didn’t know you could cook in your air fryer (and six you definitely shouldn’t!).