The Simple Tip For Distinguishing Between Air Fryer Steam And Smoke

Your air fryer is one of the best ways to quickly prepare easy meals without using too many additional oils. It works by circulating hot air throughout a cooking chamber to evenly and beautifully heat some of your favorite foods. The result is everything from personal-sized pizzas to air fryer fried chicken.

For most models, when you close the air fryer door, you trust it to work its magic, but you don't get to see what's happening inside. As a result, you might need to lean on external signals from your air fryer. You'll almost definitely notice steam escaping from the appliance at some point during its use. This is expected, just like with most other cooking methods. However, when dealing with such high heat (most air fryers reach up to 400°F), no access to the inside of the cooking chamber can quickly spell trouble if your food starts to smoke.

When determining whether there's a smoke-related threat to your air fryer and your kitchen as a whole, you can usually trust the smell of the fumes to help you decide what to do next.

Your nose knows

Steam is simply what happens when water evaporates and turns into a gas. This is entirely safe in your air fryer and occurs when the water from your foods dissipates into the air. Smoke, on the other hand, is not okay. It is also an indicator that a fire may be present or impending.

The confusion arises because white smoke and steam can look very similar. So whether or not you need to take action depends on what it smells like. For example, if the white vapor coming from your air fryer smells like food, it's just steam, and there's no need to be alarmed. However, if you take a big whiff and you're met with a burning smell, you've got a smoking air fryer on your hands.

Greasy or burnt foods, as well as dirty heating elements, are some of the reasons your air fryer might start smoking. If this happens, you'll want to turn off and unplug your air fryer at the very first sign. Then you can open the basket and make sure no fire is present. Once this has been determined, you should wait for your machine to cool down completely before thoroughly cleaning the dirty air fryer.

Even with this tip in your back pocket, it's important to keep a close eye on your meals by periodically opening your air fryer basket to check on them. This can prevent a kitchen disaster and help you enjoy those perfectly crispy french fries faster.