Yes, You Do Need To Clean Your Air Fryer After Every Use

If you've walked through the home appliances section of any department store lately, you already know that air fryers remain dominant as America's favorite kitchen appliance since the George Foreman grill. Based on the undeniably restaurant-quality crisp they give to your French fries and chicken nuggets alone, it's clear that the allure of these culinary sidekicks won't be dying down anytime soon. But if you want to make sure your personal air fryer also has a chance at extended longevity, maintenance is key. It's understandable that, especially in the rush of preparing meals, you might not always find the time to wipe out the microwave or inspect the bottom of your oven for crumbs. We can usually get away with forgetfulness (or laziness) from time to time without any significant impact on our devices. However, to keep your air fryer running safely and smoothly, you should clean it out after every use.

When you've reached the prize that is air fried deliciousness, cleaning up the mess it made is probably the last thing on your mind. Still, crumbs and grease can build up and become caked onto the grate inside your basket, making them harder to clean over time. Even worse, they can splatter up into the heating element and potentially start a fire. Cleaning your air fryer might seem like common sense, but the method used is important for safety and efficiency. The good news is, it's a simple process, especially if you stick to it consistently.

Make sure it's cooled down first

The first step to cleaning your air fryer is unplugging the device and ensuring that it's cool to the touch. You don't want to burn your hands or your kitchen towels. Next, remove the grate from the air fryer basket and wipe both the basket and grate with paper towels to take off as much grease as possible. Then, wash both parts in warm, soapy water using a nonabrasive kitchen sponge. Don't forget to scrub the bottom of the basket because grease splatter can also build up underneath during cooking. 

Once clean, allow the parts to air dry or dry them by hand with a clean kitchen towel. Before returning the pieces to your air fryer, check to make sure both the inside of the device and the heating coil on top are free from grease and debris. You should never submerge the air fryer in water so you'll need to use a damp cloth or a soft-bristled brush to wipe away any buildup on the inside. Allow the unit to air dry completely before replacing the grate and basket. Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe the exterior of your appliance and dry it thoroughly before storing it.

Keeping a clean air fryer will lead to safer kitchen adventures and help you get significantly more use out of your device. Be sure to check out our air fryer maintenance tips for more guidance on how to keep your favorite appliance running smoothly.