Why Is My Air Fryer Smoking?

Why Is My Air Fryer Smoking

Air fryers are great appliances for cooking food at home. They are convenient and save you plenty of time.

However, they also need regular maintenance and cleaning. If you don’t take care of them properly, you run the risk of damaging the device and ruining your food.

But your air fryer has been working fine until now. Suddenly, it starts smoking. What should you do? We find out in this article.

Why Is My Air Fryer Smoking

What Causes Your Air Fryer To Smoke?

There are a number of reasons that could cause smoke coming from your air fryer. The best way to solve this issue is by finding out what causes the issue and then fixing it.

The first thing we want to know is why your air fryer started smoking in the first place.

Blocked Vents

It’s important to understand how an air fryer works before you can determine the source of the problem.

Air fryers work on the principle of convection. This means that heat is transferred through hot air circulating around the inside of the unit.

This process allows food to cook quickly without having to use any oil or fat. However, if there is something blocking the airflow, the temperature will drop and the food won’t be cooked evenly.

This is where some air fryer issues start. If you have blocked the vents, the air flow will become restricted and the temperature will drop. As a result, the food will not get cooked properly.

If this happens, you may notice smoke coming from the vent holes. Simply move your air fryer away from the wall or any other objects that may block the vents.

Make sure that you don’t keep your air fryer in a small space. The air needs to circulate around the device.

You should also ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated. This will help prevent any build up of stagnant air.

Unfortunately, older models of air fryers tend to suffer from this issue more than newer ones.

As mentioned earlier, these devices rely on convection to transfer heat. Therefore, they require proper ventilation.

As such, if you have an old model, you might experience problems with its heating system.

In addition, the vents can easily clog over time. It’s therefore advisable to clean the vents regularly to avoid any potential damage.

2. Burning Food

Another common reason behind the build up of smoke in and around your air fryer is burning food.

When you’re frying food, you’ll often see smoke coming from the top of the air fryer. Sometimes this is caused by greasy food, or it may be small, loose particles that are floating through the air fryer.

Usually, these particles end up stuck to the heating element, which leads to scorching and smoking.

You should also check whether the food is too high up. Sometimes the food is placed so high up that it does touch the heating element.

If this is the case, lower the food or put less food inside the air fryer.

When you find food particles stuck to the heating element, simply turn off the air fryer, let it cool and then simply wipe off the burnt area with a damp cloth.

Don’t try to remove the burnt material using strong chemicals, as this may damage the heating element.


One of the most common reasons behind the build up of smoky fumes within an air fryer is overheating.

If you’ve been cooking for long periods of time, chances are that the heating element has heated up beyond its normal operating range.

This would mean that the temperature is higher than what is recommended.

Make sure that you read the instructions of your air fryer carefully to ensure that you do not use your air fryer beyond the stated length of time.

Also make sure that you follow all safety precautions when using your air fryer. For example, always keep the lid closed while the air fryer is in operation.

Never leave the air fryer unattended and always unplug the unit before cleaning.

Too Much Sauce

Sauces are one of the common culprits that cause an air fryer to smoke.

The problem lies in the fact that sauces contain fats and oils. These substances are highly flammable, and they can boil when added to your food before the cooking process.

So, whenever you want to add sauces to your food, it’s best to do this after the food has been cooked.

Keep in mind that the oil content in sauces can vary significantly. Some sauces have very low fat contents, whereas others have high levels of fat.

Therefore, some sauces may be more prone to causing issues than others.

Too Much Food

Sometimes, the amount of food being fried will lead to excessive amounts of grease being released into the air fryer. This could result in the formation of black smoke.

In addition, this also means that the air cannot circulate properly, and the food doesn’t get cooked.

To prevent this, reduce the quantity of food being fried as soon as possible.

What You Should Do When Your Air Fryer Is Smoking?

air fryer

The first thing you need to do when you notice that your air fryer is smoking is to turn the power off.

Once the power is turned off, wait until the air fryer stops producing heat. Then, open the lid to allow any excess heat to dissipate.

Make sure that you open windows and allow your kitchen to ventilate. If there is a lot of smoke coming out of your air fryer, then your fire alarm may go off.

Once you open all the windows and doors, you can turn off the fire alarm and start checking what caused the smoking in your air fryer.

You should check if the heating element is damaged or if something else has caught on fire.

If everything seems fine, then you can proceed by wiping down the surface of the air fryer. Once you’re done doing this, you can close the door again and restart the air fryer.

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