Do air fryers smell? We are all familiar with the “new car” or “new appliance” smell that you get from something that’s just been unpacked from the box.
It’s that pleasant smell that you get when something is still brand new. There’s another smell though which sometimes comes when you plug in a device.
It’s this burning plastic smell that I’ve gotten from devices like televisions, TV boxes and in some instances, new computers. Air fryers will also give out this smell when you start using them but the big question is, is this supposed to happen in the first place?
Air fryers will smell within the first few uses and give off a plastic smell. This should, and in most will go away after you’ve used the air fryer a couple of times.
In some cases, however, the bad odor will linger on for much longer than that. There are cases that the plastic smell even contaminates the food and it takes on this plastic smell.
In such instances, you need to remedy this and I will share just how you can do this further down in this article. Before I get down to the solution, let’s look at why your air fryer can end up smelling like plastic in the first place.
Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic?
This is the big question. Why does my air fryer smell like plastic? There are a few reasons that this happens. The first reason is that the air fryer comes with a protective coating out of the box.
When this coating is exposed to high temperatures, it begins to burn and give off that plastic smell. This coating usually burns off completely after a few uses and you shouldn’t get any more burning plastic smells after that.
The Faberware air fryer manual actually instructs you to run it 400 for about 20 minutes before using it for the first time. It’s also more common to get bad smells from air fryers that have plastic parts.
These plastic portions may tend to give off that burnt plastic smell as well especially when exposed to really high temperatures.
This can actually go on for a really long time as one user reported that the bad plastic smell fills his kitchen every time he uses it even though he has used it for more than 40 times.
A major reason that this could happen is that the fume residue gets trapped in the nooks and crannies of the air fryer and every time you then use it; these smells are triggered again and it becomes a perpetual cycle.
This situation is unique though and won’t happen to you under normal circumstances. Predominantly metal-air fryers as well tend to not experience this because they have little to no plastic parts hence are not affected by it.
It’s important to note, as well, that this experience of plastic smell coming from your air fryer is not common to all air fryers.
Besides the bad plastic smell, air fryers can also give off other unpleasant smells that fill your whole kitchen. I will now get into some of these reasons.
Other Reasons Why Your Air Fryer Might Smell Bad
The air fryer does give off a burnt plastic smell but this is not the only smell that it gives off. You can also get a bad odor that fills the kitchen after you’ve used it for some time.
Most air fryers have a heating element located at the top of the fryer and, over time, food particles can start collecting in this section and this can lead to a burnt smell emanating from it.
Failure to clean it occasionally can also cause bad smells that fill up the whole kitchen. Many users have reported an unbearable smell in their kitchen as they use their air fryers.
This is obviously a concern and a reason for concern in most people’s minds as they do not know whether the unit is faulty or if the food prepared in the air fryer is safe enough to eat if it’s acting that way.
Dirt on the outside on the outside of the air fryer can also lead to these bad smells even though the possibilities of this happening under these circumstances are few and far between.
How Can I Get Rid of the Plastic Smell on My Air Fryer
Now that we know some of the causes, let’s look at the possible remedies to this problem. One of the best ways to do this is to actually wash out the washable components of the air fryers to0,
- first of all, remove the protective coating. This reduces the occurrence of the bad smell quite significantly. If the bad smell doesn’t go away completely, it will take fewer initial runs for it to completely go away. The components of the fryer that are washable include the pan, rack, grill, and basket.
- Bathe these in a sink full of warm water and soap for around 15 minutes.
- Wash these out with a soft sponge and then use the same sponge to wipe out the inside of the air fryer. This will usually do the trick and the air fryer will be ready to go. This is the first method that you can use in situations where the air fryer is being used for the first time. You can also use this method to clean the air fryer in situations where it starts giving off a bad smell after multiple uses and it starts collecting residue.
- If this method still doesn’t get rid of the burnt smell you can try one other method that’s almost sure to get the smell out once and for all.
- Get an air fryer safe dish that you then put some vinegar and lemon in. Place this inside the air fryer and let it run for about 2 minutes. Doing this usually gets the job done. Sometimes you won’t get all the odor out. If this happens, run it again for another 2 minutes. This usually gets the job done.
What Happens When This Doesn’t Work?
If you have done all the above and the air fryer is still giving off the plastic smell, you will want to contact the supplier or manufacturer of the product as this may actually be a fault with your particular unit.
If none of the above remedies this issue, it may be time to upgrade to another, more reliable model.
General Air Fryer Maintenance Tips
If you want to keep your air fryer odor-free, the best thing to do is to make sure that you keep it as clean as possible. Air frying is a unique process and you will soon discover that the amount of oil you put in is a lot less than in conventional cooking.
You will also discover that you will actually get more oil coming out of the food. This oil usually collects at the bottom of the air fryer drawer and you need to make sure that the air fryer remains clean to avoid bad smells after multiple uses.
When you finish cooking with the air fryer, drain out the oil into a jar or some other suitable container then wash out the different components using a regular hand washing process. Make sure that the components are dry before slotting them back into place then into the air fryer.
Air Fryer Maintenance Cleaning
You will discover that with time, there will be black smoke coming from the back of your air fryer. This usually happens because of food particles collecting on the heating element.
You will want to do a maintenance clean from time to time. What you need to do first is to make sure that the air fryer has cooled down sufficiently.
Next, remove the tray and other removable parts. In most units, the heating element will be at the top part of the unit.
Flit the air fryer upside down then, using a soft bristle brush, remove all the dirt on and around the element. Finally, wipe it all off with a dry cloth and you are done.
This process should be done at least once every 3 months to keep your air fryer in the tip, top condition.
Final Thoughts on Air Fryer Smell
Most new air fryers do have a certain smell that is normal which eventually goes away everything you use it, however, if you struggled with the plastic smell for a long time, then I hope this comprehensive guide helped you get rid of it.
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade and furnish their kitchen with the best available products! She is the primary writer behind SmartKitchenImprovement.com and hopes to share little tidbits of knowledge she’s picked up over her years as a mom and wife.