Photo courtesy of Walmart.

It’s a relatively quick and easy process, if you know what you're doing.

Jenny McCoy
February 08, 2019
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If, like many Americans, you’ve boarded the air fryer train, you’re probably enjoying crispy veggies, healthy proteins, and better-for-you desserts on the reg. These countertop convection ovens are, in a word, magic. (Just don’t make these common air fryer mistakes!)

 Yet in the midst of cooking up your favorite foods, it’s also important to pencil in a less appetizing activity: cleaning the dang thing.  

Why is cleaning your air fryer important? Well, the appliance collects oils and fat from the food it cooks, Caitlin Bart, senior marketing manager for Philips Kitchen Appliances, told Cooking Light in an email. If it’s not cleaned, said oils and fats could build up over time and create smoke and/or a strong oil odor during cooking. This, in turn, could infuse your otherwise delicious eats with an unwanted oily flavor. That’s why Bart recommends cleaning the device after each use.

If, at any time, your air fryer smokes and/or emits a strong oil smell during cooking, it’s probably overdue for a cleaning, says Bart. Another telltale sign you need to scrub is if food comes out tasting like oil, she adds. 

Though cleaning your air fryer probably sounds a little (okay, a LOT) less fun that cooking with it, it’s a relatively easy and straightforward process. You don’t need to spend much time or effort to get the job done.  

Note: the following tips are for a Philips Airfryer specifically, though this advice would likely apply to other fryers. [If you’re unsure, please check with your air fryer’s manufacturer for cleaning tips specific to your make/model.]

 These are the materials you need to clean your air fryer:  

  1. Soft sponge
  2. Dish soap
  3. Soft- or medium-bristle brush
  4. Small, flexible cleaning brush
  5. Soft cloth or paper towels

Here’s how to clean the pan and basket of your air fryer:

  1. Unplug the device and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Now for the great news: both the pan and basket of your fryer can be cleaned in the dishwasher. They could also be buffed up by hand with hot water, dish soap, and a soft sponge.
  3. If you have any especially crusty bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, simply place it in the sink, fill it with hot, soapy water and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. This should loosen the crust and make it easily removable with a sponge.

One additional tip: if the pan and basket of your air fryer have a non-stick coating (like the Philips models), avoid using metal kitchen utensils or abrasive cleaning materials to clean them—this could damage the non-stick coating.  

How to clean the inside of your air fryer:

  1. Unplug the device and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the basket.
  3. Place the air fryer upside down—this will allow you to better reach the heating element.
  4. Use a soft sponge soaked with hot water to clean the inside.
  5. If any food remnants are stuck to the heating element (which on Philips devices, is located near the top of the fryer), simply remove them with a soft or medium-bristle brush. Steer clear of a steel wire brush or a hard-bristle brush, both of which could damage the coating of the heating element.
  6. Gently scrub the area behind the heating element with a flexible brush.
  7. Dry any wet areas with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  8. From here, turn on the device and let it run for a few minutes without any food. This should help loosen any stubborn particles that couldn’t be initially scrubbed off. They’ll likely fall into the pan, and from there, you can clean them out.
  9. You’re done! Now, you can get back the fun part: air frying up your favorite eats.

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