The air fryer is often referred to as something of a cult kitchen appliance. Yet this ‘cult’ appliance had a market value of $1.1 billion in 2021. The pandemic spurred buyers into more home cooking than ever, and the air fryer was in demand more than ever.
The expected growth of the air fryer market was revised due to the pandemic and is now expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% and reach $1.77 billion by 2028.
More than half the air fryers sold in the world are in North America, but Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Europe have also embraced this small but versatile appliance. It can cook all manner of snacks, and meals, but unfortunately, it needs cleaning, and not all air fryers are the same.
Why use an air fryer instead of deep frying your favorite food?
The World Population Review puts the US as the unhealthiest country on the planet due to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The US has some of the most delicious food on the planet, but not all of it is healthy.
As people get more health conscious, they are turning to different diets and ways of cooking. The air fryer avoids using fats and oils, and in turn, produces food lower in calories. It provides a healthier alternative to deep-fried food, but still gives the same taste and texture.
Although an air fryer doesn’t require oil to replicate the deep-fried look and taste, it can still get messy and require cleaning.
How do you clean your air fryer after use?
You love your street food and snacks, and you understand that some of those tasty options are not so healthy, so you want to make them at home.
You can learn to cook street food without making a huge mess with an air fryer. You can do hundreds of different meals, and snacks, from chicken wings to lobster tails, to pickles, samosas, and egg rolls.
But once you’ve enjoyed your cajun fries, it’s best to get cleaning. Here are the simple steps to help you clean your air fryer.
Clean right away
Don’t delay! Procrastination will only make the task worse in the case of cleaning kitchen appliances.
You may have heard that some people believe that leaving skillets and frying pans unwashed makes food taste better. It is true you should season cast iron pans, and this term is called polymerization. But leaving cooking fat and food remnants in a pan will just damage this essential seasoning, not make food tastier.
As for air fryers, they will get no benefit at all from being unwashed, so there is no excuse for leaving them dirty. If you leave sauces or fats to harden in the air fryer it will be that much harder to clean.
Oils should be emptied out when the fryer has cooled and properly disposed of. Sticky sauces and marinades will be easier to remove if done while they are still warm. If there are any hard-to-remove bits of food do not use anything abrasive in the air fryer, or you will damage your non-stick coating.
Consider using aluminum foil
Another trick to make cleaning an air fryer easier is to use aluminum foil. Because of the way hot air is circulated in the air fryer, aluminum foil will not disrupt the cooking process. It will, however, reduce the mess inside as you can remove the foil after cooking.
Using foil this way is just one of the many ideas to keep a kitchen clean constantly. But, the downside is that you will be creating more waste which will offset the good you are doing by reducing cooking oil usage.
Cleaning steps for your air fryer
Since Philips launched the first air fryer over a decade ago, the appliance has evolved and developers have added more features and altered the design immensely. Not all air fryers look the same or have the same parts. The following guide is for cleaning the most common type of air fryer but is still applicable to most others.
- Your air fryer should be cool before you start cleaning it, and unplugged. Then take out all the removable parts such as the basket and immerse them in soapy water. Once again, no abrasive cloths or wire wool should be used.
- If you need to, soak the parts for a quarter of an hour before scrubbing with a non-abrasive sponge.
- A damp cloth should be used to gently scrub the inside of the air fryer. You can use warm soapy water to dampen the cloth, and once cleaned, wipe out the fryer with a separate clean cloth.
- Check the heating element and wipe clean if necessary.
- Wiped down the exterior of the air fryer and dry the basket and drawer. Put all parts back into place. Now you are free to cook your next meal.
If you neglect to clean your air fryer you will find that your kitchen and house will be subject to bad odors. This can be because the heating element has become dirty. Always clean the air fryer each time it is used.
Before our concluding summary, here’s a nice clip to see how it’s done:
Air fryers are simple to use, and simple to clean. They do differ in features, and some have racks instead of baskets and look closer to traditional ovens. However, cleaning an air fryer is essentially the same.
Always let your air fryer cool before cleaning. Only use warm soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. And, don’t let dirt and grease build-up. Cleaning may not be as much fun as cooking and eating, but maintaining your air fryer means you will use it for a long time to come.
Tiara Budd lives in New York and is determined to eat (and Instagram!) her way through the city. In her free time she loves exploring new neighborhoods, reading books from the library, and traveling all around the country.