Is your air fryer smoking or smoke coming out of the air fryer vents? Don’t freak out. Read our article below. It’s most likely because all the oil or food particles (bread crumbs) on the food are splattering on the heating element. What to do? Stop the air fryer, use a paper towel to remove excess oil at the bottom the air fryer or put a piece of bread at the bottom to soak up the oils. 

Why is Air Fryer Smoking and Releasing smoke? |

Why is smoke coming out of the Air Fryer?

Fatty Foods Splattering Grease: There’s many reasons for your air fryer giving out smoke. The main reason is because foods with lots of fat will release grease and splatter on the heating element. This causes the air fryer to smoke and release white smoke, often following by burning smells and burnt food. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t cook higher fat air fried foods. Here’s our guide and tips to solve problems with air fryer smoke.

Troubleshooting Guide for Problems of Smoking Air Fryers

  1. Smoke or Steam? Is all that white stuff smoke or steam? If it’s steam, it’s part of the normal cooking process. If it’s smoke, then read more below.
  2. Too much oil and grease on the food cooked at high temperatures (360F or higher) splatters on the hot cooking element which causes smoke. Be prepared to see smoke if you’re cooking foods like bacon and chicken thighs. A lot of the smoke comes from cooking meat at higher temps.
  3. Dirty heating element/coils or old food crumbs. Keep your air fryer clean! When it’s completely cool, gently wipe the inside and heating elements or coils to remove old grease or food stuck on it. Clean out any old grease leftover at the bottom of the air fryer.
  4. What if my food doesn’t have too much grease? Maybe it was because it was battered with dry batter (read #4) Did  you overcrowd the basket or rack? read #5. Don’t crowd your basket or rack with food because even if your food has little oil but you cook a lot at a time, that can still cause oil/food particles to splatter on heating element.
  5. Burning Food Particles Blowing Around. Sometimes it’s not just grease but also food particles splattering on the hot element can cause smoking. Is your food battered/breaded? was it sprayed down enough? If not, then the hot circulating air blows food particles around, particularly dried breading and that can cause burning and smoking. Bread crumbs flying around can definitely be a problem for smoking.
  6. Is your air fryer too small. Your air fryer basket might be too small for cooking at higher temps. Try cooking less in a small basket or get a larger one. Still make sure to not overcrowd the basket with food.
  7. Lay slice of bread or add water to Air Fryer. Some people suggest adding water at the bottom of the air fryer pan or basket to help splattering. The theory is that the bread will soak up excess oil, which can help minimize splattering. We tried it and it definitely helps, so it might work for you. It’s great if you’re making air fryer whole chicken with skin on or air frying bacon. Lifting air fryer tray to remove bread slice
  8. Your temperature is too high. Some air fryer cook really hot and some recipes might call for too high of temperature. Try cooking the food at the lower temperature for longer.
  9. You need to air fry in a well ventilated kitchen? If you’re in a small, closed kitchen then even the slightest steam or light smoke can be overwhelming. Open up windows, turn on your vent hood or try your best to ventilate your kitchen.
  10. Use oils with high smoke points which can cook at higher temperatures without giving off too much smoke. Examples are light/refined olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil which can help minimize smoke.
  11. Ask your questions in the comments below and we’ll try to help figure out the problem.

Are you Still Having Problems with Smoke Coming out of Air Fryer?

  1. Are you still having smoke problems? then it must be a manufacturer issue. Call them and ask for help about your air fryer smoking.
  2. Still more problems? then THINK about what it is that you are cooking and if it’s the same type of food, then you need to change the recipe or how you are cooking it.
  3. Stop Air Frying. Some foods don’t cook well in an air fryer. And if after all this trouble shooting and you still experience smoke, then cook it on the stove top or oven. Air Fryers aren’t great for everyone or for all foods.

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Want to know more about what air frying is about and Beginners Guide? Here’s our tips: 

air fryer with fresh ingredients on a table

This article was originally published in 2019 and re-published with updated tips. Hope our guide helps answer our questions about air fryer smoking. Here’s some great healthy air fryer recipes.