Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance because they offer a healthier alternative to conventional frying. They produce delectable, crispy results with less oil. However, concerns about potential fire hazards have raised safety concerns. The purpose of this article is to debunk the myths surrounding air fryers and provide safety advice for their users.
Does the air fryer catch fire? Air fryers catching fire is a relatively uncommon occurrence. Although there have been a few reported cases in the past, it is important to note that these occurrences are not common. With correct usage, maintenance, and adherence to safety guidelines, the risk of an air fryer catching fire can be substantially reduced.
News Circulating about Air Fryer Catching Fire
According WCNC news there has been many cases where unplugged air fryer caught fire. The fire inspector investigating the case mentioned he has encountered many such air fryer fire case.
In North America, the renowned brand Cosori has voluntarily recalled over 2 million air fryers due to fire hazards. Various models sold between June 2018 and December 2022 are included in the recall. Some incidents have caused minor injuries and damage to property.
The affected products were sold at stores including Best Buy, Target, and Home Depot, as well as on Amazon and Wayfair. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received 205 reports of air fryers that overheated, caught fire, melted, or smoked.
The issue was attributed to a faulty wire connection, but the company stated that it occurred in extremely uncommon instances. Cosori advises owners of the affected air fryers to cease using them and request a free replacement. [4, 5]
How is Fire Caught in an Air Fryer, and What Preventative Measures Exist?
1. Washing your air fryer incorrectly
Incorrect washing is unlikely to directly cause an air fryer fire. However, improper cleaning and maintenance can increase the risk of a fire by creating potential safety hazards. Incorrect cleansing practices can indirectly contribute to fire hazards in the following ways:
- Moisture Accumulation: If water or any other liquid penetrates the air fryer’s electrical components during washing, it can cause a short circuit. This may result in a malfunctioning electrical system, which increases the risk of combustion and fire.
- If the air fryer is not properly cleansed after every use, food particles, grease, and oil residue can accumulate over time. When the air fryer is switched on to cook, these residues can potentially become overheated and ignite, resulting in a fire.
- Ventilation Obstruction: Improper washing techniques may result in ventilation apertures that are obstructed or clogged. These holes are essential for releasing heat and steam during the cooking procedure. If the ventilation is obstructed, heat may accumulate within the air fryer, increasing the risk of a fire.
To avoid these potential fire hazards when cleaning an air fryer, observe the following precautions:
- Before cleaning, unplug and cool down the air fryer to prevent electric shock and inadvertent activation.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the cooking chamber, basket, and accoutrements with tepid soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid submerging electronic components.
- Before reassembly, thoroughly dry all components to prevent moisture-related electrical issues.
- After each use, clean the air fryer to prevent the accumulation of food residue, thereby preserving its performance and reducing the risk of fire.
2. Using too much of Non-Sticky Aerosol Oil Sprayer
Most oil sprayer like Pam oil sprayer contains propellants like propane and butane  which can easily cause fire if present in high concentration.  Using too much non-stilly aerosol can accumulate in air fryer basket and cause fire.
One important thing to note is that air fryer operates at high temperature (about 400 °F) and if these flammable propellants are exposed to high temperature of air fryer, it can easily cause fire.
Hence one needs to either avoid or minimize using propellants in the air fryer.
3. Overcrowding Air Fryer Basket can also Cause Fire
Increased Heat Accumulation: When the container is overstuffed, food items are tightly packed. As heated air struggles to circulate the food, heat becomes trapped, resulting in a temperature rise. This accumulation can cause the air fryer’s temperature to rise substantially, potentially exceeding safe limits and increasing the risk of a fire.
4. Overheating the Air Fryer
Overheating is one of the most common causes of fire hazards in air fryers. If the internal temperature exceeds safety limits, the food or other volatile substances inside may catch fire.
5. The Surface in Which Air Fryer is Kept
It is very important to keep the air fryer on a heat-resilient surface and not on tea towels or towel paper. Because the air fryer operates at a high temperature, it emits hot air through the vent. So, one should not keep anything near the vent.
6. Air Fryer Kept near Sink or Moist Place
Like other electrical appliances, it is important to keep your air fryer away from the sink or to a place where there is the possibility of water getting into the air fryer.
Although putting little water in food that requires it doesn’t cause fire risk but too much water might be risky.
8. Using Oil with Low Smoke Point
Oil having a smoke point higher than the air fryer’s maximum operating temperature (around 400 °F) such as extra-light olive oil (smoke point 465 – 470 °F) and canola oil should be used in air fryers. Whereas oil having less smoke point than air fryer optimum temperature such as extra virgin olive oil shouldn’t be used in air fryers.
Learn: How to add oil to air fryer.
9. Professional Repairs
When you find any issue with your air fryer, it is important to take the help of a professional for repair work.
Like other electrical appliances, it is important to keep the air fryer unplugged when not in use. This will reduce the chance of catching fire.
Although there have been a few cases related to air fryers catching fire these cases are very few.