Why Is My Air Fryer Smoking? The Most Common Causes

Not only does it ruin your dinner plans, but it can also cause panic as you wonder if something is wrong with the appliance. Fear not! In this post, we’ll explore the most common causes of smoke in air fryers so that next time it happens, you know exactly what’s going on and how to fix it. 

So buckle up and let’s dive into why your air fryer might be smoking!

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks food by circulating hot air around it. It is typically used to cook fried foods, such as chicken or French fries, with less oil than traditional deep frying. 

Air fryers vary in size and capacity, but most have a basket or tray where the food is placed, and a heating element that circulates the hot air.

Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food in the cooking basket. A fan circulates the hot air, and the food is cooked by contact with this hot air. This method of cooking can result in food that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Most air fryers have a timer and temperature control, so you can set it to cook for a specific amount of time at a particular temperature. Some also have features such as a pause button or automatic shut-off.

Common Causes of Smoking in an Air Fryer

If you’ve ever experienced your air fryer smoking, you know it can be a bit of a mystery. Why is my air fryer smoking? Is something wrong with it? Before you panic, know that there are a few reasons your air fryer may smoke, and they’re all easily fixed. 

1. The Oil: If you’re using too much oil, it can cause your air fryer to smoke. When using an air fryer, you should always use a high-smoke point oil like canola oil or peanut oil. And be sure to coat the food evenly with oil before cooking.

2. The Food: Another common cause of smoking in an air fryer is the food itself. If you’re cooking fatty foods or meats, they can release fat droplets that will smoke when they hit the hot air of the fryer. To avoid this, cook leaner meats and trim any excess fat off of meats before cooking.

3. Overheating: If your air fryer is overheating, it can cause the food to smoke. This is usually due to the temperature being set too high. To prevent this, be sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and only set the temperature as high as recommended.

4. Grease build-up: Another common cause of smoke from an air fryer is grease build-up on the heating element. This can happen if you don’t clean the fryer regularly or if you cook fatty foods frequently. 

To prevent this, be sure to clean your air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid cooking greasy foods too often.

5. Improper ventilation: If your air fryer isn’t properly ventilated, it can cause smoke to build up inside of it. To ensure proper ventilation, be sure to place the fryer in a well-ventilated area. 

With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your air fryer without any unwanted smoke!

Using the Right Type of Oil

If you’re using the wrong type of oil in your air fryer, it can cause smoking. Make sure you’re using an oil that has a high smoke point, such as vegetable or peanut oil. Avoid using olive oil, which has a low smoke point and can easily start smoking.

Do Not Cook at Too High a Temperature

If you’re noticing that your air fryer is smoking more than usual, it’s likely because you’re cooking at too high a temperature. When food is cooked at a higher temperature, it can cause the fat and juices to seep out and start smoking. 

To avoid this, make sure you adjust the temperature of your air fryer accordingly. You may also want to try cooking for a shorter amount of time to help prevent the food from drying out or burning.

What To Do If Your Air Fryer Starts Smoking When Cooking Fatty Foods? 

  1. Turn off the air fryer. 
  2. Take the basket out of the drawer after removing it from the air fryer.
  3. Remove all of the extra oil from the bottom of the drawer with a paper towel.
  4. Reinstall the drawer in the air fryer after inserting the basket there.
  5. Proceed. 

There shouldn’t be any smoke emerging from the air fryer after you have cleared the grease that has accumulated at the bottom of it.


How can I prevent the smoke alarm from being triggered by my air fryer?

Put the air fryer in a practical spot in your home, preferably near a fan or window, and take the procedures in the article to prevent the creation of smoke. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t ever cover your smoke detector with your air fryer. If the air fryer starts to burn, it might be very dangerous.

Why does my air fryer smoke so much? 

In general, one of these causes is usually to blame if your air fryer is emitting a lot of smoke. The first is a significant buildup of oil or grease residue from earlier use that is heating up; it may have accumulated as a result of insufficient cleaning techniques. The heating element may have come into contact with something from the air fryer, which is another explanation.

Why does my air fryer smell like plastic? 

An air fryer’s hot air circulation will initially give off a plastic or chemical-like odor the first time you use it. Depending entirely on the model and what you are cooking, that could go on for however long. Don’t worry, though; it will pass.

Can Air Fryers Catch on Fire?

The answer to this question is yes, there is an extremely slim chance that your air fryer will catch fire. I would like to respond that you shouldn’t have to worry about your air fryer catching on fire because of how low the risks are.

It’s not even necessary for the air fryer to be the source of the fire; it could originate elsewhere. A fire might break out if your air fryer is broken and has an electrical problem. 

An air fryer that is operated correctly shouldn’t catch fire at all unless it is overheating, which could be a possible fire risk.


Air fryers are a great way to enjoy delicious fried food without all the mess and added calories of deep frying. However, if your air fryer is smoking it can be a cause for concern. 

To avoid smoking, make sure you don’t overfill the basket. The food should be in a single layer with some space in between so that hot air can circulate properly. If you’re using oil, be sparing – too much oil can cause smoking as well. Just a light coating will do.

We hope this article has helped you understand some of the most common causes of smoke in an air fryer so that you can address the issue correctly. 

It’s important to always follow manufacturer guidelines when using an air fryer and make sure that you clean it regularly to avoid any potential issues arising from cooking residue build-up.