Wondering why is my air fryer smoking? It could be a problem, read our article to trouble shoot if you see your air fryer smoking!

pink pinterest image with purple outline of an air fryer with text overlay saying why is my air fryer smoking mistakes to avoid

When you see smoke coming out of an appliance, it is only natural that you panic. If you see your air fryer smoking, you need to stop and check things out.

One of the biggest reasons your air fryer may be smoking is that you are cooking fatty foods. When you cook fatty foods, the grease tends to splatter. If it splatters and heats the heating element that may cause some smoke (usually white smoke) and often sends a burnt smell into the air.

The first course of action when you see your air fryer smoking is to determine if it is SMOKE or STEAM. If it is steam that is totally normal for many foods (think frozen foods that have moisture on the outside) you can continue cooking.

If its truly smoke, here are some things you need to check out:

Grease Splatter – carefully look inside your unit to see if grease has splattered. If it has splattered to the heating element and walls of your air fryer you need to let the air fryer cool down completely and clean those areas with soapy water. (see our tips below for grease splatter)

Flying food- the air fryer cooking by circulating HOT air. If you are cooking something that is breaded or something very light, it could take flight, touch the heating element and start to burn. Be sure to check that out. If you are making something like a grilled cheese, you can use toothpicks to hold the bread down.

Temperature is too HOT – You may be cooking your food at too high of a temperature. Each air fryer runs a bit different if you see your air fryer smoking your temp might be too high.

Parchment Paper – Do not preheat or cool down your air fryer with parchment paper in there. It can and will take flight and can start a fire when it touches the heating element! (Thanks Diana for the Tip!)

Air Fryer Grease Tips

Fatty foods produce a lot of grease in your air fryer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook them. Just prepare yourself ahead of time. Ways to cut down on white smoke include:

Putting a slice of bread between the air fryer baskets, this is extremely helpful when making bacon. The bread will absorb the grease and you can reuse it later for croutons!

Putting 1-2 tablspoons of water in the outside basket will help to cut down grease.

read air fryer with black smoke and words: help why is my air fryer smoking?

These tips and tricks have come from our experience as well as the experience shared in our air fryer facebook group. We would love it if you joined us there.

Do you have a trick that has worked for you? Share it below in the comments!

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  1. Don’t forget that if you used a piece of parchment paper during cooking, to remove it when you pull the food out. If you forget & put the basket back in for the cool down, since air will be circulating, it will blow the paper up into the heating element & start to burn & smoke. I learned from experience.

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