Do Air Fryers Smell up the House?

I have recently renovated my kitchen and purchased a brand new air fryer

I have been noticing a plastic smell coming out of my new appliance. I wonder if the chemical odor is permanent.

Also, while cooking some stuff in the air fryer, it sometimes smells up the kitchen and even some part of my apartment.

I got curious whether it’s just me or there are other people as well who face this issue of air fryer smelling up the house.

Do Air fryers Smell up the House?

Air fryers are sealed appliances except for the air released through vents. So some amount of food smells will be released when you’re using the air fryer.

However, the smell is not unpleasant or pungent and is unlikely to fill up the entire house. 

Many times, when I cook fish in the air fryer, I feel it smells up my apartment more than other stuff such as french fried or veggies/chicken.

Opening up the back door or a kitchen window and exhaust will take care of the minimal smell released from the vent.

To remove any residual food smell from the air fryer chamber, take one part vinegar, one part lemon, and two-part water. Run it for two to three minutes at 400° F.

Any residual food smell in the air fryer will disappear.

This is excluding the plastic smell. New air fryers have a chemical odor or a plastic smell that goes away with few uses. 

In case the air fryer is smelling all around your home, it could be due to your cooking a lot of fatty food or even a manufacturing defect. 

Now, food smell from the air fryer is common and not a big issue in most cases. But some air fryers smell of plastic, which a lot of people don’t like.

Why Does An Airfryer Have a Plastic Smell? 

The most common reason for an air fryer to smell is because it is a new appliance. 

Most of the components of an air fryer are made from plastic.

The plastic smell is the residue smell from chemicals used to manufacture the appliance in the factory. This leftover smell gasses off within a few uses. 

In technical terms, it is referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC. These are present on your air fryer body and evaporate off at room temperature.

The wrapped plastic used for packaging by manufacturers makes the VOC more intense. The longer the appliance is wrapped up in plastic, the greater the intensity of VOCs. 

Some Other Reasons Why Your Airfryer Might Be Smelling Up Your House 

Here are a few other reasons for your air fryer to smell: 

White Smoke 

If you cook a lot of fatty foods such as chicken or bacon, it could cause your home to smell up.

Fatty food drops oil/grease at the bottom of the air fryer and begins to smoke due to the high-temperature buildup inside the air fryer. 

Using oil of low smoking point in an air fryer can also cause white smoke.

The smell, however, is not bad, just the smell of food cooking. Compared to the deep fryer oil smell, this is just a little odor.

The remedy would be to cook less fatty foods or add bread or water to the bottom of the air fryer drawer while cooking fatty foods.

A word of warning- adding water may increase the cooking time and cause the breading on the bottom side to become bland.

Use oil with high smoke points like avocado oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, etc  

Blue or Black Smoke 

If the plastic smell is accompanied by black or blue smoke, it means the defect is in the air fryer.

The defect could be in the electrical components, material, or marksmanship.

Do not use the air fryer and immediately contact your manufacturer. 

Dirty Heating Element 

Bits and pieces of food can get stuck on the heating element. These produce offensive smells when the air fryer is used. 

It is best to regularly clean up your heating element to avoid build-ups. Stuck on gunk can smell up the house.

The particles burn out creating a  burning smoky smell. 

Few Tips to Prevent the Air Fryer From Smelling 

Follow the tips below to completely steer away from any smells or odors 

  • Clean your air fryer after every use 
  • Check the heating element for any stuck-on gunk 
  • Clean with a light scrub and damp cloth. Do not use harsh abrasives or chemicals while cleaning your air fryer.n
  • Air it out from time to time 
  • Use good quality oils with high smoking points 
  • To prevent the smell of fish while cooking, use fresh fish. You can also rub lemon wedges on it to lighten the smell.
  • Keep the kitchen ventilated while using your air fryer
  • Store your air fryer in a dry, cool place. 

What Must I Do About the Plastic Smell And the VOC? 

Do not worry. The VOCs are not harmful as the exposure is quite less. As your air fryer gets used with time, off-gassing of VOC will occur.

To put it simply, with time the plastic smell in the air fryer will go away as the chemicals evaporate off the air fryer with time. 

Depending on the brand and the quality of your air fryer, the plastic smell should go away after 4-6 uses.

If the plastic smell does not go off with time, it is most likely a manufacturing defect (cheap quality plastic) and you need to contact your brand. 

Watch the video below for clarity

How Do I Get the Smell from Air Fryer to Disappear? 

If you do not want to wait for the smell to naturally off gas and are finding the smell unbearable, here are some helpful suggestions that will help you get rid of the smell 

Overpower the Smell 

Take a few lemons, cut them up into two, and place them inside the air fryer overnight or run the air fryer with them inside. 

The smell of plastic will be overpowered by the citrus smell. You can also use the same technique with oranges or orange peels.

A fruity smell is way better than a plastic smell. 

Wash It Down  

Sometimes all your air fryer needs is a good wash to get rid of the plastic smell.  

Take any non-caustic dish soap or an alkaline cleaning solution of your choice.

Lightly scrub your air fryer down with the soapy water solution. Keep the solution for 5 minutes and rinse off. 

Keep it Outdoors 

Unplug your air fryer. Remove the removable components from your air fryers and keep all the parts outdoors.

Airing out the air fryer should help to quickly evaporate the VOCs. 

Airing out is also important if you use the air fryer frequently. It helps to remove all the food and the residual smells.

Do Some Empty Runs 

This technique helps to quickly get rid of the plastic smell. 

Switch on your air fryer. Let it run a couple of dry cycles without any food inside. 

It will quicken the off-gassing process giving you a smell-free air fryer with just a few uses. 

Ventilate Your Kitchen 

Where there is food, there will always be an odor. The intensity depends on the appliance being used.

Always keep your kitchen well ventilated while air frying. Open up a window or use an exhaust fan to remove any cooking odors that the air fryer produces. 

Use Baking Soda/Vinegar 

This technique is fairly easy. All you need to do is place some baking soda or vinegar and water at the bottom of the air fryer.

Allow the air fryer to go through one cooking cycle. Remove and rinse off with plain water. 

Baking soda or vinegar will help to absorb the smell from your air fryer. 

Choose a Branded Air Fryer 

Always choose well-known brands. They will usually manufacture the appliance in such a way as to reduce the VOCs or the plastic smell.

The alterations could be anything from using good quality plastic to using refined chemicals.  

A lesser-known brand may have a manufacturer that believes in cost-cutting. As a result, your plastic or the chemicals used could be of poor quality. 

Conclusion 

Where there is cooking, you are bound to have food smells. Thankfully, an air fryer gives out minimal food smells through the vent which can be easily removed.

Keep your kitchen well ventilated while air frying. Open the window or switch on the exhaust.

A new air fryer will give out a plastic or chemical smell until the VOCs completely evaporate off.

This may take a couple of uses. If you do not wish to wait, you can get rid of the smell by trying the techniques above. 

Cooking too much fatty food, using oil with a low burning point, and dirty heating elements can cause the air fryer to smell up the house. 

In case it is none of the above, then your air fryer is at fault. Contact your manufacturer and get it replaced. It is always best to purchase a good quality brand. 

I have mentioned in detail why your air fryer may smell up the house. I have also mentioned ways that will help you overcome any odor while air frying. Happy odorless cooking! 

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