Do Air Fryers Smell?

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Air fryers are just miniaturized convection ovens and just like their less-healthy cousin, the deep fryer, or even their big brother, the standard kitchen oven, there may be some odors that you will catch wafting through the air. That leads us to wonder whether air fryers smell even though they do not use oil in order to cook the food you place in it. In order to answer this question, let’s look at some of the culprits of any smells you may come across and just what you can do about them.

How Do I Get Rid of that Plastic Smell?

All new appliances have their own version of the new car smell except it is not as enticing. So, the air fryer may come with a bit of a plastic smell because — well, it is made of plastic. Now in no ways is this a global issue and there are many air fryer models that have no plastic smell at all, but if yours does have this smell coming from it, here are a few ways that you can combat it.

  1. Clean the new air fryer before using it.
  2. Try using the good old vinegar method. Place a small amount of vinegar and lemon into an air fryer safe dish and then set that dish in the air fryer.
  3. After that is done run the air fryer on low for a couple of minutes.
  4. Then let the dish sit until it is cool and then remove the dish (repeat if necessary).
  5. If you do not like the vinegar smell either do the same process with a dish with just water.

Other than plastic you may also smell a chemical smell which could be disturbing as well. This chemical smell is often attributed to the chemicals used to create nonstick components and is intended to burn off after a few uses. If it persists then you may want to reach out to the manufactures for assistance.

Other Reasons for that Smell

Plastic isn’t the only smell that your air fryer can emit. So here are a few other reasons for your air fryer to smell.

Grease Residue

Smelling something like burnt food consistently? This may be because there was leftover residue from previous cooking. This can be fixed by simply paying closer attention to your cleaning process. Here are a few components to make sure you get really clean so that you will do not end up with burnt food smell in your house or your food:

  • Outside surface — Cleaning this thoroughly with a wet towel will make sure that as the unit heats up it's not heating up last week’s chicken wings
  • Coil — This is an inner component that many overlooks when cleaning. This is the source of the heat in your air fryer and so any crumb or splash that ends up on this part will get hot and of course burn to leave more of that harsh burnt food smell
  • Basket and accessories — Just make sure to thoroughly rinse these pieces off before putting in the dishwasher (if they are dishwasher safe) as you do with the rest of your kitchenware


This is the most worrisome of odors. If you begin to smell an electrical smell, then maybe the air fryer is malfunctioning in some way. If this is the odor that you are smelling, make sure the first thing you do is unplug it and then contact some sort of professional to get it fixed or reach out to the manufacturer to see what they can do for you.

Though the primary complaint is usually a chemical or plastic smell, these are a few other reasons that your air fryer may be emitting unwanted odors.


So, do air fryers smell? The simple answer is yes, they do. This is because they are cooking food. The smell that emits from the air fryer, unless due to malfunction, can easily be fixed with a few simple steps. If you can get over the smell the benefits you will reap from your air fryer should far outweigh the little inconvenience of a weird smell.

After all, making sure you can serve healthy, but delicious foods that are crispy, just the way you and your family or friends like it, is a gift in and of itself. If that smell is not marinating in your food, it is as simple as cracking a window or using your oven vent to get rid of those unwanted smells.

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