Do Air Fryers Smell? – How To Get Rid Of The Plastic Smell

How To Get Rid Of The Plastic Smell in air fryer

As our culinary journey evolves, we’re continuously seeking out kitchen appliances that make life easier, healthier, and tastier. Air fryers have managed to meet all these criteria, soaring in popularity and securing a permanent spot on many kitchen countertops.

This magical gadget, lauded for its ability to mimic the taste and texture of deep-fried food without excessive oil, has one minor flaw that may put off some users – the smell it can produce, particularly one reminiscent of plastic. Fear not, this blog post aims to demystify the causes behind these odors, and most importantly, offer actionable advice on how to combat them effectively.

What Causes Air Fryer Smells?

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

The aromatic whiff of fries or chicken nuggets cooking in this item is undeniably delightful. But why does that appealing aroma sometimes mingle with a less welcome smell, even likened to burning plastic? Here’s the thing: the key elements responsible for these smells are primarily the heating element, residual oils, and food particles.

The heating element can accumulate oil and food residue over time, leading to a burnt smell when heated. Now, the puzzling plastic smell is typically due to the heating of plastic components within the air fryer.

Are All Air Fryers Prone to Smells?

Let’s get one thing clear: not all fryers produce unpleasant smells. Factors like the build quality, the materials used, and the construction of the heating element can significantly affect whether or not your air fryer emits odors. High-quality ones with heating elements well insulated from plastic components are less likely to give off a plastic smell.

Dealing with the Plastic Smell

New fryer owners often notice the plastic smell during their initial cooking sessions. This is perfectly normal and tends to diminish over time. To minimize this smell, try preheating them before adding food and cleaning it thoroughly after every use. This will help burn off manufacturing residues and keep your appliance smelling fresh.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning is your best defense against unwanted odors. It helps remove food particles, oil, and residue that may cause the foul smell. When cleaning your product, ensure to pay attention to all its components, including the removable parts and heating elements. Hand wash these with warm water and a mild detergent, then dry them thoroughly before reassembling.

Using Proper Oils

Using Proper Oils

Believe it or not, the type of oil you choose to use in your air fryer plays a crucial role in determining the presence of smells. It may come as a surprise, but oils with low smoke points, such as olive oil, can not only produce smoke but also emit unpleasant odors during the air frying process.

To avoid this, it is advisable to opt for oils with high smoke points, such as avocado or grapeseed oil. These oils are better equipped to withstand the high temperatures inside an air fryer without releasing off-putting smells, ensuring a more pleasant cooking experience and deliciously fragrant results.

Odor-Absorbing Methods

Consider using natural odor-absorbing methods to combat persistent smells in your air fryer. One effective method is placing a bowl of vinegar or baking soda in the appliance when it’s not in use. Vinegar and baking soda have exceptional odor-neutralizing properties, making them ideal for eliminating unpleasant smells and leaving your air fryer smelling fresh.

The acetic acid in vinegar and the alkaline nature of baking soda work together to absorb and neutralize odors effectively. By incorporating these natural substances into your air fryer maintenance routine, you can ensure that lingering smells are minimized, creating a more enjoyable cooking experience and preserving the natural aroma of your food.

Air Fryer Accessories

Air Fryer silicone mats

In addition to being valuable tools for preventing food from directly contacting the air fryer’s surfaces, certain accessories like silicone mats or parchment paper have the added benefit of reducing odors.

By creating a barrier between the food and the components of the air fryer, these accessories minimize the chances of lingering smells taking hold. Not only do they provide a simple solution for preventing the transmission of odors, but they also make cleaning up a breeze.

The non-stick properties of silicone mats and the disposable nature of parchment paper ensure that any potential odors are contained and easily disposed of, leaving you with a fresh and odor-free air fryer experience.

Cooking Techniques for Minimizing Odors

By altering your cooking techniques, you can significantly minimize odors emanating from your air fryer. Opting for less greasy foods and making use of foil to cover dishes when necessary are simple yet effective methods.

These techniques serve to create a barrier, preventing food residue from sticking to the air fryer’s interior surfaces. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of unpleasant smells being produced during the cooking process.

Avoiding excessive oil and employing foil coverings as needed not only enhances the overall cleanliness of your air fryer but also ensures that lingering odors are kept at bay, allowing you to enjoy a more pleasant cooking experience.

Ventilation and Air Circulation

Air Fryer Ventilation

Remember, proper ventilation is crucial when using an air fryer to prevent the accumulation of odors in your kitchen. By using the appliance in a well-ventilated area or near a kitchen exhaust hood, you create a more efficient airflow that helps disperse any odors generated during the cooking process.

Adequate ventilation not only minimizes the chances of odors lingering in your kitchen but also contributes to a more pleasant cooking experience overall. It ensures that the smells from your air fryer dissipate quickly, allowing you to enjoy the delicious aroma of your food without any unwanted lingering scents. Make ventilation a priority to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and inviting.

Other Solutions for Lingering Smells

If odors persist even after following the aforementioned tips, there are additional remedies that can be employed to tackle the issue. One effective method is to utilize the power of lemon juice or coffee grounds to deodorize the air fryer. These natural substances have exceptional odor-absorbing properties that can help eliminate unpleasant smells, leaving your air fryer with a pleasant aroma.

The acidic nature of lemon juice and the rich aroma of coffee grounds work together to neutralize and mask any lingering odors. By incorporating these simple and readily available remedies into your cleaning routine, you can ensure that your air fryer remains fresh and odor-free, enhancing your overall cooking experience.


While it’s true that some air fryers may initially produce a plastic-like smell, there are numerous ways to mitigate and eventually eliminate these odors. By following the above strategies, you can continue to enjoy the countless benefits of air frying – creating delicious, healthier meals with less oil – while maintaining an odor-free culinary experience. Here’s to many aromatic air frying sessions in your future!