The rising popularity of air fryers reached a new level during the pandemic. NPD Group found that sales of air fryers increased 81% in mid 2020 because of a growing desire to prepare home meals. Even before COVID-19, the emphasis on convenience for consumers grew steadily year after year.
It’s not difficult to see why. Air fryer recipes are practically endless and include desserts, meat, French fries and even eggs.
The only part that’s not convenient about an air fryer is cleaning it. After the sweet or savory satisfaction of an easy meal has come and gone, cleaning can seem like an annoyance. Check out these steps to clean your air fryer quickly and efficiently.
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How to clean air fryer
Wash the basket or tray right away.
This will make sure the food doesn’t have time to sit around and stick to the air fryer basket, Consumer Reports writes. Some air fryers also have a base drawer the basket fits into. You’ll want to clean all removable parts food touches. Use the soft side of a sponge to remove any food or grease while washing with soap and warm water. Don’t use anything abrasive, which could remove the nonstick material.
Some air fryers have metal racks instead of baskets. Real Simple recommends using a stainless steel brush for scrubbing food off.
Soak the removable parts either in the sink or a large bucket with warm water and soap if there is food stuck to the air fryer. Make sure not to submerge the entire appliance. Only soak the removable parts that aren’t electric.
Clean the heating element
The heating element of an air fryer doesn’t need to be cleaned every time, but it can collect food and grease over time. Every once in a while, take a stab at cleaning the inside of your air fryer. Waiting until the heating element is completely cool, take a cloth and dampen it with warm soapy water. Turn the air fryer upside down to reach the heating element if needed, KitchenSnitches recommends. Wipe the heating element with the damp cloth or use a soft sponge to gently remove any build up. Give the rest of the interior a wipe down if necessary.
Clean the exterior
When messy cooking causes splatters, take a damp cloth or sponge with soap and wipe off the exterior of the air fryer. Dry it off with a towel, and put your sparkling clean appliance away.
Can I put my air fryer in the dishwasher?
Yes, you can put the basket or tray in the dishwasher. Double check that your brand of air fryer is dishwasher safe before you rearrange your dishes to fit it in.
Can you put water in an air fryer to clean it?
A TikTok user went viral last year after they shared a cleaning hack: Heat soapy water in the air fryer for three minutes to wash the appliance. The Internet wants to know: Does it actually work? Mashable writers tested the trick and said it’s not that easy.
The result of filling the air fryer up with soap and hitting the “on” button was a cleaner air fryer but a remaining coat of grease. While the warm soapy water did some work, Mashable concluded the hack doesn’t solve everything.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to clean an air fryer: Easy hacks to get grease and food off