Regular readers of Lifehacker’s food and drink vertical, Skillet, are probably quite familiar with air fryers, and may own one themselves. As one of the must-have cooking appliances of the past few years, air fryers have been earning their places on kitchen counters thanks to their ease of use, and ability to make healthier options of classic fried foods.
And while air fryers don’t produce the same greasy mess as deep fryers (or deep-frying something in a pot), they do need to be cleaned. Here’s how to do that.
How to clean the basket of an air fryer
This part is pretty easy. Just remove the drawer and basket part of the fryer, and wash both with dish soap and warm water. As Tim Marcin at Mashable points out, because the insides of air fryers are typically made of nonstick material, be sure to use a sponge or soft cloth so you don’t scrub that treatment off.
If there are any stubborn foodstuffs that don’t easily wash away, Marcin suggests using your fingernail or a paper towel to gently loosen anything that’s stuck. Once you’re done, make sure both the drawer and basket are thoroughly dry, and then pop it back in the fryer, and you’re ready to go.
How to clean the heating element and other parts of the interior
For the most part, cleaning the drawer and basket is enough. But every so often, it’s a good idea to give the inside of the fryer—including the heating element—a thorough cleaning. Here’s how to do that, per Marcin (bold is his):
While you’ve got the drawer removed, take a soft sponge or dampened cloth and wash the interior with mild, soapy water. This will clean and stuck-on food or residual moisture from the cooking process. There really shouldn’t be anything on the top heating element of your air fryer, but if something does get stuck on, you can wipe it with a damp cloth and dry it, once the element has cooled off from the cooking process.
As far as the exterior of the air fryer goes, just clean it the same way you clean the outsides of your other kitchen appliances: Wipe down the surfaces with soap and water, or some kind of disinfecting wipe.