Instant Pot Air Fryer Plastic Smell

Written By Irfan Hussain

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Instant Pot Air Fryer is a versatile and compact appliance that provides you with a quick cooking process. 

The unit uses conventional heating where the heat from the heating coil circulates inside the air fryer chamber, heats the oil around the food and cooks it from inside resulting in proper cooking and achieving perfect crispiness.

However, sometimes, during the cooking process, the unit starts giving off a plastic odor-it’s especially common in newly bought appliances. 

In our blog, we will dive into the details of the instant pot air fryer plastic smell and possible ways to eliminate it.

Instant Pot Air Fryer Plastic Smell:

The air fryer smells like burning plastic due to the frequent heating and cooling of the heat-resistant plastic that builds up the exterior and interior of the instant pot. The accessories are also plastic mould and give off plastic fumes initially during the first couple of times. 

To deal with plastic fumes, you can frequently heat and cool the unit without food, use vinegar and lemon mixture to absorb the fumes and frequently clean the appliance to get rid of the smell.

Instant Pot Air Fryer Plastic Smell

Why Does An Instant Pot Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic? 

Air fryers are made up of heat-resistant plastic that makes up the exterior as well as the internal components of the appliance. The plastic is durable and has strong insulating properties, hence keeping the heat from the coil inside the cooking chamber while keeping the exterior cool and safe to touch. This insulating barrier created by the plastic makes cooking quick and safe for users.

The internal components are also plastic mould injections and emit fumes upon the first couple of uses. This is because, after the manufacturing of the unit, the appliances are run multiple times to keep the appliance working and to get rid of the plastic fumes. Sometimes, the manufacturer skips this step due to time shortage, hence resulting in you smelling plastic fumes.

Similarly, the interior fan and heating coil may also emit offensive fumes during the initial working sessions. Moreover, the non-stick coating also sometimes starts to smell like plastic.

The only way to deal with a strong plastic smell is to make the unit go through multiple heating and cooling sessions to keep the appliance going and to get rid of the plastic smell.

How To Get Rid of Air Fryer Plastic Smell? 

There are plenty of ways to get rid of the air fryer plastic smell. These include:

Thoroughly Washing The Basket and the Fryer Grease Separator Tray:

The Instant Pot air fryer comes with a grease separator tray and a fryer basket. These plastic-moulded accessories need to be washed thoroughly using dishwashing soap and a scrubbing pad. You can use strong degreasing agents to get rid of food debris and excessive oils from the accessories. While using the scrubbing pad, you must use the yellow non-abrasive scrubbing side compared to the green part as it may chip off the anti-sticking coating and damage the accessories. After you have degreased the components, let them air dry.

Heating &Cooling The Appliance:

To get rid of the plastic fumes, it’s highly recommended that you run the air fryer without food for a couple of cooking sessions to heat and cool the plastic which will ultimately release the plastic fumes. This will wash off the plastic smell and settle it. Therefore, after cleaning the basket and the separator tray, turn the fryer heat to 450 to 400F and heat it without any food for about 40 minutes. After that, let it cool down, for 15 minutes. Doing this will expedite the plastic fumes. Repeat the cycle 3 to 4 times.  You can do this process in your garage or outdoors for good results and to prevent the plastic smell from accumulating in your house. 

Coating The Separator Tray and the Basket:

After you have completed the second step of heating and cooling your air fryer, coat the air fryer basket and the separator tray with cooking oil. You can put cooking oil in a bowl and then a damp paper towel with it and wipe the insides of the appliance with a damp paper towel.  Then heat the unit at 50 to 400F for about 10 minutes. Allow the device to cool down for 10 minutes. Then again repeat the process. After repeating it 1 to 2 times, you wipe off the excessive oil with tissue paper or a towel. Use dishwashing soap to clean the accessories and then rinse and air dry the components. 


Don’t use cooking sprays like Pam as they can damage the anti-stick coating. 

Now, in an oven-safe dish bowl, pour 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix the ingredients well. Place the bowl inside the air fryer and let it heat for about 3 minutes at 350 to 400F temperature. Allow the instant pot air fryer to cool down. The steam generated from the mixture will layer the inside of the appliance and absorb all the plastic fumes. After giving the unit a steam bath a second time, you can use a damp cloth to wipe off the interior and exterior of the air fryer appliance. 

After following these 4 basic steps, your appliance won’t smell like plastic.


  • Layer the aluminium foil inside the fryer basket to prevent grease and oil drips from reaching the cooking base
  • Preheat the unit for even results

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Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs):

Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer Plastic Smell: 

Instant Pot vortex air fryer may emit plastic fumes. This is particularly true for newly bought vortex appliances as they haven’t gone through the rigorous break-in routine to wear off the plastic fumes. The plastic smell is usually of the appliance’s plastic counterparts or the anti-stick coating. Heating and cooling the appliance for 4 to 5 times can help you wear off the plastic fumes. 

Does The Air Fryer Plastic Smell Unsafe?

Most of the plastic in air fryers is heat-resistant and can withstand high temperatures. Sometimes, while using the air fryers, your appliance smells like plastic mainly because it has not gone through the heating and cooling process. If after using the appliance multiple times, its plastic smell hasn’t gone, then it’s best that you contact the manufacturer to deal with the issue as it could be unsafe. 


We have discussed in detail the Instant Pot Air Fryer Plastic Smell. The plastic fumes could be due to the heating of the plastic components of the appliance or the anti-stick plastic coating. The fumes are not harmful and after a couple of cooking sessions, the chemical smell will wear off. If the smell still persists then it indicates a fault and needs to be checked by the manufacturer. 

Irfan, a master of air frying and an expert in kitchen appliances, is the Chief Editor at Kitchen Fryer. His hands-on approach to reviewing each piece of content ensures authentic, verified, and trustworthy guidance for kitchen enthusiasts. His dedication has made Kitchen Fryer a prime resource for insights, tips, guides, and recipes related to air frying.

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