Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Chemicals?

Written By Anum Abid ✓ Reviewed By Irfan Hussain

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Air fryers are quite smart kitchen appliances that cook food using air without oil; hence providing food lovers with crispy; nutrient-rich food that is low in calories and fat. However; sometimes; while cooking; your air fryer may give off a pungent chemical smell. This leads to the question “ why does my air fryer smell like chemicals”?

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The chemical smell emitted by the device can be due to multiple reasons. Let’s discuss the causes and possible solutions for it!

Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Chemicals?

The chemical smell may be due to the burnt plastic covering the device. When exposed to high temperatures; it can get burnt and emit chemical fumes. Other possible reasons include; food-grade oil getting burnt as its sprayed by the manufacturers for protection; grease built-up due to poor or no cleaning, poor environment with no ventilation, and cooking old/expired food can also emit chemical fumes. Lastly; if the internals gets damaged then you can smell an unpleasant odour. 

Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Chemicals

7 Reasons Why Air Fryers Emit Unpleasant Smell:

New Air Fryer:

If your air fryer is brand new and has started emitting a chemical smell on the first try; then it’s not an alarming issue. Manufacturers usually make the air fryer from heat-resistant plastic. The plastic has to be burnt off to some extent to get rid of the residue. This process is known as curing.

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Some manufacturers don’t have time to make the very single air fryer go through curing; therefore they usually recommend the users run the air fryer (empty) for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 to 400F. Through this heating and cooling process; chemical fumes will evenly disappear. 

Also Read: How Long Does An Air Fryer Last

Food Grade Oil:

This is a protective spray that manufacturers often spray on air fryers and baskets to keep them scratch-free while delivering the device. During the first few uses; the spray will emit chemical fumes; however after a week; they do will disappear.

Solution: If you do not like the pungent fumes; then it’s advisable that you use a damp cloth and wipe out the air fryer and basket to remove the grade oil. Similarly, you can also use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe off the heating coil. This will help make the fumes disappear.

Also Read: Can You Put An Air Fryer On A Wooden Surface

Non – stick Coating:

Most air fryers now come with non-stick coatings; to keep the basket grease-free and create delicious juicy food without a mess. However; these non-sticks are quite sensitive to strong abrasive cleaning agents and scratches. The non-stick coating can start peeling off and enter your food which can be hazardous. Moreover; the coating pieces target burnt at high temperatures creating toxic fumes. 

Solution: Avoid using abrasive cleaning agents, and metal utensils on the air fryer. If the coating is damaged then replace the air fryer. It is best that you use plastic or silicon utensils for cooking. Use non-abrasive soft sponges for cleaning.

Also Read: Is Ninja Air Fryer Dishwasher Safe

Food Particles:

When you overseason the food; and don’t clean the fryer; then oil and grease can built-up in the fryer. Moreover; overseasoning food can make food particles penetrate through the fryer wall and stick to the electronic board and fan. Apart from that; not cleaning it properly after every use can accumulate grease; and over time this can result in rancid fumes. This is particularly true; if your air fryer has hard-to-reach areas. 

Solution: The effective solution to this problem is regular clean-up after use. Use a soft bristle brush or soft sponge to access hard-to-reach areas. Almost all the air fryers are made dishwasher friendly; so use the dishwasher to wash the parts. Make sure you dry the parts before use.

Also Read: Ninja Air Fryer Cancer Warning

Bonus Cleaning Tip:

To get rid of the backed-on grease; take 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda; mix them well to create a paste; apply the paste to the fryer basket and let it sit for 30 minutes. Scrub the insides with a soft sponge or soft-bristle brush, and then rinse it.

Poor – ventilated Environment:

The environment in which you use your air fryer also creates a chemical smell. If you use the air fryer in a small non-ventilated area; near a gas stove or fireplace; then obviously the gas and the hot air will interact together; creating a chemical odour.

Solution: If the chemical odour is due to the environment; then it’s better that you use the air fryer in an open; a well-ventilated area where there is no gas trove or fireplace; as interaction with them can be dangerous.

Also Read: How To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer

Expired Food:

The type of food that you are cooking can also cause unpleasant or chemical-like odours. If you are cooking frozen, old or expired food in an air fryer; then it can cause the food to get burnt and produce an acidic smell

Solution: Use fresh food to cook and throw away the old/expired food.

Bonus Tip:

Many times while cooking; juices and seasoning from the food drips from the food and collect in the fryer try; where it eventually gets accumulated back. It becomes difficult to clean it. Therefore; use aluminium foil. Place it onto the fryer tray with its sides up; so that you can easily lift it. All the juices will accumulate on the foil, and from there you can throw the juice back onto the food. But your tray will be spotless.

Faulty Components:

A faulty heating element or fan can also cause an unpleasant burning smell. 

Solution: Immediately stop using the fryer and show it to a professional.

How To Get Rid Of Air Fryer Chemical Smell Once And For All?

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We addressed the common issue” why does my air fryer smell like chemicals”. This could be due to its newness; the burning of its protective plastic covering; or due to the food-grade oil. Faulty components; lack of proper cleaning, baked on-grease and expired food can also create an unpleasant odour. We have highlighted all possible reasons along with solutions. If your device is emitting chemical fumes and is due to any one of the reasons mentioned above; then immediately go to our solution section to deal with it.

Anum Abid Author
Written By
Anum is the Senior Writer at KitchenFryer, renowned for her deep knowledge of air fryers. Since 2023, she's enriched our platform with unique recipes, practical tips, comprehensive guides, and insightful reviews, becoming an invaluable asset for cooking enthusiasts seeking to elevate their cooking skills.
Irfan Hussain Author
Reviewed By
Irfan, a master of air frying and an expert in kitchen appliances, is the Founder & Chief Editor of Kitchen Fryer. His hands-on approach to reviewing each piece of content ensures authentic, verified, and trustworthy guidance for kitchen enthusiasts.

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