Why Does My Ninja Air Fryer Smell?

Written By Anum Abid ✓ Reviewed By Irfan Hussain

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Ninja Air Fryers have rocked the world with their healthy cooking styles. Their speedy and convenient cooking with hardly any oil makes them great appliances for health-conscious individuals. However, some users have encountered a burning smell while cooking in the air fryer. This leads to the question: why does my ninja air fryer smell?

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There are can plenty of reasons. Sometimes the unpleasant odor doesn’t warrant danger; however, on the contrary, there might be something wrong with your all-purpose kitchen unit that needs urgent attention. Let’s explore the reasons for a smelly air fryer.

Why Does My Ninja Air Fryer Smell?

The burnt odor may be due to the burning of the non-stick coating due to overheating. Lack of proper cleaning and poor maintenance can also be the main culprits for chemical odor. The burning of food-grade oil can also result in chemical fume emissions. Moreover, if your fryer has faulty components like a damaged power cord or malfunctioning heating element, the air fryer may smell like burnt plastic.

Why Does My Ninja Air Fryer Smell

10 Surprising Reasons For A Smelly Air Fryer:

1st # Food Oil Grade:

If your newly purchased air fryer gives off a plastic burnt smell, then it’s normal. The smell is due to the burning of food oil grade. This protective coating is sprayed over the appliance to protect it from internal damage and scratches. Since the delivery route is long, from the factory to the shop and then to the owner’s house, there are chances of minor damages on the way that’s why the food oil grade coating protects the internals from injury.

Also Read: Best Ninja Foodi Air Fryer

2nd # Damaged Power Cord:

A damaged power cord can also emit a burnt smell. The power cord usually gets damaged due to improper storage, exposure to moisture, rodent damage, or bending or twisting of the power cord against objects. Moreover, power surges or spikes can also fry the cord insides.

Warning! Stop using the power cord, which can result in a short circuit. Wait for the replacement.

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3rd # Poor Cleaning:

If you don’t clean up your appliance after every cooking session, then 90% cause of the burnt smell is due to the burning of the food residue. After every cooking, the food crumbs remain on the utensils.

If you keep using the appliance with a thorough cleaning, these food particles will start burning and give off a bad toxic odor. This makes your food taste bad. That’s why; it’s essential that after every cooking session, you give your future tray and the basket a thorough clean-up.

Note: Poor maintenance and cleaning can outgrow mildew and mold inside the fryer, contributing to bad smell and poor food taste.

Cleaning the Ninja

Cleaning the Ninja® Air Fryer (AF100 Series)

Also Read: How Long To Reheat Pizza In Ninja Air Fryer

4th # Heating Element:

Sometimes, you season your food too much; during cooking, the particles penetrate the compartment wall and are stuck onto the heating element. When the heating element functions, its radiated heat then burns the stuck food particles causing a burning smell. This isn’t the result of a single cooking cycle.

After every use, particles accumulate over the element. You cant open the fryer every day to clean up its element but do give it monthly deep cleaning sessions for your fryer to smell fresh.

5th # Overheating:

Overheating the kitchen appliance; can also result in toxic fumes. The fryer heating element may malfunction, or the thermal fuse may blow. Moreover, high temperatures can cause the Teflon-coating in some air fryers to melt; and peel off. They may release toxic fumes and even mix with the food. 

Also Read: Can You Put Aluminum Foil In Ninja Air Fryer

6th # Improper Storage:

The storage place of the fryer is very important. If you store your air fryer in a compact, closed space, humid or damp area, then this can accuse your air fryer of smelling bad. The food cooked will also taste horrific. Therefore., it’s important that you store the device in a well-ventilated, moisture-free area.

7th # Filthy Air Filter:

Air filters are installed in the air fryers to prevent odor from leaving the appliance. Sometimes, the air filter gets clogged; hence unable to perform its function. This results in a smelly air fryer.

8th # Using Rancid Oil:

Using rancid oil to cook food can also contribute to an acidic-like smell. Moreover, this can cause food poising

9th # Cooking Expired Food:

The type of food you cook in the air fryer is also very essential. Often, cooking bad or expired processed food can cause a chemical odor. Moreover, the food gest toxic and harmful to health.

10th # Burnt food:

If you cook the food in the fryer at very high temperatures or too long, this can burn the food particles. Overcooked food not only states bad but invites a huge mess. Therefore, it’s essential that you periodically check the food while it’s cooking in the fryer.

Also Read: Ninja Air Fryer Cooking Times


We have highlighted in depth why does my ninja air fryer smell. The unpleasant odor may be due to faulty electrical components; poor maintenance, poor cleaning, use of bad, frozen, or expired food; using rancid oil; not cleaning air filters; overcooking food, and lastly, due to the burning of the protective non-stick coating. Knowing causes is important as it will help you identify the best fix! I hope you find the article useful!

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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