Air Fryer Troubleshooting – Problems Sorted

This write up was produced (and will be kept updated) with ways to troubleshoot air fryer problems.

You spend good money on your air fryer, and you give it a nice spot in your kitchen.

You tell your friends and family that you have an air fryer and are eating healthier.

You are feeling good and happy… things couldn’t be any better.

Then.. after a while you may hit an issue.

Something has gone wrong with the air fryer.

Something isn’t quite right

Not good.

philips hd9220/20 healthier oil free airfryer is the perfect kitchen companion
Perfect in any kitchen

How do you deal with it?

How do you get your “lovely Air Fryer” back again?

Well we have tried to collect as many problems as we can and produce solutions to them.

It’s never going to be a “perfect fit” for everyone but if it helps just a few, we’ve done a good job 😉

See if your problem is below (and hopefully a solution). If not please post your problem in the comments and hopefully a solution can be found.


Air Fryer Won’t Switch on or Switches Off

Problem: The Air Fryer won’t even switch on at the wall

Problem: The Air Fryer sometimes switches off halfway through cooking

REMEDY:

Many electrical issues would be covered by a manufacturers warranty however there are some home based things you can try first.

Check to make sure that the most obvious things have been checked off.  Is the plug loose in the wall socket?  (push it back in if so).  Is there a bad connection near the plug?  This can sometimes happen when the wires are moved day after day.  Unplug the plug and check for any loose wires.  If you are not sure then ask an electrician to take a look.  Finally try another device in the same socket to rule out there being a socket issue.

If you don’t get any luck then see if it can be repaired under warranty.  Other than that you might want to look for a new air fryer.


The Air Fryer Has A Smell Of Old Food

Problem:  The air fryer has a lingering smell of older food that was cooked before.

Problem:  The food I cook smells like other food previously cooked.

REMEDY:

A more thorough cleaning regime must be used to remove any lingering smells.  Make sure to follow the instructions that came with your air fryer.  Many parts can be popped in the dishwasher.  Some can’t, so these will need a good hot clean in some hot soapy water.

Repeated thorough cleaning will ensure that the air fryer soon returns to a nice fresh clean odour-free machine.


The Air Fryer Has White smoke coming out of it

Problem: White smoke seems to be coming out of the air fryer

REMEDY:

in almost all cases White smoke is not in fact smoke but steam.  This naturally occurs when cooking foods that have a percentage of water inside them and is completely harmless.  If the “steam” has a smell of smoke about it then of course unplug the fryer right away and get it looked at by an expert or hopefully the manufacturer.  If the smell is simply of food then all is fine.


The Air Fryer has Blue smoke coming out of it

Problem:  Blue smoke is coming out of the air fryer

REMEDY:

Unplug the fryer straight away for your own safety.  This is almost always a sign of a serious electrical fault.  Contact the manufacturer to arrange inspection.  If you are out of warranty period though you might want to opt for a brand new air fryer instead.


The Air Fryer has Black smoke coming out of it

Problem: Black smoke is coming out of the air fryer

REMEDY:

Usually this happens when you are cooking highly fatty foods.  The oil within the fat is starting to burn.  You can pop in some water to the bottom of the tray and this helps to cool things down.


The food is coming out soft and not crispy

Problem: Food is not coming out of the air fryer crispy and tasty.

REMEDY:

This is because it’s cooking with air and not oil.  If you cannot get the desired texture on the outside try spraying with a little fry light spray oil or a thin layer of oil being brushed on.


I can not open or close the pull out tray

Problem: The tray can not be pulled out fully.

Problem: Can not put the tray back in properly.

REMEDY:

There may be a couple of things here, firstly, if the unit was a cheaper model, or a not so well known brand, there “may” (or may not) be a design issue where parts of the unit expand with the heat causing this issue.  However with many laws designed to protect consumers this is fairly unlikely.

The second thing that might be of use here is that some air fryers require you to slightly lift the tray when pulling out or pushing back in, before completing the sliding movement in or out.  However please do refer to the manufacturers instructions.

The third thing to check is to see if there may be some food or grease that has gotten pushed into the opening were the tray physically meets the air fryer, and is causing an obstruction.


The air fryer is not blowing hot air

Problem:  After just a few uses, the air fryer now only blows cold air

REMEDY:

This is a problem that needs to be addressed by the manufacturer.  Contact whoever you bought the air fryer from in the first instance, or the manufacturer.  If you have a warranty then be sure to use this service to get a repair.


Please comment below with any of your own issues or remedies.  While I am not a qualified expert, I will do my best to help find you a solution.

 

Energy Efficiency Of Air Fryers

Want to know how energy efficient your Air Fryer is when compared to, say a conventional oven?

question ponderingIs it cheaper to run or more expensive?

Well I want to give you a few home tested pointers and then follow up with some facts.

Air Fryers (and ovens) tend to heat up to the desired temperature and then cycle their electric use to try to maintain a set temperature.

(It is the same for a lot of household appliances.  Fridge freezers do this too.  A fridge freezer can actually only be “on” for as little as a third of the time, only coming on to reach the required temperature).

So the wattage used cycles up and down once operating temperature has been achieved.

So what does all this techno mumbo jumbo stuff mean?

Well it’s just the way that machines work in order to achieve the right cooking temperature for example 180 degrees.

The internal dimensions of an Air Fryer are going to be much smaller compared to an oven (so the chances of cooking a Christmas turkey in one is, well, out of the window!)

Therefore it doesn’t take as long to heat up to the right temperature (in fact it’s almost instant, 1 to 2 minutes at most) meaning cooking time is reduced.

Even a convection oven cannot beat an Air Fryer for pre-heat times.  A convection oven takes anywhere up to 10 or more minutes.

The special way that air flows all around food inside an air fryer also helps speed up the cooking time.

A conventional oven simply gets hot.  A fan assisted oven being slightly more efficient blows hot air around the sides and top.

A convection oven circulates air around food like an Air Fryer but are generally larger in size and take up more counter top space.  They generally need a dedicated space whereas an air fryer is typically around 9 inches or so wide and can be moved around to suit.

The benefit of using an air fryer though is that an Air fryer has hot super heated circulating air fired all around the food in an extremely efficient manner.

This means it cooks food 25% quicker than convection ovens (and produces tastier food).

So, in a nutshell, you may think that an Air Fryer is a lot more energy-efficient to run than a conventional oven.

Well, yes, and no.

There is no doubting that an Air Fryer is FASTER and more efficient from a TIME point of view.

There is no doubting the fact that Air Frying is far healthier than dep fat frying of food.

There is no doubting that an Air Fryer can cook a wide range of foods (including desserts).

So it’s certainly more efficient in the use of time and how that fits in with many peoples’ busy lifestyles.

The downside is that the super heated air is on all the time while cooking (unlike a conventional oven)

Now for some technical facts to back this all up.

Assuming the cooking of

AVERAGE COOKING WATTAGES PER APPLIANCE:

Based on cooking a standard portion of Chips

  • Using an air fryer (eg Actifry) for 17 minutes will use 0.31 kWh
  • Using a large regular oven for up to 1 hour will use 0.6 kWh
  • Using a large slow cooker on high for 4 hours: 1 kWh
  • Using a deep fat fryer for 14 minutes for two portions will use 0.41 KWh

So looking at the above it is clear to see that an Air Fryer outperforms a conventional oven by almost 50% in terms of efficiency.  It also cooks the same portion size of chips in almost half the time!

Summary:

An Air Fryer makes sense.

Great for most portion sizes, but not great if you want to cook a full tray of cakes.  That’s where a traditional oven comes in.

Microwave ovens are certainly far quicker, but you have to note that your food has microwave rays going in them while cooking.

Convection ovens are faster more efficient ovens, but still take longer and use more energy.

So what now?

We have a few different air fryer related resources here at 10 Warriors.  Recipes, facts, fault finding and more.  Fancy making some air fried Oreos?  Check out our video and write up here.

Depending on what you are cooking you will have to decide on what device to use, however for most situations, the energy efficiency of Air Fryers is really good.  Our top 10 best air fryers reviewed can be found here.

 

Do Air Fryers Cause Cancer ?

Acrylamide

Everyone these days is becoming more and more concerned with the things we eat and what it might be doing to us.  With Cancer being one of the most feared words, it doesn’t hurt to try to figure out ways to make our life that little bit healthier and possibly live longer.

Why are people asking: do air fryers cause cancer?

Well, it’s a common matter of confusion.

You may refer to this article on the government website that explains more in detail about a chemical substance called Acrylamide.

Acrylamide is a “naturally occurring substance” formed when starchy vegetables are cooked at a high temperature for a longer period of time that needs to be.

This refers to potatoes, bread and root vegetables cooked at 120 C to 150 C.

This is fact.

It was discovered in a series of tests when Acrylamide was injected into laboratory rats, and caused cancerous growths.

So basically people started to believe that Bread and potatoes caused cancer.

So, when using a traditional “deep fat fryer”, and cooking at high temperatures you may well be causing additional amounts of Acrylamide to be formed and increasing the risk of Cancer.

With an air fryer you are cooking for less time at a lower temperature.

With an air fryer you can pre-set the cooking time so the food is not cooked for any longer than it needs to be.

Thus, cooking with an air fryer is substantially healthier than cooking by other methods.

  • You are using 80%+ less fat.
  • Food is cooked quicker and more evenly
  • You can ensure the food does not over-cook or burn

Click here to see our top 10 best Air Fryers currently available for the Uk market

How can you reduce the amount of Acrylamide you are exposed to?

Well Acrylamide is found in a wide range of food and drinks.

With your food, the main tip is to NOT over cook it.

In other words aim for “Golden Brown”, not dark Brown.

  • So no more burnt toast.
  • No more jacket potatoes that have been over cooked in the oven.
  • No more deep fried chips that are “well done“.
  • Do not store potatoes in the fridge as this increases sugars and can lead to higher cooking temperatures to cook it, leading to a larger production of Acrylamide.
  • Acrylamide is also found in Coffee, cereals, crisps, cakes and biscuits!
how acrylamide is formed
Source: food.gov website

So in summary, Air fryers are much healthier and help to reduce the amount of Acrylamide you are exposed to.

Naturally if you over cook your food longer than recommended, and you go on very hot settings every time above what is recommended then you are increasing the risks of exposure.

If you’re already convinced about the safety of air fryers, you might be interested to hear about our air fried Orange Oreo cookie recipe.

 

Summary and our thoughts about Cancer risks of using an Air Fryer:

 

Cooking your food at high temperatures for longer time periods (aiming for very well done or burnt) is not wise.

Stick to manufacturers recommended cooking times.

Aim for Golden brown or “lightly done” when cooking.

Enjoy a varied healthy diet and try to reduce consumption of Breads, potatoes, biscuits, baked goods, coffee and cereals.

Using an Air fryer is certainly far healthier than deep fryers.  With the ability to not “over cook” food if you forget about it, you can ensure that production of Acrylamide is kept to a minimum.

There is a small section on the NHS website about Acrylamide and how it links to Cancer, so cooking food right is important.

Any questions or comments?  Please let us know below.