Air fryers have revolutionized cooking in the sense that we can now enjoy "fried" foods in minimal time and with less added fat or oil.
According to Nestle, nearly 6 in 10 Americans have an air fryer. With them being so prevalent in so many households, it's important to understand how to care for and maintain them.
Many people wonder whether they can put air fryer baskets in the dishwasher. Let's take a look at the different considerations to keep in mind.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
First, a refresher: air fryers work by circulating hot air through the fryer. The hot air comes from a heating element, and a fan blows it around inside the fryer. The food items are exposed to heat on all sides, so they usually have a crispy texture.
One big benefit to using an air fryer is that you don't need to use much oil or fat to cook the food. When you're frying in oil, the oil heats up and crisps the food. And when you're baking, the dry heat cooks the food, but it doesn't typically come out crispy.
With an air fryer, you'll enjoy the taste and texture that resembles what you get when frying, but you can use a fraction of the fat, resulting in a healthier product.
What Does the Air Fryer Basket Do?
The air fryer basket is sometimes shaped like a basket, but other times, it's simply a flat panel with perforations. The holes in air fryer baskets are what allow the air to circulate around the food.
This is the part that touches the food directly, so it's very important that it is kept clean and sanitary for food safety purposes.
What Do the Manufacturer's Instructions Say?
The first step to deciding whether you can put your air fryer basket in the dishwasher is to read the manufacturer's recommendations. You should have received a booklet with this information when you purchased your fryer.
If you didn't, or if you purchased your air fryer used or received it as a hand-me-down gift without the instructions, no worries!
You can easily look up your model's manufacturer booklet online. That will tell you whether your air fryer basket is or isn't dishwasher safe.
How to Properly Clean Your Dishwasher Safe Air Fryer Basket
If you find that your basket is dishwasher safe, you're in luck! The manufacturer has added coatings to your air fryer basket that will withstand the hot water, high pressure, and high heat of the dishwasher.
In this case, all you need to do is rinse off the basket with warm water, then put it in the dishwasher and run it with the rest of your dishes.
It's a good idea to make sure it's completely dry once the cycle is complete. Water that sits on the basket could cause some rusting.
How to Clean an Air Fryer Basket That Isn't Dishwasher Safe
If your air fryer basket isn't dishwasher safe, it's not hard to clean it.
- First, shake or wipe off any loose crumbs or big pieces of food that aren't quite adhered.
- Then, wash it using a soft sponge or cloth and warm soapy water. Be sure to get each little crevice.
- If you have rubber pieces on the sides of your basket, be sure to clean underneath them, too, as that's a place grease likes to hide.
- Dry your basket well, then put it away once the rest of the air fryer is clean.
The Potential Risks of Cleaning Your Air Fryer in the Dishwasher
While most air fryers do have dishwasher safe baskets, there are still some risks to putting them in the dishwasher.
Keep in mind that a dishwasher does expose dishes (including your fryer basket) to high heat and high water pressure. This can, in some cases, lead to warping, discoloration, and some flaking of the non stick coating.
The detergent you use in your dishwasher is also harsher than the liquid dish soap you'd use when hand washing dishes, and that can compromise the integrity of the non stick coating, too.
You'll have to make a decision based on how much time you have and how sure you want to be that your basket will last a long time.
How to Clean the Other Parts of Air Fryers
While the basket can go into the dishwasher most of the time, are the other air fryer parts dishwasher safe? Probably not.
Always read your owner's manual to find out how to clean each part for your particular model, but here are some tips on cleaning your air fryer parts.
The Heating Element
The heating element is going to remain hot for a while. Consider that it's responsible for the high cooking temperature that just crisped up your food. So, wait enough time for it to fully cool before touching it.
Use a damp cloth to gently wipe off the element to remove any splattered grease or food particles. That's really the extent of caring for this part of the air fryer.
The drawer is the part of the air fryer that holds the basket. With many air fryers, these are dishwasher safe, and some aren't.
If you aren't sure, then don't submerge it. Just clean it out with a soft sponge and soapy water. Rinse well, then dry it completely and put it back into the fryer.
The controls and other electrical components shouldn't be saturated with water. Simply wipe down the front and sides of your air fryer. If you have flat push-button controls, this will be plenty.
If you have dials that turn, they might accumulate more grease and grime. If they pull off easily, you can wipe them down better.
If they don't, though, just pay special attention to the area around the dials when you wipe down the outer surfaces.
Step-by-Step Air Fryer Cleaning Tips
It takes just a few steps to clean your air fryer.
- First, wait until the cooking process is complete, and then remove all foods from the air fryer. Your appliance can sit until you're done eating and ready to clean up.
- Alternatively, you can remove the basket (it might be hot) and place it in a soapy solution of water and dish soap.
- Remove any food residue with a soft sponge, brush, or cloth. Giving it a good wipe now will reduce the amount of food that ends up in your sink or dishwasher.
- You can soak the basket in warm soapy water if the food seems stuck.
- If you're choosing to hand wash your air fryer, scrub the basket with a soft sponge or soft bristle brush. Don't use any abrasive cleaning products that might scratch the non-stick coating.
- If you're choosing to put your air fryer basket in the dishwasher, go ahead and do that and run the dishwasher as usual.
- Wash out the drawer with warm soapy water, and dry it well. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe out the inside of the air fryer.
- Wipe down the outside of the fryer, paying attention to the areas around the dials.
- Once everything is clean, make sure each piece is dry before putting it all away. This will prevent rust.
So, Can the Air Fryer Basket Go in the Dishwasher?
While most air fryer baskets are able to go in the dishwasher, you shouldn't assume yours can unless you've read the manufacturer's instructions.
In addition, you might consider the wear and tear that a dishwasher can cause to the non-stick coating on your basket. Many people choose to hand clean their air fryers; you can choose to do that if you'd prefer.
The most important thing is to make sure you're following the recommendations from the manufacturer and that you're cleaning your air fryer completely between uses.
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