Air fryers have become a must-have appliance in kitchens everywhere. They are compact, versatile, and allow you to cook quick, healthy, and delicious meals. The concept of convection heating, using hot air that recirculates in a small chamber, evenly coats the entire surface of the food inside and cooks it to perfect crispiness. Unlike traditional oil fryers, air fryers don’t require excess oil or deal with the resulting grease.
If you recently purchased a new air fryer and noticed an unpleasant plastic smell in your kitchen or food, you’re not alone. This article will explain why new air fryers can sometimes have a plastic smell and provide tips on how to quickly and easily eliminate it.
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Why Do New Air Fryers Have a Plastic Smell?
Air fryers are primarily made of heat-resistant plastic. This plastic is used for the outer case and most of the components inside. The heat-resistant plastic acts as insulation, keeping the heat concentrated inside the air fryer while remaining cool to the touch on the outside. However, during the manufacturing process, the plastic can produce fumes that cause the initial plastic smell.
Additionally, the fans, heating elements, and other electronic components in the air fryer need to go through a short break-in period. The bearings in the fan and the electric soldering of the heating element emit odors until they are properly broken in. The anti-stick coating also requires some seasoning, just like a cast iron pan, to remove any unpleasant smells and improve the surface finish.
How to Get Rid of Air Fryer Plastic Odor
To eliminate the plastic smell from your air fryer, follow these steps:
1. Thoroughly Wash the Basket and Grease Separator Tray
Start by washing the new basket and grease separator tray with strong dishwashing soap and good degreasing power. Be cautious not to use the abrasive side of your scrubbing pad, as it may damage the anti-stick coating. Clean the basket, degrease it, and let it air dry.
2. Break in Your Air Fryer
Run the air fryer without any food in it for a couple of cycles to allow the plastic inside and outside to heat and cool, releasing the plastic fumes. Similar to the new car smell, the plastic fumes will gradually wear off over time. Place the clean basket and grease separator tray in the air fryer, set the temperature to 350-400 degrees, and run it for 40 minutes. Let the air fryer cool for 15 minutes and repeat this process 3-4 more times. It is advisable to perform this break-in routine outdoors or in a garage to avoid the plastic smell permeating your home.
3. Prime or Season the Basket and Grease Separator Tray
Once you complete the break-in process, lightly coat the inside of the basket and grease separator tray with cooking oil. Use a paper towel dampened with regular cooking oil to apply the light coating. Set the air fryer to 350-400 degrees, run it for 10 minutes, let it cool for 10 minutes, and remove the tray. Wipe it down and repeat the process once more. Afterward, wipe the basket of any excess oil, wash it with dish soap, and let it air dry. Avoid using spray-type cooking oil, as it can cause the anti-stick coating to peel off.
4. Distilled Vinegar and Lime Juice Steam Bath
Get a small oven-safe dish and mix 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar with 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Place the dish in the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 350-400 degrees. Run the air fryer for 3 minutes and let it cool with the dish inside for another 15 minutes. The vinegar and lime juice will coat the inside of the air fryer and absorb any remaining fumes. Wash the basket again after this steam bath and wipe the inside of the air fryer with a damp towel to remove any residue.
Following these steps should eliminate any plastic smell or taste when you start cooking in your new air fryer. It is recommended to wash the basket after every use to prevent grease buildup and bacteria growth. Wipe down the inside of the air fryer with a damp towel after each cooking session as well. For ongoing maintenance, perform the vinegar lime steam bath once a month to keep the air fryer clean and odor-free.
- Keep your air fryer clean to avoid baked-on grease buildup. Thoroughly wash or wipe it down after every use to prevent any difficult-to-remove residue.
- Use heavy-duty aluminum foil to line the bottom of the basket and capture any excess grease or food drippings. This protects the anti-stick coating and makes cleaning easier.
- Preheat your air fryer before cooking. This ensures that the internal temperature is already at the desired level, resulting in better fully cooked food, such as chicken breasts, steaks, or crispy fries.
Overall, owning an air fryer is a convenient experience, especially with proper setup and maintenance. It is a versatile appliance that allows you to enjoy a variety of delicious dishes. If you take the time to follow these steps and care for your air fryer, it will serve you well for a long time.
Looking for an odor-free air fryer? Check out the redesigned Uber Appliance Air Fryer XL, which is ready-to-use and odor-free right out of the box!
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