Is the Air-Fryer too good to be true? We know that it only uses 2% of the oil we’ve been deep-frying our food in for too many years. We know it uses far less fuel than an oven. And we also know it produces crispy fried, baked, grilled, broiled and roasted foods suitable for either one person or a houseful at Thanksgiving! Is it difficult to use? Is that the drawback?
Well, no – it couldn’t be easier to use as you just put the raw food in and set the temperature and timer. Ah, but can you cook foods covered in yummy batter in an air-fryer?
Well, yes you can! All you have to do is to cover your food in the dripping and then pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes before you cook it.
As a demonstrator of some of the best air-fryers, I’ve been asked so many questions about what could be the down-side of switching from an oven to a large air-fryer that I know all the doubts people have. But there really aren’t any reasons not to start using an air-fryer and getting the same taste, without having to drench your food in lots of hot oil. Finally, one lady said to me, ‘I’ll bet it’s complicated to clean and will just be another thing that never gets used, ‘cos it’s fiddly to clean!’ as if she had worked out the ‘fatal flaw’ in the air-fryer.
But the answer is no, it’s not fiddly or difficult to clean and to prove it here’s our guide to keeping your air-fryer clean and ready for use anytime at all. Best of all, it’s a lot quicker and easier to clean than an old-fashioned, deep-fat fryer!
Guide to cleaning an Air-Fryer
Philips Avance Air-Fryer with TurboStar
- Baking soda
- Cloths of microfiber or cotton
- Dish soap
- Non-abrasive soft sponge
- Soft brush or toothbrush
- Unplug your air-fryer and remove the pan and basket from the interior. Then leave it to cool down for about 30 minutes.
- Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth and then use a soft sponge dipped in hot water and soap to wipe off the interior.
- Next turn the machine upside-down and use the soft sponge to wipe the cool heating element.
- If there’s any dried food sticking to any part of the main unit, you can easily get it off with baking soda and water paste. Just rub the dried food with the sponge or a soft brush until the surface is clean. And then finish off with a wipe from your cloth.
- The basket and pan are mostly washed in the dishwasher, but if you’re hand-washing them you just need to give them a normal clean with hot water and dish soap and the soft sponge.
- In cases where there’s something completely stuck to the basket or pan, you can soak them for 10 minutes in hot water and then rub off the debris with the soapy sponge.
- You can leave all the parts to air dry, or use a drying-cloth on each section before you put the pan and basket back inside the unit.
Best cleaning tips
- Many users swear by parchment paper or aluminum foil, which can be bought cut to size for round pans. You place it in the basket and it provides a buffer between the food and the basket. But make sure it has holes in it, so you don’t cover the whole basket bottom, or the hot air won’t be able to circulate efficiently.
- If your air-fryer retains some of the oily smell of the last item you cooked, you can get rid of this with a lemon. Place some lemon juice in the pan or squeeze and leave half a lemon in the basket for 20 – 30 mins. Then rinse them well under running water to remove the acid lemon juice and dry as you normally would.
- You can also deal with the burnt smell of tiny pieces of trapped food by making a paste of baking soda and water, which you can use with a toothbrush to scrub inside the fryer.
No metal utensils
- As the safe, non-stick coating is not designed for use with metal kitchen tools, never be tempted to try and scrape food debris or grease off your fryer with any metal This would inevitably damage the non-stick surface and stop your air-fryer from functioning correctly.
- Do not use steel wool, or hard sided sponges designed for scrubbing.
- And of course, do not submerge the main unit of your electrical air-fryer in water. As we all know, water ruins electric devices and they should always be kept well apart.
So if you switch off, cool down and wash your air-fryer after each use, it only takes a minute or two, and you’ll get more use out of it in the long-term and delicious cooking!