HOW TO CLEAN BAKED ON GREASE FROM YOUR AIR FRYER BASKET?
After a couple of months of use without diligent care most air fryer baskets get caked with grease that is almost impossible to remove. Although air fryers don’t use oil to fry foods, the grease dripping from the food you cook spoils the basket and pan and over time builds up if not properly cleaned. We have seen many people struggle with cleaning heavily used air fryer baskets with mixed results, in general the process is tedious, some use super aggressive methods that compromise the integrity of the non stick coating, others give up after some attempts and just replace the basket.
We spent time analyzing the best airfryer basket cleaning methods, we also worked closely with our engineers and manufacturing team to get the best cleaning process for cleaning air fryer baskets for our blog readers. In this article we look at why and how that happens, the easiest and safest way to remove caked on grease from your air fryer basket without using harmful strong chemicals, and how to keep your air fryer basket clean and pristine after a deep clean procedure.
WHY DOES GREASE CAKE ON TO THE AIR FRYER?
I know what you are thinking, I’ve got this awesome air fryer with nonstick coating but after a few months it’s got nasty caked on grease, how in the world did that happen? Well that comes down to a couple of things.
First it is related to how you clean and how often you clean your airfryer basket after cooking in it. If you just wipe down your basket with dry towels every other time you use it, the basket might look clean but what you don’t see is a thin layer of grease that stays behind and bakes in place with every subsequent use making it very hard to remove after several months. The caked-on grease now attaches to your nonstick coating so if you use overly aggressive methods of removal it will cause the non-stick coating to chip off. Not only does it harm your non-stick coating the caked on grease is a bacteria haven, no one wants harmful bacteria in their food that could cause them to get sick.
The only time we don’t recommend thoroughly washing the air fryer basket is the first couple of uses if you are trying to season it, caring for your air fryer basket is very similar to caring for a cast iron pan.
HOW TO REMOVE BAKED ON GREASE FROM THE AIR FRYER (ORGANICALLY AND SAFELY)?
Now that you understand why and how your air fryer basket collects baked on grease we will help you clean out all that gunk in an organic and safe manner without using harsh chemicals, ruining your non-stick coating or having to replace your air fryer basket all together.
We start by using a standard dish soap detergent with high degreasing properties like dawn, squeeze the soap directly on the sides of the basket on the outside and the inside, use your hand to spread a thin layer of soap on the surface of the basket, make sure you coat the whole basket evenly.
Credit: Hello Magazine
Once the basket has been coated in dish soap, get your box of baking soda and gently dust the soap covered basket with baking soda. Make sure you coat the whole basket. Use an old toothbrush or a soft bristle brush to agitate the soap/baking soda paste, get into any crevices and on any big globs on caked grease. The dawn soap helps break down the grease while the baking soda’s effervescent properties lift the grease off the basket. After agitating the paste, lock the fryer basket back into the air fryer pan and add more baking soda directly into the pan.
Now comes the power of vinegar, take about ¾ cup of vinegar and add it into the pan, when the vinegar is added you will start seeing the baking soda bubble up (which is a good thing, that’s how you know it’s working). Next step is to take a tea kettle, fill it up with water and drop a lemon cut in half in the water, let the water come to a boil and add the boiling lemon water to the vinegar in the pan. Stir the concoction and let the airfryer pan and basket sit overnight.
Credit: Science Photo Library
The dawn soap, baking soda, vinegar, and lemon water all have powerful natural degreasing properties that will break down the hard baked on grease, the heat from the boiling lemon water helps melt it off the sides of the basket, and finally the baking soda naturally lifts the grease away from the basket.
The next day remove the basket from the organic degreasing concoction but do not dump the liquid, you will use that with running hot water and the soft side of a dish sponge to clean off any remaining grease on the basket. Frequently dump your sponge into the organic degreasing concoction and use that to remove the grease. If you follow these directions you should be able to remove all the baked on grease without harming the non stick coating.
We do not recommend you use the brillo pad side of your dish washing sponge as the Brillo pad is too harsh and will wear off or damage the non stick coating. If you have an air fryer basket without a non-stick coating you can safely use the Brillo pad. Same goes for using any oven cleaning degreaser, over cleaning degreasers have harsh chemicals that are not safe for non stick coating. While oven cleaning degreasers can do wonders in cleaning baked on grease, they will compromise the integrity of the basket coating.
If the air fryer basket is not completely clean you can repeat the steps a second time, it should not take more than two iterations of this routine to get your air fryer basket sparkling clean like new.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR AIR FRYER CLEAN AFTER A DEEP DEGREASE?
As you can see it is quite the process to remove hardened grease off of your air fryer basket, we have some tips and tricks that help keep your air fryer basket grease free for months to come after a deep clean.
First thing we recommend is always washing your air fryer basket after each use, we find it best to clean the basket while it is still warm (not scorching hot immediately after cooking, wait for it to cool down a bit so you don’t burn yourself). The heat keeps the grease liquid and easy to remove after use. We like to use a clean microfiber towel that won’t harm the non stick coating, we take our microfiber towel run it under some warm tap water and add a little dish soap, the damp warm soapy microfiber towel is perfect to wipe down and degrease the basket gently. After you wipe it down, use warm water to rinse and dry it with a dry microfiber towel.
The next thing we recommend is using aluminum foil to cover the inside of the basket, any food you cook in the foil will catch any dripping grease in the foil and when you are done cooking throw the aluminum away, wipe down your basket as noted above and you are ready to go for the next cooking session.
Last but not least we recommend running our infamous vinegar and lemon steam bath once a month to keep your air fryer clean and smelling fresh. We recommend using a microwave safe dish with 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon of lime juice, mix it up and place it in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 350-400 deg and run the air fryer for 3 min, let it cool with the dish inside for another 15 min. The lime and vinegar will coat the inside and break down grease, absorbing any plastic fumes. Wash the basket once more after this steam bath and wipe the inside of the air fryer with a damp towel to wipe off any plastic fumes and grease residue.
LOOKING FOR AN EASY TO CLEAN AIR FRYER?
Uber Appliance offers one of the best air fryers on the market today, our Uber Air Fryer XL is perfect for any family with its roomy 5 quart basket you can air fry a whole chicken. The dishwasher safe basket and grease separator with non-stick coating make cleaning a breeze just wipe it down with a damp soapy microfiber towel and toss it in the dishwasher.
The Uber Air Fryer XL features an easy to use touch display for temperature and time setting with temperatures ranging from 150F to 400F, the digital display also has several pre-set cooking temperatures and time to perfectly cook chicken, steak, fries, wings and so much more with a single press of a button. Every Uber Air Fryer XL Comes with a free recipe book so that you can explore tasty meals as soon as you get it with plenty more recipes on our site.
The Uber AirFryer XL’s plastic is prevented from the factory which eliminates any plastic smell or taste in your foods from the first use. This is one of the biggest complaints from air fryer users and at Uber Appliance we listen to our customer’s feedback and strive to provide the best experience from the first use!
LOOKING FOR A NONSTICK AIR FRYER?
Did you like this article? Did you find it useful? If so, please share it. Do you have a dirty air fryer? Did you have issues with keeping your air fryer clean? If so, what did you do to make it easier to clean your air fryer? We love to hear from you, so please let us know in the comments below!
Thank you for the great info. I followed your advice step by step and it worked like a charm. Only difference is I didn’t leave it overnight. I left it for several hours and it worked great. Thank you!
Thank you for the great information. I’m gathering the ingredients to begin immediately.
Thank you for the very well written article and the detailed cleaning steps. You have been a life saver.
Why is my coating on my basket peeling off? Never used anything harsh to clean with.
My air fryer isn’t non stick says don’t use aluminum foil or baking sheet… it’s so hard to clean it as I can’t cover the trays can you sujjest something else i can use to cover the bottom try .. ty
Thank you for the clear cleaning instructions. I will give it a try.
Thanks for the safe cleaning tips .. I soaked with a dryer sheet in the water, scraped with a strong plastic tip, , coated with dawn, but did not use the baking soda process. I will try it
I usually lined the basket with parchment paper but still have baked on residue from the food
Thank you for the cleaning information!!!!!