Air fryer basket peeling is a problem home cooks face quite often.
The peeling can start after a few weeks of heavy use or some years down the lane; we cannot predict the exact time.
But, it can happen with most air fryers; you’re warned.
The good news is, you can protect your air fryer’s well-being with some conscious efforts. Here’s a summary of this problem for you:
Sharp objects, heavy temperatures, and low-quality coatings are the main culprits of air fryer basket peeling and rusting. Avoid using sharp utensils and clean your air fryer after every use to control grease build-up, as that can stimulate peeling. Moreover, occasionally season your air fryer basket with cooking oil to improve its functionality; you’ll like the results.
Now that the quick answer is out of our way, let’s dive deeper and learn some easy-to-do tips to maintain your worthy air fryer.
Why Do Air Fryer Baskets Start to Peel/Flake?
When we get a spendy appliance, we expect it to stay intact for years. But sadly, that doesn’t always happen; air fryers are no exception.
Several factors spiral to cause irreversible damage to your air fryer over time, eventually compromising its practicality.
Here are some worth mentioning causes that collectively instigate air fryer basket peeling:
Sure, you bought an air fryer for daily use, but are you taking care of it?
When you over-stuff food ingredients in an air fryer and cook them at a high temperature, it can damage the basket.
I recommend you read your air fryer’s user manual and follow the weight/capacity limits mentioned in that.
Most air fryer baskets are coated in non-stick materials for easy food release and quick cleanup.
However, not all of these coatings are reliable. Some might be made from cheap non-stick materials that start to peel after mild/heavy usage.
If you carefully handle your air fryer, but it is peeling regardless, its material is the culprit.
Air fryers are not rough-tough appliances, be gentle with them.
Some home cooks resort to scrubbing and vigorous cleaning when there is food build-up on the air fryer basket, which is a grave mistake.
You should avoid using steel wool and brittle sponges with your air fryer if you want it to stay in your kitchen for a considerable time.
Cooking at Extreme High Temperatures
High heat can be one of the reasons your air basket is flaking. Although non-stick coatings are pretty resilient against heat, they can still break down.
If you’re habitual of cooking at a blasting heat, you’re doing your air fryer’s coating a disservice.
Therefore, I suggest you select a medium heat setting and prevent the non-stick coating from bubbling.
How to Prevent Air Fryer Basket Peeling?
Air fryer baskets can peel because of several reasons, improper handling and exposure to extreme temperatures being the most important ones.
If you’re stuck with a peeling/flaking air fryer, here are some tips that will help you overcome this problem:
Washing the air fryer daily or on alternative days should be your routine.
Wash the basket like other cookware/utensils and clean the interiors of your air fryer with a damp cloth. Don’t make cooking at extreme temperatures your routine, and you’re good.
Use Oil For Cooking
Don’t forget to spray some oil on the air fryer basket before adding raw ingredients. It will prevent your food from burning and protect the non-stick coating alongside.
Use Parchment Paper
Using parchment paper is a wise move while cooking sticky/dripping dishes, i.e., drumsticks, meat chops, etc. The parchment paper will contain dripping juices and fats to ensure the basket doesn’t need vigorous cleaning afterwards.
Why is My Air Fryer Rusting?
Rusting is yet another nuisance you might face while using an air fryer. Although air fryer basket rusting is not as frequent as peeling, it can still ruin your appliance’s look/usability over time.
The underside of your air fryer basket is most likely to get rusted because that’s where the juices/fats drip and hide.
Let’s list down the major causes of air fryer rusting before we head towards solving this problem:
“Air fryers don’t need to be cleaned every day” – this is a common notion amongst cooks.
But if you want the best value for your money, don’t let your air fryer get dirty and greasy. Stuck-on gunk can absorb food drippings and fats, eventually stimulating rust build-up.
If you cannot thoroughly clean your air fryer daily, use a damp cloth to remove the food residue instead and go for proper washing once a week.
Wiping the air fryer’s surface after washing is inevitable if you want it to look and perform well. If you leave a freshly washed air fryer on the countertop for air drying, its shiny metal surface can get discolored and rusted.
On the flip side, using a cotton cloth to wipe the air fryer after each wash can save you a lot of hassle later on!
How to Prevent Rusting Of Air Fryer?
Now that we know what causes rusting in air fryers, let’s find some solutions for it.
If you’re new to using an air fryer, stress not because all these preventative measures are easy to follow.
Use a buff or cotton cloth to wipe the moisture off your air fryer after washing. This step will ensure your air fryer’s metal surface is not prone to get rusted when it’s out of your sight.
Once you have wiped the air fryer, turn it on for two minutes at a high temperature; blast-drying removes the remaining moisture from your air fryer. Let the appliance cool down, and then store it like usual.
Air fryers’ cooking baskets are often non-stick, but they don’t always remain the same. Occasional re-touching and maintenance are primitive if you want to enjoy easy food release from your air fryer.
Here’s how you can season ain fryer within minutes:
- After washing and drying the air fryer, take its cooking basket out
- Soak a cotton buff in avocado oil, squeeze the excess oil
- Rub your air fryer basket and heating element with this oil-soaked cloth
- Coat your air fryer in oil from the inside out and let it rest
These easy steps will ensure your air fryer offers quick food release and there’s no stuck-on gunk inside it.
How do I Remove Rust from My Air Fryer Basket?
If your air fryer basket has rusted despite the preventative measures, you can still fix it. I have listed two easy remedies that remove rust from air fryer baskets and help you restore their condition.
Baking Soda Cleaner
Baking soda solution eats away food grease and rust without requiring much effort. Follow these easy steps and remove rust from your air fryer basket like a pro:
- Make a thick paste of baking soda and water
- Apply this paste on the rusted surfaces and leave it there for 20 minutes
- Remove the paste and wash your air fryer like you usually do
- Wipe dry the air fryer to complete the process
If the rust on your air fryer isn’t years old, baking soda will deal with it. Remember not to use steel wool or any other abrasive object with the air fryer, though!
The Cooking Oil Method
Apart from seasoning the non-stick surface, cooking oil can also help remove dust from your air fryer. Spray/pour some good-quality oil on the air fryer and evenly spread it with a buff.
Let it rest for 1-2 hours as oil takes some time to show its magic. If the rust is stubborn, rub it down with a soft sponge, and you’re good.
Air fryers cost a good sum of money; we shouldn’t take their well-being for granted. If your air fryer is new, adopt the preventive measures I have shared above to stop rusting and peeling.
And if your air fryer is already rusty and flaky, take good care of it in the future. You can preserve your air fryer’s practicality with some proactive steps and a reasonable cleaning schedule.
Don’t let food gunk accumulate under/on the air fryer basket; get cleaning and seasoning right away!
Should I worry if my air fryer basket starts to flake?
Air fryer non-stick coatings are made of different materials, Teflon being the most popular type. To ensure you aren’t ingesting/inhaling toxins, check your air fryer’s product manual. Well-known brands always state the material they use in making products; see if their non-stick material is FDA-approved or not. If yes, you don’t have to worry even when this coating starts peeling. But if it’s not FDA-approved, look for a better substitute.
How to properly clean the air fryer?
Remove the cooking basket from the main appliance and soak it in the cleaning solution you’re using for other utensils/cookware. Don’t use boiling water or abrasive cleaners with this basket because its non-stick coating might get damaged. Use a damp cloth to wipe the air fryer’s main body, but don’t let the water go near the main heating element.