If you’re new to air frying, you may be wondering can you put water in an air fryer, perhaps to help steam food or even clean it. The short answer is yes but with some pretty big caveats.
Adding a small amount of water to the air fryer basket can prevent excessive drying out of your food, reduce smoke when cooking greasy meals, and make cleaning up easier. However, it’s important not to add too much water, as this can damage the air fryer or create a safety hazard.
With a little experimentation, you can find the right balance of water and oil to create delicious, healthy meals in your air fryer, and not burn down the kitchen in the process.
In this article, we’ll go over the specifics of using water in the air fryer, so you can do it the right way and stay safe.
Can You Use Water in an Air Fryer?
However, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you might be wanting to try using water instead of oil. By adding a small amount of water to the air fryer basket, you can create steam that will help to cook your food evenly and keep it moist.
This is especially useful when cooking foods like chicken or fish, which can easily become dry and overcooked in an air fryer. But… and I’m sure you knew one was coming – the air fryer is not made to steam food and you shouldn’t buy it with the idea of steaming all your food.
First and foremost, the air fryer is a convection oven with a powerful air circulator that’s intent is to crisp food and cook it quickly. With that in mind, you can get a little creative. Just be sure to use it in moderation and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any damage or safety hazards.
You should never add water to the electrical parts of your air fryer. It can cause a fire and damage the motor. Always make sure to keep the ventilation and drip pan clean to prevent grime and splashes from causing a fire.
Another safety concern is adding hot liquids to your air fryer. This can cause white smoke and damage the heating coil. You should never add other liquids to the air fryer except for water.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer (pictured left). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Here’s a printable Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet to get you started.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
Does Adding Water Damage It?
You may wonder if adding water to an air fryer can damage it. The answer depends on how much water you add and how you use it. You can absolutely damage an air fryer by adding water in the wrong way.
Adding a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the basket in a basket-style air fryer is generally safe and can even be beneficial. It can help prevent excessive smoke when cooking greasy foods and keep your food from drying out.
Using water to clean your air fryer can also help loosen up grime and grease.
However, adding too much water to an air fryer can be a disaster waiting to happen. It can damage not just the air fryer but even the entire kitchen! Water can damage the heating elements and electrical components of the air fryer, leading to malfunction or even electrical shock.
To avoid damaging your air fryer, follow these tips when adding water:
- Only add a small amount of water, such as a tablespoon or two, at the bottom of the air fryer basket.
- Do not fill the basket with water or any other liquid (add no more than 2 tablespoons of water).
- Do not allow the water to come into contact with the heating elements or electrical components of the air fryer.
- Do not clean your air fryer with water while it is plugged in.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using your air fryer.
Can You Boil Water in an Air Fryer?
If you’re wondering whether you can boil water in an air fryer, technically you can. However, it’s not the most efficient or practical method. It’s best to only use your air fryer for its intended purpose of cooking food and use other appliances for boiling water.
Many air fryer models are not designed for boiling water, so it’s important to check the owner’s manual before attempting it.
It’s important to note that boiling water in an air fryer can damage the heating element and circulation fan if not done carefully.
Can You Clean an Air Fryer with Water?
Yes, you can clean your air fryer with water. In fact, it is recommended to clean your air fryer regularly to maintain its performance and prevent any buildup of grease and food residue.
Here are some tips on how to clean your air fryer with water:
1. Unplug the Air Fryer
Before cleaning your air fryer, make sure to unplug it from the power source. This will prevent any electrical accidents and ensure your safety.
2. Remove any Removable Parts
Most air fryers come with removable parts such as the basket, tray, and pan. Remove these parts and wash them with warm water and soap. You can also use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub off any stubborn stains.
3. Soak the Parts
For more stubborn stains or grease buildup, you can soak the removable parts in warm soapy water for about 10-15 minutes. This will help loosen up the dirt and make it easier to clean.
4. Wipe the Interior
Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the interior of the air fryer. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool as they can scratch the surface of the air fryer. I use a non-abrasive sponge and hot soapy water to wipe out the interior. Do not submerge your air fryer in water. It will ruin the electrical parts.
5. Dry Thoroughly
After cleaning, make sure to dry all the parts and the interior of the air fryer thoroughly. You can use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess water.
6. Reassemble the Air Fryer
Once everything is dry, reassemble the air fryer and plug it back in. Your air fryer is now clean and ready to use again.
Cleaning your air fryer with water is a simple and effective way to maintain its performance and prolong its lifespan. Just remember to unplug the air fryer, remove the removable parts, soak them if necessary, wipe the interior, dry thoroughly, and reassemble.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if you put water in your air fryer?
It really depends on how much you put in and how you do it. Adding a little bit of water to the bottom of the air fryer basket is not a problem. It will just produce a bit of steam and keep food a bit more moist. You can also put water in a bowl inside the air fryer. However, if you add too much water, you can ruin the inside of the machine and break it.
Can you put water in the air fryer to clean it?
It is not a good idea to put water in the air fryer for the express purpose of cleaning it. Too many things can go wrong, like water spraying up into the electrical elements. It’s best to clean your air fryer, while it’s unplugged, with hot water, soap, and a sponge.
Can you boil water in an air fryer?
No, you should not attempt to boil water in an air fryer. There is a very powerful fan element in an air fryer that will cause the water to spray up into the electrical element and it can short out.
Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.