This Could Be What's Causing That Weird Smell In Your Air Fryer

I think we can all agree that air fryers are having their moment. For the past year or two, air fryer recipes and hacks have been going viral on social media platforms like TikTok, sending the internet into an air-fried frenzy. The machine continues to revolutionize the way we envision and cook fried foods at home, whether you're making falafel from scratch or reheating takeout leftovers and frozen foods. If you own an air fryer, you know how life-changing it can be.

There are very few downsides to cooking with an air fryer. However, some customers do say their air fryers smell like plastic, giving their meals an unpleasant aroma and aftertaste. Rest assured, this is completely fixable. According to Best Kitchen Hub, the common denominator among plastic-smelling air fryers is that they've just been taken out of their packaging and have not had time to breathe or be properly cleaned. Essentially, the machine's "inner walls" as well as other mechanical components are made from plastic and tend to have a "protective coating" on them. When those parts are surrounded in heat (aka when you use your air fryer), the smell of plastic can seep into your food. To avoid this, manufacturers are supposed to test run fryers before packaging them, but this doesn't always happen to the degree it should. Luckily, you can get the smell out yourself with a few home remedies.

Five ways to get rid of that gross plastic smell

No one wants to eat food that smells like plastic. Fortunately, Best Kitchen Hub has come up with not one, but five solutions, and they're all pretty straightforward. The first thing you can do — which is something you should do even if your air fryer doesn't smell — is deep clean every mechanical part, including the tray and venting fans. Your machine should come with proper cleaning instructions. Another thing you can try is drizzling oil on the inner walls of the fryer prior to turning it on. If that doesn't work, consider mixing up an odor freshener made up of "[one] part distilled vinegar and [one] part lemon juice." Place it in your air fryer, and run the machine for two minutes.

Your other option is to run your air fryer for 15 to 20 minutes after the initial unboxing. That way, any released fumes are not infused into food. Then, you might want to clean your fryer again for good measure. Finally, double and triple check that all stickers, protective shields, and packaging pieces are removed from the air fryer before you use it. Smell aside, that could be a major safety and fire hazard. If the smell still lingers, you can try reaching out for a refund or replacement because plastic smelly food obviously isn't this machine's main selling point.