How To Stop Air Fryers From Smoking When Cooking Greasy Foods

There's no denying that air fryers have become an increasingly popular kitchen appliance. As Taste of Home reports, market research firm NPD Group determined that as of July 2020, nearly 40% of U.S. homes had an air fryer. They're convenient, they help craft crispy morsels, and they're not prohibitively expensive, meaning many people are willing to try it out.

There's a bit of a learning curve to using an air fryer, with many people figuring out exactly what items do well in the appliance, how long they need to be in there, and which are better suited to other cooking styles. However, there's one common issue that anyone trying to whip up some greasy items in the air fryer may have encountered, according to My Forking Life — white smoke. Yes, as Everyday Family Cooking explains, about 75% of the items you cook do typically need a small amount of oil added so that they'll really crisp up properly, but foods that have an abundance of grease on them can create that frightening white smoke, something no one wants to see pouring out of an appliance in their kitchen.

While you may be tempted to swear off air frying any items that could provoke this reaction, you don't have to go that far — there's a simple hack that can prevent that white smoke from seeping out of your machine.

A smoke-free experience, no matter what you're cooking

If you want to avoid startling yourself or your smoke alarm with the white smoke pouring out of the air fryer when you're trying to cook a slightly greasier dish, there are two simple tricks that you can use, according to My Forking Life. Even better, both of them require items that are very likely already in your kitchen.

The first tip is to pour a bit of water into the bottom of the basket — not enough to soak your food, around two tablespoons in total. This can help prevent the smoke, and it won't impact the cooking process other than stopping the smoke. The other tip involves a simple slice of bread — yes, bread. When you're using the air fryer to cook items that would potentially create grease splatter when cooking them in a pan, such as bacon, you can place a slice of bread in the bottom of the basket. The bread will essentially soak up the grease coming off of the food, preventing it from sputtering all throughout the air fryer basket and kicking off that white smoke. Whether you toss that bread at the end or decide to indulge in a little pre-dinner snack, as Tabitha Brown says, "that's your business" (via ET Online).