Is your air fryer not working and worried?
Air fryers are a fantastically convenient tool for browning fries, chicken strips, and a variety of tasty treats to a crisp, among a range of other cooking purposes.
And they do all this without using a lot of oil or taking up a lot of space. However, like any machine, they are subject to malfunction if not maintained or used properly.
But not every little air fryer malfunction warrants a home visit by your service technician.
So, let’s go over some of the main reasons for your air fryer not working and how to troubleshoot the problems and fix them.
Most air fryer problems have rudimentary causes that you can take care of easily.
Why Has My Air Fryer Stopped Working?
Before you get mad at the air fryer, remember, there are several reasons why this might be happening.
There doesn’t need to be something wrong with the machine. Before you do anything else, run these quick elementary diagnostics if your air fryer stopped working.
- Check to see if the air fryer has been plugged in properly. A loose-fitting might be the culprit behind the air fryer not turning on.
- Make sure that the air fryer has been connected to a working socket. Test it by plugging something else in to see if the socket’s the problem.
- If it’s not the socket or the plug, it could be the power cord that connects directly to the air fryer. Pull it out and check to see if there are damages.
- Check to see if the air fryer’s power button is on. If it’s not on top, it might be under the machine.
- Have you tried the old switching it off and then switching it back on after a while method? Throw in a 10-minute rest too.
- This popular trick has resuscitated all kinds of electronic appliances.
But once the air fryer has passed all these basic diagnostic tests and still doesn’t work or causes certain problems, here are the next steps to take for some common problems people face with air dryers.
Why Is My Air Fryer Not Heating Up?
So you’ve confirmed that your air fryer is plugged in properly into a working socket and is switched on.
But it’s just not heating up as warm or as fast as it usually does? Here are some more possible causes for the air fryer not heating up.
Low Temperature Setting
This might sound stupid, but air fryers are a new-age gizmo and can be complicated.
You could have pushed a button by accident and reset the temperature, which might be what’s causing this.
The ideal temperature for frying most foods is usually about 380 ℉, according to the cooking charts.
Temperature settings can vary with the brand and model. If your air fryer has a digital temperature display, turning it up should be easy.
Otherwise, have a look at the manual to learn how to change the temperature settings.
Timer Set to End Cook too Soon
Another silly but genuine reason why your air fryer isn’t heating up is if the timer has been set to switch off or, on more advanced fryers, to be lowered after a short period.
This feature exists to provide safety when fryers are left unattended. Air fryers take a while to warm up.
Note: It takes approximately 6-7 minutes to preheat the average air fryer to 400 ℉, which is the optimal temperature for deep frying.
So, you need to set the timer for longer if you want your air fryer to heat up all the way.
Find out what temperature and duration it takes to cook the dish you’re making as per the recipe and input it into the fryer.
Old-fashioned air fryers tend to have a dial, which turns and ticks, for setting the time.
With digital models, you just need to figure out which buttons to push or refer to the manual for timer instructions.
The Air Fryer Door Is Open
Just like your standard oven, if the lid or door is even slightly open, it allows heat to escape.
Convection heating only works when the air being heated is trapped in a closed space.
Heating air increases the pressure it exerts, so when given the smallest opening, hot air pushes itself out violently.
Some air fryer models don’t even switch on if the door is open, again as a safety precaution, while others will.
In either case, the onus is still on you to make sure that the lid is shut to also avoid the hazard of oil splattering out.
Shut the air fryer’s door or lid and make sure it is properly sealed to prevent any air from escaping.
Too Much Food in The Air Fryer
Air fryers are amazingly convenient but have one major caveat — not enough room. They are not suitable for cooking large batches of food.
Convection heating requires room for air to circulate. This is difficult to achieve if the fryer has been filled to the brim with food.
Without adequate room, the air fryer won’t be able to heat up. This results in uneven cooking and reduced crispiness of the food.
Either reduce the batch size you cook in one go or organize the food better so that there’s more room for air to circulate and reach all parts of the fryer.
Air Fryer Not Working Due to Damaged Heating Element
If it’s none of the above, you might be dealing with faulty or damaged equipment, which is unfortunate if your product isn’t under warranty.
The heating element is the heart of the air fryer, without it the fryer is useless.
If there’s physical damage to the heating element or it’s just not doing its job, this is a problem beyond your depth to solve at home.
It’s time to get on a call with the brand’s customer service representatives.
Why Is My Air Fryer Not Turning On?
If you’ve completed the basic diagnostics and the air fryer still won’t turn on, it could be for the following reasons.
Depending on the model, your air fryer’s fuse switch might be in the machine itself or the power cord plug.
If the socket’s working fine, it might be the plug fuse that has gone off and needs changing.
If you know how to change a fuse, just look up the configurations and find out where you can buy it. Alternatively, you could order a new power cord from the manufacturer.
Basket Not Placed Properly
Most models have an in-built system that prevents the air fryer from starting if the basket hasn’t been inserted properly.
There’s usually a microswitch under them or over where the tray goes. But it also might be because the door doesn’t fully shut until you’ve inserted the tray all the way.
To push the tray over the microswitch, you need to insert it in completely. You will probably hear a sound trigger that’ll let you know the tray’s locked in.
Why Does My Air Fryer Keep Turning Off?
Does your air fryer shut off on its own after a couple of minutes of use? It’s not always an indicator of malfunction.
According to manufacturers, here are some of the different reasons why this happens.
If you turn on your air fryer but don’t start a program, it may shut down on its own to save power.
Modern air fryers come equipped with an automatic shutdown system in case the fryer ever gets overheated.
If the fryer door comes loose while cooking, this might also cause the fryer to shut down in response.
You may have accidentally moved the basket, which as we discussed earlier stops the fryer in its tracks.
Why Is My Air Fryer Smoking?
Before you panic, a smoking air fryer is not always a bad thing. But for safety, as soon as you notice smoke coming off the air fryer, unplug it and open your windows to allow ventilation.
However, do not confuse smoke for steam, which is normal when you’re frying.
Frying food in oil releases moisture from the food that comes bubbling out in the form of steam.
If you’re seeing a lot of white smoke, it’s probably because you’re cooking something high in fat or moisture.
There’s no reason to be alarmed as long as the smoke only smells like the food being cooked and doesn’t have an odor.
Dark or black smoke can also emerge from cooking foods high in fats but is a sign that the oil or food is likely burning rather than being cooked.
This causes a putrid smell and should be dealt with immediately before the situation escalates.
It’s unwise to leave air fryers, or anything that’s cooking for that matter, unattended.
Unplug the machine for the time being and you may have to sacrifice the batch. Check the temperature setting one more time.
To prevent smoke when frying high-fat foods, add a little water to the base of the basket.
Blue smoke is exceptionally rare and a major red flag.
This is an indicator that there’s an electrical problem with the fryer that can cause extreme heating and different parts to melt.
The fumes this exude can be hazardous, so cover your face and don’t inhale any of it.
It goes without saying that you should unplug the fryer and stand back.
Open up the windows to allow the fumes to escape and do not use the fryer again until you get a registered technician to take a look at it.
This is another situation you should not try fixing at home.
An air fryer not working can be frustrating but be patient with the device and try to understand its configurations.
Hopefully, this post has helped clear up any confusion as to how and why air fryers can malfunction.
If you still have any difficulties or are facing problems particular to your model, the manual provided by your manufacturer is your next best reference.
If you don’t want to spend time going over the manual, you can address your query to the manufacturer directly. That is what customer service and toll-free numbers are for; don’t hesitate to use them.