(HealthyExaminer.com) – Wholesome. Healthy. Fried. You might think that one of these words is not like the others, but the air fryer has changed everything! You might have once associated fried food with fat, grease, and hot splatters of oil making a mess and creating danger in your kitchen. Then, along came the air fryer to dispel the myth that cooking fried food has to be dangerous.
Air Fryer Safety 101
The air fryer might seem a lot safer than a hot pan of grease on the stove, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with great risk if used improperly. There are important safety considerations to keep in mind when using an air fryer to prepare food for yourself or your family.
Read the Manual
The first thing to do when handling an air fryer is to read the safety instructions included in the owner’s manual. Even if you’ve used an air fryer before, don’t assume that one air fryer has the same features and recommended safety precautions as another. The manual can also provide hotlines, social media accounts, and other resources that can help connect you with answers to common questions.
Unplug the Air Fryer When It’s Not in Use
One best practice when using an air fryer is to unplug it when it’s not in use. This is the best way to make sure that heating elements aren’t turned on by accident. The savings on your electrical bill from unplugging it may be negligible, but the peace of mind it will bring is priceless.
Use the Air Fryer on a Stable Surface
Place your air fryer on an even, stable surface. Uneven surfaces can create a hazard when preparing food. Don’t put your air fryer on top of an oven in case heating elements are turned on, causing the air fryer to be damaged.
Don’t Crowd the Air Fryer
Make sure that the air fryer is on a clean countertop with plenty of clearance around it for ventilation. The vents of your air fryer will release heat. This can create danger and a potential fire hazard if your air fryer is too close to walls, cabinets, or even electrical outlets. You’ll need a well-ventilated area with enough room for heat to safely release during use.
Don’t Place Objects on Top of the Air Fryer
You might think it’s an innocent habit to sit something on top of your air fryer when it’s not in use. However, this can become a bad habit when you forget to remove that object before turning the air fryer on. It’s a good idea to keep your air fryer free of clutter to avoid creating fire hazards in your home.
Don’t Overload Your Air Fryer with Food
Air fryers can cook =food fast, but this doesn’t mean you should load them to maximum capacity. Make sure there’s room between the food and the heating element to avoid the risk of starting a fire. Check your air fryer’s manual to learn more about the capacity of your particular fryer.
Limit the Amount of Oil You Use
One of the reasons that air fryers can be healthier than traditional frying is that they use much less oil. This may be an adjustment for cooks used to traditional frying methods. Using too much oil in an air fryer could start a fire. Make sure to follow the recommended oil amounts in your user manual.
Don’t Leave an Air Fryer Unattended While Cooking
Never leave an air fryer unattended while cooking – not even if you’ve followed all the other safety recommendations. Accidents happen, and you’ll want to minimize risk by being close at hand to handle emergencies. It’s also important to monitor pets and children around air fryers while cooking.
Use Oven Mitts When Handling the Air Fryer
Your oven may sit unused while you’re cooking dinner on your air fryer, but keep those oven mitts handy! You’ll need them when handling the hot internal and external parts of an air fryer. Taking a precautionary measure could help keep your own mitts, or hands, from being burned.
Don’t Clean Your Air Fryer Immediately After Cooking
It’s important to clean your air fryer after each and every use – just not immediately after. Give your unit time to cool down to avoid a burn hazard. Regularly cleaning out your air fryer will prevent the buildup of old oils and foods that could start a fire.
Use a Food Thermometer with Your Air Fryer
Another best practice when using an air fryer has nothing at all to do with fire hazards and everything to do with making sure you avoid food poisoning and other issues from improperly prepared food. Use a food thermometer to make sure the food you cook reaches the proper internal temperature. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends temperatures for proper food preparation.
Pay Attention to Consumer Recalls
You may think your worries are over once you’ve learned to safely prepare meals using your air fryer, but it’s important to be aware of consumer recalls. Registering your product upon purchase, or upon receipt in the case of gifts, is one way to be notified if your air fryer is recalled. You can also subscribe to regular consumer recall emails to stay informed.
New kitchen appliances can be exciting. It can reduce the time and energy you spend each day on meal preparation, and it may even help you prepare healthier meals for yourself or your family. Yet, any new electrical appliance comes with risk. Following these safety guidelines and others recommended in your user manual can help protect your household.
Copyright 2023, HealthyExaminer.com