Crunchy and crispy fried foods are hard to resist, and an air fryer makes them much healthier with less use of oil. This has kicked off the popularity of this kitchen appliance among diet-conscious individuals watching their weight and those who simply prefer to eat healthily.
However, a commonly asked question by people is ‘why is my air fryer basket peeling’. The problem lies with the non-stick coating of the basket that starts flaking after a few weeks of use, and this is due to the use of poor construction material. It also depends on how frequently you use the air fryer and the way you handle it.
We know it can be really concerning if you see the air fryer basket peeling and most people will start panicking as they get worried about their health. What if the kids ingest the flakes in some way? Will start poisoning? There are so many questions that start cropping up.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which product is better than the other by simply looking at it, there are many ways to ensure that you choose an air fryer made from good quality materials. There are also a few tips that can help you reduce the likelihood of air fryer peeling, and we have discussed them below.
First, let’s take a look at the reasons that cause peeling or flaking in the first place so that we can prevent them to improve the scenario.
Well, this is a no-brainer and probably the most important reason that causes the flaking of air fryer baskets. If an air fryer is made of low-quality materials, it can result in the outside skin peeling off after a few weeks or months depending on the frequency of use.
In the case of low-quality materials, this is an inevitable scenario, no matter how well you handle and store the product. The non-generic brands that use stainless steel baskets are made of better quality materials that have fewer chances of flaking.
Scrubbing with abrasive tools
This is another common reason behind the peeling of air fryer baskets and it comes with poor handling. Some people commit the mistake of believing that using abrasive tools like a rough brush can help them get rid of the brunt of foods in the fryer, resulting in peeling.
To prevent this we advise you to soak the fryer basket for at least 15 to 20 minutes to loosen any burnt food. After that, clean with the help of a soft brush and then rinse with water. If you want to prevent the hassle of maintenance, we suggest that you opt for an easy-to-clean fryer.
If the air fryer basket is not placed properly inside the appliance, this may also lead to peeling. So, it’s important that you store the gadget away from the reach of kids and pets. As these are light appliances, they can be easily pulled from the kitchen counter. Always keep an air fryer properly locked inside the kitchen cupboard to prevent any accidents.
These appliances come with a metal toolkit that should be used responsibly to avoid scratching the surface area of the basket. You should also avoid using a fork and sharp metal object in the fryer basket. We suggest that you only use plastic or wooden spoons.
Too high temperatures
If you cook under very high-temperature conditions, this causes air bubbles to get trapped under the outer coating of the basket. This eventually leads to flaking or peeling of the outer skin. So, the question is – how high is too high temperature.
If you want to cook at a temperature ranging between 500 degrees and 680 degrees F, this may expose you at risk to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used in the making of the non-stick coating. At 650 degrees F, it emits fumes that may cause polymer-fume fever, headaches, chills, and fever.
Risk of getting toxins
Many people often wonder whether they should be worried about getting toxins through food prepared in an air fryer. But, the answer is No. In most models, the highest temperature that your air fryer can reach is 400 degrees or around 200 degrees Celsius.
So, this is nowhere close to 650 degrees F that can make the air fryer toxic to you. Even if you happen to consume a flake or two by chance, then it will pass through your body harmlessly, without getting absorbed.
Taking Good Care Of Your Air Fryer Basket
If you are constantly worrying about why my air fryer is peeling or flaking, it is extremely important to retrospect and see what you are doing wrong. Are you cleaning too much or not cleaning at all? Are you doing it all wrong?
Some people feel it’s not necessary to clean the basket after every use and this is where they often go wrong. If you leave the excess crumbs of food prepared in an air fryer, even if they are small in size the oil releasing from those crumbs may cause much harm.
In fact, cleaning an air fryer basket is so easy that there is no reason why you should not be doing it. You just need to unplug the appliance from the socket and let it cool. Then take a damp cloth and wipe the basket. You may also wash the basket, tray, and pan with hot water and mild dishwasher soap.
If you want to get rid of the pungent smell from last night’s chicken fries, washing should be enough in most cases. When the smell still does not go away, put the basket in the kitchen sink and rub a lemon across the surface to get rid of the odor.
You may often see white smoke coming out of the appliance, due to excess grease collected at the bottom of the drip pan. When the grease breaks down during the cooking process, it causes smoke. This will not harm your air fryer, but when you see a lot of smoke, it should ring a warning bell that you are not cleaning enough.
If any food particle gets stuck to the heating element, there is no need to panic. You just need to take a brush and slowly remove it. After you wash the components after use, remember to put back the pan and basket only when they are completely dry.
Tips To Prevent Peeling and Rusting Of Air Fryer
The air fryers don’t come cheap and even the cheap ones can cost good money. While the good brand models like Cosori air fryer do not peel, most of the low-cost ones too. Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure that your air fryer lasts for long without peeling or breaking down.
We strongly suggest that you check the manual carefully to find out what materials the basket is made from and what foods are safe to cook. Check for FDA approved non-stick coatings, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or bisphenol (BPA).
Before choosing an air fryer, we suggest that you inspect it carefully to ensure that the parts are in good working condition. If you got it online, check it thoroughly while the return window lasts.
Always follow the product manual to cook food according to the instructions provided. You must always avoid putting any food that is not recommended by the manufacturer.
As mentioned above, use the appliance thoroughly after each use, but remember not to use any abrasive tool. Use a damp cloth or brush with soft bristles to remove stuck-on food.
Always store the air fryer in an upright position and make sure that it’s not plugged into any power outlet.
Tips To Prevent Your Basket From Peeling
One of the common causes of peeling is food sticking to the basket, despite the non-stick coating. So, if you find that the food is sticking then there are several ways that can help you prevent this from happening.
Keep the dry air fryer basket inside the air fryer and let it heat for at least 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When they become hot, let them sit for at least 5 minutes before pulling it out. After removing the air fryer basket, apply a thin layer of coconut oil over the basket to prevent sticking.
Refrain from using any kind of non-stick cooking sprays such as Pam or non-stick aerosol spray. These are not only low-quality but also include additives like propellants that can damage the non-stick coating of the basket, resulting in premature peeling.
Using cooking sprays of low quality may also lead to grease build-up and cause chipping. Examples of products that are not premium grade include corn, soy, and canola oils.
We suggest that you also shake the air fryer basket while the food is halfway cooked in items like French fries and chicken wings. This will prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the basket.
Do all air fryer baskets peel?
While it cannot be said about all air fryer brand models out there. Most products that have a non-stick coating stand a higher probability of peeling. In some air fryer baskets, the peeling sets in a few weeks, while others may take months or even years for peeling to start.
Can I use my air fryer without a basket?
Yes, you can use the air fryer without the basket but you must ensure that the airflow inside the appliance remains the same. Several users prefer to change the basket with alternative accessories to increase the output.