Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a healthier way to enjoy fried food without using excessive amounts of oil. The air fryer uses hot air to cook your food, making it crispy on the outside while keeping it moist on the inside. However, just like any other appliance, air fryers can sometimes stop working, leaving you puzzled and disappointed.
The most likely cause of your air fryer stopping in the middle of cooking is overheating. This may be due to insufficient airflow, blocked vents, or overloading the cooking basket. Other possible causes include electrical and mechanical issues.
In this guide, we will help you understand the common reasons an air fryer might stop working while cooking, and we’ll provide some tips on how to fix the problem.
Common Air Fryer Problems and Solutions
Air fryers can sometimes stop working for various reasons. In this section, we’ll explore some common problems and their solutions to help you get your air fryer back in action.
1. Insufficient airflow
Air fryers need proper airflow to work efficiently. Make sure your air fryer has enough space around it, at least 5 inches, to prevent overheating. Don’t place it near walls, under cabinets, or close to other appliances.
2. Blocked vents
Dirty or blocked vents can cause overheating. Check the vents on your air fryer for any debris or buildup, and clean them using a brush or cloth. It’s important to clean your air fryer regularly to avoid this issue.
3. Overloading the cooking basket
Overloading the basket with too much food can cause uneven cooking and overheating. To avoid this, place only the recommended amount of food in the basket, and make sure it’s spread out evenly.
1. Checking the power cord and outlet
If your air fryer isn’t turning on, the first thing to check is the power cord and outlet. Ensure the cord is securely plugged into the outlet and that the outlet is functioning properly. You can test this by plugging another appliance into the outlet.
2. Tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
A tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse could be the reason your air fryer isn’t working. Check your home’s electrical panel for any tripped breakers or blown fuses, and reset or replace them as needed.
3. Blown thermal fuse
Many air fryers come with a thermal fuse, which serves as insurance to prevent electrical surges from destroying the appliance. If the fuse is blown, you will not be able to operate the air fryer. In this case, you will need to replace the fuse. Make sure the fuse is the correct amp rating for your air fryer, which you can find in the owner’s manual.
4. Internal wiring problems
If you’ve checked the power cord, outlet, and circuit breakers, but your air fryer still isn’t working, there could be an issue with the internal wiring. In this case, it’s best to consult a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem.
1. Faulty heating element
The heating element is responsible for generating heat in your air fryer. If it’s not working, your air fryer won’t heat up. You’ll need a technician to check the heating element and replace it if necessary.
2. Damaged thermostat
The thermostat regulates the temperature inside your air fryer. A damaged thermostat can cause your air fryer to overheat or not heat at all. If you suspect a thermostat issue, contact a professional for help.
3. Malfunctioning fan or motor
The fan circulates hot air inside the air fryer to cook your food. If the fan or motor isn’t working, your food won’t cook properly, and the air fryer may overheat. A technician can help diagnose and repair fan or motor issues.
Repair or Replace Your Air Fryer
Deciding whether to repair or replace a broken air fryer can be tricky. Let’s discuss factors to consider when making this important decision.
Assessing the extent of the damage
First, try to determine how serious the problem is. If the issue is minor, like a damaged gasket or a worn-out non-stick coating, repairing or replacing the specific part might be the best option. However, if your air fryer has multiple issues or the damage is severe, it might be more cost-effective to replace the entire unit.
Evaluating the cost of repairs vs. buying a new unit
Compare the cost of repairing your air fryer to the price of purchasing a new one. Keep in mind that some repairs can be expensive, especially if they involve replacing major components like the heating element, thermostat, or fan motor. If the cost of repairs is close to or more than the price of a new air fryer, it’s probably best to invest in a new unit.
Age and performance of the air fryer
Consider the age of your air fryer and how well it’s been performing. If your air fryer is relatively new and has been working well, it might be worth repairing. However, if it’s an older model (between 2 and 3 years) or has been giving you problems even before the current issue, replacing it with a new, more advanced model could be a better choice.
Check if your air fryer is still under warranty. Warranties usually cover the cost of repairs or replacement if your appliance malfunctions due to manufacturing defects or faulty components. If your air fryer is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer or retailer to discuss your options. They may repair the unit for free or offer a replacement at a discounted price.
Air Fryer Maintenance Tips
Taking care of your air fryer can help prevent problems and keep it running smoothly. Let’s learn some maintenance tips that can help you avoid common air fryer issues.
1. Regular cleaning and maintenance
- Cleaning the cooking basket—After each use, wash the cooking basket with warm, soapy water to remove food residue and oil. Make sure it’s completely dry before placing it back into the air fryer.
- Cleaning the interior—Clean the inside of your air fryer every few uses or whenever it looks dirty. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the walls and heating element. Be gentle to avoid damaging any components.
- Cleaning the exterior—Wipe the outside of your air fryer with a damp cloth to remove dust and grease. This helps maintain its appearance and keeps it looking new.
2. Following manufacturer guidelines
Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for using, cleaning, and maintaining your air fryer. This ensures your appliance operates safely and efficiently.
- Reading the manual—Make sure to read the manual that comes with your air fryer. It will give you important information on how to use and care for your appliance.
- Using the right accessories—Some air fryers come with specific accessories, like a baking tray or a grill rack. Always use the recommended accessories to prevent damage to your air fryer.
3. Avoiding common mistakes
- Not overloading the cooking basket—As mentioned earlier, overloading the basket can cause uneven cooking and overheating. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the air fryer’s cooking time, temperature, and how much food to put in the basket.
- Not using metal utensils—Avoid using metal utensils, like knives or forks, to remove food from the air fryer basket. Metal can scratch the non-stick coating, causing it to wear off over time. Instead, use plastic or silicone utensils.
- Not using aerosol cooking spray—Aerosol cooking sprays can damage the non-stick coating on the cooking basket. Use a brush or a non-aerosol spray bottle to apply a small amount of oil to your food instead.
- Unplugging the air fryer when not in use—To prevent electrical issues and save energy, unplug your air fryer when it’s not in use.
1. What should I do if my air fryer stops working in the middle of cooking?
If your air fryer stops working in the middle of cooking, first unplug the appliance and let it cool down to avoid any risk of burns or electrical shocks. Once it’s cooled, check for any visible issues, like a loose power cord or blocked vents.
2. Can I fix my air fryer by myself, or should I hire a professional?
Whether you can fix your air fryer yourself depends on the problem. For minor issues like cleaning blocked vents, you can probably handle the task on your own. However, for more complex problems involving electrical components, internal wiring, or mechanical parts, it’s safer and more effective to hire a professional.
3. What can I use instead of my air fryer?
If your air fryer isn’t working, you can try alternatives to air fryers to achieve similar results. Some options include:
- Oven-baking—Place food on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven. This method can produce a crispy texture similar to air frying, but cooking times and temperatures may vary.
- Pan-frying—Use a non-stick skillet with a small amount of oil to cook food on the stovetop. Be sure to turn the food occasionally for even cooking.
- Grilling or broiling—Both methods use direct heat to cook food, creating a crispy exterior. Grilling is done outdoors on a grill, while broiling uses the broiler setting in your oven.