Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro and welcome back to another one of our (hopefully) helpful articles. I hear a lot of different air fryer issues on the air fryer grapevine. The main one is the ‘oh no, my air fryer is peeling, what should I do?’ problem. Not far behind this one is the whole ‘my air fryer is rusting, what should I do?’ thing! We already wrote an article to help people with the first problem, now it is time to write one about the second one too! Rusting is all too common with air fryers, so here’s our advice on what to do!
I will start with a brief disclaimer. I am not a scientist or expert in rust. This article is based on my own experience of using air fryers for many years. If you are an expert and want to set the record straight on something, please feel free to comment below. I welcome any input from the air fryer community, together we will be more knowledgeable about everything 🙂
Why Do Air Fryers Rust?
Although the outside of most air fryers are usually made of plastic, the inside cooking compartment (and related components) are usually made out of metal. Metal doesn’t like water (surprise surprise), so if the metal components of your air fryer are left exposed to water for too long they will probably start to rust.
In my experience, the ease with which an air fryer can rust depends upon the quality of the materials used. My first ever generic Chinese brand air fryer rusted pretty easily as the quality of the materials used probably weren’t that great. However, I have had my current Philips air fryer for a long time with very little issues with rust. This is not the only factor for rusting air fryers, but I feel it makes a substantial difference.
What Can We Do to Prevent our Air Fryer Rusting?
The primary time that your air fryer will come into contact with water is during the washing period. Therefore, it is vital that you let your air fryer dry properly and relatively quickly to minimise it’s exposure to water.
If you live in a hot climate like me, simply placing your air fryer components in the sun after washing should be enough to dry them up without much hassle. This is what I have done over the years (apart from the depths of winter) and I have had little rust issues with my current air fryer.
In my opinion, the best way to do this if you live in colder climates is to give your washed air fryer basket and compartment a quick blast back in the air fryer after washing. A couple of minutes at a high heat setting should be enough to get rid of this unwanted water and stop rust before it has the chance of forming.
The other key here is to take care of your air fryers coating. Most air fryers don’t use bare metal in their construction, instead most metal surfaces have some type of coating. Usually this is a nonstick coating. Take care to not use metal utensils inside your air fryer and clean it carefully without scrubbing.
Like I have said in other articles, most uses would just require a wipe with a damp cloth rather than full immersion into water. If it does require more cleaning, make sure to soak it in boiling water and dish soap for a while before attempting to clean. Then use non-abrasive cloths to wipe/rub instead of scrub the dirt away.
If you take good care of your air fryers surface, you shouldn’t have any issues with rust for a long time. The only exception to this is when you have bought a very cheap air fryer. Often these use low quality materials and will rust more easily. Make sure to do a lot of research before you buy an air fryer to be certain you are buying a quality item.
Trust me, it is well worth it in the long run. My Philips air fryer is many years old and still going strong. My generic Chinese air fryer only lasted about a year, even though it was used far less!!
The other thing you can do is to make sure you season/oil your air fryer before cooking. This should mean less food will stick to it in the first place, and scrubbing won’t even cross your mind 🙂
What can we do when we find out our air fryer is rusting?
With a car, you would simply sand the rust down, apply some kind of rust prevention solution and repaint. Voila, problem solved. Unfortunately, it is not so easy with an air fryer. This is a kitchen appliance that cooks with incredibly hot air. I personally wouldn’t attempt any repairs in case you use a paint or other materials that break down in the intense heat and contaminates your food.
So what can you do? Read on…..
Decide how critical the rust is
If the rust is on a part of your air fryer that touches food, this is a greater concern than if it is just on the cooking compartment away from the food. If it is in contact with food you should look into fixing this problem as soon as possible.
If it is not in contact with food you could conceivably still use your air fryer without any issues. Just be aware that an air fryer has a very powerful fan in it to blow the hot air around. This will also lift up any rust flakes and probably land them on your food. You should make sure that your rust patches don’t have any loose flaking on them.
Of course, rusting on air fryers starts as small spots. However, if you have larger areas of rust this is not acceptable and should be fixed straight away!
In the short term…
Whilst deciding what to do, you can use this simple short-term solution to allow you to continue using your air fryer. Simply use a paper towel to apply oil to any rust spots you find. This will act as a film over the rust and make it less likely for rust flakes to get into your food. If you regularly season your air fryer with oil, simply make sure that your rust spots are covered in the same way. Wow, I said simply a lot there, didn’t I 🙂
Contact Your Manufacturer
Ideally, your air fryer will still be in the warranty period, so you will be able to contact your manufacturer for a solution that will cost you nothing (or at the least just the cost of postage!). However, even if your air fryer is out of warranty, you should still contact the air fryer manufacturer first. You might be surprised how many would help you with this rusting issue, even outside of warranty. Air frying is a growing trend and some of these companies will do whatever it takes to give their brand a good name. Even if it is just to sell you a new air fryer basket at cost price!
Failing that, you can sometimes buy new air fryer baskets through places such as Amazon. This would certainly be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new air fryer (a decent one at least!). Look at this example below from GoWise. Just make sure you are buying the correct basket for your exact model of air fryer.
Anything Else to Consider?
If you are paranoid about a rusting air fryer, I would recommend that you buy an air fryer that has little to no chance of rusting in the first place. The best type are air fryer ovens, as they often have fully metal insides to them. This is usually stainless steel, like you would find in a traditional oven. How often have you seen a rusty traditional oven? Hardly ever, right? Then you wouldn’t have to worry about rusting ever again. Problem solved! See the Cuisinart example below, which you can check out on Amazon by clicking the image.
Read the Amazon reviews for this air fryer below, you won’t see any mention of rust…
Also, you should read up on the warranty your air fryer manufacturer offers before buying that particular model. These can vary a lot from company to company, so you want to make sure rusty air fryer components are included! Don’t just assume they are!
Let us Know!
If you have your own experiences with air fryers rusting we would love to hear about them in the comments section below. If you were able to come up with your own rust solutions, we would love to hear about these too. I’m sure someone has come up with some ingenious workarounds that I could never think of!!