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Why is My Air Fryer Leaking Oil? (We Asked Our Community for the Answers)

Oil is usually not a problem for most air fryers, but if you are experiencing leaks coming from your appliance, this may be more than just an inconvenience.

Leaking oil can cause serious damage to the surrounding area and even create a fire hazard in the event that it starts heating up. It’s an unfortunate situation too often seen that these devices are not maintained or used properly.

Here’s how you can fix leaking oil once and for all.

Why is my air fryer leaking oil?

An air fryer is well-known for getting rid of oil from your meal. However, that means that there is a possibility that the oil and grease will leak if you place too much food in the air fryer, the air fryer basket is damaged, the food has too much liquid in it, the air-fryer design is flawed, the air fryer is not cleaned properly, the oil reservoir is filled up, someone accidentally bumps into the air fryer, or if the food is frozen and has a lot of moisture in it. 

You’ve put too much food into your air fryer

Air fryers have a specific capacity that is often listed either in the instructions for your machine or on the basket. There are very large fryers that can handle a large amount of food. as well as those that are smaller and are closer to a single-serving size fryer. The goal of an air fryer is to be able to spread the food you put in it out in a single layer on the bottom of the basket. Putting too much food in the air fryer can make a great deal of oil come out of the food, and those oils may boil over and leak from your fryer. You want to have a couple of inches of space between the food and the top lip of your fryer basket to make sure everything stays contained.

Your air fryer basket is cracked or damaged

Another issue that might be occurring is that you have a damaged basket. Your basket, even though it has holes in the inner basket portion, is meant to be a liquid-tight vessel that does not leak. If the outer basket, the portion that has the outer drawer front on it, has a crack or is damaged, it can cause your basket to leak. You should inspect your basket if you have a leak and see if there is a crack or other damage that might be causing the oil to leak out of it.

You’re air-frying food that has too much liquid

You may also be trying to cook food that has too much water in it. Water doesn’t evaporate until it gets to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are trying to cook food that has too much water in it, it may not be the oil that you see leaking from your air fryer. If you have your air fryer set to a temperature that is over 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the water from that food may be working to evaporate and condensing on the coil of the air fryer and seem to be leaking.

Your air fryer design is flawed with small openings at the bottom

Your air fryer may also have a design flaw. Some air fryers are designed with holes and other openings that are located on the bottom of the basket or on the sides that allow oil and other liquid to escape. If you think that your basket may be designed with holes that are causing leaks, you should take the time to look at your fryer and identify potential problems.

Your air fryer’s built-up oil residue needs to be removed and cleaned

If your air fryer is very dirty, has a great deal of build up, or has a ton of crumbs and other issues, it can cause problems and it can lead to leakage. Cleaning your air fryer often is a must, and making sure that you are working to remove the oil buildup and residue can really help you to get your air fryer clean and working well. To clean your air fryer, you need to clean it every few uses. You can use baking soda to scrub as an abrasive to remove that buildup.

In oven-type air fryers, the oil reservoir is filled up

You may also be dealing with an overfilled oil reservoir. Some air fryers come with an oil reservoir at the bottom of the machine that collects the excess oil from the food that you are cooking. This is more common with larger machines, but the solid basket of a smaller air fryer may also collect too much oil. If you find that your air fryer is leaking and that you are dealing with a ton of excess oil in your food from your air fryer, you may be dealing with an oil reservoir that is overfull. With any air fryer, it is important to take the time to clean it. This includes cleaning the bottom of the fryer and making sure you are emptying any collected oil.

Your air fryer was accidentally bumped and that caused spills

You may also have just bumped into your air fryer, causing the oil that was in the bottom of the basket or the reservoir to spill over. If you find that you are not seeing a lot of leakage or you only see it once, then it may be that you have knocked into the fryer or that you have bumped it at some point.

Frozen foods release a lot of moisture that turns into steam and leaves behind a lot of water

Still, another issue that you might be dealing with could be that you are trying to cook frozen food. Things like frozen vegetables, for example, can contain three or four times the amount of water that other foods have. Also, cooking breaks down the cell walls of things like vegetables and other frozen foods, which means that they do have the capacity to release more water when cooked. Since water rises when it is heated up, this water may be rising within your air fryer and then condensing on the edges of the drawer, making it look like a leak.

The dangers of leaking oil from your air fryer

If you actually find hot oil leaking from your air fryer to the bottom heating element or down to the countertop, it could possibly become a fire hazard.

This is especially true when air fryers are not cleaned properly and the leftover grease gets cooked over and over again. Oftentimes, the first thing you might notice is black smoke coming from your air fryer.

If there is any leakage of grease and oil onto the heating element, then chances are it will burn and eventually catch fire.

Typically, animal fats and lard can start smoking at around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. At around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, it can potentially catch fire. The typical air fryer can get up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so there is a potential fire hazard if your air fryer is not cleaned properly and is leaking.

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