Can You Put Water in an Air Fryer – Everything You Need to Know!

Yes, you can put water in an air fryer. When you are cooking greasy and fatty foods, you can reduce smoke by using water. Since air fryers are not made to cook with a lot of water, don’t add more than a few tablespoons. 

It is very normal to have queries about your air fryer, particularly if you are new to the world of kitchen appliances. What you can and can’t do with your air fryer can get a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have access to the right set of instructions and guidelines.

Can you put water in an air fryer? The short answer: Yes, you can. The devil, however, is in the details. You can add water to the air fryer. However, you can add only a few tbsps. at a time. If you add excessive amounts of water to the fryer, it may cause overheating. 

Moreover, it can even short the motor of the appliance. Let’s learn all there is about putting water in your air fryer.

can you put water in an air fryer

How Will Adding Water Damage the Air Fryer

If you add a lot of water to your air fryer, you will end up damaging it. There is no compartment for water in an air fryer. This means that an air fryer is not designed to hold water or any liquid in it. 

There is a heating element inside the air fryer. This heating element generates hot air which is then circulated with the help of a fan. If you add water to the air fryer, the fan will splash it everywhere. 

When the water comes in contact with the electrical components, it will damage the air fryer. Therefore, you should never immerse your air fryer in water nor should you fill it with a lot of water. 

When Can You Add Water to Your Air Fryer

There are some situations in which you can add water to the fryer. Let’s see what they are.

  1. To Reduce Smoke Production

Foods with a lot of grease & fat such as ground meat, sausage, bacon, etc. make the most smoke. The grease from the fatty foods drips down the fryer, collects at the bottom, and burns. When this grease burns, it creates a lot of smoke.

Smoke from the air fryer leads to unpleasant smells, stained walls, etc. This smoke is expelled through the air fryer’s vent and into your kitchen. The easy solution to reduce the amount of smoke is to add some water.

The water you add cools the grease down and keeps it from burning. Thus, no smoke is produced. When you add water to oil, it usually crackles and pops. However, the air fryer basket keeps all the crackling contained within a safe space.

When you are cooking fatty food such as hamburger patties and bacon, water is quite helpful to prevent the grease from smoking. Moreover, it is helpful for any kind of meat that releases juice such as chicken thighs, meatballs, etc. 

  1. Rehydrate Baked Goods

Water rehydrates dried-out food. It helps to moisten up the food, giving it a new life. If you add some drops of water to the empty drip pan, you can quickly refresh any baked goods in the basket. 

It will be like you just baked them!

  1. For Easy Clean-Up

Adding some water to the drip pan makes cleaning up the process later somewhat easy. The water will mix with the grease, and will also soften the crumbs from hard to reach places. 

cleaning air fryer basket

How Much Water Can We Add to the Air Fryer

If your end goal is to reduce the production of smoke, then 4 to 5 tablespoons of water will do the trick. Add the water to the base of your air fryer, where all the grease and oil from the food usually collects. 

Don’t add water to the food itself or else the food will become soggy. Air fryers can’t remove water from the food as deep fryers can. This means that any water that you add to the food, will end up remaining in it. 

If you want your meal to come out light and crispy, then you shouldn’t add a lot of water to it. Too much of any liquid, particularly when it goes above the overfill line will cause the air fryer to short circuit or overheat. 

Therefore, don’t add more than a couple of tablespoons of water.

How Much Water to Use When Cleaning the Air Fryer

You might be wondering if it is alright to use water when you clean the air fryer since it is an electrical appliance. You can use water & soap to clean out the following parts of the air fryer.

  • Basket
  • Divider
  • Pan

You can simply take these parts out, rinse, submerge, and soap them in the sink as you do with regular dishes. However, you should not directly add water to the appliance. Make sure that you don’t get water on the heating elements of the fryer.

Use a damp cloth and some water to wipe them. However, never submerge the heating elements in the water.

Is It Possible to Boil Water in the Air Fryer?

An air fryer can heat things well enough to cook them so one can assume that it will be capable of boiling water as well. However, that is not the case. 

It is not possible to boil water in an air fryer.

If you attempt to bowl water in your air fryer, you will only get very hot and steamy water. An air fryer isn’t capable of reaching the temperature that is needed to boil water. Therefore, it is best that you don’t cook anything that needs liquid to cook like grains and rice.

The water will not get hot enough to cook the rice and grains properly. An air fryer doesn’t have the right technology – like a slow cooker or a pressure cooker – to do so. However, you can cook things that don’t need water, only heat, in your air fryer. 

Can You Steam Your Food inside an Air Fryer

It is dangerous to add water to your air fryer and certainly not recommended. Therefore, adding some water to steam the food would not be a wise decision. Air fryers and steamers work on different principles.

To cook food, steamers create steam by heating water. On the other hand, air fryers cook food by circulating hot air. Air fryers are generally designed to cook food that is dry and crispy. If you want to steam food, you can do that in a steamer or in an instant pot

So while you can’t steam your dumplings or momos, you can certainly air fry them and enjoy them all crispy and yummy!

Things to Do to Use an Air Fryer Safely

An air fryer is an electrical appliance and like all other electrical appliances, you need to handle it with care or else it will give up on you right when you need it the most. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you are using an air fryer.

  1. Read the Manual Thoroughly

Read the manual that came with the air fryer thoroughly. It will tell you everything you need to know about your air fryer, how it works, how you need to take care of it, etc. It is best that you follow the advice of the manufacturer since that information is always authentic. 

  1. Keep the Air Vents Open

Ensure that the air vents of the fryer are open. Keep plenty of space around them. Vents release all the steam and smoke that is created when you cook in an air fryer. For the proper functioning of your air fryer, it is crucial that these vents stay open. 

  1. Don’t Use a Lot of Oil

Don’t use a lot of oil when you are cooking in an air fryer. If you add too much oil, it can cause the air fryer to overheat and there is a danger of a fire hazard. Only use a little amount of oil that will be enough to crisp your food and add some flavor. 

  1. Don’t Overfill the Basket

There needs to be an ample amount of space between the fan and the heater. Make sure that you don’t overcrowd the basket and reduce this space. There is a fill line marked on the air fryer’s basket. 

Keep an eye on that line while putting food inside the fryer. 

  1. Clean Your Air Fryer Regularly

It is very important that you clean your air fryer. Make sure that you clean it after every use so that no food residue builds up inside the fryer. 

a little water in air fryer

FAQs for Can You Put Water in an Air Fryer

Can you cook soup in an air fryer?

When it comes to cooking liquids like sauces, stews, and soups, we don’t recommend that you do it in an air fryer. 

Can I put oil in the air fryer?

You can put oil directly on the food that you are going to cook in the air fryer. Don’t put oil in the basket.

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