Why Does My Instant Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic?

Your instant air fryer won’t smell like plastic if all is well. Your first presumption would be burning components. That’s true because a plastic smell is easy to identify. 

New air fryers smell of plastic wrappings. But be keen to distinguish the smell as it could be a short circuit and a melting down. There are several other reasons why your kitchen appliance could smell plastic. We will cover those. Also, we will tell you the tips for clearing this odor. 

New Air Fryers Smell Plastic: Beware Of A Burning Appliance!

The smell in your new Instant air fryer shouldn’t shock you. It is expected that the machine will smell of plastic. 

Manufacturers prefer plastic to metallic material for your air fryer because it is heat-resistant. It makes a perfect insulator that won’t burn when you touch the surface. The heat stays inside the cooking chamber. 

But you will notice that most parts of your air fryer are plastic, so it would be difficult to prevent the unpleasant smell when the appliance heats. 

You should be able to distinguish the regular plastic smell from a burning appliance. A burning air fryer will have strong burning plastic and also smoke blue. Also, the regular smell from the insulating material isn’t powerful. We will help you to distinguish a burning appliance’s smell further in this article.

Reasons Why Air Fryers Will Have A Plastic Smell

When your appliance produces strong plastic smell, it is not necessarily a burning component. There are several causes, as we will determine here;

  1. Protective Plastic Wrappings

All gadgets come with wrappers. And most wrapper material is plastic. At least I haven’t seen a different wrapping! Though they rewrap it in styrofoam and place it in a cardboard. 

The plastic material is heat resistant. And that’s the reason why it is a good component for wrapping for the safety of your appliance. Here’s what happens when it gets into contact with heat. 

Exposing plastic to too much heat burns it. The result is a smelly fume that comprises hydrocarbons. The bad odor fades away when you remove the plastic wrapping from your air fryer oven and clean it.

  1. Protective External Insulator Material

Most gadgets in your kitchen have plastic coverings. Besides the usual wrapping we discussed above, this one is permanent on the gadget. It is part of the air fryer and houses the control panel and other buttons. Also, the covering protects the internal controls and wires of your gadget. 

This plastic is not ordinary. It is a high-quality grade and rarely breaks unless on impact. However, it will melt at an extreme temperature from within or outside! From within, we mean overheating. And from outside, we mean other heat sources, like placing your gadget on a hot stove. 

Your air fryer will cook at high temperatures, but you will hardly feel it from the outside! Have you ever wondered how that happens? It is because of the plastic covering, which also acts as an insulator for your appliance. And it does a perfect job as you will never burn yourself by touching your air fryer. 

But as we mentioned earlier, it may smell the plastic when the heat is extreme. Air fryers can cook even at 400 F. That is high enough to cause a pungent smell, if not a meltdown. 

We doubt if there is a recipe that cooks at 400F. That is too high a setting unless you are self-cleaning the oven. If not so, the smell should not be there if you have used the appliance severally. Check out the temperature levels and switch off your appliance to cool down. If your gadget is overheating, determine causes other than high-temperature settings. 

  1. Air Fryer Components

An air fryer has a heating element and fan. These elements emit smell when subjected to heat. The smell is equivalent to burning plastic because of the insulation material on some elements. 

Don’t ignore an error on display. For example, E1 will alert you to overheating, among other faults. Let your appliance rest unplugged before you resume cooking. Observe the behavior, more the smell. Once the parts break in, the smell should go away.

  1. Fumes

During the manufacture of the air fryer, fumes are trapped inside. Factories do not clean the fumes away, so the smell remains in the gadget. 

The first time you unpackage your air fryer, it will smell of plastic. When you plug it in, it will even be worse. Don’t panic, as the odor might stay until you use your machine severally. But it should not stay for an extended period. 

If the smell doesn’t fade, then that’s a hazard. The air fryer may be faulty and requires an inspection by the dealer.

  1. Dirt Accumulation

During cooking, food particles accumulate at the heating element. Failure to clean your air fryer regularly after use results in a bad smell. 

Dirt also collects outside. Generally, when your air fryer is not clean, it produces an unhealthy odor. And mostly, the culprit is extra grease. It will smell like burning plastic and even smoke black. 

Clean your air fryer regularly and after each use. That keeps food residues, dust, and grease from buildup.

A Blue Smoky Burning Plastic Smell!

This smell is distinguishable. It is not the ordinary plastic wrapping that comes with new appliances. The smell begins when you plug your Instant air fryer into a power source or in the middle of cooking. Also, you might see the blue smoke. 

The plastic smell is pungent and chokes. That’s an indicator your air fryer is at risk. You should act briskly. Disconnect your smelly air fryer and call your technician to resolve the issue. If your Instant air fryer is new, it could have a factory defect. 

The best approach would be to call the manufacturer through the number on the user manual. Or, you can call the dealers who shipped the appliance to you. Be armed with a detailed description of what transpired, plus the machine’s batch number, among other specs. That will help the team to resolve your issue.

Several appliances that experience a plastic burning smell are mainly counterfeit. By buying your products from stores, you can avoid being duped by unscrupulous dealers. Instant appliances have retailers all over the world. 

Their website always lists their licensed dealers to protect their consumers. You shouldn’t buy from back streets or unlicensed shops. If you aren’t sure, call their consumer help desk. They will recommend a dealer near you or offer to ship the appliance direct from their factory. 

How To Fix  the Instant Air Fryer Smell Plastic

Besides the intense plastic from your appliance, your food flavor and taste may change. That tells your food to absorb the fumes! That’s already too dangerous to consume. 

You will be risking by feeding your loved ones contaminated food. We have ways to eliminate the plastic smell from your air fryer. Follow these simple guidelines below;

  • Plastic Coatings

During shipping, your Instant air fryer usually is covered with plastics. Ensure that you peel off all the packaging. Remove the styrofoam material and ensure that you do not leave any elements in the cooking chamber. 

When the heater is on, the residues may burn and cause a bad smell. Eliminate the foul odor by wiping clean your air fryer before use. Exposure of the gadget to free air can also reduce the smell. There would be fumes under the plastic covers.

  • Wash the Air Fryer Components

Wash components like the rack, pan, basket, and grill before use. Follow these steps:

  1. Pull the basket out of the Instant air fryer and access the other components.
  2. Soak them in water with detergent for 15- 30 Minutes.
  3. Use a soft sponge to clean the pan, rack, basket, and grill.
  4. Clean the inside of the machine too.
  5. Dry the components inside the air fryer using a clean and dry towel. 
  • Use Distilled Vinegar And Lime Juice To Wipe Your Appliance
  1. Take equal measurements of vinegar and lime juice (a tablespoon each).
  2. Please put them in a dish that is oven-safe and mix.
  3. Place the dish in the basket. 
  4. Run the machine in a temperature setting of about 400 degrees.
  5. Let the air fryer run for 5 minutes and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Vinegar and lime will absorb the plastic fumes.
  6. Then, after the steam bath, clean and wipe the interior of the gadget to remove any residue.
  • Break In Routine
  1. Run your device at a high temperature(400 degrees) without food. Plastic will burn to release fumes and leave your air fryer clean.
  2. Allow your machine to run for 30-40 minutes. Let the air fryer cool for 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Repeat the process as many times as possible to altogether remove the odor.
  • Seasoning And Greasing. 

Basket coating and separator tray greasing are essential. Use the below procedure:

  1. Use your usual cooking oil and a towel, dip it in cooking oil and coat the basket. 
  2. Coat the separator tray with oil also.
  3. Place the basket and tray in their position—set the temperature to 400 degrees. 
  4. Run the air fryer for 15 minutes. Let it cool for about 20 minutes. 
  5. Wipe the oil for both the tray and basket. 
  6. Repeat the procedure twice.
  7. Once done, wash the basket using soap.

Tip! Using spray oil on your appliance will damage the sticky coating. It will by peeling off.

  • Use Lemon And Vinegar
  1. Get a small dish that is air fryer safe.
  2. Put both lemon and vinegar inside the dish.
  3. With the tray and basket in their correct place, put the dish with lemon and vinegar.
  4. Set the temperature to 400 degrees.
  5. Run the air fryer for 3-5 Minutes.
  6. Allow the Air Fryer to cool and clean it.
  7. You can repeat the process for better results.
  • Thorough Cleaning

Have a regular schedule for cleaning your air fryer after use. While cooking, grease builds up, and food spills. Extended stay of oil will lead to difficulty in removing and cleaning it. 

Food spills can as well form stains. This cause smells like the ones you are experiencing. The use of strong dishwashing detergent will be of great help. Consider a detergent that has a high degreasing power. 

Ensure that you remove and clean all dirt from the tray and basket. Clean your gadget from the outside too. Proper hygiene in food is safe and suitable for health.

  • Insert Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil helps in maintaining the air fryer clean. Using it alongside the sticky coating increases its durability. Before you put the tray into the basket, cover the bottom of the basket with foil. 

Excess grease will collect on the aluminum, and your air fryer will be clean and free from grease spills. Remember to make handles for the aluminum. You can twist the ends for easier pulling when removing them.

  • Determine The Causes Of Overheating

We mentioned overheating as a cause of the plastic smell from your appliance. And so, knowing how to understand your overheating device is paramount. First, you must establish the cause of the high temperature to resolve the issue. 


  • Power Circuit

A short circuit or high voltage can cause your device to overheat. The excess heat causes a plastic smell, but this time, a burning one. You may not point out a short or high voltage if you are a layman. But your machine’s inbuilt system will record error E1 On the display. Some machines show E2 or E3. Be keen on such errors on your air fryer. Disconnect and call your tech.

  • High-Temperature Settings

The temperature dials will guide the heating process on your air fryer. Users who confuse the Celcius with Fahrenheit degrees reading find themselves with too high or low temperature. For instance, keying in 200 C instead of 200F is too high! Your food will burn and appliance smoke at 200 C, the equivalence of 400F. Study your appliance’s temperature reading and learn how to change from C to F and vice versa.

  • Excess Cooking Oil

Air fryers are not oil appliances. They can cook without unless the recipe says otherwise. Do as the air fryer recipe says to avoid excess oil. Certain oils overheat super fast and cause the oven temperature to rise. In turn, your air fryer will smell awful.

  • Grease Accumulation

Like excess oil in the air fryer, grease streaking from your food causes overheating. Mostly, if you cook fatty foods like pork in your air fryer, the grease burns and raises internal temperature. The appliance begins to smell as the heat gets to the plastic components. If you must air fry your pork, trim the fatty portions and retain the leaner meat.

  • Overuse

You have been roasting for hours! Your appliance will overheat and heat the plastic parts. Give your Instant air fryer a break. You could buy a commercial machine for parties and restaurant business. Overuse breaks equipment. 

Other Tips to Save Air Fryer Smells like plastic:


  1. Do not position your air fryer on a stove. If you light the stove unexpectedly, you will burn your appliance and melt the plastic.
  2. Keep your air fryer away from open fires like candles and charcoal grills.
  3. Place your machine away from other cooking appliances to prevent catching fire.
  4. Use your air fryer indoors to protect it from rain or summer sun.
  5. Keep cleaning the vents, and do not block them to allow breathing.

There are dozens of tips that come with your air fryer model. Please go through them to ensure the safety and proper use of the equipment.