Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer – The Limitations Explained

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If you’re an avid air fryer user, you may have wondered whether can you put water in an air fryer. Understandably, this can be a tricky thing to figure out – there’s different parts of the appliance that have different rules, and each company’s recommendations differ slightly.

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Luckily for you, I’m going to be covering absolutely everything you need to know about putting water in an air fryer – for cooking and cleaning alike! So, lets begin.

Table of Contents

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer – The Limitations Explained

What Happens If You Get Water In An Air Fryer?

The answer to this question is completely dependent on where and how you’re putting water into your air fryer.

If you put water into the tray when its full of oil, the temperature will bring both liquids to boil. This boiling mixture can be very dangerous. However, if the oil is only residual, you can boil water in there.

Be aware though that if you’re doing this for cooking, it will most certainly affect the flavor of your dish.

It is never okay to put water on the main body of your air fryer, especially while plugged in. This includes submerging your entire air fryer, rinsing your entire air fryer, and wetting any of the non removable parts.

The only part you can LIGHTLY wet is the air fryer coil.

Before cleaning or wetting this part of the fryer, it must be completely cool. The plug must also be removed from the socket.

It is okay to completely wet/wash the tray and basket of the air fryer, and it is okay to boil water inside them too.

Can You Put Water In The Bottom Of An Air Fryer?

If by ’the bottom of an air fryer’ you mean the tray and basket of the fryer, then yes, it is okay to put water in them.

I wouldn’t recommend using them consistently for the purpose of boiling water, but they are suitable for the occasional cleaning boil or wash.

Can You Cook With Water In An Air Fryer?

Air fryers are an incredibly useful kitchen tool – from reheating calamari to dehydrating apples, they can seemingly do it all! But can they cook with water too?

While you can technically cook with water in an air fryer, it shouldn’t be the first thing you reach for. Boiling water in an air fryer is not efficient compared to other appliances – or even just heating on an induction or electric stove.

The water will pick up any dirt or grease left in your fryer, which can leave your food with an unpleasant flavor. It can also cross contaminate foods with more ease and will leave your food tasting like other things you’ve made in the fryer before.

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer – The Limitations Explained

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer To Steam

Whether you’re looking to steam your air fryer for cooking or cleaning, it’s important to note that steaming is not its proper function.

If you are interested in steaming food more frequently, consider investing in a steamer. If you would still like to use your air fryer for steaming, know that it is possible, but not the most efficient way to use this appliance.

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To steam your air fryer, just add a few drops (a few small puddles) on the bottom of your air fryer’s tray. Be sure to remove the basket to do this, and avoid adding any more water than that. This will lightly steam the internal surfaces of your air fryer, along with any food you’re cooking inside.

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer To Steam Something?

While you can put water in an air fryer to steam food, there is no guarantee that it will do the job well.

Air fryers are built for convection frying. While the heat generated from this will cause water to steam, it likely won’t be enough to cook your veggies. At the very least, it won’t be enough without undergoing multiple rounds of steaming. This is because air fryers need oil to work, not water – in fact, there’s even debates around the best oil to use for air-fried french fries.

That’s why it’s generally not worth steaming your air fryer – especially for cooking purposes.

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer To Clean It

If your fryer has been bogged down by making this delicious air fryer potato recipe, or a bunch of air fried appetizers (anyone else curious about what those might be?), it might just be time for a clean.

When you decide to scrub off that scum, be sure to check out this YouTube video below!

This video by YouTube channel Fabulessly Frugal has several excellent tips on how to clean, deep clean, deodorize, and maintain your air fryer. This video is especially useful in that it shows you what kind of bowl you can place in an air fryer.

While none of these tips involve heating water within the actual air fryer itself…. They are very useful!

If you’re still interested in using your air fryer to ’self clean’, I would recommend boiling water inside it instead of just steaming it. This is because the act of boiling water will already release steam, while picking up more dirt within the water itself. This makes it more efficient and convenient for cleaning.

To see how you can clean your air fryer with boiling water, read more below.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer, 4 Qt, Black/gray

How To Clean An Air Fryer With Water – Three Simple Steps!

Fill with soapy water

Fill your air fryer with soapy water – be sure to not overfill it, and to mix the soap in well.

Air fry

Carefully push in the tray oof your air fryer and make sure its shut. Then, air fry at 370 °F for 3 minutes.

Pour water out

Once this is done, pour out the water, being careful not to burn yourself.

Rinse and dry

Rinse out the tray and basket of your fryer after dumping out the water and leave to dry.

NOTE: This is only suitable for occasional maintenance of your air fryer. In between these cleans, wash your basket and tray in the sink. It’s also important to deep clean your air fryer every now and then – this includes cleaning the coil and wiping the outside of the appliance.

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer – The Limitations Explained

Can You Put Water In An Air Fryer, While You Cook And Otherwise?

Many will be glad to here that yes, in fact, you can put water in your air fryer! How and where is very important, but generally it’s okay to use them for steaming and boiling, and its okay to wet the coil with a little bit of cleaning product.

However, its NEVER okay to submerge your entire air fryer in water and it is never okay to clean the inside without having unplugged it and had let it cool.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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