Can an air fryer cause carbon monoxide? 

  • By: Emma
  • Date: July 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Table of Contents

Can an air fryer cause carbon monoxide?

These days customers ask this question a lot: can an air fryer cause carbon monoxide?

Your home is a haven where you’re surrounded by all the things that make you feel safe and comfortable. You have your favorite chair in a certain spot, a coffee table in another, maybe a couch or loveseat.

But what if one of these items were to cause harm instead of comfort? What if your air fryer was actually emitting carbon monoxide!

So, can an air fryer cause carbon monoxide? Sounds crazy but it could happen. In some cases, an air fryer can cause carbon monoxide.

In this blog post, we’ll go over how an air fryer can emit carbon monoxide and how to avoid it from happening to you.

Read More: Can you cook a frozen breakfast sandwich in an air fryer?

What is carbon monoxide? Is it harmful?

Before coming towards our main topic, let’s understand what is carbon monoxide, how does it affect our health, and what are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Basically, this gas is formed during incomplete combustion or burning of organic matter, for instance when fossil fuels burn in car engines or firewood burns in a fireplace. The most common way to be exposed to CO is through inhalation, which could lead to suffocation or poisoning. Without any intervention, exposure to high concentrations of CO could lead to loss of consciousness and even death.

If you are aware of these dangers, then it’s more likely that you keep your home well ventilated when using products that give off carbon monoxide like an air fryer, fireplace, or gas-powered tools.

Harm levelsCarbon monoxide (CO) ppm
LowLess than 50 ppm
Mid51 – 100 ppm
High Greater than 101 ppm (if no one is showing the symptoms)
Extremely DangerousGreater than 101 ppm (if someone is showing the symptoms)
Table 1. Different levels of carbon monoxide concentration and whether those concentration levels are harmful.

When does an air fryer cause carbon monoxide?

As mentioned earlier, there are certain times when carbon monoxide is emitted from air fryers. These are listed and explained below:

Burner heating up too fast

There is a possibility that an air fryer could emit carbon monoxide. If the burner heats up too fast before the fan has started, then it can cause incomplete combustion or even burn of oil inside the unit. This will result in the formation of carbon monoxide (CO).

If you want to avoid this problem, then wait for the fan to start and let it run for a while before you insert your foot.

Lack of vent

The lack of venting in an air fryer is another cause for carbon monoxide to accumulate inside the unit. Make sure that your appliance has a duct for proper ventilation and exhaust gases. If there is poor or no venting, then it can lead to the accumulation of CO inside the device which you will inevitably inhale when cooking. The good news is that it can easily be avoided by using a proper venting system.

You will know whether your air fryer has the proper vent if there are small holes on the side of the appliance to allow oxygen in during cooking. This should lead to fewer carbon monoxide emissions.

Carbon buildup in burner over time

As mentioned earlier, the burner inside an air fryer, heats too quickly and burns leftover food particles which could lead to the emission of carbon monoxide. This build-up can also occur over a long period of time due to a lack of cleaning.

In order to avoid this problem, you should clean out your unit after each use. You can do so by removing the filter and soaking it in warm water with baking soda. Then scrub the filter with a brush until no more residue comes off.

Make sure that you rinse out the interior of the appliance and let it dry before use once again.

High levels of humidity or moisture

Having high levels of humidity or moisture inside your air fryer is another factor that can lead to carbon monoxide formation. It has been observed that humidity or moisture can increase corrosion on the heating element, and this could cause CO to appear during the use of an air fryer.

In order to avoid this problem, make sure that you allow your unit enough time for drying before first use and after every cleaning cycle.

Burnt food

It is really as simple as that – if your food is burnt, it can cause the emission of carbon monoxide. It is therefore recommended to follow recipes from reputable sources and to adjust cooking times as needed.

In some cases, you might not be aware of whether the food has been burnt or not during use since it can affect the taste. In such a case, always remember to clean the unit after every use.

Read More: Can you have a deep fryer in a food truck?

Malfunction of fan or door switch

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the most common causes of carbon monoxide emissions from an air fryer. If there is a malfunction with your unit’s fan or door switch, then it could lead to the burning of food particles which would eventually emit carbon monoxide.

To avoid this problem, always use your air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and replace parts in case they malfunction or break down.

RumorsTrue or Not
The air fryer released carbon monoxideTrue
Air fryer blood causes cancerFalse
Air fryer causes food poisoningTrue
Food can explode easily in the air fryerFalse
Over cooking of air fryer causes carcinogensTrue
Air fryers cause radiationTrue
Air fryers have a fire riskFalse
Table 2. Some common rumors about air fryers and the truth behind these rumors.

Precautions to take!

As mentioned before, carbon monoxide is highly poisonous and you need to take precautions when using appliances emitting this gas. There are certain things that you can do in order to avoid any form of carbon monoxide poisoning due to your air fryer. Some of these are listed below:

Do not use the appliance without a vent

Good quality air fryers have specific vents. So, make sure that the appliance is not being used without a proper ventilation system. Before using an air fryer, check for any residues from previous use and clean off properly before cooking.

Manage proper ventilation in the kitchen

This boils down to not having adequate ventilation in the kitchen when using an air fryer. Since carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, there is no way of knowing you are being exposed to it.

This is why it’s always better to have adequate ventilation in the kitchen when using an air fryer or other appliances emitting carbon monoxide.

If you want to avoid this situation, then make sure you open up all the windows and doors leading outside before firing up your device. Keep them open at least for the first five minutes.

Keep an eye on the timer

You don’t want the air fryer to emit carbon monoxide. And you don’t want your food to burn right? So, keep an eye on the timer as well when cooking with an air fryer. As mentioned before, burnt food emits carbon monoxide which is really dangerous for your health.

If you are uncertain about whether your food is fully cooked or not, then remove the basket and shake it to check for any residues. If everything looks fine, then you can start eating since this would mean that your food is cooked well.

In case you want to be really sure, then it’s a good idea to invest in a meat thermometer and use it at regular intervals.

Do air fryers give off toxic fumes?

No, air fryers don’t give off toxic fumes. An air fryer is different and healthy compared to a microwave oven because the air fryer doesn’t produce any toxic fumes.

Still, It is advised not to use any air fryer in an enclosed environment such as a small room, garage, or kitchen with low ventilation and poor circulation of fresh air. This can lead to the accumulation of carbon monoxide inside the enclosed area.

For more prevention, avoid using an air fryer if the atmospheric temperature exceeds 45 degrees Celsius.

Does the air fryer make your house smell?

No, an air fryer doesn’t make your house smell.

However, one should take precautions when cooking with any kitchen appliance to prevent the diffusion of toxic fumes in the environment where one lives.

There are two ways air fryers can cause smell in the house, first one is if you are cooking smelly food then it produces a smell.

Second, If your food gets burned or food particles are charred then it emits smoke which causes a bad smell.

So, make sure to clean your air fryer after each use.

If you are new to cooking with an air fryer, make sure that you check the manual very carefully before using it for the first time. This will give you a good idea about how


To sum up, air fryers, if used improperly can cause carbon monoxide. Otherwise, a good quality air fryer put in an airy room will never cause carbon monoxide or toxic fumes.

Remember, air fryers are meant to be safe and healthy to cook your favorite dishes.

Read More: What size fryer for a 20 lb turkey?

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