Why Does Food Stick to My Air Fryer Basket? (Interesting Details)

When cooking for themselves or their families, time-pressed people look for shortcuts. For many individuals, the air fryer has made that a reality, but when these foods start adhering to the basket, it makes what ought to be simple nearly impossible. 

Despite having a non-stick coating, air fryers cannot guarantee that food will never stick. This occurs when the non-stick coating is removed or is subjected to high temperatures that it was not intended to withstand.

Even while cooking in an air fryer is a time-saving method, many users experience food that sticks to the basket.  

Learn how to prevent food from adhering to your machine and what is the reason behind it in this article.

What Is An Air Fryer? 

An air fryer, like a convection oven, can bake and roast dishes, but its design allows for faster and more even cooking for extra crisp results.

The air fryer, which has a heating mechanism and a fan built into the top, quickly heats up and circulates hot air, cooking food in the metal frying basket. Because of the concentrated heat source, the dish will have a crunchy, almost deep-fried texture as long as the air fryer is not overcrowded.

Why Does Food Stick to the Air Fryer?

As with a non-stick frying pan, think of your air fryer as such. What can happen if you use a non-stick frying pan without any oil to cook food?  

It’ll probably stick most of the time. Therefore, even in nonstick pans, the majority of people use some sort of oil. The Air Fryer you have is the same. Yes, it has some sort of non-stick coating on the major surfaces that will come into contact with the food.  

Especially the frying basket for air fryers. Even though the food seldom ever reaches the cooking section, good air fryer models have a nonstick coating around them. When the food in the basket is falling out, this will be a huge assistance! (Have faith, we all experience this at some point!)

Although completely eliminating sticking, this non-stick coating will assist to lessen the quantity that occurs. Particularly given that the majority of air fryers on the market don’t have the greatest non-stick surfaces available. Definitely not as durable as some of the best non-stick cookware on the market!

Food stuck in a frying pan
Not using any oil can cause your food to stick to your air fryer basket like a non-stick pan

How to Prevent Food From Sticking in the Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a machine that lets you cook meat, fish, and poultry without using a lot of oil in the present age of modernity and practical food cooking. 

However, regular cooking of food can lead it to stick and the uniformity to disappear, which is uncomfortable, especially for people with a keen interest in the culinary arts. Even a simple tool that is currently popular can be challenging to use if you don’t know much about what it provides. 

In this instance, the goal is to find a way to prevent food from sticking to the fryer. To maximize the artifact’s potential, adhere to this useful advice.

Preheat the air fryer.The air fryer must first be heated up before use, as it is customary with all culinary appliances. The majority of air fryer brands stipulate that preheating is necessary to achieve even frying of the food. Set your air fryer to the desired temperature and let it run for around three minutes before adding your food.
Use Oil.The second relates to oil, a key component in frying food. In specific circumstances, it may help some meals become crispy. But some do not require it, and using it to cook meals is not required at all times. For instance, you probably don’t need the oil if your dish already has some fat, like red meat or chicken, as it would merely add to the fat content. It will become crispy if you fry it in this manner. Of course, using it on veggies like fries or in any battered seafood would be excellent.
Grease the air fryer basket.The step of greasing the fryer basket is the opposite. Yes, butter your food for a few seconds even if it doesn’t need it. Additionally, you can accomplish this by lightly spreading or misting some vegetable oil onto the lower racks. The intention is to maintain consistent cooking and prevent food from sticking to the equipment tray.
Never use aerosols in the air fryer.In many air fryer baskets, spray oil is infamous for causing chips. Because of this, oil spray cans are notorious for having strong chemicals that ruin or harm the coating of the majority of baskets. Keep in mind that it is preferable to get a bottle of high-quality oil and use a reasonable amount.
Do not overload the basket.You must heed this counsel. Make cautious not to overfill the basket if you want your fried dishes to be crispy. Food will stick in the air fryer more frequently the more of it there is that can melt and heat up. Additionally, it will stop food from browning and turning crunchy.
Shake the basket during cooking.To achieve consistent cooking while frying small meals like chicken wings, chips, and similar items, the basket should be shaken periodically. Without much force, as you can flip bigger foods using a set of kitchen tongs rather than shaking them. Cooking over a gas fire would be the same as if it were a pan or a pot. In that regard, the air fryer will briefly halt cooking the food once you remove the basket to shake it, but it will resume at the same temperature once you replace the basket.
How to prevent food from sticking to your air fryer basket?
How to PREVENT food from STICKING in the Air Fryer!

Why is Greasing Your Air Fryer Important?

For several reasons, lubricating your air fryer is essential.

  • Food can be kept from burning by using grease to keep it from adhering to the bottom of the pan. 
  • Instead of shortening, the grease should be made of vegetable oil. Additionally, grease can aid in preventing the air fryer from overheating and the food from overcooking.
  • It’s vital to use fat or oil to avoid contaminating the device even if most models of these appliances normally come with a greasy lubricant for this purpose, thanks to the nonstick coating. 
  • Simply use oil or butter to cover the metal surface of your air fryer before adding ingredients. 

By doing this, you can make sure that any food that has clung to the pot can be readily removed and slipped out for cleaning.

How to Remove Grease From Air Fryer Basket?

A brush or set of tongs can also be used to clean the air fryer. You should clean it after every use, especially if you’ve just done cooking in it. 

If you let it cool on its own, you’ll eventually run into a problem. The grease will stay on the lid once it has cooled and hardened, making it difficult to later remove.

Soap and Water

It is preferable to clean the lid with soap and water after the oil has been eliminated.

Brush and Tongs

The air fryer can also be cleaned with a brush or pair of tongs. After each usage, you should clean it, especially if you have finished cooking in it. 

You’ll eventually encounter an issue if you allow it to cool alone. Once the grease has cooled and hardened, it will stick to the lid and be challenging to later remove.


Use lemon as one of the things you can attempt. Rub the lid and pan of your device to help soften any stuck-on grease and eliminate any odors, but be careful not to scrub too vigorously or you risk ruining the paint on the air fryer.

Fried food in the air fryer basket.
Using soap and water can help you in cleaning your air fryer basket.

What should I Do If Food Remains Stuck in My Air Fryer?

What should you do if you tried everything I suggested and your food still stuck to your air fryer? I will most likely destroy my air fryer’s nonstick coating if I scrub it!

My personal preference is to soak the air fryer basket in boiling water and dish soap. I start with dish soap and then top it off with boiling water. The key here is to use a cloth to gently rub away any dirt while the water is still warm.

Another option is to soak your air fryer in a vinegar solution. This solution should be made up of 9 parts hot water to 1 part vinegar. Allow your air fryer to soak in this solution, then rub with a cloth while the water is still warm (as with the other method).

These two approaches are intended for traditional bucket-style air fryers. Both bucket-style air fryers I’ve owned had a removable inner cooking compartment. This makes it super simple to pull out, fill with hot water, and place the cooking basket inside.


  • Although it can’t completely prevent sticking, the non-stick coating will assist to lessen the quantity that occurs.
  • Particularly given that the majority of air fryers on the market don’t have the greatest non-stick surfaces available. Definitely not as durable as some of the best non-stick cookware on the market.
  • The food residue that remains in your air fryer may accumulate if you don’t clean it after each usage. As time passes, this accumulation will just continue to grow, become greasier, and become more difficult to remove.
  • A brush or set of tongs can also be used to clean the air fryer. You should clean it after every use, especially if you’ve just done cooking in it.

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