A messy kitchen's often the sign of a good meal, and the same can be said for air fryers. But all of that baked-in goodness can take some serious elbow grease to get rid of. Instead of giving yourself tennis elbow, learn how to clean your Ninja air fryer the easy way with these simple methods.
How to Clean Ninja Air Fryers
Currently, there are four different Ninja air fryers you can buy, all of which will cook your snacks to crispy perfection. These include one-basket and two-basket Ninja Foodi models, the single basket Ninja Air Fryer Max, and the Ninja Speedi Air Fryer & Rapid Cooker.
Whether you have one of Ninja's latest models or on older version, after a few cycles of running your sauced, glazed, and sauteed goodies through them, they can get seriously dirty. Learn the easiest and quickest ways to clean a Ninja air fryer like yours and keep your food tasting great.
How to Clean the Baskets
Ninja air fryers come with either one or two baskets for you to put your food into. Because your food cooks inside of these baskets, they get the grimiest out of all the pieces in a Ninja air fryer. Cleaning the oily baskets only takes a few steps.
Materials You'll Need
To clean your Ninja air fryer baskets, you'll need:
- Warm water
- Dish soap
- Microfiber towel
Cleaning your Ninja air fryer baskets is as easy as these four steps:
- Remove your air fryer baskets.
- Fill your sink with warm water and a few squirts of dish soap.
- Soak the pans, crisper plates, and any other accessories for about 20-30 minutes, and scrub away any leftover ingredients with a soft sponge (never a scouring pad).
- Rinse off with cool water and thoroughly dry using a microfiber towel.
For dried on food, use a toothpick or toothbrush to really get in the tight spaces and remove the stuck on particles.
How to Clean the Exterior and Interior
The baskets aren't the only place that need to be cleaned in your Ninja air fryer. Give your air fryer a good ole deep cleaning by wiping down the exterior using a damp cloth (when it's unplugged, of course) and the interior and heating element with a wet paper towel or sponge to extract any baked-on food.
How to Approach Cleaning Your Ninja Speedi Air Fryer
Unlike Ninja's detachable basket air fryers, their Speedi model needs to be cleaned in a slightly different way.
According to their manual, the meal pot, crisper tray, and condensation catch can all be washed in a regular cycle in your dishwasher. Just make sure not to scrub any stuck on food with a scouring pad; instead, try soaking the pot or tray and using a soft sponge or rag to wash the stuck-on stuff away.
Indirectly Clean the Heating Element
When you're simmering and soaking, stuff can fly up into the heating element in the cooker's top. Don't ever take water directly to the heating element when it's dirty. Instead, follow these instructions:
- Fill the cooking pot with 3 cups of water.
- Turn the switch to rapid cooker and then set the steam function on for 10 minutes, making sure to close the lid.
- Let the fryer cool down and use a wet cloth to wipe away at the interior.
- Drain the water and clean the pot as needed.
How to Clean Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fryer Ovens
The other major kind of air fryer on the market is the air fryer oven. Of course, there are differences in the way they operate and cook food, but the visual differences that affect cleaning are the basket vs. rack-style construction.
Air fryer ovens utilize racks and shelves instead of baskets, which are generally easier to clean than baskets. Ninja's stainless steel racks and shelves can be put in the bottom rack of your dishwasher and cleaned on a regular cycle.
Ninja makes cleaning the interior really easy, too, with their accessible design. Flip the Foodi Air Fryer Oven on its back, and you can pull down the back panel to access the interior. To clean both the outsides and interior, you can use a damp paper towel and a microfiber cloth, as well as some mild soap solution. Just make sure you've got the oven unplugged and cooled down before trying to clean the machine.
How to Clean an Air Fryer the Fun Way
While we don't suggest using your air fryer as a new way to boil water, you can clean it by pouring in about an inch of water and a squirt or two of dish soap. This viral cleaning hack has taken TikTok by storm. Simply put the basket into the air fryer, set it at a low temp for about 3-5 minutes, and dump the water out.
Essentially, this works like the soaking method, except it's faster and doesn't put your sink out of commission for 30 minutes.
How Often Should You Really Be Cleaning Your Air Fryer?
If you hate doing dishes, then we're going to burst your bubble. Just like with a casserole dish, crock pot, or cast-iron skillet you use to cook a meal in, your air fryer baskets or racks need to be cleaned after every use. That baked-in grease and grime that takes a long time to clean up comes from the food particles getting recooked every time you put the tools back in.
So, get into the habit of washing and rinsing your air fryer tools after every use, and you'll find that you won't have to clean the unit itself as often.
Stuff You Shouldn't Use to Clean an Air Fryer
With how easy they are to clean, you'd be surprised at the types of chemicals people have tried to clean their air fryers with. Don't jeopardize your air fryer's functionality and your health; stay away from these things when cleaning your air fryer.
- Disinfectant sprays
The Cleaner They Are, the Better They Cook
Without a doubt, your air fryer is probably one of the kitchen gadgets you use the most. Keep every dish delicious by learning how to clean your air fryer properly. Don't let the grime and grease build-up; instead, keep your Ninja air fryer so clean, it looks brand new.