Nobody wants a recently bought—or even something a few years old—to start degrading and falling apart. For example, your air fryer’s basket coating peeling off. Especially since it’s nonstick and most of us have heard of the dangers of nonstick coatings.
While there is conflicting information, we’ll try to give you all the facts so you can decide the best course of action for you and your household if you’ve got a flakey—literally—air fryer.
Why is your air fryer’s nonstick coating peeling off? If it’s of questionable quality, you’re using abrasive cleansers, aerosol cooking sprays, or scratching it with metal utensils, your coating can peel. Is it dangerous? Maybe.
First of all, let’s talk about what can cause your air fryer’s coating to start peeling off.
Why Your Air Fryer is Peeling:
#1 Poor Quality Coating
There’s a saying that you get what you pay for. So if you purchase some cheap, off-brand air fryer, there’s a good chance that the components in workmanship aren’t of the best quality.
It’s never a good idea to buy any cookware that isn’t of good quality, especially if it’s something that your food actually touches.
If the coating on your air fryer basket is low quality or thin it will be more prone to peeling off. Additionally, the coating itself may not be as durable as what you would find in a better-quality appliance.
What to do?
Buy Quality Appliances
I know that’s easier said than done and that not everyone has the budget to pay for something more expensive. However, buying a cheap brand that you’ll need to replace fairly quickly is not the budget friendly path to take.
#2 Simple Wear and Tear
Remember, your air fryer’s nonstick coating is simply that — a coating. And depending on how well a coating is adhered to the surface below, over time, it can begin to peel or rub away. And as mentioned above, quality plays a fairly big role here.
What to do?
Be Gentle with Your Air Fryer
If simple wear and tear can impact the nonstick coating, what you used to cook with and clean with will also take its toll. Never use any abrasive cleansers or tools to clean your air fryer and avoid using metal utensils.
#3 Incorrect Cleaning Methods
What’s your cleaning technique like? If you have baked on food, are you using harsh cleaning chemicals or maybe even abrasive scrubbers to get it off? Don’t. Either will damage the coating on your air fryer’s basket. Eventually, the repeated use of these methods will probably cause the coating to start peeling off.
What to do?
Clean with Care
Nothing scratchier than a sponge, soft cloth, or soft bristled brush should ever touch the nonstick coating on your air fryer. Additionally, only use water and dish soap as cleansing agents.
For baked on residue, let your baskets soak to loosen food.
#4 Metal Utensils
Just like you would never use a steel wool pad, such as an SOS or Brillo Pad to clean your air fryer basket, using metal utensils that could nick or scratch the surface is a bad idea.
This doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to use a metal utensil at all. It just means that you need to be extra careful when using them.
What to do?
If you don’t want to worry about accidentally slipping and damaging your nonstick coating, consider using silicone coated utensils. As long as the silicone is food grade, it will be safe in the heat of your air fryer and won’t do any damage.
#5 Cooking Sprays
This may be purely anecdotal, but there are many reports that aerosol cooking sprays like Pam can destroy your nonstick surface. This could be due to some of the chemicals, such as anti-foaming agents, propane-based propellants, butane, or emulsifier that are also in the can along with the oil. Apparently, it’s the emulsifier that can eat through Teflon.
So besides the fact that you probably don’t want to be eating propane-based propellants, a lot of people have reported that using a cooking spray damages their air fryer.
What to do?
Use Real Oil
Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil or light olive oil. There are many different types of pump spray bottles that you can use to mist oil over your food.
Is Peeling Nonstick Coating Dangerous?
First, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not a scientist. However, there are studies that point to the dangers that come with broken or damaged nonstick coating. Having said that, manufacturers like Phillips state that all materials used in their air fryers are food safe.
Does that mean a blanket “all materials” or all materials that your food comes in contact with? I don’t know the answer to that. But why is that even an issue?
If the material under the nonstick coating is not food safe, then dangerous chemicals can leach into your food. Additionally, one study done on nonstick pots coated with Teflon, shows that broken coating or coating with a surface crack can release millions of microplastics and nanoplastics.
What to do?
Use a Silicone Mat or Basket
If your basket is peeling and you don’t want to take a chance with your health — or your families — there is an alternative to simply purchasing a new air fryer.
Look for silicone mats or baskets that will fit in your air fryer. Make sure they don’t have any holes and continue to use your air fryer with your food in the basket. As long as your food isn’t touching the damaged nonstick coating, you should be safe.
Parchment paper maps and baskets likely won’t be as effective, as they will offer less protection.
If you’ve just purchased a new air fryer, be sure to follow the steps to preserve your nonstick coating.
To recap, they include:
- First of all, buy a quality air fryer
- Be gentle and stay aware of wear and tear
- Always clean with care
- Use silicone utensils
- Use real cooking oils instead of spray can cooking oils like Pam
And if your air fryer has already started to peel, consider using silicone mats or baskets to protect you from the damaged nonstick coating.
Hopefully, this article has helped to raise your awareness of how to care for your air fryer in the first place, along with the potential dangers of damaged nonstick coating.
While you’re here, why not check out our related posts below? Perhaps we can help you with something else.