If your air fryer basket is always popping out, that could be more than just an inconvenience, since you can’t cook anything when the door is open.
So why is it happening and what can you do to stop it?
Air fryer basket drawers may keep popping out because of a faulty lock mechanism, an overfilled basket, incorrect positioning, a damaged or warped latch, a warped basket, food stuck in the latch area, and more.
Keep reading, and we’ll discuss those in depth and provide you with a possible fix for each issue.
#1 Incorrect Handling
Handling issues may be a bit of a “duh”, but we all have those “duh” moments, right?
Depending on the style of your baskets and drawers – and the brand and model of your air fryer – there will be a specific way for the drawer to latch. If you are failing to properly close and secure the basket, there is a good chance it could pop open again.
Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1. Properly Close the Drawer
It’s typically an obvious process, but make sure you’re fully closing the door. In most cases you’ll be able to hear a mechanism lock into place when the door is properly shut, so listen for that. If in question, check your owner’s manual.
Step 2. Make Sure the Drawer is Aligned
If it looks as if the drawer isn’t seated correctly in its place, then the locking mechanism won’t be able to match up correctly with the slot it fits into.
Check for any food or debris that might be sitting on the bottom of the air fryer – anything that could hinder you from properly closing the drawer.
#2 Overloaded Basket
I understand the temptation of cramming your baskets full to the brim instead of cooking multiple smaller amounts. Resist the temptation because it can cause many problems.
One problem is that if the basket is filled with too much food, it can put excess pressure on the lock mechanism, ultimately causing it to pop open.
Try Watching The Capacity Levels
If your basket is full, it’s too full. Don’t pay attention to those marketing pictures or videos that show things like French fries nearly spilling out of the top of the basket.
Typically, the recommended full line is about halfway up the basket, but you should check your user’s manual to see if that’s the recommendation of your manufacturer.
#3 Warped or Damaged Latch
Decades ago, things were built to last – now they’re built to self-destruct in a few years. Sad, but true. So over time, and often not much time, the latch on your baskets may suffer some wear and tear, or get damaged, bent, or something else. If that happens, your basket may lose its ability to close securely and stay close.
But there may be something you can do.
Inspect for Damage
See if you can get a good visual of the latching mechanism and check for any visible signs of damage or misalignment to the assembly. If it appears that the latch is simply bent or out of place, you may be able to fix the latch. However, if it’s completely broken you may need to contact the manufacturer for a replacement part, assuming they provide them.
#4 The Latch Mechanism Is Blocked by Debris or Food Particles
If you haven’t been keeping up with regularly deep cleaning your air fryer, there’s a very good chance that you have food particles in multiple places. If you have bits of burned up food and crumbs either on the latch itself or in the slot the latch fits into, this could be preventing the drawer from securely closing.
You know what you need to do, right?
Deep Clean Your Air Fryer!
It’s recommended that in addition to wiping down your air fryer every time you use it, you should deep clean it every 4 to 5 uses. So if you’re using it every day of the week, you should be deep cleaning it at least once a week.
Deep cleaning an air fryer requires more than simply rinsing out the baskets and cleaning off the trays. It also means making sure that all the small, difficult to reach places, like the latching mechanism on your drawer also need to be cleaned of any debris or grease.
Make sure you clean the area around the latch thoroughly using a damp cloth or brush and remove any obstructions.
#5 Heat Expansion
Frankly, heat expansion in air fryer shouldn’t happen, but all air fryers are not created equal, and all brands are not quality brands. So if you bought yours for some ridiculously cheap price at a place like AliExpress, anything is possible.
Many air fryers are made of predominantly plastic materials, but these are specific types of plastics that are heat resistant.
But what happens if quality plastic isn’t used – other than the fact that the chemicals may kill you, that is? The plastic may expand due to heat exposure from the heating element and cause distortions in any plastic part, which could include basket handle or locking mechanism. If that happens, it could prevent your drawer from closing properly, causing it to continually pop open.
You can try the following.
Step 1. Close with Care
If you find the plastic is hot to the touch and you think heat expansion is the cause of your basket problems, apply a more gentle pressure while closing the drawer.
Step 2. Buy a Better Model
Since the plastic in your air fryer — or any kitchen appliance — shouldn’t be impacted by heat, in my opinion, you would be better off simply purchasing a better brand air fryer. Because ultimately, the drawer not latching properly could be the least of your problems.
Solving An Air Fryer Basket That Pops Out
Fortunately, there aren’t too many things that could cause your air fryer basket to keep popping out. That means there isn’t a lot of troubleshooting involved if it’s happening to you.
To recap, here are some possible issues:
- Incorrect handling
- Overloaded basket
- Warped or damaged latch
- A latch that is blocked by debris or food particles
- Heat expansion
In most cases, there’s a fairly simple fix involved but in some it may mean you need a new air fryer.
Hopefully, the information here has helped you source and fix the problem with your unit. While you’re here, why not check out some of our related posts below? Perhaps we can help you with something else.