If Your Air Fryer Is Leaking Water – Read This

Well, that’s weird!

Who would expect their air fryer to start leaking water while they cook? You often hear about the chances of burning your food when air frying and you may know that you shouldn’t cook wet foods, so where is that water coming from? 

Even if you are cooking wet food, it’s not enough to explain the water production you’re seeing. 

First up, it’s okay. You can relax. 

Your air fryer might leak water for a few reasons. For example, you’ve submerged the basket when cleaning – which may be okay to do – and haven’t let it completely drain and air dry. Or it might be a condensation buildup or steam from the wet foods mentioned above. 

With that in mind, let’s discuss what you can do. Keep reading!

#1 Instant Pot Air Fryers Leaking 

Instan Pot Air Fryer With Chicken And Vegetables Inside
Image Credit: www.thespruceeats.com

Many Instant Pot models are multi-cookers, meaning they have several functions. So models like the Duo Crisp — which are also a pressure cooker – may have a pressure release valve. 

The pressure release valve will spit out condensation and drops of water, leading some to think it’s leaking when it’s just functioning as it should. 

So what should you do? 


It’s all good. Just carry on with your cooking. 

#2 There’s a Puddle on the Counter 

Do you have the popular type of air fryer with one or two basket drawers

While this really can’t be qualified as a common complaint, there are some complaints of this type of air fryer leaking steam via the basket door. And frankly, this shouldn’t be happening at all. 

Air and steam should stay inside the basket, they shouldn’t be finding a means of escape through ill-fitting parts. 

The good news is that this doesn’t seem to be happening with newer units and designs. For the most part, the only references I could find about air fryers leaking water or steam through the doors were about older models that aren’t even in production anymore.

Try to Firmly Shut the Door

Press on the door and see what happens. Does the steam or water stop leaking out? If so, you could be dealing with a few issues. One, a bad product design – because the doors should fit snuggly – a defective unit, or a manufacturing issue. 

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do, regardless of the cause. Other than stand there and hold the door closed while your food cooks.

#3 It Could be Leaking Dish Water

How to Deep Clean Your Air Fryer

You’re diligently keeping your air fryer clean, and that’s amazing. Keep it up!

However, the problem with leaking water could be because of residual dishwater. While many of the better brands of air fryers advertise that several parts – including the basket or drawer – are dishwasher safe, it may be a better idea not to put them in the dishwasher. Or even submerge them in a sink of soapy water. 

Look at the images below. The arrows are pointing to holes in the top and bottom of the basket. If you were to put the baskets in the dishwasher or submerge them in a sink, water will seep in those holes.

Air Fryer Front Basket Water Holes
Air Fryer Basket Top
Air Fryer Rear Basket Water Holes
Air Fryer Basket Bottom

If water does get into the interior walls of the basket, it has to get out somehow. And while you could shake it to get as much water as possible out, you would still need to let it sit and air dry completely before putting it back in your air fryer and shutting it.

Failure to let it dry completely would introduce bacteria to the basket. That would be worse than leaking water.

What should you do?

Don’t Shouldn’t Immerse Your Basket in Water!

If water goes in, water needs to come out. So I recommend keeping your basket out of the sink — at least a sinkhole of water — and out of the dishwasher.

If you refer to the video at the top of this section there is a great tutorial on how to wash your air fryer components without immersing the basket in water.

#4 You’re Cooking the Wrong Type of Frozen Vegetables

Things like vegetables already contain a lot of water, and frozen vegetables have three or four times the amount of water that other foods typically have. Additionally, the cooking process will break down the cell walls of vegetables causing them to release most of their water.

If all that water is released and heated in your air fryer, condensation will build up on the inside of the drawer and may eventually leak out.

So what should you do?

Beware of Frozen Vegetables

I don’t mean to imply that you cannot cook frozen vegetables in your air fryer. You can, but vegetables that naturally have a lot of moisture should be avoided. Try to stick to cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, and many more. 

#5 Is it Leaking Oil, Not Water?

No, I’m not implying that you don’t know the difference between oil and water. But since we’re talking about air fryers leaking, I thought it would be good to include another problem with leaking.

Sometimes, they leak oil.

One reason for an oil leak could be similar to the reason why steam might leak out of the basket. If the door or basket isn’t fitting properly, perhaps because of a broken or worn gasket, oil may leak.

And for those with oven-type air fryers, some have an oil reservoir that collects excess oil while your food is cooking. Once the reservoir is full, it will begin to overflow unless you regularly empty it.

So what should you do?

Step 1. Inspect The Drawer or Basket

If you have a basket-style air fryer that’s leaking oil through the door, check for any worn or damaged parts. If the door isn’t closing properly, and you are not regularly cleaning the interior of the unit, the grease and oil buildup on the interior walls could leak out while you’re cooking.

Step 2. Clean Your Air Fryer

If you’re not doing so already, make it a habit to lightly wipe down your air fryer after every use, and do a deep clean every four or five uses.

Step 3. Look for an Oil Reservoir

If you have an oven-type air fryer, check your manual to see if you have an oil reservoir that needs to be emptied. If so, make sure to drain it every time you deep clean your air fryer.

If you cook a lot of greasy food and have excessive oil buildup, you may need to empty the reservoir more often than that.

Solving A Leaking Air Fryer

While it is not common for an air fryer to leak, it does happen. Sometimes it may leak water and it may leak oil.

To recap, here are some causes or situations when leaking may happen:

  • Instant Pot air fryers with a pressure cooker feature
  • Some older basket or drawer-style models may have ill-fitting doors
  • The interior walls of your basket could be leaking dishwater
  • You’re cooking the wrong type of frozen vegetables
  • Oven-style air fryers with an oil reservoir may overflow

if you’ve been suffering from a leaky air fryer, hopefully, one of the above addresses your issue and helps you to solve it.

While you’re here, why not check out our related posts below? Perhaps we can help you with something else.

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more