Why is My Ninja Air Fryer Smoking? How to Stop the Smoke

Befuddled by your Ninja Air Fryer letting off smoke? You’re not alone; it’s a common query popping up amongst users. But fear not, it’s typically nothing serious.

Whether it’s just heating up high-fat food, a build-up of crumbs, or a generous glug of oil, various factors could be responsible for your air fryer becoming a makeshift chimney.

This can affect the taste of your food, the air quality in your kitchen, and most importantly, the performance of your ninja air fryer. But don’t worry, we’ve got some easy, practical solutions to get your gadget back to its optimum smoky-free state.

So, let’s dive in, as we address the question: ‘Why is My Ninja Air Fryer Smoking?’ and guide you on how to stop your Ninja Air Fryer from smoking.

After all, we want to keep the smoke in our barbecues, not in our kitchens!

Why is smoke coming out of the Ninja Air Fryer?

If your Ninja Air Fryer is producing smoke, don’t panic! It’s a common occurrence and usually down to a handful of reasons. It might be that excess grease from fatty food is splattering on the components, such as the heating element, causing smoke. Your air fryer could also smoke if old food debris is left in the basket or heating element.

Another potential cause is cooking at an unusually high or low temperature. Finally, if the air fryer doesn’t have enough room to release hot air through its ventilation system, this could result in smoke.

Therefore, to reduce smoking, ensure your air fryer is clean and used at appropriate temperatures, and that the ventilation system isn’t obstructed.

7 Common reasons why your Ninja Air Fryer might be smoking

1. Fat Splattering or Droplets

Excessive grease or oil in the Ninja Air Fryer can cause fat to splatter or spill onto the heating element. When the appliance heats up, it burns these fat residues, leading to smoke emissions. Likewise, residual crumbs or burnt food inside can also give off smoke, affecting the fryer’s performance.

How to Stop the smoke from your Ninja Air Fryer: Troubleshooting Guide

2. Overfilled Air Fryer

An overfilled Ninja Air Fryer can cause smoking due to excessive grease or oil from the food splattering on the device’s components, particularly the heating element.

As well, leftover crumbs or food debris in the fryer can also burn and produce smoke, especially when cooking at inappropriate temperatures.

3. Air Fryer Setting Too Hot

When the temperature setting on a Ninja Air Fryer is excessively high, it can cause the food inside to overheat and burn. This burning process can lead to the production of smoke. This is particularly true when the appliance’s precise heating rate is not taken into account when setting the cooking temperature.

4. Grease the heating element

Ever found yourself puzzled over a smoky Ninja Air Fryer? This prevalent scenario usually stems from the accumulation of grease on the heating element, which can lead to unwanted smoking.

Simply put, when the excess grease from your air-fried meals sticks onto the element, it can cause leakage and smoking, creating a problematic situation for your kitchen peace.

5. Using too much oil

Overusing oil in your Ninja Air Fryer can make it smoke, potentially spoiling your food and disrupting your cooking process. This occurs when too much oil interacts with the fryer’s high heat, creating excessive smoke.

When you add more oil than necessary to the fryer’s basket, the hot air inside the fryer heats the oil, causing it to smoke if it goes above the recommended limit.

Consider a food that naturally contains fats, like chicken wings. If you use too much oil, the heat combined with excess fat will result in the air fryer emitting smoke.

6. Poor Kitchen Ventilation System

Poor ventilation in your kitchen can cause your Ninja Air Fryer to smoke, primarily due to inadequate expulsion of heat and smoke. This situation can occur when the range hood used for ventilation is poorly maintained, dirty, or clogged up with grease.

7. Lack of Cleaning

Neglected maintenance and cleaning of the Ninja Air Fryer can lead to food residue accumulation within the appliance. This food residue, if remains uncleaned, can cause the fryer to smoke.

The residue might include surplus oil, grease on the heating element, or burnt crumbs on the container, besieging its performance and potentially leading to smoking-related issues.

How to Stop the Smoke from your Ninja Air Fryer: Troubleshooting Guide

1. Turn off the machine

When your Ninja Air Fryer begins to smoke, it’s important to turn it off promptly. This not only prevents potential damage but also aids in identifying the smoke’s cause.

Safety first, turn off the power. If the air fryer has a power-off button, press it. Then unplug the device to prevent further cooking or accidents.

Note: Always respect manufacturer instructions and safety tips to prevent injuries or fires. If the smoke is blue, unplug immediately and seek professional help, as this may indicate an electrical malfunction.

2. Clean the unit

Cleaning the Ninja Air Fryer thoroughly will not just ensure its longevity but also help stop it from smoking. Crumbs and food residue often get stuck to the appliance, reradiating and producing smoke at high temperatures.

Follow these concise steps to maintain a clean Air Fryer:

  1. Unplug the unit and ensure it is properly cooled.
  2. Remove the baskets from the unit.
  3. Wipe the unit and the basket with a warm soapy cloth, ensuring to dislodge any stuck-on grease and food particles.
  4. For a deep clean, soak the basket in a soap solution.
  5. If time does not permit soaking, simply wipe off all the grease from the bottom of the unit to minimize smoking.
  6. Lastly, ensure to dry each part thoroughly before reassembling.

Clean your Air Fryer after each use for the best results.

3. Remove the source of smoke

To stop your Ninja Air Fryer from smoking while cooking, it’s critical to address and remove the source of the smoke. Common sources include food residue, excessive oil, and breadcrumbs stuck in the container or on the heating element.

Regular cleaning of the air fryer, especially after cooking oily or crumbly food, significantly reduces smoking and improves its performance.

Maintaining a smoke-free cooking environment is vital for both the functionality of your Ninja Air Fryer and your safety.

To effectively remove the source of smoke, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Discontinue power to your air fryer immediately for safety.
  2. Step 2: Ventilate your kitchen. Activation of a vent hood or opening a window can help.
  3. Step 3: Next, remove excessive grease which can cause smoke. Consider using bread slices at the bottom of the drawer to absorb the drips.
  4. Step 4: Ensure no food comes into direct contact with the heating element. Reposition any food that might scorch or burn.

Expert Tip: Regular cleaning and avoiding overly fatty foods can significantly reduce the risk of smoke.

4. Clean the air fryer basket

Cleaning your Ninja Air Fryer basket is crucial to maintain its performance, prevent damage, and eliminate the risk of smoke caused by grease build-up.

How to Stop the smoke from your Ninja Air Fryer: Troubleshooting Guide

Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Remove the basket: After cooking, slightly cool the basket and remove it.
  2. Soak: Fill the sink with warm, soapy water. Soak the basket for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Scrub: Gently scrub the basket using a soft sponge to remove residue.
  4. Rinse & Dry: Rinse with cool water and thoroughly dry using a microfiber towel.
  5. Deep Clean Monthly: Once a month, run a vinegar and lime steam bath in your air fryer to take care of stubborn grease.

Remember to clean the basket after each use to maintain its lifespan and efficiency.

5. Clean the kitchen exhaust hood

Cleaning your kitchen exhaust hood is crucial to maintain its performance and eliminate smoke from your Ninja Air Fryer. A dirty hood can block ventilation and leave lingering odors.

Follow these steps for thorough cleaning:

  1. Regularity: If you cook daily, clean the hood internally and externally and the filter monthly. For less frequent use, seasonal cleaning is adequate.
  2. Signs: If the smoke doesn’t clear on the highest setting, the filter or ducts may be clogged. A noisy motor can also indicate the need for cleaning.
  3. External Cleaning: Mix soap with warm water, scrub the exterior, and wipe with a kitchen towel. For stubborn grime, use a vinegar solution.

Expert tip: Maintain your range hood every 3-6 weeks to avoid expensive ductwork cleaning. Proactive care will keep your hood—and kitchen—in top shape.

6. Clean the air fryer pan

Maintaining a clean air fryer pan can significantly reduce the smoke produced by your Ninja Air Fryer. Residual grease and food particles can cause this smoke.

Here’s how you can clean it:

  1. Turn off and unplug the air fryer. Only proceed when it’s completely cooled.
  2. Remove the pans and racks. Either use the dishwasher or wash with warm soapy water. A soft dish brush can help remove stubborn food bits.
  3. Emptied any oil in the drip tray into a jar. Avoid flushing it down the sink. Rinse and dry the tray well.
  4. Wipe down the fryer’s interior and exterior using a damp cloth or paper towel.

Expert Tip: If food bits are hard-to-reach, consider using a toothpick to clear them. Regular cleaning can extend your appliance’s lifespan.

7. Clean the grease collector pan

  1. Unplug the Ninja Air Fryer before starting.
  2. Expose the grease collector pan by removing the air fryer basket and wire rack.
  3. Notice the grease at the bottom. Rather than pouring it down the drain, wipe it off using a soapy cloth to prevent clogging.
  4. For deep cleans, create a mixture of hot water, baking soda, and dish soap in your sink. Submerge the greasy pan and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Use a scrub brush to clean off stubborn grease or food particles. Rinse with hot water.
  6. Dry thoroughly before reassembling. Regular cleansing reduces the chances of smoking while using the air fryer.

8. Clean the heating element

Keeping your Ninja Air Fryer’s heating element clean prevents smoke from burnt food and oil residue, improves machine efficiency, prolongs its life, and enhances food safety.

Here are the simple steps to clean it:

  1. Unplug your air fryer and allow it to cool.
  2. Remove the top tray and basket.
  3. With a soft, dry cloth, gently wipe the heating element to dislodge loose debris.
  4. For stuck-on residue, use a toothbrush or electronics-safe brush to clean carefully.
  5. In case of heavier grime, apply a bit of a store-bought cleaner on a clean cloth and wipe the element down.
  6. Rinse the element with water, remembering to keep it out of the machine.
  7. Thoroughly dry the element before replacing it.

Remember, refrain from using abrasive cleaners or excessive pressure to protect the heating element. Lastly, run the air fryer at 200 degrees for 5 minutes to ensure it’s completely dry and to remove any residual detergent.

9. Use oil correctly

Using oil correctly in your Ninja Air Fryer is vital for maintaining its performance and preventing excess smoke. Here’s your succinct guide:

  1. Start by only using a small amount of oil. Overuse can cause smoke and compromise your fryer’s efficiency. Opt for a quick spritz using an EVO oil sprayer for effective, low-oil cooking.
  2. Ensure your food is placed in the fryer’s container properly. This helps heat disperse evenly, avoiding oil burning and smoke formation.
  3. Next, double-check your cooking temperature and time. Incorrect settings can lead to overheated oil and hence, smoke.
  4. Finally, clean your Air Fryer after each use to remove excess grease and oil. Ensure it has sufficient ventilation too.

Note: These steps will minimize smoke while maximizing kitchen safety and food quality.

Maintenance tips for your Ninja Air Fryers

1. Clean the Air Fryer Regularly

Regular cleaning of your Ninja Air Fryer can significantly help in stopping it from smoking while cooking. This is because the most common cause of smoking is food residue left in the basket.

Ensuring the appliance is cleaned regularly, especially under the basket, eliminates any residue that may cause it to smoke, thus improving its overall performance and durability.

2. Don’t Overfill the Basket

Always remember, less is more! When filling your basket, stick below the maximum capacity line. Compressing the basket will not hasten the process but could result in uncooked or soggy meals, or worse, smoke.

Expert Tips:

Shake the basket midway through cooking to ensure even heat distribution. When cooking fatty foods, consider using parchment paper to simplify cleaning and avoid grease getting overheated.

Lastly, always give your fryer enough space for venting. Happy air frying!

3. Clean Any Leftovers After Cooking

Regular cleaning of your Ninja Air Fryer, particularly removing leftovers after cooking, is vital to prevent smoking issues. Food residue can build up over time, resulting in smoke during cooking.

Regular cleaning eliminates this residue, ensuring efficient operation of the appliance and preventing smoking which could affect overall performance and durability. Thus, maintenance is key to a smoke-free air frying experience.

4. Avoid Oily Foods

Avoiding oily foods like bacon or chicken thighs in your Ninja Air Fryer can prevent smoke production. These fatty foods release a lot of grease, causing your fryer to smoke.

If you must cook them, place a slice of bread or water at the base of your fryer’s basket to soak up excess grease and keep your appliance smoke-free.

5. Don’t Overheat the Air Fryer

Overheating can cause your Ninja Air Fryer to smoke due to overcrowding of the basket, resulting in uneven cooking and potential burning.

Here’s how to avoid this:

  1. Don’t overfill your fryer; allow space for circulating air.
  2. Use only small oil quantities.
  3. Ensure food isn’t too close to the heating element.
  4. Always allow your fryer to cool down before cleaning.
  5. Keep your kitchen well-ventilated.

6. Check the User Manual

Maintaining your Ninja Air Fryer to its optimum functionality is truly essential, and your user manual is a great aid in achieving this. It’s your one-stop shop to understand your device, troubleshoot issues like unexpected smoking, and more.

Check for your model number near the barcode on the box or base of the blender. Use this to find your specific manual on Ninja Kitchen’s official support center. If ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact Ninja Customer Service for additional help.

7. Make Sure the Exhaust Vent is Open

Ensuring the exhaust vent of the Ninja Air Fryer is open facilitates regular airflow, preventing the accumulation of heat and smoke caused particularly during cooking.

This practice contributes to the maintenance of the air fryer by reducing smoke incidents, stemming from such issues as trapped grease, excess oil, and burning food residue.

8. Use a Wire Basket for Cooking

Using a wire basket in your Ninja Air Fryer aids in effective heat circulation and preventing food residue accumulation. Regular cleaning and maintenance, especially after cooking fatty foods, eliminate grease deposits that often cause smoke.

For clingy residue, soaking the basket in warm water or using a slice of bread to soak up excess grease can notably minimize smoking during cooking.

Are you Still Having Problems with Smoke Coming out of your Ninja Air Fryer?

I can understand how frustrating it must be to experience your Ninja Air Fryer emitting smoke. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

If you’ve followed all the cleaning and maintenance steps, but your Ninja Air Fryer is still producing smoke, the final resort would be to consult a professional technician or contact the manufacturer’s customer service.

It could be an internal fault or failed component that needs professional attention. Ensure to mention your detailed cleaning and maintenance history to ease their troubleshooting process.

Don’t attempt to fix any internal parts if you’re unqualified, as this may void the warranty or cause more damage.


How do I stop my Airfryer from smoking?

Experiencing your air fryer smoking can be a worry but fret not, it can be avoided with some simple steps:

  1. Firstly, avoid cooking food with high-fat content as it can cause the fryer to smoke. A slight upgrade in food quality can significantly reduce this issue.
  2. Secondly, ensure regular cleaning of your air fryer, especially after cooking fatty food.

If you encounter smoke during operation, these steps can help:

  1. Immediately stop cooking, turn off, and unplug your air fryer.
  2. Allow it to cool before removing the basket.
  3. Check for excess oil or grease in the basket and clean it without using sharp objects.
  4. Wipe down any residue in the air fryer to clear the vents.

After these steps, you can resume your cooking. Always remember to turn off the air fryer after use to avoid overheating and smoke. Regular maintenance keeps it efficient and smoke-free.

Does the Ninja air fryer make smoke?

Yes, your Ninja air fryer can make smoke in certain circumstances. This often happens due to factors like unclean heating elements, improper cooking temperature, lack of proper ventilation, or cooking high-fat foods. For instance, leftover food debris or crumbs on the heating element can burn and produce smoke. Regular cleaning and careful cooking can help mitigate this issue.

Why is Ninja Foodi smoking?

Your Ninja Foodi might be smoking due to factors like excess oil, greasy residues, and food crumbs on the heating element. Cooking at improper temperatures or using food high in fat can also cause this. Ensure the air fryer is clean and you’re using appropriate temperatures to avoid this issue.

Is it normal for steam to come out of Ninja air fryer?

Yes, it’s entirely normal for steam to come out of your Ninja air fryer during the cooking process. This is a part of how the air fryer works to cook your food evenly and efficiently. However, if you notice a whitish smoke instead of steam, this may be due to food residue or excess grease, which will require cleaning.

On the other hand, if the smoke is blue, it indicates internal electrical issues, and you should unplug the device immediately. So always keep an eye out for the type of “steam” you’re seeing.

Is it Normal for Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Oven to Smoke?

Yes, it’s normal for your Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Oven to produce a small amount of smoke. However, excessive smoke may indicate a problem that needs addressing. Causes can include a dirty heating element or food crumbs in the oven, cooking at an incorrect temperature, inadequate space for the fryer to release hot air, or cooking high-fat foods.

For example, if chicken thighs or bacon cause your air fryer to smoke excessively, try adding a slice of bread at the bottom of the basket to soak up excess fat. Remember, regular cleaning of your Air Fryer Oven to remove old food debris and grease will help to reduce smoking.

Is an air fryer supposed to smoke?

No, your air fryer is not supposed to smoke excessively. Seeing a little smoke is normal when your air fryer is cooking high-fat or greasy foods, as the heat generated can cause the oil or fat to smoke. For instance, if you’re air-frying a batch of bacon or cheap frozen burgers, you might notice some smoke.

If the air fryer smokes more than expected, there could be food residue, an overcrowded basket, or too much oil. Always ensure to keep your air fryer clean and try cooking your food at lower temperatures to reduce smoking.