Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular kitchen appliances, and for good reason. They offer a healthier alternative to deep frying, as they use little to no oil. But can you put water in an air fryer?

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Air fryer basket filled with crispy home fries.

The short answer is yes, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind. It really depends on your model of air fryer and what the manufacturer’s instructions say since there are certain scenarios when it can be ok to add a small amount of water. If that’s the case for yours, read on to find out when and how much water to add.

In this article, we’ll discuss how an air fryer works, whether you can boil water in an air fryer, how to add water to the inside of an air fryer, how much water can you put inside of an air fryer, does adding water to an air fryer damage it, does water evaporate in an air fryer, can you clean an air fryer with water, can you steam food in an air fryer and can you reheat liquids in an air fryer.

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How does an air fryer work?

First off, to understand whether it’s ok to put water in an air fryer, it’s beneficial to understand the basics of how air fryers work.

An air fryer is an electrical appliance that uses hot circulating air to cook food at high speeds with high temperatures. This creates a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist and juicy.

By circulating hot air around the food to cook it, air fryers require very little oil. They are essentially a countertop convection oven.

Some air fryers will have a tray or wire rack to cook food on, similar to a toaster oven, while others will have a drawer and basket, reminiscent of deep fryer baskets. The air fryer drawer holds the basket which has slits or wholes on all sides to allow the hot air to consistently circulate around the food.

The high temperature and fast moving hot air means the air fryer cooks food faster than a traditional toaster oven or range.

Someone holding an air fryer basket that's tilted over the counter with waffle fries falling out.

Can you boil water in an air fryer?

No, you cannot boil water in an air fryer. The strong fans would cause the water to splatter and potentially reach the heating elements and electrical components which could damage the appliance or cause it to overheat.

Hot liquids in general are not a good idea to add directly into your air fryer for these reasons. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t ever add water, but if you imagine pouring lots of water into the bottom of your air fryer basket to bring it to a boil, think again. There are only a handful of scenarios where adding a little water is beneficial, and boiling water to cook rice or pasta is not one of them.

How to add water to the inside of an air fryer

It’s ok to add a small amount of water to your air fryer and can even be beneficial in some instances.

The main reason for using a small amount of water is that it can help the food retain moisture while cooking and prevents burning. It can also reduce the amount of smoke if you’re cooking greasy foods.

The amount of water that you can put inside of your air fryer will depend on its size and capacity. Generally speaking, most models will allow for up to 1/4 cup of liquid without causing any damage or fire hazards. However, always check your user manual for specific instructions on how much liquid should be added for optimal performance and safety purposes.

Adding water to the inside of your air fryer is easy and safe if done correctly. First, make sure that your appliance is unplugged and cooled down before adding any liquid. Then fill up a measuring cup with cold water and slowly pour it into the basket of your machine until it reaches your desired level (usually no more than 1/4 cup). If you have an air fryer model with trays, add the water to a small pan and place it as far away as possible from the heating element. Make sure not to overfill as this could cause damage or even a fire hazard if too much liquid gets into contact with the heating element. If unsure how much to add, start with a tablespoon of water.

Again, make sure your model allows for the use of water in the cooking process. If it does not and any water comes in contact with electrical components it can cause it to short circuit.

Tip: Use distilled water if adding to an air fryer. Distilled water is free of minerals, salts, and other impurities that could cause damage and leave hard water deposits on your air fryer.

Does adding water to an air fryer damage it?

No, adding water to your air fryers should not damage it as long as you follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer such as not overfilling or allowing too much contact between liquid and heating elements.

However, if too much liquid gets into contact with these elements then it could cause them to overheat which could lead to permanent damage or even a fire hazard so always be careful when adding liquids into your machine!

Does water evaporate in an air fryer?

Yes, some of the liquid will evaporate during cooking due to the high temperatures used by these appliances. When it comes to the moisture and water content of food, most of it should remain intact throughout cooking time depending on what type of food item is being cooked (i.e., wetter items like vegetables may retain more moisture than dry items like chips.

Can you steam food in an air fryer?

Yes, it is possible to steam food in an air fryer but with some important notes. Some models come equipped with steam baskets which allow for steaming food items such as vegetables or proteins without having them come into direct contact with oil or other fats which makes them healthier options than traditional frying methods would provide!

Typically, steamer baskets made for air fryers require you to boil the water first before adding to the air fryer. This is because the air fryer would be very inefficient at bringing the water to a boil from cold.

To steam food in an air fryer, add boiling water to a small pan and place it inside the air fryer basket. Place food in a bamboo steamer or expandable steamer basket and set it over the small pan of boiling water. Cover the top of the steamer tightly with foil to help trap the steam with the food and prevent any steam from reaching the heating elements.

Note: This should really only be done with air fryers that have a steamer setting.

Seasoned asparagus in an air fryer basket

Can you heat soup in air fryer?

It’s not ideal but it is possible. For efficiency, you’re better off heating soup in a pot on a stovetop or in a microwave. However, if air frying is your only option, it can come in handy as a last resort.

To heat soup in air fryer, add it to small oven-safe ramekins or bowls that fit in your air fryer. Fill evenly with soup and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the air fryer basket or tray and cook at 375F for 15-20 minutes.

Can you reheat liquid in an air fryer?

Yes! Many models come equipped with special trays designed specifically for reheating liquids such as soups or sauces. You can use the directions above for how to heat soup and apply that to heating other liquids as well.

Can you clean an air fryer with water?

Yes! Cleaning your appliance with warm soapy water is safe as long as all electrical components are unplugged first and allowed time to cool down before cleaning begins (this includes both interior and exterior surfaces). Make sure not to submerge any electrical components into any liquids during cleaning as this could cause permanent damage or even a fire hazard!

Air trays and baskets can be submerged in warm soapy water for cleaning. For the main body of the air fryer, it’s best to use a rag or towel with soapy water to wipe down the interior. Use a second towel with just water to wipe away any soap residue and allow it to fully dry before using.

For more cleaning information, refer to your owner’s manual as each air fryer will have specific directions for the best way to clean and maintain it.

The bottom line

You can add a small amount of water to the bottom of the air fryer before cooking certain foods such as potatoes or vegetables. This will help create steam and prevent them from drying out during cooking. You can also add a few tablespoons of water when cooking frozen foods such as nuggets, which will help them cook more evenly and prevent them from sticking to the basket.

It’s important to note that you should never fill the air fryer with water or any other liquid. Doing so could cause serious damage to your appliance and even be a fire hazard. Additionally, adding too much water could also lead to soggy food that won’t crisp up properly in the air fryer.

While it’s possible to use a small amount of water in an air fryer for certain dishes, it’s not recommended that you fill it with liquid or submerge food in it. Doing so could cause serious damage and even be dangerous.

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