Can You Put Water in an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are all the rage these days – and for good reason. They’re a healthier alternative to deep frying, and they can cook up a mean batch of wings or French fries.

But can you cook other things in an air fryer? Can you, for example, put water in an air fryer?

Yes, you can put water in an air fryer, but in very small amounts, 1 or 2 tablespoons.  It can be a great way to add moisture to your food and prevent smoking.

Just be sure to add the water before you start cooking, on the food preferably, and don’t add too much or your food will be wet and soggy.

Too much water in the air fryer can damage it. Water may be blown to the fan causing an electrical hazard. We all know that water and electricity don’t mix.

The quantity of water should be minimal in a way that it will easily evaporate when the appliance starts cooking.

Air fryers use hot air to cook food, and the water vaporizes quickly when it comes into contact with the hot air. This means that the water doesn’t have a chance to damage the air fryer.

Whether you add water or not also depends on what you’re preparing. Fries, wings and frozen veggies do not need water addition.

Adding water will interfere with the crispy outcome of the food.  

Can You Clean an Air Fryer with Water?

Like any other kitchen appliance, it’s crucial to clean your air fryer after every use.

You can safely use water to clean your air fryer, and it won’t cause any damage to the appliance. Using water is a great way to remove any stuck-on food or grease from the air fryer’s cooking basket.

However, DO NOT submerge the electronic sections of the air fryer. This is especially for the control panel and heating element.

Only the removable parts such as the air fryer basket can be immersed. The best way to clean the other sections is to wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Can You Boil Water in An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can boil water using an air fryer but it doesn’t mean you should. Boiling water using an air fryer involves placing a bowl with water in the air fryer basket. Some also fill the basket directly with water.

Boiling water using an air fryer is not recommended as it is time and energy-consuming. You’d rather use a stove or electric kettle.

There’s also a risk of damaging the air fryer since the evaporating water may reach the fan.

Why Is Food Dry in Air Fryer?

Food dries in an air fryer due to inadequate heat transfer. An air fryer prepares food by blowing hot air over it. Most times, air is not a great transferer of heat and thus tends to dry out the outer sections of food, especially meat.

To minimize drying of food in an air fryer, ensure there’s adequate oil and moisture.

You can do this by marinating the food before cooking or adding oil before you switch on the appliance.

Utilize an oil mister to ensure even distribution of oil. Also, watch the quantity of oil you add to prevent dripping and smoking when cooking.

Add a maximum of 2 tablespoons to the food in an air fryer. It’s recommended to use light oils such as olive, canola, avocado, or coconut oil.

In addition, you can cover the food with foil while cooking to retain moisture and prevent drying.

Read: Are Air Fryers Loud?

Can You Put Frozen Food in An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can add and prepare frozen food in an air fryer. It’s quick and easy to add frozen vegetables, meat, and snacks.

Moreover, you don’t need to thaw or defrost beforehand. Make sure to check on the food from time to time and turn to ensure all sections are well done.

In some cases, you might find excess water from the frozen food accumulated in the air fryer basket. You can drain this water to reduce cooking time.

It takes between 5 to 20 minutes to prepare frozen meals in an air fryer. The time taken depends on the food type, quantity, and air fryer size.

Check out: Why Does An Air Fryer Smoke?

Can You Put Aluminum Foil in An Air Fryer?

Yes, it is safe and okay to use Aluminum foil in an air fryer. The advantage of using foil in an air fryer is that it traps grease and dirt making cleaning easier. A foil also helps to retain moisture in food.

When the food is done cooking, removing it from the air fryer is also faster with the aluminum foil present. This is especially when handling food that tends to stick to the basket.

That’s not all.  

There are precautions to take when using aluminum foil in an air fryer. They include;

  1. Ensure the foil is secured by the food to avoid it being blown around the appliance.
  2. Fold the foil for it to fit the air fryer basket. Make sure the foil doesn’t interfere with air circulation.
  3. Avoid preparing acidic food with aluminum foil as the Aluminum tends to react and sip into the food making it unsafe for consumption.


It is safe to add small quantities of water to food in an air fryer to retain moisture. Add1 to 2 tablespoons of water to the food.

This amount is safe and will easily evaporate and not interfere with the fan. Water in an air fryer is also essential when cleaning the removable sections of the appliance.

The rest of the air fryer is wiped down to remove grease or stuck debris.

It’s not recommended to boil water in an air fryer. The process takes longer and consumes more energy compared to conventional means.

You might find that the food from the air fryer is dry. When this happens, make sure to add some water or oil to the food to cook properly. There’s also an option to use aluminum foil.


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