Should air fryers be unplugged when not in use? Experts unanimously agree on the best practice to ensure safety

Prioritise your safety first and foremost

Air fryer on kitchen worktop
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the reign of the air fryer has yet to end, it's no surprise that more and more questions fill our minds concerning the do's and don'ts of the cult kitchen appliance – namely, whether or not air fryers should be unplugged when not in use.

Whether we like it or not, even the best air fryers aren't exempt from becoming a potential safety risk in our homes if used carelessly. Like being clued up on the worst places to put an air fryer in a kitchen, ensuring you follow the best practices surrounding this debate can make all the difference in keeping your household safe. 

Therefore, knowing if your air fryer should be unplugged when not in use is valuable information to add to your arsenal.

Should air fryers be unplugged when not in use?

In short, yes. Air fryers should be unplugged when not in use. This applies to all air fryer models of any kind, from the best dual-zone air fryers to even multi-zone air fryers. Irrespective of size and shape, they're all one and the same.

'Air fryers, like many other kitchen appliances, continue to draw electricity even when not actively in use if they remain plugged in,' begins James Longley, managing director at Utility Bidder. 'Although the power consumption when turned off is relatively low compared to when the appliance is actively cooking, it can still contribute to energy wastage and pose potential safety risks if left unattended for extended periods.'

This is similar to 'vampire devices' like washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, TVs, and microwaves which often contribute to high electricity bills if they remain plugged in (even if switched off), air fryers also fit the bill. However, rest assured that this is significantly lower due to the nature of the already reduced cost of running an air fryer.

Air fryer on kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Getty Images)

'As long as the mains plug is plugged into the socket, live voltage exists in any appliance – including air fryers – even if the appliance is switched off,' continues Lydia Mallinson, marketing manager at ZWILLING.

Although air fryers are generally safe when operated correctly (given you've also factored in ensuring your air fryer has enough ventilation), James adds that 'any electrical appliance carries a potential fire hazard if left unattended or in case of malfunction.'

Therefore, to mitigate those risks, Lydia advises, 'After every use and in the event of danger or a defect, unplug the mains plug from the socket immediately. For this reason, keep the socket the appliance is connected to easily accessible at all times. Also, make sure to unplug the mains plug from the socket prior to maintenance or cleaning of the air fryer.'

Air fryer on kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On top of ensuring your air fryer is unplugged when not in use, Olivia Serrage at SIA also urges the importance of considering other safety risks. 'Remember to wait until your air fryer has cooled down before washing your basket and tray,' she advises.

Additionally, James notes the importance of taking safety precautions when plugging your air fryer in. 'It's essential to plug kitchen appliances directly into an outlet rather than using extension cords or outlet extenders. You should also avoid running your air fryer through an outlet shared with other appliances, especially those in use, to prevent overloading circuits.'

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'Ultimately, the decision to unplug your air fryer when not in use relies on personal preferences, energy-saving objectives, and safety considerations. Referring to the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for specific recommendations regarding the operation and maintenance of your air fryer is also advisable,' concludes James.

Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments.