Why You Should NEVER Cook Bacon in Your Air Fryer

Plus, the foods you should be air frying instead.

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Air fryer bacon sounds like a brilliant health hack. Imagine: perfectly crispy bacon with a fraction of the calories and fat. Besides, air frying can make foods like chicken wings, doughnuts, and fish and chips a little healthier, so shouldn’t it have the same effect on bacon?

In theory, yes. But when I tried to cook bacon in my Philips Viva Collection HD9621 Air Fryer, it was a complete disaster. In fact, after about 3 minutes of cooking it at 350 degrees, my air fryer started spewing out thick white smoke.

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Once the smoke had cleared, I tried cooking the bacon again, this time at 325 degrees. After about 3 ½ minutes, the same exact thing happened—but in addition to seeing a steady stream of white smoke, I smelled burning.

I turned off the air fryer and removed the basket (which of course released more smoke) to get a closer look. The drawer underneath was practically overflowing with piping-hot bacon grease. I poured out the grease, wiped it clean, and tried one more time. And you can guess exactly what happened.

According to Phillips’ troubleshooting guide, if white smoke comes out of your air fryer, food with high fat content has been used. Yes, bacon is higher in fat. I already knew that. But the suggested solution wasn’t very helpful either—Please, stop cooking and use a full hand of kitchen paper to soak up the oil on the bottom of the pan or pour off any excess oil. After that you can continue cooking.

Clearly, that didn’t work, so I polled my last resort: Google. One blogger recommended pouring a small amount of water into the air fryer drawer to keep higher-fat foods like bacon, burgers, and sausage from smoking during cooking. It sounded smart, so that’s what I did—and guess what? My air fryer still smoked up like an active volcano.

What was wrong? I’d arranged the bacon in a single layer in my air fryer so that it would crisp and cook evenly. But that wasn’t the problem. The cooking temperature wasn’t too high, either. If I set it any lower, I worried that the bacon would never become crispy enough.

After chucking my sad, lifeless bacon into the trash can, I arrived at a conclusion. Cooking bacon in an air fryer simply doesn’t work.

Here’s why: The air fryer is essentially a small convection oven that circulates hot air around food to cook it. For foods that are typically fried, this is a game changer because you can cook them without all the extra oil you’d normally need.

But for bacon, a food that doesn’t need extra oil or butter to cook in the first place, you’re not achieving much by air frying it. You’re essentially just filling up your air fryer with rendered bacon fat that ends up burning and smoking to a point where it’s practically unsalvageable.

Sure, you can stop the air frying process, pour out the bacon grease, and continue cooking. You’ll probably have to do this more than once—and trust me, opening and closing the air fryer basket so frequently is incredibly annoying. You’re also highly likely to spill bacon grease all over your countertop (like I did).

So please, do yourself a favor and cook your bacon in the oven. This method is guaranteed to work and it’s 1000 percent less irritating. Besides, bacon alone packs a significant amount of saturated fat and cholesterol—and you should keep your consumption of it to a minimum anyway. If you’re going to eat bacon at all, at least cook it the right way and save your sanity.

Luckily, there are still a plethora of foods that air fry beautifully—from Strawberry Pop-Tarts to Avocado Fries to Sweet Potato Chips. To learn how to take full advantage of this versatile gadget, check out our collection of over 30 healthy air fryer recipes. I promise there’s one ingredient you won’t find in here—bacon.

Air Fryer Bacon

After making air fryer bacon, you will never cook bacon any other way. This easy recipe will have your crispy bacon done in only 3 minutes!

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Whether you're looking to cook a few bacon strips for breakfast, or you're preparing a big batch to use in a recipe, cooking it in the air fryer is the easiet and most convenient option.

I love bacon, but I really hate cooking it in a skillet. It's too messy and greasy for me. Air fryer bacon is perfectly crispy, cooks much faster, and the cleanup is really easy.

Why Air fryers Are Horrible For Cooking A Steak – See Why

Air fryers, with their incredible high-heat engines, are so popular these days. They are small convection ovens that mimic deep frying, that is why a lot of people are fascinated by them. From crispy baked potatoes to bacon, mini calzones, mozzarella sticks, and sweet treats like chocolate chip cookies, there are so many things that you can do with this amazing cooking appliance. Some people are even using it to cook steak.

What? Steak? That’s right! And you probably have been doing it, too. How was the result? Horrible?

Steak is easy to make the conventional way, and I really think it’s simpler to do so. Tossing an expensive cut of steak in an air fryer is only complicating things. And if you are not sure of what you are doing, your steak may end up getting thrown away in the garbage.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Bacon In The Air Fryer?

I love how perfectly crisp bacon turns out when it is cooked in the oven. Unfortunately, the time it takes to preheat the oven before you even begin to cook can be frustrating if you're in a hurry.

That's why I decided it was time to give it a shot in the air fryer. Plus I absolutely ADORE my air fryer, so why not use it?

In as little as 8-10 minutes you can have perfectly cooked air fryer bacon!

The Best Way to Cook Steak

Please don’t ruin your perfectly nice steak by air frying it. Instead, pan-sear your steak in a cast-iron skillet or stainless steel skillet. This method doesn’t require fancy equipment (just your skillet and a pair of tongs), you can cook several steaks at once, and it guarantees a perfect golden-brown sear that will add boundless flavor.

Need a foolproof, basic recipe? Make this Pan-Seared Strip Steak—I promise you won’t regret it.

5 reasons why you should buy an air fryer

There are a few benefits to buying an air fryer, whether it’s for convenience or to reduce the amount of oil in your cooking. Here are a few advantages that might make an air fryer worth purchasing:

  1. It can save you time and energy
  2. It’s easy to use and clean
  3. It’s versatile enough to cook all types of foods
  4. Provides a healthier alternative to traditional frying
  5. It’s compact and easy to store away

1. Saves time and energy

It’s no secret that the air fryer cooks food in record time, according to different brands. But something you may not know about this miracle worker is that it can be energy-efficient as well. Due to its compact size, it typically doesn’t require as much power to run as an oven.

2. Easy to use and clean

Most units are designed to be very user-friendly and easy to operate – just place your food in the basket, set the temperature and time, and walk away (with the occasional check-up of course). A typical air fryer doesn’t have dozens of cooking options, just simple controls that are basic and easy to understand. Because air fryers don’t use much oil, they’re also typically very easy to clean. Win-win.

3. Versatility

If you want a machine that will do more than just fry foods, then an air fryer is the appliance for you. An air fryer will cook your favourite frozen snacks, roast meat and veggies, re-heat last night’s dinner and bake some pretty cool desserts. The sky’s the limit!

4. Healthier alternatives

A little bit goes a long way when it comes to using oil in your air fryer, meaning you can easily reduce levels of fat in your meal whilst still ensuring food comes out tender and crispy. Unlike a traditional oven, speedy air frying cooking times are said to ensure excess oil doesn’t soak into your food.

5. Compactness

Typical air fryers are small and usually no larger than a coffee machine. Some small-scale and super compact units are perfect for households with limited benchtop space like dorm rooms, apartments and kitchenettes. Essentially, an air fryer can replace an oven when you find yourself in a situation that lacks one! You can also buy an air fryer for under $100 which is not too shabby for such a versatile gadget. Check out Kmart air fryers for some cheap and cheerful options.

Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ to you!!)

Here are some answers to questions I see frequently pop up around this topic of smoking air fryers!

Can my air fryer overheat?

It is very unlikely that a modern air fryer will overheat if used as instructed. These are modern appliances with electronically controlled heat chambers after all. The only possible exceptions to this would be if you buy a sub par or low quality air fryer. Always buy a good well known brand!

Just be careful not to cover up the air vent at the back, this is to vent hot air out of your air fryer. Also, only use very small amounts of oil inside your air fryer. Make sure food is not too close to or on the air fryers heating element. Often, this is because of overfilling.

Can you use foil in a air fryer?

Yes, you can. Just be sure that it doesn’t end up flying around your air fryer (potentially jamming inside the heating element and causing a fire hazard). Also, an air fryer relies on good air flow. Do not cover up the holes of your air fryer accessories to prevent this good air flow.

Do air fryers set off smoke alarms?

Normally, air fryers are not supposed to emit any type of smoke and won’t set off a smoke alarm. However, users have found that adding some oil to their food can make it more crispy. When this is not done well, we can start seeing white smoke coming out of an air fryer (which WILL set off a smoke alarm). Also, particularly fatty foods can have a similar effect! By using the tips in this article, you should be able to avoid this.

What if we see black smoke coming out of our air fryer?

When you first smell smoke coming out of your air fryer, more often than not this will be black smoke. Black smoke should never come out of an air fryer, so if you see this your appliance has a fault. Please switch it off and return to the manufacturer as soon as possible (hopefully, when it is still under warranty).

Can I Stack Bacon in an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are known for their even cooking. Some foods, like french fries, can be stacked and cooked to perfection, while other foods cannot.

Bacon cannot be stacked in an air fryer. If you try stacking it, the bacon will cook extremely unevenly.

I have personally tried this and the overlapped portions will come out basically raw while the single-layered sections will be crispy.

It just doesn’t make for good bacon.

If you need to cook more bacon than your air fryer can handle in one layer, you can cook in batches.

It will increase the amount of time it takes to cook all your bacon, but the perfectly crisp bacon will be worth it.

Why Should I Cook Appetizers in My Air Fryer?

Air fryers take just about any food and helps crisp them up. Even frozen foods come our crispier without drying them out than in the traditional oven.

Air fryer food is also cooked without or with just a little oil, making them much healthier than they would be when deep-fried.

A bigger air fryer, like the Cosori 5.8QT (like I use) or the Cuisinart Air Fryer Oven allows you to cook a large number of food than you can with a smaller air fryer. You can even cook two appetizers at the same time using a rack!

"Due to the compact design of an air fryer, there's not as much room for the juices to evaporate like they sometimes do in other methods," Dang said.

Glazed chicken also cooks nicely in an air fryer, according to Pixley.

"With the high heat and constant airflow of the air fryer, the glaze caramelizes on the chicken, which just takes roast chicken to another level entirely," Pixley told Insider.

Just be careful not to put too much glaze on your chicken, as the excess may drip and spread around your air-fryer chamber.