Does an Air Fryer Use Water?

Air fryers have changed the culinary world for diet-conscious people. Those who want to lose weight or adopt a healthier lifestyle invest in an air fryer in no time. It might be inefficient for a big family, but it works like a charm for a couple of people.

Usually, air fryers are used for frying different meats that traditionally take up a lot of oil for deep frying. But our dear gadget here uses the natural fats in the meat to cook it up perfectly. However, does an air fryer use water for cooking, then?

An air fryer doesn’t need to use water for cooking, but you can add it into the drip pan while cooking fatty food. Putting one or two tablespoons of water in the drip pan can help prevent the fat in meats from overheating and releasing smoke.

How to add water to your air fryer

There are several ways through which you can use water during the air frying process:

  1. Add a tablespoon or two of water under the frying basket in the drip pan.
  2. Add water to your food before putting it into the fryer.
  3. Sprinkling a few drops over the food in the air fryer before you start frying it. This can be repeated during cooking if necessary.

Also read: Does air fryer use oil?

air fryer with water bottle on a slab

Advantages of using water in an air fryer

An air fryer works using electricity. Typically, you’d keep water far from it because we know electricity and water do not mix well. But if you add just a little bit of water to the fryer’s basket, you’ll be surprised to know the wonders it can do.

Preventing smoke and foul odors

Extra greasy meats and food items like bacon and sausages release a lot of smoke during cooking. This smoke not only gives off a foul odor but may also ruin your kitchen walls. When you add water under the frying basket, the extra fat won’t overheat and instead drip into the drip pan. Hence, there will be a lot less smoke and smell.

sausages creating smoke

Keeping meat moist

Meats that have fewer fats may get dry on the inside after cooking. To retain their tender flavors, a little water is added that makes enough steam that keeps the meat moist and juicy.

Precautions for using water in an air fryer

Since an air fryer is an electric device, it is obvious it should be kept away from water. However, you must know how to use water in an air fryer without damaging it:

  1. You must never flood the frying basket. Bear in mind that you can’t steam food in the air fryer. A little water may help retain the moisture, but that’s all it can do. Adding a lot of water will surely damage the appliance and even short-circuit the system.
  2. Do not try to cook meat with wet batter in an air fryer. You might think it will turn out crispy, but you’ll end up with a half-cooked, awful-tasting batter that won’t even stick to the meat.
  3. An air fryer can warm up a bowl of soup, but it can NOT cook soup from scratch. It’s called an air “fryer” for a reason.
  4. Do not try to clean your air fryer from the insides with water. Sure, you can take out the removable basket and wash it with plenty of water, but you can’t repeat this for the insides or the outside. Use a damp cloth if you need to deep clean your air fryer.

Also read: Can an air fryer go in a dishwasher?

Crispy chicken in an air fryer basket

Final thoughts on whether an air fryer uses water

Appliances should always be used with care. Some tricks might work, but even those should be tested with caution. A professional would prohibit you from using water in an air fryer. Still, if you use a tablespoon or two at max and with proper precautions, you can get the best out of your food in no time.

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Immad Amir
Hey there, I'm Immad! I'm an SEO and appliance fanatic. Amna, my fiance, and I combined our interests and came up with RavvyReviews to help you all with our well-researched kitchen appliance reviews and foodie informative articles. We aim to learn more along the way and keep bringing you authentic trustworthy articles so all of us can have fun in the kitchen! We love interacting with you guys, do share yours thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through

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