5 worst places to use an air fryer in your kitchen

An air fryer on a kitchen counter
An air fryer on a kitchen counter (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best air fryers have become a popular, go-to appliance in many households. Not only are they favored for their convenience at quickly rustling up fried foods using very little or no oil, they are also considered a healthier and safer alternative to traditional deep fat or pan frying. 

However, like all small appliances, there are still some safety requirements when using— and that includes where we position our air fryer. If, like me, your countertops are semi-cluttered with various kitchen tools, you might think it more space-efficient or aesthetically pleasing to hide your air fryer under a cabinet or inside a cupboard out of sight. 

But, there are certain areas where placing an air fryer during use is a no-no. In fact, placing an air fryer in the wrong spot in the kitchen is one of the most common air fryer mistakes we often make — which can cause a potential fire or serious hazard.

Essentially, air fryers are mini convection ovens and work by a fan rapidly circulating hot air around the foods. This helps to cook food quickly and evenly, providing that brown and crispy texture that you would normally get from traditional frying methods.  Trouble is, air fryers are known for heating up at high speeds and can get incredibly hot in no time. That's why it's so important to use an air fryer with caution and in the right environment. In addition, it’s always best to refer to your specific user manual for safety guidance. 

So before you crank up the heat for those crispy, fried treats, be sure to avoid these places that you should never use an air fryer in the kitchen.

1. Under a low hanging cabinet 

photo of an Air Fryer on a counter

photo of an Air Fryer on a counter  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Since air fryers are mini convection ovens, these need proper ventilation while in use. Placing it under a kitchen cabinet will restrict this air flow, which may cause the appliance to overheat. 

When in use, remove your air fryer from underneath low cabinets to allow enough surrounding space to vent. What’s more, the direct heat may cause damage to your cabinet, which means you’d need to either paint your kitchen cabinets again or, worst case, replace them.  

The same applies for using an air fryer inside an open cabinet or shelf that is enclosed. You want to avoid obstructing the airflow around the appliance where possible. In addition, check that the cable isn’t twisted or touching the air fryer, as the exterior surface temperature can cause damage to the wiring if too close.

Of course, you can always move the appliance back to its original position when not in use.

2. Too close to a wall  

A green air fryer on an open counter next to a plate of French fries

A green air fryer on an open counter next to a plate of French fries (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, always move an air fryer away from the wall when in use. Having this appliance placed directly against a wall could cause heat damage, or a potential fire risk — especially if hot air is vented into electrical wall sockets. 

Experts suggest keeping at least a five-inch gap around your air fryer to be on the safe side, and avoid a hazard. 

3. Near other appliances 

A toaster oven preheating with nothing inside next to bread

A toaster oven preheating with nothing inside next to bread (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The same applies when placed beside other heat-producing appliances such as one of the best toaster ovens. The build-up of high temperatures all in one zone could cause a potential fire risk. 

This is especially high risk in small kitchens or those with a lack of windows or ventilation. It’s always advisable to open any windows, doors or fans to allow adequate air flow and ventilation in the space. 

If you want to ensure that you buy an air fryer that is suitable for your kitchen, here are 9 things to think about when buying an air fryer

4. On a dining table/coffee table 

Air fryer on wooden table

Air fryer on wooden table (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you lack countertop space, or need an alternative surface, never be tempted to place an air fryer on your dining table or coffee table. These surfaces are not heat resistant, and could burn, scorch or would need costly repairs done from the damage.  

And while most kitchen countertops have a certain degree of heat-resistance you might still need to monitor how well your surface responds to high heat. Plus, this will all depend on the model, size and specs of your air fryer, as some have better heat insulation than others.

Generally, the best kitchen surfaces to place an air fryer when in use include marble, granite and quartz worktops. These types of stone cope well with heat, and will have less impact/damage. 

If in doubt, you can place a silicone or heat-resistant mat underneath, like this gasaré, Extra Large, Thicker, Heat Resistant Mats ($32, Amazon), to protect your surfaces.  

5. On or near anything flammable 

Air fryer by a dish towel

Air fryer by a dish towel (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your kitchen countertops are cluttered with dish towels, wooden utensils or grocery bags, be sure to keep these items far away from an air fryer. If too close, high temperatures from an air fryer could overheat or scorch such flammable materials, which could start a fire.

Be sure to always clear the area/surface before cooking with an air fryer to allow an open, well-ventilated space. Plus, never be tempted to place an air fryer on top of carpet — this is a big no-no. 

In addition to knowing where to place an air fryer, check out these 9 things you should never put in an air fryer to avoid a hazard. Plus, knowing how to clean an air fryer properly can also help make an air fryer last longer

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!

  • TartanTimelord
    I was on board with you until I hit this sentence, These types of stone are more susceptible to heat, and will have less impact/damage. I'm really disappointed in what seems to me to be an obvious mistake in word choice. Please look up the definition of "susceptible" for future reference. Such a glaring mistake makes me feel much less inclined to believe, or take seriously anything else that might read in this article and the website as a whole. Do better please.