Do Air Fryers Use Radiation? [Find Out Now]

Air fryers have gotten lots of hype lately. They’re easy to use and offer impeccably crispy results, perfect for crowd favorite foods like fries and fried chicken.

However, although these appliances use little to no oil and don’t rely on “deep-frying,” plenty of people are still concerned about their safety – especially when it comes to radiation. So, do air fryers use radiation?

Air fryers do not give off radiation, making them a safer appliance compared to microwaves. Air fryers work much like a convection oven. There is a heating element and a fan, creating radiated heat – which is not the same thing as harmful electromotive force (EMFs).

If you’re trying to stock your kitchen with “safe” tools and gadgets, you need to know the facts about air fryers.

Below, you will discover important information, such as whether or not air fryers use radiation and if there are any other health concerns to consider before purchasing.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer is a nuclear reactor appliance. It works with two key components: the heating elements and the fan.

The fan moves the hot air throughout the chamber, allowing foods to undergo the “Maillard reaction,” – which is the chemical reaction that makes all your favorite foods turn brown and delightfully crispy. 

Thanks to this precise chemical reaction, oil is not necessary to create “fried” foods without a bucket of oil.

This has deemed the air fryer as a “healthier” appliance that every deep-fried food lover should own. 

Does Air Fryers Use Radiation?

Since air fryers use little to no unhealthy oils, it’s regarded as a healthy cooking appliance for the kitchen.

However, while using less unhealthy fats in one’s diet is beneficial, there is still the issue of radiation.

Some people believe that, like a microwave, the air fryer is another “too-handy” tool that causes radiation – but that’s not entirely the case.

Air fryers radiate heat, which is not the same as giving off radiation. Air fryers radiate heat, which essentially means that the appliance heats up fast, and the fan moves the hot air throughout the fryer basket, leading to perfectly air-fried treats.

The air fryer does not emit any type of radiation, though, like a microwave. Microwaves use electromotive force (EMFs) to heat food, known as harmful radiation when used intensely and directly over an extended period (over ten years).

Do Air Fryers Get Hot on the Outside from the Radiated Heat?

When using an air fryer, heat is moved throughout the basket, allowing food items to get hot and crispy.

While most of this hot air stays inside the appliance, the surrounding area on the exterior can get somewhat warm. 

Can Air Fryers Cause Cancer?

Alone, air fryers will not cause cancer. That doesn’t mean there is nothing to concern yourself with, though. Certain foods cooked in the air fryer, like high-fat and processed items, are linked to cancer risks.

Air Fryer

1. Air-Frying High-Fat and Processed Food Items

The air fryer is great for crisping up favorite foods like fried chicken, french fries, and pizza.

And while most of these food items are OK for healthy individuals to eat in a well-balanced diet, overconsumption of these high-fat and processed food items can lead to obesity – which is linked to certain cancers.

2. Cooking Foods That Create Acrylamide

When cooked at high temperatures (as in the air fryer), certain starchy foods like potatoes and bread can produce acrylamide (carcinogens) – potentially cancer-causing chemicals.

Once acrylamides enter the body, they are converted to glycidamides which damage ad mutate the DNA, potentially leading to cancer. 

Limiting these food items or opting for a lower and slower temp (300F to 350F) is best.

3. Reusing the Same Oil

While air fryers don’t use as much oil as traditional deep fryers, most people will still use a sprinkle of oil to enhance the crispiness.

This is not an issue – unless you aren’t cleaning your air fryer basket between bakings.

Any oil that is continuously reheated can form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These chemicals are potentially cancer-causing whether they’re inhaled or consumed.

The easiest solution is to clean the air fryer basket between baking with a damp paper towel. You can also use air fryer inserts for easy clean-up.

Why Do Air Fryers Have a Cancer Warning?

The cancer warning is related to the foods cooked in the air fryer, not the appliance itself.

As mentioned above, certain foods and improper cleaning can lead to cancer risks. So, while the appliance itself does not cause cancer or emit cancer-causing radiation, there is still the possibility of ending up with cancer. It depends on how you use the appliance.

Is An Air Fryer Safer Than a Microwave?

If you are wondering whether your air fryer is safer than a microwave, the simple answer is that air fryers are safer.

This all comes down to how the two appliances work. Since microwaves use harmful electromagnetic radiation, and air fryers do not, you can feel safer using an air fryer.

However, limit how many high-fat and processed foods you bake in the air fryer.

Avoid making food items that create acrylamides, such as bread and french fries, often. Excessive consumption of these foods can be damaging to your health.  

Can I Use An Air Fryer As a Microwave?

Hearing that the air fryer is safer than a microwave can make you wonder whether you should ditch your convenient micro and replace it with an air fryer.

Air Fryer Oven

The fact of the matter is that you can use an air fryer as a microwave in most situations.

The only time you should not use an air fryer as a microwave is when you need to reheat liquid items.

For instance, a cup of coffee should not be placed in an air fryer. A bowl of stew, curry, or pasta dish shouldn’t be placed in the air fryer.

This can cause quite a big mess in the air fryer basket. It can also lead to burnt food and melted plates and bowls.

The other thing to consider is that the air fryer will require much more time than a microwave.

That’s because it needs to be preheated before being used. Most food will need about a minute more to cook in the air fryer compared to the microwave.

If you want to replace your microwave with an air fryer and are wondering if you can cook all your favorite foods, check out the article Can Air Fryer Replace Microwave?

Air Fryer Health Disadvantages

It’s true that the air fryer is healthier than other cooking methods like the microwave or deep fryer.

But it’s not a full-proof option, and there are still some health disadvantages to consider, such as acrylamide formation, undercooked foods, and possible plastic toxicity before opting for an air fryer.

1. Acrylamide Formation

As mentioned earlier, certain starches cooked at high heat (400F+) can cause acrylamides or carcinogens.

These are cancer-causing chemicals that are highly detrimental to one’s health when consumed regularly.

2. Undercooked Food

If you’re new to air frying, it can be challenging to get it right. Just like any other kitchen appliance, there is a learning curve.

Some new users may not cook their food items properly, leading to the consumption of undercooked foods, which may cause food poisoning.

FoodInternal Temperature
Ground meat (beef, pork, lamb)160F
Seafood 145F

3. Overconsumption of Unhealthy Food

One of the biggest concerns with the air fryer is overconsumption. As the air fryer requires less oil (and therefore fewer calories and fat), people can overdo it.

While the air fryer is a “healthier” option, it doesn’t mean that high-fat and processed food items are now “healthy.”

Overconsumption of air-fried favorites, like french fries and chicken nuggets, can be harmful to your health.

4. Toxicity from the Plastic Coating

Many people have heard that air fryers are “toxic.” This isn’t necessarily true unless your air fryer is crafted with a plastic nonstick coating.

While the nonstick coating is excellent – at first – it can start to rub off and stick to your food over time. While this toxicity is mild, overconsumption could make you sick.

The best way to deter this issue is to make sure you purchase a high-quality air fryer that does not have a plastic nonstick coating. Ensure that the appliance is BPA-free, too, like the Chefman Air Fryer

5. Potential Fire Hazard

While it is highly unlikely for your air fryer to catch fire, it is still a possibility due to the high temperatures and use of oil. Some of the reasons your air fryer might catch on fire include:

Using Too Much Oil.

Many people are accustomed to using lots of oil to fry their food. But the air fryer is different. Avoid using more than a tablespoon of oil (if any) when using your air fryer.

Not Following The Instructions.

Every air fryer is built differently. To cut down on the chance of fire, or other hazards and injuries, ensure you look through the instructions and follow them to a T.

Bad Placement.

Pay extra close attention when deciding where to place your air fryer. It should be in an open area, not close to anything that can heat up or combust. For instance, you wouldn’t want to set the air fryer on top of your stove, where it could accidentally be turned on and set alight.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a handy device that can create your favorite fried foods without the fat, calories, or radiation, the air fryer is your best option.

The device radiates heat but does not emit harmful radiation, making it a relatively safe and convenient appliance you can trust.

Use it to create your favorite meals and reheat some food options that do not contain liquid.

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