If you’re on TikTok, chances are you’ve come across tons of videos claiming deep fryers are toxic. This is a topic that is bubbling up on various news outlets as well, so now it’s our turn to do our own investigation.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge in popularity for the best deep fryers, especially as many of us turn our attention to saving money, eating healthier and cooking faster. You can also cook more in the fryer than you might expect, including fryer eggs and even fryer cheese on toast,
which can make many other devices on the counter redundant.
Hearing that air fryers can be toxic perplexed us, so with that in mind we did some digging and spoke to an expert to allay any concerns.
Are air fryers toxic?
There has been an increase in TikTok videos over the past few weeks addressing concerns about the safety of deep fryers.
The biggest concern was whether air fryers would release toxic chemicals such as BPA, PFOA and PFA (also known as Teflon or xylan) when heated.
For more than a decade, DuPont, the manufacturer of Teflon, has been in a legal battle. Until 2013, Teflon was made with perfluorooctanoic acid, which is PFOA or C-8. Studies have shown that PFOA in particular is linked to several diseases that DuPont was aware of as early as 1961.
Recently, some deep fryer users have reported feeling unwell, which is then linked to the use of this hazardous material. My Cleanse Plan CEO Jim Finley took a look at the fryers and assessed whether they were indeed toxic.
Jim Finley is the CEO and founder of My Cleanse Plan, a health and wellness company dedicated to providing customers around the world with effective, science-backed nutrition and cleansing plans. With a background in nutrition and a passion for health and wellness, Jim has spent years studying the latest research and trends in the field of nutrition to develop the unique and effective My Cleanse Plan approach to healthy living.
“There was some concern about whether air fryers could release toxic chemicals when heated. While it is true that some air fryers can produce harmful compounds when heated to high temperatures, it is important to note that not all air fryers are created equal.
“Some deep fryers are made of materials that release harmful chemicals when heated, while others are made of safer materials such as stainless steel or ceramic. In addition, the type of food cooked and the temperature at which it is cooked can also influence the formation of harmful compounds.” says Jim.
“Research into the safety of air fryers is ongoing, and while some research has raised concerns about the potential health risks of air fryers, the general consensus is that air fryers are generally safe to use.”
To investigate further, we conducted internal research on the non-stick coating used by several of our readers’ favorite brands: Cosori and Ninja.
The basket, tray and other accessories of the Cosori fryer are made of stainless steel or aluminum and their surface is coated with a non-stick coating. This coating is usually made of Teflon or BPA/PFOA-free stainless steel. So yes, the Cosori air fryer uses Teflon, but it is the type that is considered safe by manufacturers and health experts including the American Cancer Society as there are no proven risks when ingested.
In addition to the materials used for the accessories, the Cosori fryer has a rigid plastic casing and a smooth matte coating. The non-toxic, non-stick surface used in all of the brand’s fryers is free of contaminants, while making cleaning by hand or in the dishwasher very easy.
The Ninja fryer range is more premium, often more than double the price of a Cosori fryer.
Ninja fryer accessories are ceramic coated, making them non-stick. This coating can withstand very high temperatures up to 850ºF/450ºC, although most fryers offer a maximum temperature setting of 450ºF/230ºC, making the fryer dishwasher safe.
Please note that the ceramic coating may make the accessories slightly heavier than those that are Teflon coated or BPA/PFOA free stainless steel.
Verdict: Are Air Fryers Toxic?
If you’ve been worried since there was news in your feed that air fryers are toxic, it’s time to stop as the general consensus of experts and us is that they are safe to use.
While some air fryers may give off fumes when first used, this is nothing to worry about to our knowledge.
Remember: from 2013, all fryers made with Teflon will be NO contain harmful perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA or C-8. As a precautionary measure, check that the fryer is coated with Teflon, a stainless steel coating, or a BPA/PFOA-free ceramic coating. We also advise you to take advantage silicone dishes together with the fryer and wash it by hand to protect the non-stick coating.
You may also find that some parts of the fryer – the basket, for example – will need to be replaced after a few years of use as the non-stick coating starts to wear off.
Now that your minds are at peace, it’s a good time to try some surprising deep fryer cooking dishes with your newfound confidence. Alternatively, if you’re still hesitating to buy a deep fryer, check out our guide to are deep fryers worth it?