do air fryers use or emit radiation? Will it Cause Cancer?

Air fryers provide a healthful option for making fried foods. Like a microwave, we only need to put the food in the closed appliance, and then the delicious food will be ready after a few minutes, so you may ask: do air fryers use radiation?

The straight and simple answer is no. Air fryers do not use radiation. They use a mechanical fan to circulate hot air to cook the food at a very high speed. The process releases excess hot air and quickly drives the heat into the food items.

This article will dive deep into many people’s air fryers and radiation concerns. It will also discuss if it is healthy and safe to use an air fryer (a must-read for you!) and whether the appliance is toxic.

Keep reading!

Do Air Fryer Cook with Radiation? 

Air fryers don’t use radiation for cooking or preparing foods.

This kitchen appliance utilizes radiated heat from the heating element. Air fryers also use a high-speed fan to circulate the heat. These devices don’t use electromagnetic waves; one cannot compare them with a convection oven that produces or emits waves.

The radiated heat they use is different from the radiation the microwave ovens use. Air fryers blow and heat air quite fast, then circulate the heated air over the food.

The microwave oven’s radiation is an electromotive force (EMF). People confuse this radiated heat with the same as an air fryer.

Let’s discuss how air fryers work to clear the air further on this concern.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

air fryer chicken wings

Regardless of any model or brand, air fryers function on the convection cooking standards when circulating hot air. The rate at which the convection mode functions tends to be faster than the traditional convection oven. It entails heated air movement. 

An air fryer combines conduction heat transfer and forced heated air for the cooking process or to cook food.

Simply put, the molecules around the heat source rise and heat up as they increase in temperature. Next, the cool molecules will replace them, distributing heat uniformly as it produces a flowing current.

The two convection cooking methods are mechanical and natural. Even with these two methods, you may ask if the air fryer will emit radiation.

Well, let’s find out.

Will Air Fryer Emit Radiation When Working?

Air fryers don’t emit, produce, or use electromagnetic radiation when working or cooking food. However, they use radiated heat that circulates the food.

With this unique process, you will have a crispy coating like fried food since the outside of the food has dried out extremely fast. Also, it will seal the juices and not dry out the inside of your food. 

Therefore, the Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction that happens on the surface of your food.

While microwave cooking may not induce the Maillard reaction, traditional ovens, toaster ovens, or convection ovens use radiant heat for cooking food.

How to Detect If an appliance has Radiation

Radiation is like an energy that moves across space and originates from a source. In that context, sunlight is an example of radiation. It comes from the sun and navigates through space to earth.

Likewise, there are many types of radiation, including microwaves, x-rays, infrared rays, gamma rays, radio waves, and ultraviolet rays. Radiation can increase the risks of cancer after successfully damaging your DNA.

Humans can’t see the radiating wavelengths or feel radiation on the skin. You can detect radiation by watching the food cooked in your microwave or an x-ray film.

Luckily, you can detect the radiation with Geiger-Mueller (GM) counter.

Is Air Frying Healthy and Safe?

8 air fryer chicken wings

Air frying with an air fryer contains less fat and can reduce calories by up to 80 percent. Therefore, it can reduce the harmful effects of oil frying and is healthier than traditional oil frying.

When you fry potatoes or other starchy food with your air fryer, it can make the chemical acrylamide, which is associated with a higher risk of cancer. According to some experts, air frying reduces the amount of acrylamide in fried potatoes by 90 percent.

However, air frying may not be safe for you. A study suggests that you can increase the amount of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) when you use your air fryer to air fry fish. 

The breakdown of fish or meat cholesterol during cooking creates COPs. Many surveys associate these substances with cancer, hardening of the arteries, coronary heart disease, and other diseases.

The only way of reducing the number of COPs when air frying fish is to add chives, fresh parsley, or a combination of the two. These herbs are like antioxidants that help cut down the number of COPs in air-fried foods or fried food.

When air frying to cook food fried food, you can also curb omega-3 fatty acids in fish. These are ‘good fats’ help protect the heart, raise ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure.

Do Air Fryers Have Cancer Warning?

Yes, air fryers have a cancer warning. However, this warning indicates Lead, which is known to cause cancer and other harmful components.

Chances are the manufacturer used Lead to connect different electronic components in the control system. Therefore, you won’t be exposed to Lead in any way that can affect your health, except if you plan to eat the electronics after taking your air fryer apart.

Air frying can increase the danger of developing cancer since the method can alter food’s nutritional value. Using less oil for air frying can reduce the amount of acrylamide. With that, there won’t be a need to reheat the oil.

Are Air Fryers Toxic? Why do they smell like burning plastic?

air fryer burning

No, air fryers are not toxic. You can retain a significant amount of the nutrients in your food and cut down on the formation of acrylamide or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons when you cook your food in an air fryer. 

In addition, air fryers can reduce the food fat content to about 80 percent since an air fryer uses hot air for food and does not use oil to produce a crispy exterior.

In this context, use only suitable oil for high-temperature cooking food in your air fryer.

If you notice that your air fryer smells toxic, don’t panic. Most of these devices come with a protective coating on their plastics, which can release a toxic smell upon heating. Another reason for the smell from your air fryer is that the plastic venting fans of your appliance may overheat and give off a toxic smell during the first few usages.

At this point, you may wonder if these kitchen appliances are worth it. Or should you get a microwave oven? But what about electromagnetic radiation or high temperatures?

Well, let’s explain that.

Is Air Fryer Worth It?

Air fryers may be worth it if your cooking habit aligns with them.

air fryer trends on google trends

These kitchen appliances have been trending for years. They make cooking pretty easy. You can sweat and toil in the kitchen for a long time to prepare a meal if you have a large family. 

But with air fryers, you can cook or make a meal quickly with less oil. Air fryers use radiated heat or radiation to cook food.

You can easily use air fryers to heat or even cook fast. Air fryers don’t use a deep fryer and can mimic crispy food. Ultimately, they are safer and easier to clean than deep fryers.

Now, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of air fryers.

Air Fryer Pros and Cons 

Do you think you must have an air fryer in your kitchen?

Many of us believe that air fryers are a must-have kitchen appliance since we endorse them. However, when you read their benefits and drawbacks, you will know if you need one in your kitchen.


Low Odor

People reuse the oil a few more times before discarding it with a traditional deep fryer. However, repeated use can cause odor. You will only smell the food when using air fryers since they don’t recycle oil. It won’t give off lingering food odors if you keep your appliance clean.


Air fryers are suitable for cooking many foods, including seafood, meats, vegetables, and much more. They can also make various recipes like a mini pound cake or deep-dish pizza with accessories constructed for air fryers such as silicone mats, pizza pans, racks, or cake pans.


You may need to use many cups of oil and risk the danger of injury from the hot oil. However, air fryers cook and air-fry in an enclosed chamber, making it safer than the regular frying option.

Easy to Use

You can call air fryers a kitchen plug-and-play appliance. Some come with digital displays, while others use the manual dial to control temperatures.


Bulky Design

Air fryers may not always fit under your cabinets since they are tall. You may need a significant counter space even for a 4-quart unit.

Untrue Healthy Assumptions

It doesn’t make your food healthy cooking it with an air fryer. Compared to broiling, grilling, or steaming, it isn’t as healthy as using a coating or breading with oil to air fry fish or chicken.

Air Fryer Cause Cancer? Acrylamide

air fryer won't turn on

Air fryers don’t cause cancer by themselves – however, the food choice and how it is prepared to determine cancer risk. Bread and potatoes are starchy foods that produce acrylamide when cooked at high temperatures.

A possible cancer-causing chemical is an acrylamide. They can lead to specific human mutations with the potential for cancer development. The Hong Kong Food Council discovered high acrylamide in French fries cooked in air fryers.

Essentially, adhere to a specific cooking method with your air fryer to reduce the acrylamide content.


Does an Air Fryer Use Convection?

Yes, air fryers use convection heating for baking food. Air fryers are suitable for cooking chicken wings or French fries because they stimulate the fried food’s crispiness. Also, air fryers’ convection uses a fan to circulate heat or cook meals. Their convection ovens are also bigger.

Do Air Fryers Use Microwaves?

There’s a bit of difference. Air fryers have a fan they use to circulate the hot air within the chamber and also produce heat using an inbuilt coil. Microwave ovens are designed with a magnetron, a tubular heating element. This element uses high-frequency microwaves to blow out the heat produced inside.

Air Fryer vs Microwave Radiation

Microwave ovens emit and produce radiation while air fryers circulate and heat the radiated heat around the food when cooking. Microwave ovens also use a tubular heating element to blow heat, while air fryers produce heat using an inbuilt coil.

Does Air Fryer Use Oil?

Yes, air fryers use a bit of oil. Many claim they don’t use oil when cooking food with their air fryers. When using oil in your air fryers, mix it with ingredients before putting them in the fryer. It is not recommended to put oil inside your air fryer pan.


Air fryers are kitchen appliances that come to help people live healthy lives. It isn’t beneficial to consume foods with high-fat content. For that reason, air fryers pose a healthy alternative to cooking delicious and nutritious foods with lower fat content. By now, you know that air fryers don’t use radiation for cooking. So, go ahead and get yours today.

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