For the last 50 years, a microwave has been the go-to office cooking implement for hot lunches in a jiff. There are decades worth of jokes and rules of decorum regarding the break room microwave, but many workplaces have also moved on from this dinosaur of a heating appliance. Today, the hot 5-minute lunch solution is an air fryer, which is like a small convection oven that uses a sealed drawer instead of an open oven compartment. The air fryer is a delightful compromise between a microwave and toaster oven, and everyone can use it with enough clean baskets and a little cleanly teamwork.
However, when the time comes for the weekly scrub-down, the new appliance will have many coworkers baffled and nervous about applying the soapy sponge. Today, we’re here to share the essential step-by-step process to keep the office air-fryer clean both daily and weekly so that everyone can keep enjoying crisp, hot chips and beautifully warmed leftovers for lunch.
It’s easier than it looks.
1) Extra Baskets and Trays
When it comes to keeping the air fryer clean for your entire team’s lunch, it helps to have extra baskets and trays. This will speed up the process by allowing several lunches to be made without trying to thoroughly clean hot baskets in between. Reduce the risk of burns and make it easier to wash out the components the same way office dishes are done.
2) Provide Parchment Paper
Just as with baking, parchment paper or baking paper can be used to reduce the residue left in a shared air fryer basket. If you have just one basket or your team prefers to wash fewer baskets, a little perforated parchment paper can go a long way to keeping a cleanly shared air fryer.
3) Fill a Soaking Sink or Bin
If your break room has a two-compartment sink, fill one basin with warm, soapy water as lunchtime begins and ask each person to drop their used air fryer basket into the soaking water when they are done. This gets everything soaking early so that clean up later is a breeze.
Take turns or otherwise share responsibility for wiping, washing, and setting these baskets to dry after they are cool and soaked.
4) Unplug and Wipe Out After Lunch
When lunchtime is over, make sure the air fryer is unplugged and open it up. After a little cooling, it will be safe to wipe down the easily reached interior and exterior with a soapy sponge. This reduces the risk of crumb and grease buildup on the appliance and will keep things running smoothly. Share responsibility for making sure the air fryer is unplugged and that the last basket is removed to soak instead of sitting full of crumbs and oil in the appliance until tomorrow.
5) Soapy and Rinsing Wipe-Down of the Interior
Once a week, open up the cool air fryer and wipe down every internal piece – including the heating element – with a soapy sponge. Remove any lingering crumbs and grease. Then rinse your sponse and wipe with clean water at least twice over to remove any residual soap or oil from inside the air fryer.
When you’re done, wipe down the outside of the air fryer to remove any hand oils or accidental sauce spots that can accumulate over the week.
6) Leave Open to Dry
When you’re done cleaning out the air fryer, simply leave the compartment open as the appliance dries. It should be safe and ready to use by the time your earliest hungry team members arrive tomorrow morning for a quickly air-fried breakfast.
7) Provide Fryer-Safe Foods in the Freezer
For workplaces looking to optimise team morale along with proper air fryer use and cleanliness, consider providing a few foods that air-fry perfectly with minimal mess. A monthly jumbo bag of frozen chips can make almost any lunch – provided or brought from home – more enjoyable and fun to share as a team. Almost any frozen potato will do, but falafel, samosas, empanadas, chicken tenders, egg rolls, and other popular freezer foods will also be an easy-to-clean office hit.
For more great workplace cleanliness tips and tricks, contact us today!