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Why isn t my NuWave air fryer working?

If you’ve recently purchased a NuWave air fryer but are having trouble getting it to work properly, you’re not alone. Air fryers are popular kitchen appliances, but like any gadget, they can malfunction or break over time. Troubleshooting common NuWave air fryer problems is the best way to get your appliance up and running again.

Quick Overview of How a NuWave Air Fryer Works

Before diving into specific troubleshooting tips, it’s helpful to understand exactly how air fryers work. NuWave air fryers use rapid air circulation technology to circulate hot air around food to produce a crispy, fried finish without submerging food in oil. Here’s a quick rundown of the inner workings of your NuWave air fryer:

  • A heating coil warms up the air inside the fryer.
  • A fan circulates the hot air around the food at high speed to cook it.
  • The food sits in a fryer basket that allows maximum airflow.
  • The rapidly moving hot air essentially “fries” the outer surface of the food.

With this basic understanding of the cooking method, you can better pinpoint what might be going wrong if your NuWave air fryer isn’t operating properly.

Common NuWave Air Fryer Problems and Solutions

Problem: The air fryer won’t turn on

If your NuWave air fryer won’t power on at all when you press the power button, start your troubleshooting by checking these areas:

  • Power source – Make sure the air fryer is securely plugged into a working outlet. Test the outlet with another device to confirm it has power.
  • Power cord – Inspect the power cord for any damage. Frayed or exposed wires can prevent the fryer from powering on.
  • Reset button – Many NuWave models have a reset button on the back. Press this button to see if it restarts the fryer.
  • Fuse – If your model has a removable fuse, check that the fuse is still intact and replacing it if needed.

Problem: The fan is not spinning

Since the fan is essential for circulating hot air, an non-spinning fan means the air fryer cannot properly cook food. Try these tips:

  • Gently tap the fan with a wooden spoon to jolt it loose.
  • Double check that the air fryer is plugged in and power is flowing to the appliance.
  • Visually inspect that nothing is blocking the fan blades.
  • On select models, press the reset button.
  • If the fan motor is damaged, replacement may be required.

Problem: The heating coil isn’t warming up

No heat means no air frying. Go through this checklist if your NuWave air fryer isn’t heating up:

  • Make sure the temperature is set above the current temperature. It may not heat if already at set temp.
  • Verify the heating coil is intact and properly connected.
  • Reset the fryer and wait 10-15 minutes to see if the coil warms up.
  • If damaged, the heating coil will likely need professional repair.

Problem: Uneven cooking

If you notice certain spots in your air fryer basket cook faster than others, it’s likely an airflow problem. Try these tips for more even cooking:

  • Don’t overfill the basket – leave space for airflow.
  • Cut larger food pieces smaller to help them cook evenly.
  • Frequently shake or toss food during cooking.
  • Use the rotating rack if your model includes it.
  • Brush a small amount of oil on food to enhance browning.

Problem: Food isn’t crispy

The beauty of air frying is getting that satisfying crispy crunch. If your food lacks crispy texture, consider these troubleshooting tips:

  • Don’t overcrowd the fryer basket with too much food.
  • Spray food lightly with oil before air frying for added crispness.
  • Make sure the breading on foods isn’t too thick or heavy.
  • Set the temperature slightly higher to promote browning.
  • Extend cooking time in 2-3 minute increments if needed.

Problem: Burning food

While you want crispy results, blackened and burned food is a sign your air fryer settings need adjustment. Here are some tips:

  • Lower the temperature 25 degrees F and test cook time.
  • Flip or rotate food more frequently while cooking.
  • Use cooking spray versus dripping oil to minimize burning.
  • Remove rack if your model has one to reduce hot spots.
  • Trim excess fat from meats to inhibit burning.

Problem: Lots of smoke

Some smoke or steam from an air fryer is normal, especially when cooking fatty meats. But plumes of smoke could indicate an issue. Try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Avoid overfilling the fryer basket.
  • Trim excess fat from meats before cooking.
  • Reduce cooking temperature and cook time to prevent burning.
  • Clean the fryer between cooking greasy foods.
  • Avoid spraying nonstick spray near the heating element.

Problem: Food sticks to basket

The non-stick coating inside the fryer basket is designed to prevent sticking. But after time, it can wear off resulting in sticking. Try these ideas:

  • Lightly brush basket with oil before adding food.
  • Spray food with oil instead of directly spraying basket.
  • Avoid overfilling basket which can hinder airflow.
  • Gently scrape basket with non-abrasive sponge to remove stuck bits.
  • Order replacement non-stick basket liners from the manufacturer.

When to Call for Service

While many common NuWave air fryer problems can be fixed with simple troubleshooting, some malfunctions require professional service. Contact NuWave customer support or an authorized repair center if:

  • Electrical components are damaged or frayed.
  • Internal wiring problems occur.
  • The fan motor, heating coil, or other parts need replacement.
  • Metal components are cracked or structurally damaged.
  • The air fryer circuit board malfunctions.
  • Other complex repairs are needed.

NuWave air fryer repair technicians have the proper tools, testing equipment, and parts inventory to accurately diagnose issues and carry out repairs. Although out-of-warranty repairs may cost over $100 depending on needed parts, a technician can often refurbish an air fryer for a fraction of the cost of total replacement.

Tips to Prevent NuWave Air Fryer Problems

With regular cleaning and proper care, you can help prevent many common air fryer malfunctions. Here are some maintenance tips for a long-lasting NuWave air fryer:

  • Unplug when not in use – This prevents electrical surges from damaging components.
  • Don’t use extensions cords – Always plug directly into a wall outlet to prevent overheating.
  • Clean after each use – Wipe out crumbs and food debris to prevent sticking and smoking.
  • Don’t overfill – Adding too much food blocks airflow causing uneven cooking.
  • Avoid water damage – Never submerge the body or dump water into the fryer.
  • Store properly – Place in a dry spot when storing to prevent moisture damage.
  • Handle gently – Don’t drop or jostle the unit to prevent damage to wiring and parts.

When to Replace Your NuWave Air Fryer

In some cases after extended use, an air fryer may reach the point where replacing the unit is more cost-effective than repairing it. Here are some signs it may be time to replace your NuWave air fryer with a new model:

  • The cost of repairs exceeds 50-75% of a new air fryer price.
  • Structural or internal damage makes repairs extremely difficult.
  • Replacement parts are no longer available from the manufacturer.
  • Appliance is over 5 years old and has declining performance.
  • Newer models have appealing feature upgrades.
  • Fryer has excessive wear and tear or cosmetic damage.

Consider a newer NuWave air fryer model if your current appliance shows multiple signs of aging. Newer fryers often cook faster, more evenly, and have higher capacity. Improved airflow systems and intuitive digital controls also enhance performance.


NuWave air fryers are well-designed appliances, but occasional malfunctions can occur. By learning the most common problems these units face along with DIY troubleshooting tips, you can often revive your air fryer and get back to cooking. But for complex electrical issues or repairs needing professional service, don’t hesitate to contact NuWave customer support or a qualified appliance repair technician. With the proper care and maintenance, your NuWave air fryer can provide many years of reliable service.