Can I use an air fryer as a dehydrator? After all, both circulate air, so is it possible to dehydrate food in an air fryer?
True, some air fryers can be used as dehydrators. Some air fryers have this setting pre-programmed, while others allow you to reduce the heat setting just enough to avoid overcooking the food.
In this article, we’ll go over what to look for in an air fryer to see if it’s suitable for dehydrating foods, as well as which air fryer to buy with dehydration in mind.
Table of Contents
- What Exactly Is an Air Fryer?
- What Exactly Is a Food Dehydrator?
- What Is the Distinction Between an Air Fryer and a Dehydrator?
- What Are the Advantages of Food Dehydration?
- How Can an Air Fryer Be Used as A Dehydrator?
- 1. Can I use my air fryer to dehydrate food?
- 2. What kinds of things can I dehydrate in the air fryer?
- 3. What is the distinction between an air fryer and a dehydrator?
- 4. Is it possible to make dried fruit in an air fryer?
- 5. Is it possible to dry orange slices in an air fryer?
- 6. Can marshmallows be dehydrated in an air fryer?
- 7. Is it possible to dehydrate herbs in an air fryer?
What Exactly Is an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are a popular home alternative to using a deep-fat fryer. With only one tablespoon of oil, an air fryer can bake your food in a way that produces a crispy outside similar to deep-frying.
Air fryers function similarly to convection ovens in that they circulate air to ensure that heat is distributed evenly throughout the food. As a result, your food will have an even texture and cook evenly throughout.
The crispiness of the food is caused by the hot air drying any surface moisture, allowing the food to cook while crisping.
Air fryers have traditionally been used to make chips or other fried vegetables or meats, and they are a safer, healthier appliance to have in your home than an oil fryer.
***Read More: Can An Air Fryer Explode? Is it Safe For Using
What Exactly Is a Food Dehydrator?
Food dehydrators are machines that slowly remove moisture from food, causing it to become dehydrated. This is accomplished by circulating mildly warm air to promote slow evaporation of water.
This can take anywhere from 4 to 40 hours depending on the food, but the slow process ensures that the water evaporates without cooking or browning the food.
Food dehydration can make it more crunchy, brittle, or chewy depending on what it is, how much water it contains at the start, and how long you dehydrate it.
Dehydrators typically have mesh layers or shelves that allow you to distribute thin layers of the food you want to dehydrate in order for it to dehydrate evenly.
The mesh shelves also allow for more free air circulation, which means you don’t have to turn or move the dehydrating items during the process.
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What Is the Distinction Between an Air Fryer and a Dehydrator?
Both air fryers and dehydrators circulate air for even heat distribution, but there are some significant differences between them.
An air fryer cooks food at a high temperature, allowing it to brown and crisp quickly. A dehydrator prevents color change by operating at a much lower temperature; typically, 40 – 42°C. This allows the food to dry while remaining uncooked.
Because of these operating temperatures, the air fryer cooks in 5-30 minutes, whereas a dehydrator can take several hours or days to complete the drying process.
What Are the Advantages of Food Dehydration?
It has been demonstrated that dehydrating food rather than cooking it preserves the nutritional value of raw fruits and vegetables.
With the raw vegan movement, dehydration as a ‘cooking’ method has grown in popularity; there are now many recipes online on how to make ‘raw’ versions of crackers, pieces of bread, and cakes that all use a dehydrator rather than a conventional oven.
Dehydration is also useful for preserving food and extending its shelf life. Removing the water content inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold, which slows the decomposition of fresh produce.
Dried fruit is a great example; once the moisture has been removed from the fruit, which would normally only last a week or so, it can now last a couple of months.
***Read More: Are Air Fryers Toxic – Benefits and risks
How Can an Air Fryer Be Used as A Dehydrator?
An air fryer can be used as a dehydrator because it works in the same way by evenly distributing air. However, it is critical to understand how your air fryer works and whether it is suitable.
To begin, your air fryer must have a low heat setting. Any temperature above 45°C causes the food to cook rather than dehydrate, which does not preserve it.
A good air venting system is also necessary because the water must be effectively released. Condensation will occur if the water is trapped and contained within the unit, and the food will simply reabsorb the moisture.
When using an air fryer for dehydration, it is best to use a steam rack or shelf. This allows air to circulate beneath the food rather than just above it. Your air fryer should ideally have enough space for you to thinly spread out the food.
If not, you’ll have to work in smaller batches. If everything is too close together, it won’t dehydrate as well.
Finally, ensure that your air fryer can withstand extended use because it will be on for several hours rather than the usual 15-30 minutes.
Some air fryers have a dehydration setting, but you can use the same recipe or instructions for a dehydrator. If you use the same drying temperature and time, you should get similar results.
***Read More: Can I Put Glass In An Air Fryer?
1. Can I use my air fryer to dehydrate food?
Dehydrating produce in your oven or air fryer is a quick and easy way to extend the shelf life of many of your favorite fruits and vegetables. While dehydrating larger quantities in an oven is easier, the air fryer works faster due to its controlled and circulating heat.
2. What kinds of things can I dehydrate in the air fryer?
In your air fryer, dehydrate your favorite fruits, vegetables, and even meats for a healthy, long-lasting snack. Air frying is a great way to make the perfect homemade snack that is suitable for most diets, including the raw vegan diet, which can be difficult to follow.
3. What is the distinction between an air fryer and a dehydrator?
An air fryer cooks food, whereas a food dehydrator takes several hours to ensure that the food is completely dehydrated. An air fryer has a fan that circulates hot air to evenly cook food. A food dehydrator has a fan that circulates low-temperature air.
4. Is it possible to make dried fruit in an air fryer?
The dried fruits can be stored for an extended period of time after being dehydrated of their water content. In fact, they make a great healthy snack! While some air fryers already have a dehydrator setting, you can dry fruits in a regular air fryer as well.
5. Is it possible to dry orange slices in an air fryer?
Can Oranges Be Dehydrated in an Air Fryer? You certainly can. Many air fryers, like traditional dehydrators, have a dehydrator setting, making them an excellent backup plan.
6. Can marshmallows be dehydrated in an air fryer?
Arrange marshmallows in a single layer on the rack. Cook for about 2-3 hours at 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the air fryer. Allow cooling after they have hardened. Keep in an airtight container or vacuum-sealable bag.
7. Is it possible to dehydrate herbs in an air fryer?
It is simple to dry herbs in an air fryer. Set the air fryer to 360°F, place the herbs in the fryer, and allow them to dry for 3-4 minutes. This will dry your herbs quickly and efficiently.
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Hopefully, our answer to “Can I use an air fryer as a dehydrator?” has satisfied you.
To make a sweet or savory snack, only a few ingredients are required! You cut your food, place it in the dehydrator, and wait for it to dry.
Dehydrators and Air Fryer Ovens have enough space and racks to prepare extra food for later use. Dehydrated foods have a long shelf life and can be easily stored in a Ziploc bag!
Even if you’re unsure whether a dehydrator is right for you, there’s always the Air Fryer Oven with the dehydrator setting!