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How To Dehydrate Food With An Air Fryer? (Complete Guide)

The penetration of air fryers is high in the kitchen appliance market. Even if they are not regularly utilized, the appliance has started working above its main task(which is to air fry food).

You may be wondering how to dehydrate food with an air fryer, or if the appliance can dehydrate foods. Well, as an avid lover of dehydrated foods, I’ll be breaking down the process for you. It’s easy peasy and turns out crispy.

Why would you Dehydrate food?

There are several reasons why you should dehydrate foods. However, the main reason you should dehydrate food outweighs constantly common hydration. Dehydrating foods helps to keep unwanted bacteria at bay. 

Here are my 4 favorite reasons for dehydrating foods;

  • Food preservation

During the harvest period, food supply is always higher than demand. For this reason, there is a need for proper preservation if you can’t consume edibles. Dehydrating your food is the way to go.

  • High quality of food

Over the years, my love for organic foods led me to seek convenient ways to have them at any time. The most trusted method is drying them.

  • Saves you money

I’ve had to preserve dehydrated foods over a long time, without bothering to constantly go looking for fresh ones.

  • It’s a go-to snack

Thinking of eliminating a high-calorie snack? You can dehydrate your favorite food or fruit and munch on them.

Can I Dehydrate food in an Air Fryer instead of a Food Dehydrator?

Can I Dehydrate food in an Air Fryer

As the name portrays, it’s no surprise that people emphasize the “air fry” when thinking about this kitchen appliance. In recent times, air fryers have gotten better, and you, who is enthusiastic about trying out new meals or into regular air frying, should start thinking more about the dehydration function.

Although dehydrators are used to eliminate moisture or water in foods, you can also dehydrate several foods in an air fryer. Most recent air fryers have this feature and here is how to dehydrate food with an air fryer; 

Simply press the dehydrator button on your air fryer and allow it to do its job. 

There are other ways you can effectively use the air fryer(especially the ones without a preset button) to dehydrate food.

Air fryers without a dehydrator button can be manually set to dehydrate foods. The only difference is the timeframe. Dehydrating foods takes time, using an air fryer to dehydrate food means your appliance is going to be on for a long time.

What can I Dehydrate in an Air Fryer?

Most of the foods you dehydrate in a dehydrator are foods you can dehydrate in a regular air fryer. When seeking how to dehydrate food with an air fryer, the kind of foods that can be dehydrated are fruits e.g Apple, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Including vegetables.

Also, tart kinds of fruits are good for dehydrating. Dehydrating tart foods or fruits preserves its taste while offering a crispy snack, not just for the meantime. Consider dehydrating foods you intend to keep for a long time.

Another kind of fruit to dehydrate in an air fryer are vegetables and tubers you wish to store for use later. For tubers, dehydrating them on air fryers offers you snacks and chips.

Best way to Dehydrate Food using an Air Fryer (Step by Step)

Dehydrate Food using an Air Fryer

The process of dehydrating food in an air fryer is similar to that of a dehydrator. However, with air fryers, you have two methods.

One is for those with air fryers that have a “dehydrator button”, the other is for air fryers without the button. For air fryers with a dehydrator button, here’s how to dehydrate foods with it; 

  1. Slice the fruits or food you wish to dehydrate(except leaves). Slicing them ensures even dehydration, you don’t want a crispy outer food with moist inside.
  2. Preheat your air fryer on low heat. Preheating at 45 degrees is fine, going higher might cook the food.
  3. After slicing, arrange the food in the air fryer and press the “dehydrate button”. Dehydrate at 130 degrees F.
  4. Let it in for 4 hours(usually shorter than the dehydrator cause air fryer fans are faster).

For air fryers without a dehydrate button, simply follow the above steps but manually set the preheat temperature to 45 degrees for preheating and set to 130 degrees F for dehydrating.

Do note that the air fryer will function for a longer period than the usual 30 minutes it cooks other foods.

Is an Air Fryer and a Food Dehydrator the Same?

Both kitchen appliances are not the same, air fryers are used for cooking food, it uses heat and fan to cook food.

A dehydrator, on the other hand, has a low heating feature (a fan too)which blows warm air to eliminate liquid from food. Dehydrators work over 7 hours while an air fryer cooks food in 15 to 30 minutes.

Even though the two appliances work by blowing hot air, they are not the same. Air fryers cook food to make it crispy(the inner side is usually moist), while dehydrators take out all the fluid in the food. Here is a key takeaway:

An air fryer can cook and dehydrate, while a dehydrator can only take out fluids.

You can get the best air fryer for $100 that will always give you healthy and crunchy food.

Is it worth buying a Food Dehydrator or an Air Fryer?

I’ve used both and have friends who use both too. Buying an air fryer is better, as it performs what a food dehydrator would do. Here’s what a chef once said:

“Why buy both when an air fryer can handle the tasks perfectly “ A food dehydrator task is limited to only taking fluid out of foods. But, an air fryer is a multipurpose appliance.


A food dehydrator and an air fryer may have similar functionality, but a food dehydrator has a limited function.

You can cook and dehydrate using an air fryer, simply follow the steps above and you are good to go. What more? You get to preserve it after dehydration.

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