Can You Use an Air Fryer to Dehydrate Food?

You’ve used your air fryer to bake, roast, broil, grill, and, of course, air fry. But have you ever wondered if you can dehydrate food in your air cooker?

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Why Dehydrate Your Food?

The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Drying Food, Plus 398 Recipes, Including Making Jerky, Fruit Leather & Just-Add-Water Meals

Dehydration has been used for millennia to preserve vegetables, fruits, and meats. Before harnessing electricity, our ancestors left grapes, figs, sliced tomatoes, peppers, fish, strips of meat, and other items out in the sun to dry. Meat items were often rubbed with salt to aid the drying and preservation process.

Dehydration is still an efficient method of preserving the bounty of your garden. Dried foods can last for months. They also represent a range of tasty treats. If you enjoy beef jerky, raisins, or banana chips, you’ve enjoyed dehydrated foods.

Today, dedicated food dehydrators are available from many appliance companies. But, can you save counter space and let your air fryer double as a dehydrator?

How Does a Food Dehydrator Work?

COSORI Food Dehydrator (50 Recipes) for Jerky, Meat, Herbs, Fruit, Dryer Machine with digital temperature,5 Trays, Overheat Protection, ETL Listed

Typical food dehydrators consist of stacking racks on which thin layers of food are placed. Warm air is then circulated around the food for up to 48 hours. Bacteria and fungi are removed along with the moisture. As long as the items are dried completely and not exposed to moisture, the growth of these organisms will remain inhibited.

Dehydrating Foods With an Air Fryer

Yes, you can use many air fryer models to create delicious dehydrated snacks! Here’s how.

Prepping Your Food

Thinly slice the food item, and apply desired seasonings. There is no need to add oil to your food. Place the slices in a single layer in the frying basket. If your air fryer has multiple racks, you can place an additional single layer on each rack.

Air Fryers with Dehydrator Combo in One

Did you know? Some air fryers are equipped with a dehydration option. Simply select the dehydration preset button, and the temperature and time will be set automatically.

Gowise Air Fryer Oven

At 12.7 quarts, this is one of the largest air fryers on the market.

GoWISE USA GW44800-O Deluxe 12.7-Quarts 15-in-1 Electric Air Fryer Oven with Rotisserie and Dehydrator + 50 Recipes QT, Black/Silver

Features

Three rack levels allow you to process more food for dehydration in a single cooking cycle. With a temperature range that begins at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, this oven is gentle enough to dehydrate even the most fragile veggies. It comes with a multitude of accessories, including a rotisserie tong, rod, skewer, cage, and steak cage, as well as an oven rack, drip pan, mesh basket, and two trays. Fifteen presets make cooking (or dehydrating) a breeze.

Size and Appearance

This oven is available in black, white, and red exteriors with a red digital display. It has a footprint of 11.5 by 12 inches and is 14 inches in height. It weighs 23.4 pounds.

Sale
GoWISE USA GW44800-O Deluxe 12.7-Quarts 15-in-1 Electric Air Fryer Oven with Rotisserie and Dehydrator + 50 Recipes QT, Black/Silver
  • Family-sized & space saver: 12.7 quarts of cooking space makes this air fryer one of the largest on the market, while still being compact enough to fit easily on your countertop. 3 rack levels allow you to prepare family-sized quantities, or control how fast and how crispy your food cooks.
  • Built-in rotisserie: Prepare whole roasts, tenderloins, racks of Kababs, and even a whole chicken. Get crispy, tender meats, perfectly blackened fish, and expertly roasted vegetables with the GoWISE air fryer oven's built-in rotisserie - It's fast, easy, and you'll love it.
  • Includes 10 accessories: Comes with 10 accessories – everything you’ll need to make a homemade meal with ease. Accessories include a rotisserie tong, rotisserie rod, oven rack, drip pan, skewer rotisserie, rotisserie cage, rotisserie steak cage, shallow mesh basket, and two mesh trays.
  • Easy-to-use: Easy to read, simple to use control display with 15 presets takes the guesswork out of cooking times and temperatures. Cook for convenience or to impress without ever having to turn on the range. And when you’re done, the stainless-steel interior and remove-able, non-stick drip pan makes for easy clean-up.
  • 50 recipes to get you started: Your purchase includes a recipe book specifically made for the GoWISE USA Air fryer oven. Get started today with 50 step-by-step recipes to explore all that your new kitchen gadget has to offer. Get more tips, tricks and recipes through our influencers on social media and our GoWISE community.

Breville the Smart Oven

This countertop convection oven doubles as both an air fryer and a dehydrator.

Breville BOV900BSS the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, Countertop Convection Oven, Brushed Stainless Steel

Features

Dehydration is one of this appliance’s thirteen cooking functions. The Breville Oven’s convection fan has two speed settings. The temperature sensing technology and Element IQ independent heating elements allow the oven to make precise temperature adjustments. The interior oven is one cubic foot and can handle up to four trays of food for dehydration in a single cooking cycle. The oven fits most 9 by 13-inch trays.

Size and Appearance

The Breville Smart Oven has a metallic exterior, with a digital LCD display and manual control knobs to the right of the oven door. It has dimensions of 25.8 by 18.5 by 16.7 inches and weighs a whopping 40 pounds.

Sale
Breville BOV900BSS the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, Countertop Convection Oven, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Smart Oven Air with Element iQ System is a versatile countertop oven allowing you to roast, air fry and dehydrate; Use super convection to reduce cooking time by up to 30% and choose from 13 cooking functions; Includes an interior oven light
  • ELEMENT iQ SYSTEM: Using 6 independent quartz elements, smart algorithms steer power to where and when it's needed to create the ideal cooking environment; Sensing and digital PID temperature control eliminates cold spots for precise and even cooking
  • AIR FRY & DEHYDRATE SETTINGS: Air fry French fries and other family favorites; Higher temperatures combined with super convection (maximized air flow) deliver crispy golden air fried foods; Dehydrate a wide range of food, up to 4 trays of goodness at once
  • SUPER CONVECTION TECHNOLOGY: 2 speed convection fan (super & regular) offers greater cooking control; Super convection provides a greater volume of hot air to ensure fast and even heat distribution perfect for air frying, dehydration and roasting
  • 13 COOKING FUNCTIONS: Super versatile countertop oven and air fryer with 13 functions to guide you to perfection: Toast, Bagel, Broil, Bake, Roast, Warm, Pizza, Proof, Air Fry, Reheat, Cookies, Slow Cook and Dehydrate

Ninja Foodi

Technically a pressure cooker rather than an air fryer, this appliance has a crisping lid and an optional accessory is available to turn it into a food dehydrator.

SharkNinja Pressure Cookers & Canners, 6.5 qt, Black

Features

The Ninja Foodie comes in a number of sizes, including 6.5 and 8-quart models. The dehydrator rack is an accessory that must be purchased separately. It includes five stainless steel dehydrating racks.

Size and Appearance

This appliance comes in black or grey. The larger model is 14 inches tall and has a footprint of 14.2 by 16.8 inches. It weighs 31 pounds.

Sale
SharkNinja Pressure Cookers & Canners, 6.5 qt, Black
  • The Ninja Foodi—The Pressure Cooker That Crisps. Pressure Cooker, Air Fryer, TenderCrisper
  • TenderCrisp Technology allows you to quickly cook ingredients, then the Crisping Lid gives your meals a crispy, golden finish.
  • Pressure cook up to 70% faster versus traditional cooking methods.* Air fry with up to 75% less fat than traditional frying methods.** *Versus slow-cooked, braised, or low-simmer recipes **Tested against hand-cut, deep-fried french fries.
  • 6.5-Quart Ceramic-Coated Pot: Nonstick, PTFE/PFOA-free, and easy to clean. Enough capacity to cook a roast for your family.
  • 4-Quart Cook & Crisp Basket: Large-capacity, ceramic-coated, PTFE/PFOA-free basket holds up to a 5-lb chicken or 3 lbs of french fries to feed your whole family. Nonstick for easy cleanup.

Instant Vortex Plus

This 10-quart appliance includes a “Dehydrate” Preset Smart Program.

Features

You can dehydrate, reheat, bake, broil, roast, or air fry with this handy mid-sized option. A rotate preset also allows you to cook items weighing up to 4 pounds rotisserie style. Accessories include a rotisserie basket and tool, spit, forks, two cooking trays, and a drip pan.

Size and Appearance

This stylish black and chrome appliance is sure to complement the color scheme of your Instant Pot. This air fryer weighs 16.6 pounds and has a footprint of about 14 inches. It is nearly 15 inches in height.

Dehydrating Foods With a Standard Air Fryer

Dehydration of fruits and vegetables is also possible with a standard air fryer, though the process differs from standard dehydration.

To dehydrate fruits or vegetables, select the lowest temperature setting that your air fryer affords. Keep in mind that your air fryer’s lowest temperature setting may still be too hot to dehydrate your food items without burning them. This may range from 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the model.

Set the timer for 15 minutes. The first time you dehydrate a given type of food, check it at least every five minutes to determine the exact time needed.

Dehydrating meats is not recommended for standard air fryers, as the timer limits are generally too brief to maintain food safety.

Should You Buy a Dedicated Dehydrator?

Our kitchen experts agree that if you plan on doing a lot of food dehydrating, a dedicated dehydrator is well worth the investment.

Purchasing a dehydrator in addition to your standard air fryer is generally cheaper than springing for one of the combination models listed above. Dedicated dehydrators are also more efficient that attempting dehydration with a standard air fryer in which dehydration is not a preset option.

The drawback of purchasing a dedicated dehydrator is the countertop or storage space necessary for housing the additional appliance. Dehydrators generally have a large footprint greater than 12 inches.

If you decide that dehydrating is for you, we recommend the following options.

COSORI Food Dehydrator

An economical and space-saving dehydrator.

COSORI Food Dehydrator (50 Recipes) for Jerky, Vegetables Fruit, Meat, Dog Treats, Herbs, and Yogurt, Dryer Machine with Temperature Control, 6 Stainless Steel Trays, ETL Listed, Silver

Features

This versatile dehydrator has a touch control LED display, temperature settings from 95 to 165 F, and a timer ranging from 30 minutes to 48 hours. It is BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and has an automatic shutoff for safety.

Size and Appearance

This dehydrator is cheerfully white in color, and when filled with colorful fruits it is sure to brighten your kitchen decor. It has a footprint of approximately 12 by 14 inches and is 14 inches in height. It weighs just over 9 pounds.

COSORI Food Dehydrator (50 Recipes) for Jerky, Vegetables Fruit, Meat, Dog Treats, Herbs, and Yogurt, Dryer Machine with Temperature Control, 6 Stainless Steel Trays, ETL Listed, Silver
  • INSTEAD OF FREEZE DRYER MACHINE: Hot air circulation makes it possible to make delicious yogurt, jerky, dried fruit, and so on. Compared with a freeze dryer machine, this dehydrator can make more delicious food in less time
  • DESIGNED IN CALIFORNIA: Comes with 6 Stainless Steel Trays, 1 Mesh Screen, 1 Fruit Roll Sheet, 1 Manual, and 1 Recipe. Dehydrated foods keep all their flavor and can be stored for longer. (search for C267-2MS or C267-FR to get more accessories)
  • STAINLESS STEEL: Made with food-grade stainless steel and glass front door. This dehydrator is perfect for making healthy beef jerky, snacks, fruit leathers, dog treats, bread crumbs, yogurt, and for preserving herbs, flowers, and much more
  • EASY TO USE: Use the digital control panel to set the timer in 30-minute increments for up to 48 hours. Make average-sized batches of dried foods with accurate temperatures between 95º℉-165ºF. Refer to 50 recipes designed for beginners by COSORI Chefs Team
  • QUIET TO USE: Simply press the start button to dehydrate your food and go to sleep. The noise is less than 48dB, which equals noise levels recorded in the library

Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator

Excalibur Food Dehydrator Electric with Adjustable Thermostat Accurate Temperature Control and Fast Drying, 4-Tray, Black

This dehydrator is available in multiple sizes to meet your drying needs.

Features

The adjustable thermostat ranges from 105 F for delicate herbs to 165 F for meats and jerky. A fan provides air circulation. The 4-tray model offers 4 square feet of drying space, or you can upgrade to the 9-tray model, which offers 15 square feet of drying space.

Size and Appearance

The economic 4-tray dehydrator has a footprint of 13 by 16 inches, and it is only 6.5 inches in height. It weighs 8 pounds.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator Electric with Adjustable Thermostat Accurate Temperature Control and Fast Drying, 4-Tray, Black
  • 5-YEAR Limited Coverage
  • COMPACT: The 2400 dehydrator is a 4-Tray dehydrator with four square feet of drying space
  • THE PERFECT STARTER: The Economy dehydrator performs like larger models and is a great starter to try out dehydrating
  • LOW AND SLOW FOR IMMUNITY BOOST: Cooking foods at a temperature no higher than 115-118 degrees in a dehydrator preserves nutrients and enzymes.
  • TEMPERATURE: The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature range is low enough to preserve active enzymes in fruits and vegetables and also high enough to meet safety standards for dehydrating meat for jerky

Our Favorite Air Fryer / Dehydrator Picks

3 thoughts on “Can You Use an Air Fryer to Dehydrate Food?”

  1. I use my Cuisinart air fryer to dehydrate meats every few days. My dog has many allergies. I bought an 8 oz. of crunchy chicken strips for $14.00. I can’t spend $28.00 a pound on my food! I bought some chicken breasts on sale for$.99 a pound, sliced them very thinly, set air fryer temp between warm and 250° (I’m guessing around 175°)for 1 hour. Like magic! I get great treats for my my high maintenance friend, Zach. He loves them. Also made beef and chicken livers, turkey gizzards (I pound them flat) and veggies such as carrots and zucchini. It’s great fun experimenting with different foods!

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