Can You Use an Air fryer to Dehydrate Food?
If the above question has been on your mind, and maybe you’re trying to decide whether you should add an air fryer to your kitchen, well, I’m glad to announce to you that the answer is yes. Yes, you can use an air fryer to dehydrate food. However, food dehydration in an air fryer works best using low heat and sufficient ventilation, even though some air fryers come with in-built dehydrating features that function at temperatures below the level used for regular cooking.
How does an air fryer work?
When you figure out how an air fryer works, you should decide whether it should make it to your kitchen countertop. Let me tell you how an air fryer works.
Note, that air fryers don’t fry food. Don’t let the name mislead you. What actually happens is when you place the food you want to dehydrate in the perforated basket inside the machine and turn it on, hot air blows over and around the food with force, getting it cooked.
When that is done, you have your crispy chips and tender chicken ready for eating. At lower temperatures, moisture is removed from the food without cooking it. Now, let me tell you the benefits of dehydrating food in an air fryer.
What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
By the time I finally bought my air fryer after much skepticism, I just wished I had made the purchase long before then. It is indeed an asset. The things I used to need an oven; now, I do some of them with my air fryer. I’ll show you the advantages of the appliance; they will influence your buying decision.
- It produces healthier foods
Compared to deep-frying, cooking with an air fryer is healthier because it requires little oil for the process. It’s got your heart’s back.
- It makes your food crunchy
Nothing soggy with an air fryer, only crispy and crunchy. Add a bit of oil and you’ll love the golden-looking food with a crispy exterior.
- It saves time
I know you don’t have the time to spend on cooking, and that is why you patronize fast foods and takeaways, which are not really healthy for your body. Well, the beauty of the air fryer is that it cooks fast.
Just load up your food and let it cook while you’re about other businesses at home, and before you know it, lunch is ready. Unlike the oven, an air fryer does not need time for pre-heating for most recipes. The heat circulates fast.
- It’s multi-functional
You can prepare a variety of foods in an air fryer: French fries or spaghetti squash.
- It’s easy to clean
Cleaning up the place after cooking is never an enjoyable task. In fact, the thought of cleaning can take away the excitement that comes with making a delicious recipe. But with an air fryer, cleaning is no longer a chore. You must, however, ensure that the cleaning is done regularly after each meal.
Recommended Read – How to Disinfect Kitchen Countertop
How do you dehydrate food in an air fryer?
When you place the food item you want to dehydrate in the air fryer and turn it on, set the temperature between 120-140 0F. At this temperature range, the food is dehydrated without cooking by hot air that circulates in the basket. A fan produces hot air.
What are the best foods to dehydrate in an air fryer?
A variety of foods can be dehydrated in the air fryer, from fruits and vegetables to meat. Take a look at the list of foods I have compiled below:
- Curated meat
- Carrot chips
- Beef jerky
- Apricot chips
- Dried pepper
- Dried mushroom etc
How long does it take to dehydrate in an air fryer?
Depending on the kind of food, dehydrating food in an air dryer can take 2-4 hours.
What are some tips for dehydrating food in an air fryer?
To get the best out of your air fryer when dehydrating, the following tips will be helpful.
- Prepare adequately
Before you start dehydrating, it is important to prep your foods beforehand. Start by cleaning the foods before slicing them into even bits and sizes. If fruits are involved, spray some lemon over them before dehydrating to prevent browning.
While arranging them in trays before placing them in the air fryer, you should not stack them on each other; rather, spread them out in each tray to allow enough room for effective results.
- Set the right temperature
Ensure you use the best temperature for the process. If not, increasing the temperature to get your food dehydrated quickly may lead to premature dehydration or even food spoilage.
- Check regularly
Make sure you’re checking consistently to monitor the progress.
- Allow cooling
Once you’re done dehydrating, you must allow the food to cool at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light. When cool, please put them in an airtight container or Ziploc bags and store them away.
Are there any dangers to dehydrating in an air fryer?
Compared to other forms of preparing food, dehydrating with an air fryer is safer because it lowers the production of acrylamide in fried food. But there may still be the presence of carcinogenic Aldehydes, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
You Should Check This – Can you use Clorox Wipes on Quartz countertops?
What are the best air fryers for dehydrating food?
While not all air fryers have a dehydrator function, they can all be used for dehydration. All you have to do is to lower the temperature and let the moisture be removed gradually. I have made a collection of the best in the market for air fryers with dehydrating functions. They also have other cooking functions.
The ninja AF101 is first on my list for some good reasons. Although it has fewer cooking modes, it’s simpler to use and gets the job done real good, perfect for simple meals. Its cooking modes are: dehydrating, air frying, air roasting, and reheating.
The Ninja AF101 comes with a manual that contains 20 recipe descriptions as well as suggested temperature and time settings for dehydrating food.
Unlike the previous one I mentioned, this one has five cooking modes. They are dehydrating, baking, air frying, rotisserie oven, and reheating. With a cooking space of 6.3 quarts, this appliance has other accessories: an air fryer basket, drip tray for easy cleanup, rotisserie spit, and two removable racks.
The Chefman 6.3 Quart Digital Air Fryer can fit on any kitchen counter space without worrying.
There seems to be no match for the Ninja OP302 Foodi air fryer among all others in the market. With nine cooking modes, it gives you a variety of options. The nine cooking modes are: dehydrating, the air crisp, steaming, slow cooking, baking, sautéing, pressure cooking, grilling, and yogurt.
While this appliance has multiple cooking options, it can be complicated to operate. It has a deep rack that allows for the dehydration of a large quantity of food at once. There is also a lid that supports pressure cooking.
Its manual contains 45 recipe preparation procedures you will love to try, plus temperature and time settings instructions. If you’re looking for a crockpot, an oven, an air fryer, and a dehydrator put together in one, then a Ninja OP302 Foodi will be it.
How do you clean an air fryer after dehydrating food?
- Allow Airfryer to cool
When you finish dehydrating, unplug the appliance and allow it to cool. Do not try to clean while your air fryer is still hot.
- Clean with warm, soapy water
Start with the removable parts. Dip a soft sponge or cloth in warm, soapy water and wipe off the crumbs and smears. Soak the components with food stuck on them in warm water with detergent to make them easy to wash.
- Get rid of particles stuck in the basket with a toothpick
Some debris may be stuck in the grate. You need a toothpick to get rid of them
- Clean the inside of the air fryer
After you must have taken out the basket and cleaned it separately, dust the inside of the air fryer with a soft brush to get rid of any crumbs.
- Clean the exterior
Using a damp cloth, clean the exterior of the appliance and allow it to dry.
What are the core differences between an air fryer and a dehydrator?
An air fryer is different from a dehydrator in the following ways:
- Duration of dehydration
In terms of time consumption, the air fryer takes a few minutes while the dehydrator requires a longer time to complete the process.
- Storage time threshold
Food dried with a dehydrator lasts longer than the one taken out of an air dryer.
Having read through this article, I believe you have been convinced about the efficacy of an air fryer in dehydrating food. Though it has its own limitations, food prepared using an air fryer is nutritious and tasty. It can also save your time, producing crispy and crunchy food.
Remember that most air fryers can also, in addition to dehydrating, bake, grill, roast, and reheat, among other functions. So head to your favorite electronic shop and grab yours today.