Want to Start a Homestead but Not Sure How?

Sign Up and Get Your FREE Book, "How To Homestead No Matter Where You Live."

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    How to Dehydrate Food in an Air Fryer

    This post may contain affiliate links.* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read our affiliate policy.
    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    How to Dehydrate Food in an Air Fryer

    Are you tired of letting your fruits and vegetables go bad before you have a chance to use them? Or maybe you're looking for a way to enjoy those delicious herbs and mushrooms year-round? Look no further than the air fryer you use every week to make delicious meals!

    Believe it or not, you can use this appliance for more than just making crispy french fries and chicken wings. It can also be used to dehydrate all kinds of foods quickly and easily. But how does an air fryer stack up against a traditional dehydrator – and what foods can you process in it?

    We'll take a closer look at all these details in our post.

    Want to save this post for later? Click Here to Pin It On Pinterest!

    Can I Use an Air Fryer to Dehydrate Food?

    The short answer – absolutely. An air fryer is a fantastic tool to use to dehydrate your food so you don't need to run out and purchase a separate appliance to enjoy your dried fruits, meats, vegetables, and other snacks.

    Let's explore a bit more about how the magic works.

    Air fryers have a built-in heating element that rises to the perfect cooking temperature. That's just like an oven, but what's unique about the air fryer (and similar to how a dehydrator is constructed) is that it also has a small fan. The fan is important, as it allows hot air to circulate, heating your food while also giving it that frying effect.

    At temperatures between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this hot air gently extracts moisture from your food, allowing it to dry out without actually cooking it.

    The only difference between using your air fryer as a dehydrator instead of to fry your food (the conventional use) is that you'll be cranking the temperature way down. When you're using the air fryer to cook your food, you'll have it at higher temperatures (typically 400 degrees or more). To dehydrate, you're going to have the machine set almost as low as it can go.

    How to Dehydrate Food in an Air Fryer

    So you've got yourself an air fryer, and you've been whipping up delicious, crispy meals left and right. But now it's time to dehydrate some food. Here's how to do it.

    1. Choose the Food

    While not everything can be dehydrated in an air fryer, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our favorites:

    Strawberries

    Hull and slice the berries, then lay them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 4 hours.

    Grape tomatoes

    Slice the tomatoes in half and lay them cut-side up in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 4 hours.

    Zucchini or yellow squash

    Slice the vegetables into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and lay them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 4 hours.

    Carrots

    Slice the carrots into 1/8-inch-thick rounds, blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then lay them in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 3 hours.

    Curly kale

    Remove the stems and hand-tear the leaves into small pieces. Lay them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 1 hour.

    Apples, Bananas, Mangoes, and Pineapple

    Slice them thin and set the air fryer to 135°F for 4-6 hours. They come out crispy and slightly sweet – perfect for snacking or adding to smoothie bowls.

    While these are just a few options to get you started, it's important to note that not all foods can be effectively dehydrated in an air fryer.

    Generally, these are the same foods that don't work well for the dehydrating process in general, like condiments, liquids, and those with a high fat content. Avocados and olives are two that we really don't recommend.

    You can even dehydrate meat or herbs in your air fryer. For herbs, make sure you remove the stems, and for meat, always start with lean cuts. Simple as that!

    2. Prep the Food

    First things first, you'll want to prepare your food. Cut it into small chunks or slices to ensure even drying. For meat, make sure it's not too thick or cut into super tiny chunks – if it is, it will be tougher to eat and season later on. For fruits and veggies, aim for the smallest pieces possible.

    3. Load the Air Fryer Basket

    Once your food is prepped, load it into the air fryer basket. Make sure to space it out properly and consider using stainless steel or stackable racks to increase your drying capacity.

    4. Preheat the Air Fryer

    Next, you'll want to preheat your air fryer. This helps to ensure even drying.

    5. Set the Temperature and Start Dehydrating

    Once preheated, set the temperature to around 140 degrees and start dehydrating.

    It's important not to turn up the temperature in an attempt to speed up the process – dehydrating takes time, and patience is key to ensure your food is properly dried out without cooking it.

    Check on your food often and remove it earlier than the recipe calls for if you think it's done. The rule of thumb for dehydrated foods is for them to be 95% hydrated. So if your items still seem soft or sticky, they need to continue dehydrating.

    6. Enjoy!

    One great thing about dehydrating food in an air fryer is that you can often use the same recipes you would use for a dehydrator. And the end result? Delicious, crispy, and perfectly dehydrated food that's perfect for snacks or for incorporating into your recipes.

    How Long Will Your Dehydrated Food Last?

    Food that you dehydrate in your air fryer (just like the ones you may have dehydrated in a conventional machine) lasts a fairly long time – around six to twelve months, even without any preservatives or added refrigeration.

    But if you want your food to last even longer, you can use vacuum-sealed bags. These remove all the air and moisture, helping the food last as long as up to four years.

    Final Thoughts

    Dehydrating your food in an air fryer is an easy, efficient way to preserve your favorite fruits, vegetables, meats, and more. Not only does this method help to retain nutrients, but it also extends the shelf life of your ingredients, saving time and money in the long run.

    Whether you're preparing for a camping trip, a homesteader crafting your own homemade snacks, or simply looking for new ways to elevate your cooking game, air fryer dehydration is a useful technique that everyone should try at least once.

    So why not give it a go and see for yourself just how versatile and effective this cooking method can be?

    Like this post? Don't Forget to Pin It On Pinterest!

    Want to Start a Homestead but Not Sure How?

    Sign Up and Get Your FREE Book, "How To Homestead No Matter Where You Live."

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Are You a Prepper in the City? Visit Urban Survival Site

      1 thought on “How to Dehydrate Food in an Air Fryer”

      1. I’m a63 yr old disabled woman, I’m dingle, living with my dogs. Thank you so much for all the info on drying ,saving food.
        My question is this, right now I feed my dogs Blue Buffalo which is a very good food. How can I prepare a simple, relative inexpensive food for my dogs as well? Thank you so much for your help. I do a little at the time as I can do, but I can’t garden or forage ,I truly wish I could! We all do what we can @ pray @ how for the best. Thank you.

        Reply

      Leave a Comment