If you want to live healthily, you must eat healthily. Otherwise, you will end up having undesirable diseases. While cooking oil is a great part of our daily life, taking it regularly may increase the level of cholesterol in your body. The good news is since the invention of the air fryer, the entire cooking methods of many families have changed dramatically.
As it doesn’t require oil or you will need only a few drizzles of oil to cook in an air fryer, the foods are healthier. Besides cooking food, an air fryer can be used in other important tasks too. Now, the question is can you use an air fryer to dehydrate food? The answer is yes; you can use it. Manufacturers these days include dehydrating settings in the air fryer.
This article will focus on the dehydrating option of an air fryer. Continue reading to get a deep insight into it.
What Is Food Dehydration?
If you want to know about food dehydration, let me tell you first, it is drying out the food. By doing so, food will be preserved for longer periods of time. The food dehydrating process is not a new strategy. People have been doing this for centuries so that they can increase the shelf-life of food.
Especially, back in the days, when there was no refrigerator or freezer, and also no technology for canning food, people used to dehydrate food. It will help them stop food from going bad. The food drying process is applied particularly for fruit, fish, and even meat. The science behind this is pretty much straightforward.
Upon removal of the water from food, no bacteria can grow in there, meaning the food will last longer. However, the process is not that easy. You must remove the moisture of the food slowly.
The air fryer temperature should not be high. There are several ways to dehydrate food. One of the traditional ways is keeping the food in the rack and drying it in the sun. If you are living in a sunny country, you can go for the sun-dry dehydrating process. Another popular method of food preservation is salting it thoroughly. You need to apply a lot of salt.
This is quite popular when it comes to dehydrating meat and fish. Salt has a dehydrating power and it can pull out water from the food. It will also kill microbes. But, if you talk about fruit, you need another good alternative way of dehydration.
Is Dehydrated Food Safe?
As I mentioned earlier, dehydration is a very old method to preserve food. If you do it correctly, of course, it’s safe. You can dehydrate food in many ways. Each type of food has its benefits and disadvantages as well. As you remove all water content, the food will be left with only nutrients and solids.
As there is no water left, bacteria will not love to grow there. If you don’t want to follow natural dehydration methods, you can do it by using an electric dehydrator. Whether you want to do it in a microwave or standard convection oven, or an air fryer, the dehydration will be perfect.
But, make sure that you have followed the right way. If you use food dehydrators, the entire process will be more simplified as they are specially designed to serve that purpose. Using electronic gadgets will make dehydration more perfect.
Amazingly, the food will last even longer. Now, if you talk about the safety issues, I must say, if you perfectly dehydrate food, it is quite safe to eat up to its extended periods of shelf life.
Can You Use an Air Fryer to Dehydrate Food?
Now that you already know that you can use an electronic gadget like an air fryer to dehydrate food, most probably you are still confused whether it is true or not. Can you use it in the dehydration process? Yes, you can do it. In fact, you can dehydrate meat in an air fryer.
But, you must consider some important factors before going to start dehydrating food in an air fryer. Not every air fryer comes with the ability to perfectly dehydrate foods. That’s why you must check the following things in your unit so that it can work perfectly.
1. Can Your Air Fryer Go Low Under at Least 200 Degrees Fahrenheit?
First of all, check whether if you can set the temperature of your air fryer under 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can, it is good enough to dehydrate your food. The dehydration process can be done with slightly high temperature settings, but it may burn the food you are dehydrating.
In most cases, 112 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for dehydration if you are dehydrating herbs and fruit. Also, it will help you to keep the enzymes in your dehydrated food.
Now, when you talk about another kind of recipe like beef jerky, you can go for a temperature of about 150-200 degrees. So, setting up the temperature to the right level is pretty much important when using an air fryer.
2. Can It Vent?
Can moist air escape from the air fryer while dehydrating food? You must ensure that your unit can vent properly so that dry and warm air can be replaced with moist air. If you use a conventional oven, you must ensure proper air venting.
The same things go for an air fryer too. In most cases, air fryers come with a built-in air vent that will remove any kind of smoke from them. So, make sure that your air fryer has this feature for perfect food dehydration.
3. Does It Have Drying Space?
The next thing you need to consider is whether your air fryer basket comes with the ability to a good amount of dehydrated food at a time. You can go for air fryer racks which will easily fit into the air fryer. Simply put, you should make your air fryer perfect with additional accessories for the dehydration process.
However, you must be careful with the airflow in your air fryer. The air should be circulated correctly through all sides of the food. No doubt, if you use the right air fryer, it is a perfect appliance for giving you well-dehydrated foods.
4. Double Check Everything
Finally, you need to confirm with the manufacturer whether your model is compatible to do dehydration work. Because the truth is there is a risk that the heating element of your unit can be destroyed after being used for dehydration. That is why you should cross-check with the manufacturer whether your air fryer comes with a dehydrating option.
In a nutshell, yes you can use an air fryer to dehydrate your foods. But don’t forget to consider the above-mentioned factors before doing that. Honestly, it is a great appliance to give you multiple benefits. Think about an outdoor fryer that works for deep frying, or other similar appliances which don’t possess the ability of dehydrating foods. But, if you use an air fryer, it will make your life even easier.
Difference Between Air Fryer & Food Dehydrator
I have mentioned earlier almost everything about food dehydration. It is a process to remove the water and moisture from food. As a result, there will be only nutritional and solid elements left in the food. When it comes to moist or wet foods, it is one of the favorable places for growing bacteria and even fungi. No doubt, they are the main reason for food spoilage.
So, by dehydrating food, you make it more durable with longer shelf life. There is no denying that both air fryers and dedicated food dehydrators are so good for dehydrating foods. You can even make dry healthy snacks of food by using them. As a result, you can use those dehydrated snacks for a long period of time.
But, there are many differences between an air fryer and a food dehydrator. As the name suggests, a food dehydrator is specially built to dehydrate foods only. On the other hand, if you talk about an air fryer, besides dehydrating foods, you can also use it for cooking purposes.
You can make several recipes in an air fryer along with dehydrating it. For instance, you can take the air fryer apple chips recipe as an example. To be honest, if you want to get more benefits, choosing an air fryer can be the best option.
I think now you know the benefits of food dehydration. Although there are natural ways to dehydrate foods, still dedicated appliances will give you some technological advantage. So, can you use an air fryer to dehydrate food? Of course, you can do that. But make sure first, you know what you are doing.