I recently got an air fryer, and it has truly changed my relationship with food. Previously, I would only try out new recipes on weekends when I had enough time to cook (I work a typical nine-to-five office job).
Because the air fryer is so time efficient and healthy, I have been experimenting with new ideas, settings, and recipes even during the week!
My air fryer comes with various settings. I am able to set it to cook fish, chicken, fries, really any kind of food. Recently, though, I have been reading a lot about dehydrating food.
Dehydrating food means taking the moisture out, and not cooking it.
The best air fryer with a dehydrator function is the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer. I’ve deemed this the best air fryer because of its simplicity and speciality. It isn’t overly complicated and if you are looking to dehydrate food, it gets the job done.
Read along to see why we have pegged this air fryer to be the best with a dehydrator function. If you find that the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer isn’t the right fit for you, we’ve supplied you with a runner up.
What is a Dehydrator Function?
Dehydrator functions do precisely what the name suggests, it takes away moisture in foods.
Removing moisture in foods like fruits and vegetables, can make the food last longer. Moisture in food causes bacteria to grow, resulting in rotting food.
Dehydrating food is a smart way to reduce food waste because food will last longer in your refrigerator or in your cupboard. With an extended shelf life, you can use dehydrated fruits and vegetables for weeks to come.
You may also like: All You Need to Know About Healthy Non-Perishable Food
What Does Dehydration Look Like?
Dehydrating food is a straightforward process.
What happens is: warm air blows over the food (this can be vegetables, fruits, or even slices of meat). The temperature is usually between 120 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mild to warm air, gently blowing over the food causes the moisture within to evaporate. Oftentimes, food dehydration is a slow process — sometimes taking hours.
Important chef’s tip: Remember that in order to dehydrate food, you want to avoid cooking it. This is why low heat is essential.
What is the Difference Between an Air Fryer and a Dehydrator?
Not all air fryers are able to dehydrate. Air fryers cook food with air, and to dehydrate food via this manner the air fryer will most likely need a specific dehydrating function.
Air fryers also offer less capacity to dehydrate, but they offer more functions and are more versatile overall.
A dehydrator will specialize in dehydrating, while various brands of air fryers can:
- Air fry
- And dehydrate
If you already have an air fryer, and it doesn't have a dehydrator function, you can still dehydrate your food by air frying at a low temperature for an extended time.
New to the world of air frying? Read: How to Use Philips Air Fryer for the First Time
Which is the Best Air Fryer with Dehydrator Function?
My top pick for the best air fryer with dehydrator function is the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer. This product is also Amazon’s Choice* at the moment.
Winner: The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer - Amazon’s choice
The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer is the best choice for a few reasons listed below:
- Has an embedded dehydrating function - This gives you more certainty whilst cooking. According to the product details, the meshing of low fan speed and low temperature is ideal for dehydration.
- Easy to clean - Besides having its own dehydrating setting, the Ninja Air Fryer is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
- Ninja is a reliable brand - It’s uncommon to be disappointed by a Ninja kitchen appliance. On Amazon, this air fryer has nearly 30,000 customer reviews.
- Simple and easy to use - The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer is one of the more simple air fryers in the market. Most others with the dehydrating function perform a multitude of other cooking methods. The Ninja air fryer has four methods, one of those is dehydration.
*Amazon’s Choice products do change. At the moment the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer is listed as such, but do check the website again if you would like to purchase.
Downsides of the Ninja Air Fryer
There are a couple of aspects to keep in mind before purchasing your air fryer. For the most part, the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer is a stellar product, but it’s important to be completely transparent and present to you both the good… and the “bad.”
With most air fryers, there is no need to preheat. However, with the Ninja AR101 Air Fryer, you will need to preheat it for at least three minutes before placing your food inside.
On the Petite Side
As mentioned, this is not so much of a “downside” as it is an informational point.
What is the Second Best Air Fryer With Dehydrator Function?
If you decide that the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer doesn’t fit your needs, then the second best option I recommend is the Chefman Multifunctional Air Fryer. This product is also Amazon’s Choice right now.
Runner Up: Chefman Multifunctional Air Fryer - Amazon’s Choice
The Chefman Multifunctional Air Fryer is a great addition to any kitchen, and especially for dehydrating food because:
- It is exceptionally versatile: Not only can the air fryer dehydrate, but it can also rotisserie and bake.
- Visible cooking mechanism: Unlike more traditional air fryers, the Chefman has a panel where you can watch your food dehydrate on the inside.
- Portable racks for efficiency: You can make dehydrating more efficient because this air fryer has two racks instead of one compartment.
Check out the latest price on Amazon.
Downsides of the Chefman Multifunctional Air Fryer
Here are the cons of the runner up air fryer:
Less Practical of an Appliance
The Chefman Air Fryer, although it does boast a dehydrator function, is not as practical as an air fryer. If you’re looking for an all-in-one appliance, then this may be for you.
I am not a particular fan of the “one size fits all” approach, and therefore am wary of appliances that seem overly complicated.
Some Problematic Amazon Reviews
Following on from the aforementioned point, there are a few Amazon reviews that state that the air fryer broke after a few uses.
Because of its various cooking tools, the Chefman Multifunctional Air Fryer is quite bulky. It weighs around 14-pounds whereas the Ninja Air Fryer is only around 10.
Top Five Tips on Dehydrating Food Using an Air Fryer
Here’s how to ensure your dehydrated food turns out the best it possibly can!
1: Use the Correct Time and Cooking Temperature
To ensure your food is properly dehydrated, you’ll want to confirm the cooking time and temperature. The air fryer should have instructions for this function, so review them before cooking.
2: Check the Hydration of Your Food
Gently squeeze the food you would like to dehydrate. If your food is relatively moist, it may be a good idea to try to extract water ahead of dehydrating.
3: Cut All Pieces Evenly
For perfectly sliced food, consider purchasing a mandolin. Even cutting will ensure that all food gets dehydrated the same.
4: Don’t be Afraid to Spend Time Prepping
The return on investment for dehydrated foods is large (you can use the food for future meals), so don’t fret if it takes a bit of time to wash and cut your food.
To avoid browning during dehydration, put some lemon juice over the food.
Top Tip 5: Don’t Forget to Store Away Your Dehydrated Food
Dehydrating food delays the decomposition process. Take advantage of this, and store away your dehydrated food for future use. This will also eliminate food waste.
Quick and Easy Ideas for Dehydrated Food
Dried fruits for porridge - Pop in your favorite fruits, and once dehydrated, store away for delicious porridge or oatmeal toppings!
Dried vegetables for a tasty portable snack - A fun way of using up older vegetables is by slicing them up and putting them to dehydrate! You can make delicious veggie chips this way.
Dried veggies for delicious soup toppings - Not only can you dehydrate vegetables to munch on throughout the day, but why not dry out some mushrooms, beans, and even tomatoes to give gusto to traditional winter soups.
Jerky - dried meat like beef jerky makes a delicious high-protein snack! Remember to slice the meat thinly.
Interested in going Keto? Use the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer’s dehydrator function to dry out foods and use them to recreate these Top 10 Keto Friendly Snacks to Buy on Amazon.
Dehydrating food is possible in an air fryer. The best air fryer with an internal dehydrating function is the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer. This air fryer is practical, simple, and also has a dehydrating function.
After comparing the air fryers on the market, it is clear that each offers unique benefits. What you must do before purchasing is understand what your needs are.
Do you prefer an all-in-one cooking mechanism? If so, then the Chefman may be for you.
Do you want simple and steady, and are not too bothered by the gadgets and gizmos? Then I wholeheartedly recommend the Ninja Air Fryer.
Which air fryer do you have? Are you able to dehydrate food in it? And if so, what kinds of foods do you enjoy dehydrating?
Let us know your top tips and tricks in the comments section below.
Last update on 2022-01-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API