Battle for Your Kitchen: Air Fryer vs Dehydrator

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Air fryers and food dehydrators are great options for helping you get creative in the kitchen. They take different approaches to cooking and preserving food, but they both have pros and cons, and the right one depends on what you’re looking to do!

The best option is always to use an air fryer. It is a more versatile appliance that allows you to cook various items. On the other hand, if you plan only to make things like beef jerky or dried apples, then the best option is to use a dehydrator. Simple and easy to operate.

Air fryers use hot air for cooking food

Air fryers use hot air to circulate around the food. Food cooks quickly, and the hot air circulates around the food, so it’s crispy and tender inside.

This means that you can cook food without oil!

This is a great way to get the crispiness you want without adding tons of oil. You can also use air fryers with less oil than traditional frying methods, which means they’re healthier!

If you are interested in how air fryers work, I have a detailed article here.

Dehydrators use warm air to dry food

Dehydrators use warm air to dry food.

Because they don’t use extensive heat, they can effectively dry food without cooking it. This means that if you have a powerful dehydrator, you can use it to make banana chips or watermelon strips as healthy candy. They’re also very good at making jerky and fruit leathers, two things you should try!

The downside of dehydrators is their cost. Compared to air fryers, dehydrators tend to be more expensive in terms of initial outlay and energy usage over time.

But I will take you through the costs of air frying and dehydration below.

Air fryers are more versatile because they can cook food and dry it

Air fryers are the more versatile option. They can cook food, but they can also dry it.

In this case, you’re looking at a product that can simultaneously function as an air fryer and dehydrator. This is what I will cover in this section of my comparison of air fryers vs dehydrators.

A food dehydrator can only dry food; as such, it is only designed to preserve food. A dehydrator will be your best bet if you want an appliance primarily meant for drying your food items (e.g., beef jerky, apple slices, sweet potato chips, etc.).

Dehydrators are designed to dry food items and can be used for various purposes. They’re also very versatile in terms of the foods they can dehydrate.

On the other hand, air fryers are primarily used as cooking appliances that allow you to fry your food without adding oil. They’re also great for making healthier versions of your favorite fried foods. You can fry chicken wings, fries, onion rings, and more in an air fryer without worrying about adding oil.

Air fryers are great for cooking food but aren’t designed to dehydrate it. Suppose you want an appliance that can excel in both tasks. In that case, you’re better off looking at options specifically designed for each purpose.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator 9-Tray Electric with 26-hour Timer, Automatic Shut Off and Temperature Settings for Faster and Efficient Drying, Black

Dehydrators are designed to preserve food without cooking it

The dehydrator is designed to preserve food without cooking it. It uses warm air to dry food and doesn’t require any oil or liquid.

The dehydrator circulates warm, dry air through the trays and over the food. This removes moisture from foods, which preserves them and prevents spoilage.

Removing moisture also makes dehydrated foods more concentrated in flavor and easier to rehydrate when you’re ready to eat them again (though you can always grab a handful of dried fruits like raisins or cranberries if you’re in a hurry).

Dehydrators are available at stores like Target or Amazon. Their price can vary wildly from 35$ for a basic food dehydrator to its more advanced brother, which costs 160$. The significant difference between them is that the more expensive one allows you to define time and temperature precisely. In contrast, the cheaper one gives you few pre-selected options.

Dehydrators range from small countertop appliances with four racks to large ones that allow up to 15 trays (or “baskets”).

The more trays you have, the more food you can dry at once. The more food you dry at once, the faster your dehydrator will pay for itself. If you’re planning on using it often, look for a large model with plenty of space for drying multiple types of foods.

Dehydrators can also be used to warm foods. Just turn them on low and place your food inside. You don’t even need to worry about checking on it, rotating trays, or anything like that. The dehydrator will take care of everything for you, from the airflow to moisture removal.

Dehydrators are also great for making fruit leathers and other fun snacks. It is a great way to get your kids to enjoy eating fruit and not despise it. Suppose you’re planning on using your dehydrator regularly. In that case, I’d recommend getting one with a timer so you can set it when you leave for work or school in the morning.

This way, you can remember it and save electricity. Dehydrators are a great way to save money, especially if you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs or spices.

If you feel adventurous, you can use them to create your dehydrated meals from scratch instead of buying pre-packaged ones from the store.

Air fryers cook with little or no oil

Air fryers cook with little or no oil, as mentioned above. This is great for people who want to eat healthily and lose weight and those who want to save money on groceries. Air fryers are also excellent for cooking frozen foods like fries, which you can quickly reheat in an air fryer.

There are many different versions of airs fryer on the current market. Most have a large capacity so that you can cook up to four servings. The best air fryers also have many settings that make it easy to customize your cooking experience.

Dehydrators oil and space

A dehydrator does not require any oil or liquid to work. It is designed to preserve food without cooking it. The air temperature inside a dehydrator is between 95°F -160°F (32°C – 71°C), making it safe for everything from meat to vegetables.

In contrast, air fryers cook in temperatures ranging from 170°F – 400°F (77°C – 205°C), which are significantly higher than the ones in a dehydrator.

Dehydrators take up a modest amount of cabinet space, but they can be adjusted depending on your needs. While a dehydrator may not be as eye-catching as an air fryer, it does have its advantages: you’ll never need to worry about splatters or oil stains again!

A good dehydrator will make it easier for you to enjoy healthy foods at home without hassle! The best dehydrators are easy to use, high quality, and affordable. They should have adjustable temperature settings, a large capacity for drying food, and a timer that you can set before you leave the house.

Dehydrator vs air fryer: size, usage, and costs

There is a lot of debate in the raw food world about what kitchen appliances are essential for the raw food diet. Some people swear by their dehydrator, while others say that an air fryer is a better investment. So, what’s the difference between these two appliances, and which one should you use for your raw food diet?

Dehydrators are often used to make raw crackers, bread, and chips. They work by slowly removing the moisture from food, which helps to preserve the nutrients and enzymes. Dehydrators can also be used to make fruit leathers, granola bars, and dried fruits and vegetables.

Air fryers, on the other hand, cook food with hot air. They’re similar to convection ovens but cook food faster and at a lower temperature.

A dehydrator and air fryer are two appliances that can be used for similar purposes. Both machines remove the moisture from food, but an air fryer also cooks the food. 

Size of dehydrators vs air fryers

Air fryers and dehydrators are two of the best options for food preservation. But which one is better? It all depends on the size of the unit.

Dehydrators are typically larger than air fryers, making them better suited for preserving large quantities of food. On the other hand, air fryers are more compact and easier to store.

So, if you’re looking to preserve large quantities of food, a dehydrator is the way. If space is more of a concern, then an air fryer is your best bet.

Both appliances can save you money and make your food taste better. The right one for you will depend on what you’re looking to get out of it and how much space you have available.

What to use dehydrators for?

Making jerky is one of the most popular ways to use a dehydrator. Jerky is a type of dried meat often made from beef or pork. The meat is first marinated in spices and then dried in the dehydrator to make jerky.

This process can take anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the thickness of the meat. Once the jerky is dry, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to six months.

Dehydrators can also be used to make fruit leathers. In this case, the fruit is pureed and then spread on the dehydrator trays. The process takes six to eight hours, depending on how thick you make the leather. Once the leather has dried, it can be rolled up and stored in an airtight container.

What to use air fryers for?

An air fryer is a healthier alternative to using a deep fryer when frying food. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, making it crispy on the outside while keeping it moist on the inside.

So what can you use an air fryer for? Here are some ideas:

  • Air-fried chicken wings are a great appetizer or main dish. Season them however you like and cook them until they’re golden brown and delicious.
  • An air fryer is also great for cooking fish. Whether you make salmon, trout, or tilapia, your fish will appear flaky and moist.
  • For a quick and easy side dish, try air-fried vegetables. Cut up some broccoli, carrots, or potatoes and toss them in the air fryer.
  • If you’re looking for something a little sweet, try air-fried donuts. While it s not the same as a fresh-out-of-the-fryer donut, the air fryer will give them a nice crunchy outside and moist inside.

Dehydrators and air fryers: Costs

As promised, I will examine the costs of using an air fryer and food dehydrator.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the current average price for 1kWh of electricity in the US at 15.95 cents. This information will be needed in the calculations below.

Dehydrators

Above with dehydrators, I have said that their price can vary wildly from 35$ for a basic food dehydrator to its more advanced brother, which costs 160$. The problem here is that their power consumption also varies quite a bit. The cheaper one uses 350W, while the bigger, more expensive one is around 600W.

To establish some baseline, let’s average both. That would mean that the middle ground for the price of a dehydrator would be 100$, and electricity usage would be around 475W.

Now the run time of a dehydrator can go from six to 48 hours, depending on the type of food and its thickness.

So the price to use your dehydrator would be from 1.8$ to 10.4$ per cycle. This does not include the cost of the ingredients and the labor of preparing everything.

Air fryers

Now with the air fryers, this is slightly easier. The average price of a good air fryer like this one from Amazon is around 130$. Its electricity usage is at 1550W per hour.

The usual cycle of the air fryer cooking takes around 30 minutes. This means that one cycle costs 14.4 cents! Which is way lower than the cost of running the dehydrator.

Then again, air fryers are much smaller than dehydrators, so at the end of the day, it evens out in my book.

Conclusion

That’s a lot to think about, so I hope this article helps you decide which appliance is right for you. Both air fryers and dehydrators have pros and cons, but if I had to choose just one? I go with the air fryer because it has more versatility and can cook food and dry it out.

Plus, it doesn’t require any oil or liquid! If storage space is an issue in your kitchen, consider using a smaller model instead of investing in an expensive countertop appliance (I recommend starting small before buying big).

However you choose, I wish you happy drying whatever rocks your boat.

Vojta Vevera

Combining a love for cooking and using all kinds of technological gizmos helps Vojta to bring the experiences and excitement to all his articles. He is always doing his best to serve you with great information. Mixing over 15 years of cooking experience with his analytical mind and love for all technological things.

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