Air Fryer vs Dehydrator – Similarities and Differences Explained

Air fryer vs Dehydrator

An air fryer and dehydrator may seem like they do the same thing, but they actually work very differently! An air fryer uses hot rapid air circulation to cook food whereas dehydrator use warm air to dry the water inside food.

Air fryer operates at a higher temperature of up to 320F degrees which is far more than dehydrator that operates at 95F – 165F degrees. Food cooks much faster when using the air fryer and that is because of the fast-flowing hot air that circulates in cooking chamber. Air Fryer has very low oil usage and it comes with a precision thermostat and sensors that regulates its functions such as cooking time, power and heating.

Dehydrator works differently by heating the bag walls and surrounding environment, so liquid evaporates from food leaving its outside surface dryer than it actually is. It is most commonly used to preserve food.

Each appliance has different features that can provide different benefits! The best results will depend on your cooking preferences, as well as how you’ll be using your appliance.

In this article, we look at the differences and similarities between these two devices to help you choose which appliance will work best for you.

Dehydrators Use, Their Advantages and Limitations:

Cosori Dehydrator With Different Foods It Can Cook
Cosori Dehydrator With Different Foods It Can Cook

A dehydrator works by extracting water from food. A fan blows warm air over the drying racks, which moves around the food. The air travels through channels in the drying racks, causing warm air to pass over each piece of food. As warm air passes over the food, it removes moisture from the food.

By removing the moisture, these foods keep longer and don’t require refrigeration before opening. Dehydrators may be either electrical or solar powered. And mostly come in round or square shapes; however, square shapes offer more space and use less energy than the circular models. The square models also offer better air flow because of their open structure.

Square shape dehydrator vs Round shape dehydrator
Air flow In Square Shape Dehydrator vs Round Shape Dehydrator

Dehydrators used to be seen as a luxury kitchen appliance, but they are now available at a price anyone can afford. Whether your reason for getting one is to save money on buying fruits and vegetables in bulk during seasons when they’re cheap, or you just want to have a more self-sustaining lifestyle, a dehydrator can help you get there.

Foods you can dry include herbs, fruits, jerky, vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, seeds, meat and more.

Advantages of Dehydrators:

You can store food for long term.

Food doesn’t change its taste.

Best for people who are on raw food diets.

Heat and air are well distributed.

Perfect appliance for outdoorsman.

Dehydrators can make dried meat easily and that too using special herbal mix.

Food stays rich in nutrients.

Dehydrators are great for drying your fruits and veggies!

Limitations of Dehydrators:

They make loud sounds.

Takes a lot of kitchen space.

Takes some time to get used to the device and adjusting flavour.

It takes long time to dehydrate your food as compared to air fryers.

Slightly Expensive than Air fryers.

Check out our article on Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven

Air fryers Use, Their Advantages and Limitations:

Cosori Air fryer with Different Foods it can cook
Cosori Air Fryer With Different Foods It Can Cook

Air Fryer is a powerful and effective alternative for frying and grilling. Traditional fryers use oil and heat the oil externally to reach high temperatures for cooking. Air fryers invert the process by heating the food directly and cuts down the calorie consumption in fried foods.

Air frying is healthier than conventional frying as it doesn’t require adding oil or fat, and it results in a crispy golden-brown finish with minimal calories.

There are various kinds of food one can make using an air fryer. Which Includes fries, meatballs, veggies or even desserts like doughnuts.

The truth is that air fryers can save up a lot of time and energy to cook your food.

Advantages of Air fryers:

Air fryers are healthy alternative for deep frying.

Air fryers can make fried food with same taste but without oil.

Easy to use machines that come with presets.

Air fryers are Affordable.

Saves you both time and money.

Air fryers can also bake.

Limitations of Air fryers:

Air fryers can create smoke in the kitchen.

Some Air fryers brand use plastic exterior.

People have complained about their air fryers making loud noises.

Some air fryers does not last long enough due to low quality material used in manufacturing.

Check out our article on Air Fryer vs Pressure Cooker

Similarities between Air Fryer and Food Dehydrator:

Air fryers and Dehydrators both use Electricity to produce food. Air fryers use approximately 1400-1600 W. Whereas, Food dehydrators use approximately 600 W.

Air fryer and Dehydrator both Prepare food in a healthy way.

Both Dehydrator and Air fryer are very easy to clean.

You can make different types of food in both, but Air fryers have more options.

Differences between Air Fryer and Dehydrator:

Air fryer can cook food in minutes. While, a dehydrator takes several hours to dry food.

Food cooked in Dehydrator is stored for months. On the contrary, food cooked in an air fryer will go bad after few hours. 

Dehydrator takes away all the moisture from the food. Meanwhile, air fryer keeps the food moist.

Air fryer is perfect for small families. Whereas, Dehydrator is used for making large amount of meals.

Air fryers use rapid hot air circulation to cook food quickly and evenly—without adding any oil or grease. Dehydrators, on the other hand, warm up dry air and pass it over food. That warm air extracts water from inside food, causing it to dry out and become crisp and brittle.

Check out our article on Air fryer vs Instant Pot

Final Thoughts on Air fryer vs Dehydrator

Although both of these cooking appliances use hot air to cook food, they each do so in very different ways.

Air fryers are great for cooking French fries, chicken fingers, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and even pizza! Dehydrators are perfect for making beef jerky, dried fruit, dried veggies, or dried flowers.

If you want to save on cooking time and clean-up, an air fryer is for you. Dehydrators are ideal if you like to preserve food.

We recommend considering all the factors before making your choice.

Note that we’re not persuading you to buy an air fryer, we’re simply describing the choices and then leaving it up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Air fryer work as Dehydrator?

Most people buy dehydrators because they want to use it to dry foods, but what most of them don’t know is that an air fryer can actually act as a dehydrator. This makes it possible for you to save money on buying an additional kitchen appliance which you might not even need. The good thing about an air fryer is that it can work like both an air fryer and a dehydrator at the same time.

Can Dehydrator Work as an Air Fryer?

Finally, we’re going to answer – could dehydrator work as an air fryer? Well, air fryer and dehydrator both have their strengths and weaknesses.
During the use of the dehydrator, you will notice that it works slowly, and it needs a lot of space. The foods cooked in air fryer and dehydrator will be completely different in taste and appearance. Dehydrator’s role is drying food; while air fryer’s role is frying food.
Therefore, Dehydrator cannot work as an air fryer, dehydrator can only dehydrate food, but not cook it.

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