One of the features you will love in your air fryer is the dehydrator function. Like the traditional oven, solar, and electric dehydrators, this function preserves your fruits for the future. It is a great way to keep the fruit longer and help curb wastage. You can use the fruits as snacks, toppings, and side dishes. But you must dehydrate the right fruits.
Discover the best fruit to dehydrate in air fryer. The fruits include mango, banana, dates, pineapple, and strawberry. You can also dry apples, oranges, peaches, and apricots. We will also tell you the right temperature to dehydrate your fruit and how long it will take.
Before continuing, note that dehydrating fruits with high water or fat content can produce undesirable results. Avocados have high-fat content, while citrus, melon, kiwi, and lychee have more water content.
How Long Does It Take To Dehydrate Fruit In An Air Fryer?
An older air fryer version may not have the dehydrator function, but you can adjust the temperature to the lowest setting. And if your air fryer has the dehydrator option, you only need to place your fruits in the air fryer basket and press the function.
The appliance will use hot airwaves to dehydrate your goodies while ensuring they don’t lose their nutritional value.
However, you need to know how long it will take to dehydrate fruit in an air fryer. The process takes between 6 and 8 hours at 135 °F. Some fruits will take less time (between 2-4 hours). You might wonder why this long variance. Some factors determine how long your fruit dehydrates in an air fryer.
Read below about the determinants to get the best out of your dehydrated fruit.
- Fruit Type
The type of fruit affects the time it will take to dehydrate it. Some have high water content, while others have lower levels. The fruits with higher water levels will take longer to dry.
For instance, peach has lower water content than mango, meaning a longer dehydration time for the latter. Be patient with high water-content fruits to get the perfect outcome. Otherwise, dehydrate low-water-content fruits like strawberries and apples.
- Fruit Thickness
Generally, the sizes of your fruits will impact dehydrating time. The thicker the size, the longer the drying time. But you can enhance and hasten the drying time by slicing smaller pieces. Adding a whole apple to dehydrate will take ages. Smaller apple pieces will take fewer hours and save you power and time.
- Air Circulation
Proper air circulation is a crucial factor in dehydrating fruits. Efficient dehydration involves air circulating freely around your fruit. That way, the fruit dries on time, plus you get perfect results. Slow circulation means slowing the drying process.
You can ensure that you improve your air fryer’s air circulation by slicing the fruits in equal sizes and arranging them in order. The orderliness provides equal spacing and a single layer that allows air circulation.
Also, keeping your air fryer’s vents clean and free from obstruction enhances air circulation in and out of your gadget’s internals. Such circulation cools the oven and prevents mishaps such as overheating. An overheating air fryer will not dehydrate your fruits to the correct dryness.
- Air Fryer Settings
The dehydrator feature on your air fryer requires the right temperature and airflow settings. The process will be longer if you adjust the controls lower than the correct settings. Higher temperature and airflow settings speed up the drying process.
To ensure you do the right things, consult your air fryer’s user manual. It has all the settings and illustrations for the dehydrator function. You can also watch a video on dehydrating fruit in your air fryer.
- Weather Conditions
The temperature and humidity in your kitchen affect your fruits’ dehydration process. For instance, evaporation is slow in humid air, while fruit dehydration takes less time in dry and warm weather.
If you have no choice but to dry your fruits in humid weather, use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture in your kitchen and hasten the fruit dehydrating process. Otherwise, you will have to wait until there are ambient conditions for your fruit drying process.
- Fruit Preparation
It is procedural to clean fruits, slice and throw them into your air fryer for dehydration. But proper preparation enhances the process. After cleaning your fruits, pat dry them with a cloth. That takes off excess water on the skin of the fruit. Slice thin and uniform pieces to ensure even drying. If the sizes are inconsistent, some parts will dehydrate faster than others.
You can aid the dehydrating process by blanching your fruits. Dipping the fruits in lemon juice preserves their nutritional value, color, and texture.
- The Desired Fruit Moisture Level
This factor is all about your desired end product. Would you like a chewy fruit or a fully dried and crispy one? If you are drying dates, you may not want a crispy outcome. They are best with some moisture level which makes them chewy. Crispy dry apple pieces have a great texture and are crunchy. So, your desire for the level of dryness determines the drying time.
What Temperature To Dehydrate Fruit In Air Fryer?
The temperature requirement when dehydrating fruit in an air fryer is low. It is lower than any other cooking temperature in the miniature oven. Of course, there are determinants for the specific temperature, but it is minimal. Dehydrating fruit in an air fryer requires an average of 135°F or 55°C. Some air fryers will indicate between 120-140°F(50-60°C). Your air fryer’s model and features will determine the temperature settings for dehydrating.
At the above temperature, the dehydration process is gentle and slow. The heat is low and removes the moisture without browning your fruits. In addition, the fruit does not cook, maintaining its natural flavor, color, and nutritional value.
When dehydrating your fruit in the air fryer, follow the specific temperature and set the time appropriately. What if your air fryer doesn’t have a dehydrator? You can control the temperature by ensuring that the heat is at the lowest setting. Also, take note of your air fryer models, as the dehydrating temperature ranges may vary.
Check your manual for specifications and consider the factors that affect dehydration duration. Ensure the thickness is consistent and the fruit slices are not dense. Thick slices take a long to dry and may require a higher temperature than the 135°F.
The fruit’s water content and the air circulation in your air fryer affect the drying process. As discussed above, fruits like citrus, pawpaw, and melons have high water content. These can test your patience when dehydrating.
Can You Dehydrate In An Air Fryer Without A Dehydrator Setting?
Though most modern air fryers have the dehydrator setting, you might find the knob missing. You don’t have to leave your fruits to go bad. There is a trick you can perform to preserve them for the future.
You can dehydrate in an air fryer without a dehydrator setting by adjusting the temperature to the lowest setting. Set the time to 8 hours, depending on the type of fruit. If your air fryer doesn’t have a dehydrator setting, there are a few things to remember.
- Keep the temperature at the lowest setting of your air fryer. The low temperature ensures that your fruits do not cook or brown, thus maintaining flavor, nutrients, and texture.
- Check the progress of your fruits from time to time when dehydrating. That way, you can adjust the temperature where applicable.
- Slice your favorite fruits into uniform pieces. A consistent thickness ensures even drying. You can try a 3 to 6-mm thickness.
- Arrange your fruit slices in a single layer on the tray or basket. A neat and consistent arrangement enhances proper airflow and even drying. If you overcrowd the basket, it will cause uneven dehydration.
- Leave space between the slices to promote sufficient airflow and efficient drying.
- Do not leave your fruits unattended for long, as they need periodic monitoring. Frequent checking ensures they don’t brown, cook, or over-dry.
- Flip and rotate your fruit slices after every 30 minutes to promote even drying and prevent sticking on the basket/tray.
- Depending on the air fryer’s performance, there is room to adjust the drying time. The specific model, fruit type, thickness, and desired level of dehydration are some of the factors you will consider when changing the drying time.
- Some fruits require pre-treatment, including syrup blanching and dipping in lime or lemon juice. The process maintains flavor, color, texture, and taste. Apricots, plums, figs, and nectarines might require syrup blanching, while pears and apples need a dip in lemon juice. Again, this is optional, but it gives you great results.
- Being patience is a general rule in fruit drying. It takes a long time, especially if you are doing it with an air fryer. Wait for our fruits to dry thoroughly to avoid mold infestation.
- Test your fruits for doneness to determine if they are adequately dehydrated. An easy method is removing a fruit slice from your air fryer and leaving it to cool. Once it is cool, squeeze it. If it has excess moisture, add the drying time and temperature until it is leathery and chewy.