A Healthy Approach to Traditional Cooking
A few years ago, air fryers stirred up a storm in the culinary world—promising the crisp, yet tender joys of good ol’ deep-frying without the boiling vats of fats and oil. These machines are exciting and unlike the many other food trends out there, they actually lived up to the hype. They even come equipped with a dehydrator, and the combination itself is testament to the efficiency and reliability of these kitchen appliances.
Whether you are looking to cut down on your costs, explore new ways of food preparation, or simply wish to live healthier, you can’t go wrong with an air fryer. To make things more exciting, choose an air fryer with built-in dehydrator, typically available at no added cost! Of course, for first-timers, an air fryer with a dehydrator might sound like a complicated gadget. The kind of machine that you purchase and then leave collecting dust on your counter once you give up reading about a quarter of the way through an incredibly difficult instruction manual. Thankfully, that’s not a fear you should have with this powerhouse appliance. Because in truth, they are surprisingly easy-to-use and make very healthy food to boot.
You might be wondering how fried food can be healthy. Well, the answer is hiding in plain sight—air. An air fryer cooks food simply by circulating hot air around it, ensuring a juicy and savory end result. For anyone wanting to change their everyday diet for the better, an air fryer with a dehydrator is simply the best choice around. You can still prepare all of your favorite snacks, just made in a healthier way using fresh ingredients at home. Even better, you’ll actually save money in the long term. That’s right, these machines are healthy, cost-cutting, and convenient.
The only challenge is figuring out which combination air fryer and dehydrator to bring into your home. There are so many options out there that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To help you choose the best machine for you and your family, we made a list of some of the best and most reliable air fryers with dehydrators on the market that you’ll love for years to come.
1. The Trusted Kitchen Helper: Ninja Air Fryer
Reliable and armed with a variety of tools and gadgets, the Ninja air fryer with dehydrator offers a whole range of cooking options and is at the forefront of this race—boasting a modern, simple, and fluid user experience with an easy-to-use one touch panel.
This appliance is also quite sturdy and features an extra large capacity 4 qt ceramic-coated basket for food preparation. In addition to all of that, the Ninja features 4 operating features. The main one is obviously air frying, but you also get the option of roasting and re-heating food. And of course, a built-in dehydrator gives you the option of making even more healthy homemade snacks. It’s on the top of our list for a reason.
2. Your Own Versatile Chef: Chefman AirFryer+
This model from the established Chefman brand is a delight for every amateur chef, featuring a stunning array of options for a healthy and hands-free approach to preparing meals. Equipped with 8 built-in preset options for air frying, dehydrating, baking, and even a unique rotisserie option, this impressive appliance makes you feel like a professional chef. With an included air frying basket, a rotisserie spit, and a few other gadgets, this Chefman is a champion for anyone looking for a reliable air fryer with a dehydrator. The culinary possibilities are almost endless with this stunning machine.
3. Straightforward and Reliable: Ultrean 8.5 Quart Air Fryer and Dehydrator
Ultrean’s smaller 8.5 quart air fryer is about as simple as frying gets – and in a sleek package too. This unit comes packaged with 7-presets plus a cook-book for hassle-free cooking. It also includes auto-shut off features, overheating prevention, and a super clean LCD display. Unlike some other air fryers Ultrean uses 360 degrees of cooking, where traditional dehydrators and air fryers favor horizontal air-flow. All of the accessories are also dishwasher safe to cut down on clean-up. Ultrean also offers a 1-year warranty and fantastic customer service for those living in North America.
Overall we were very impressed by the Ultrean air fryer in terms of both form and function. The addition of four colors to choose makes this not only a great kitchen accessory, but a conversation piece too! Our only minor disappointment was not being able to keep track of the food during cooking. With that said, the glass door of many air fryers are often the first component to break over time. As such, this time we can give that feature a pass.
4. The Air Fryer on Steroids: Ultrean 12.5 Quart Air Fryer, Oven, and Dehydrator
A common complaint with air fryers is limited or below-advertised capacity. Ultrean’s 12.5 quart air fryer is a fantastic addition to your kitchen if you’re the type to go big or home (to this oven). This oven-fryer-dehydrator combo works also works for baking, reheating and rotisserie. The last of these is particularly important. Many mid-range units are limited to at most a 2.5 lb chicken. Some units even struggle to rotate properly due to space constraints. This is, again, one of the big advantages to the Ultrean 12.5 quart.
Ultrean also packages this unit with eight pre-sets behind and LCD button display. Its temperature range is also standard at 150-400 degrees Fahrenheit. The Ultrean air fryer, oven and dehydrator also comes bundled with a recipe book, basket, skewers, and even an oven glove. The only major limitation with this unit is that its timer caps out at 60 minutes – although this is a minor issue. The manufacturer also suggests that first time users pre-heat slices of lemon in the unit at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, followed by a quick wash-down with soapy water.
5. The Ultimate Ninja: Ninja Foodi Cooker
Establishing itself as a leader in the air fryer market, Ninja never fails to deliver unique, trusted, and efficient products. The Foodi is no exception. This air fryer goes well beyond its key feature, for its also a pressure cooker, a dehydrator, and a tender crisper.
The new and redesigned pressure cooker is up to 70% faster than conventional home cookers, allowing for a thorough and juicy preparation of most ingredients. But the real gem in this machine is its revolutionary tender crisp feature that allows 2-step cooking—soft and juicy pressure cooking finished off with a “crisping lid” that creates a mouthwatering and crispy golden finish. Finally, this appliance also includes a dehydrator, perfect for homemade chips and jerky.
6. The Professional Choice: Crownful 10-in1, 16L Air Fryer and Dehydrator
Crownful’s 10-in-1 air fryer is a sturdy, well built machine perfect for cooks who are making air frying a part of their daily routine. The 10-in-1 fryer and dehydrator comes with rotisserie attachments, a roasting basket, skewer rack, wire rack, fry basket and both a crumb and drip tray. All of these pieces are stainless steel and hold up well with use. The Crownful also has one of the highest wattages we’ve seen on a unit like this at 1500W. We’re also a fan of the 360-degree air circulation. Many of these units use vertical air flow for frying or dehydrating, where SousVideGuy prefers a horizontal fan assembly. One word of warning, due to the amount of heat put off by this unit you’ll want to make sure to give it a good amount of clearance on all sides. You’ll also want to keep in mind that these counter-top units can usually only roast a chicken that weighs less than 2.5 pounds.
7. The Belle of the Kitchen: Hauswirt 1200 Watt, 26 quart Digital Air Fryer
The Hauswirt digital air fryer is a retro darling with a suite of features and impressive build-quality. If you’re looking for a more traditional air fryer this is a fantastic, stylish option to add to your kitchen. The Hauswirt 26-quart air fryer runs almost whisper-quiet and provides a temperature range from 85 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with an interior light so you can keep an eye on your meal from across the room. The Hauswirt can easily handle baking, fermenting, frying, baking, roasting, toasting and broiling – to name just a few. SousVideGuy was particularly impressed with the build quality of the unit in addition to its accessories. Often air fryers with this kind of functionality skimp in quality when it comes to crumb trays, fry racks and the like. However, we would that the Hauswirt was above average on all fronts. With all that said, keep in mind that the ventilation system for the Hauswirt wraps around both sides and the top of the unit. This means you will want to avoid placing it directly below cabinets if possible.
What are the differences between an air fryer that dehydrates and a traditional air fryer?
Although air fryers are able to mimic dehydration it is often better to look for 2-in-1 units if you’re interested in both cooking methods. For an air fryer to dehydrate food properly you need to make sure that it has an excellent ventilation system with a range that can reach temperatures as low as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Air fryers might be capable of dehydration, but choosing the right tool for the job is a much better principal to follow. It’s also important to remember that basic air fryers typically aren’t designed to support multiple racks for dehydrating food in a single layer. Rather many units use a basket design that is serviceable for dehydrating, but far from ideal. When in doubt you should always check the manufacturer’s intended usages.
How should I dehydrate my food with my air fryer?
Place the food you want to dehydrate on your air fryer tray in a single layer with space surrounding each food item. This is extremely important as air must flow freely around your food to dehydrate it properly. Adjust the temperature dial to your desired range, typically between 112 degrees and 150 degrees. Finally, set the unit’s timer for your desired cook length. For jerky and meats this is generally about 4-hours. It’s also worth mentioning that there are two approaches to air-flow for dehydration. Traditional dehydrators use a horizontal flow of air blown across the food via a system of fans. However, there are other methods, and even some products, that use vertical air flow instead. Between the two horizontal air flow works significantly better unless you’re using very particular dehydration techniques.
What is the best temperature for dehydrating food?
Generally speaking, 130 degrees is a happy middle for dehydrating food. With that said drying herbs is much more effective at lower temperatures such as 112 degrees. Meanwhile, the 140-150 degree range is excellent for making jerky. After this point the food begins to cook rather than dry. This leads to blocking the escape of moisture, which is essential for the dehydration process. With that said, there are plenty of levers that you can pull to adjust the speed of dehydration. For instance, increasing the air flow rate will correspondingly decrease the drying time!
If you were skeptical about the efficiency of the air fryer and dehydrator combo, then doubt no more! The evidence is out there in abundance and after reading this article, you should be able to see for yourself that these appliances are truly revolutionizing healthy food preparation. Perfect for small kitchens and anyone looking to improve their cooking methods, air fryers are the ideal multi-tools. Let your inner chef fly free and create wonderfully healthy meals with almost zero oil and butter!