One of the reasons I got my Ninja Foodi 15 in 1 is because I love experimenting! I was excited to try out the dehydrator setting and am hooked! I kid you not; it’s been a life changer. I now enjoy dehydrated fruits in the air fryer as crispy homemade snacks! The process feels magical, turning fresh fruit into delightful, crunchy delights. You should also try this method as it is a great way to maintain a nutritious diet easily. 

Dehydrating fruit in an air fryer is done at a low heat to ensure a slow yet effective drying process, preserving vital nutrients and the fruit’s natural sugars. 

Why you will love dehydrating fruits in the air fryer

  • An air fryer revolutionizes fruit preservation, extending shelf life while maintaining taste. 
  • Dehydrating fruits at home is surprisingly simple, offering a nutritious alternative to store-bought snacks.
  • Convenience and Easy to Use: Air fryers are generally straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to manage, even for beginners.
  • Speed and energy efficiency: Compared to conventional ovens, air fryers can be more energy-efficient for dehydrating fruits due to their smaller size and faster cooking times.
  • Consistent Results, Quality, and Taste: Dehydrating fruits in an air fryer can preserve the fruit’s nutrients and flavors effectively, 
  • Control Over Ingredients: When dehydrating fruits at home, you have complete control over the quality and type of fruits you use, as well as the assurance that no additional preservatives or sugars are added, unlike many commercially dehydrated products.

Why Use an Air Fryer to dehydrate fruits

I found the air fryer to be super convenient for me. Unlike traditional dehydrators or the cumbersome oven method, my air fryer yielded impressive results with minimal fuss. The efficiency of this technique surprised me. 

With its dehydrator setting, the air fryer oven allows for better control of the low temperature needed to preserve the fruits’ sweet taste and nutritional value. I realized that dehydrating at a lower temperature ensures the best results and significantly cuts down the drying process. This method was a great way to make delicious snacks, resembling the fruit snacks I used to buy, but far healthier with no added additives or preservatives!

How to dehydrate fruit in the air fryer
Step 1: Choose and Prepare Your Fruit

Selection: Pick fresh, ripe fruits for the best flavor and texture. Almost any fruit, including apples, bananas, strawberries, and mangoes, can be dehydrated.

Cleaning: Wash the fruits thoroughly to remove any pesticides or dirt.

Slicing: Cut the fruit into even, thin slices (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) to ensure uniform drying. The thinner the slice, the faster it will dehydrate. Using a paper towel, apply gentle pressure to absorb the moisture.

Arrange: Arrange the sliced fruits in a single layer on the air fryer racks, dehydrator trays, or dehydrator racks.

Pretreatment (Optional): To prevent browning, you can pretreat some fruits (like apples and bananas) by dipping them in a mixture of water and lemon juice or an ascorbic acid solution.

Step 2: arrange the Fruit in the Air Fryer

  • Place the fruit slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure they do not overlap to ensure even airflow and drying. If your air fryer has racks, you can dehydrate more fruit.

Step 3: Set the Temperature and Time

  • Temperature: Set your air fryer to lowest temp setting to mimic the dehydrating process. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if your air fryer has a dehydrate function. The best temperature range of 122°F to 140°F (50°C to 60°C) is generally recommended for dehydrating fruits. I prefer this range as it gives the best crunchy dry fruit. Slightly higher temperature can result in chewy fruits. 
  • Time: Dehydration times can vary significantly depending on the type of fruit, its water content, and how thickly the fruit is sliced. Start with 4 hours and adjust as needed. It’s better to check the progress periodically.

step 4: Start Dehydrating

  • Begin the dehydration process. It’s a good practice to check on the fruit slices every hour to monitor their progress and ensure they dry evenly. Flip the slices or rotate the trays to promote even drying.

Step 5: Check for Doneness

  • The fruit is done when it is crispy, with no visible moisture. The exact texture you’re aiming for (crispy vs. chewy) will depend on your personal preference.

step 6: Cooling and Storage

  • Once dehydrated, let the fruit slices cool completely before storing them. This helps to avoid condensation that could lead to sogginess or mold.
  • Store the dehydrated fruits in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, they can last for several months.

step 7: Additional Tips

  • Trial and Error: The first few times you dehydrate fruit, consider it a trial to find the perfect time and temperature settings for your specific air fryer and fruit choices.
  • Keep it Clean: Use parchment paper or a silicone mat in the air fryer basket to prevent sticking and to make cleanup easier.
  • Stay Safe: Always use oven mitts or tongs when checking or removing food from the air fryer, as it can get very hot.

Best Fruits for Dehydrating

I have experimented with lots of fruits! But the best results in the dehydrating process, thanks to their water content and flavor intensification post-dehydration. Let me share with you the top contenders for air fryer dehydration.  

  • Strawberry slices: With their water content significantly reduced, dehydrated strawberries have a sweet taste and become even more concentrated, making air fryer strawberries a delicious snack or an excellent addition to your morning cereal. 
  • Apple slices: Dehydrated apple chips are a healthy snack that retains a sweet and slightly tart flavor. They are perfect for snacking or as an addition to granola bars. 
  • Banana chips: When bananas undergo the dehydration process at the lowest temperature setting in an air fryer, they transform into incredibly crunchy and sweet treats that can rival any store-bought snack. 
  • Citrus fruits: Dehydrated oranges and other citrus fruits offer a tangy and slightly sweet taste, adding a fantastic zest to water and teas or used as garnishes for various dishes. 
  • Dehydrated lemon, mangoes and orange slices served as aromatic and flavorful garnishes for cocktails and teas, impressing my guests with effortless chic. 

Try different fruits like citrus for dehydrated oranges or bananas for banana chips, noting how each type reacts to dehydration. You’ll find that each fruit offers a unique flavor profile and texture, making the experimentation process one of the most exciting parts of your dehydrating adventure. Remember to store your finished products in an airtight container in a dry place, ensuring their long shelf life. 

How to store dehydrated fruit made in the air fryer

Ensure the fruit has cooled down completely. This is vital. Moisture can find its way into even the most dehydrated fruits if stored while still warm, losing that desirable crunch. Transferring the fruits into an airtight container too soon can spell disaster. Therefore, patience was a great thing in preserving their delicious snack quality. 

Storing the dried fruit in a zip loc bag or any airtight container has been a game-changer for me. Finding a dry place away from high temperatures or direct sunlight is essential. I’ve learned that dehydrated fruits can have a long shelf life, making them perfect for school lunches or healthy snacks on the go. 

Creative Uses for Dehydrated Fruits

I found that dehydrated fruits weren’t just a delicious snack; they became a staple in my kitchen for creative cooking. For instance, strawberry slices add a sweet taste to my granola bars. The dried fruit sometimes are added to my son’s packed lunch as a snack. Taking banana chips, I discovered they blended seamlessly into smoothies, offering a thicker texture and a heightened taste profile. Similarly, apple slices, once dehydrated, turned into a fantastic ingredient for my homemade apple chips, perfect for school lunches or as a healthy substitute in place of chips. 

Consider homemade beef jerky seasoned with dehydrated pineapple for a burst of sweetness.

FAQ: How to dehydrate fruit in the air fryer

  1. Can I dehydrate fruits in any air fryer?
    • Most air fryers can dehydrate fruits, but checking if your specific model has a dehydrate function is essential. If it does not, you can still dehydrate fruits by setting the air fryer to its lowest temperature setting and extending the cooking time.
  2. What fruits can I dehydrate in an air fryer?
    • Almost any fruit can be dehydrated in an air fryer. Popular choices include apples, bananas, strawberries, pineapples, and mangos. The key is to slice them thinly and evenly for the best results.
  3. How thin should I slice the fruits?
    • Fruits should be sliced thinly, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Uniform slices ensure even dehydration.
  4. Do I need to pre-treat the fruits before dehydrating?
    • Some fruits, like apples and bananas, may benefit from pretreatment (such as a dip in lemon juice or ascorbic acid solution) to prevent browning. However, this step is optional and depends on personal preference.
  5. How long does it take to dehydrate fruits in an air fryer?
    • The time varies depending on the fruit’s water content and its sliced thickness. Generally, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours at a low temperature (around 135°F to 160°F, if your air fryer allows for such settings).
  6. How do I know when the fruits are fully dehydrated?
    • Fruits are fully dehydrated when chewy or crispy, without any visible moisture. Checking on them periodically is a good idea, as overhydrating can lead to overly hard textures.
There’s nothing more rewarding than making your dehydrated fruits. A great way to achieve a healthy snack option that is both nutritious and satisfying. The benefits of having these homemade delights at your disposal are immense, not just for school lunches or as a quick snack but also as a testament to the power of self-sufficiency in your culinary adventures. So, I hope to see your versions use these tips on How to dehydrate fruit in the air fryer! 

About the Author

Get to know me more.

I am Seun, and I love to share my first-hand experience using multiple air fryers. Stick around for yummy delicacies made from the air fryer and many amazing tips on using your newfound Kitchen appliance – the air fryer!

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