If you like dried fruit, you probably already know you can dry it yourself in a dehydrator. This common kitchen gadget removes almost all the water content from fruits (or other foods) by circulating hot air on and around it. Dehydrators use a controlled temperature to avoid burning fruits while you dry them.
Dehydrating your own fruit can help you save money rather than buying dried fruits at the grocery store. But dehydrators can be pretty bulky and aren’t suitable for anything other than dehydrating foods. Plus, fancy dehydrators can be expensive and difficult to justify if you only use them once or twice per year. If you want to enjoy homemade dry fruit, there is a quicker and more affordable way to do so. Just use the air fryer you probably already have! Here’s what you should know about using an air dryer to dry fruits and which fruits work best when using this method.
Best Fruits for Air Frying
Some fruits turn out better than others when you dry them in an air fryer. Here are some of my favorite fruits to dry using this convenient method:
- Tomatoes (yes, technically, these are fruits!)
You’ll want to avoid using your air fryer to dry foods with a high oil content. Avocados are some of my favorite fruits, but they do not dry well in an air fryer because they contain too much oil.
How to Properly Dry Fruit in an Air Fryer
There are a few tricks to drying fruit effectively in an air fryer. Follow these tips to get amazing taste, color and consistency every time.
- Use parchment paper. Fruit tends to get very sticky as the natural sugar content inside it caramelizes in the heat. To keep your air fryer from becoming a sticky mess and to make it easier to remove your dried fruit from the appliance, line your air fryer racks with parchment paper.
- Slice your fruits evenly. Evenly slicing your fruits will ensure they dehydrate evenly. For best results, use a fruit cutter or mandolin to slice your fruits thinly, so they dry out more quickly. Trust me, you don’t want to slice your fruits too thick, or you could end up with dried-out ends but soft and chewy middles.
- Set the temperature right. You don’t want to dry fruit at the highest temperature in your air dryer. Instead, you should set the temperature to around 125 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You definitely don’t want to set the temperature any higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add flavor enhancers before frying. If you plan to add any flavor enhancers to your fruit (such as cinnamon, lemon juice, brown sugar or nutmeg), it’s best to do so before you begin air frying. Keep in mind that dehydrating fruit tends to enhance the flavor, so go light on any flavor enhancers you choose to use.
- Know the ideal times for drying fruits in the air fryer. Some fruits may require just six hours in the air fryer before they’re adequately dehydrated. Others may need at least 12 hours in the air fryer before they’re finished. You can find convenient air frying times online or refer to your air fryer’s owner’s manual to determine how long you should dry each type of fruit.
Once you try dehydrating your fruit in your air fryer, you’ll love how easy and convenient it is. Plus, you won’t have to invest in a dehydrator that takes up a lot of space on your counter or in your cupboards. Follow the tips above for delicious homemade dehydrated fruit that is much more affordable than the type you can get at the grocery store.