Have you heard anybody talking about an air fryer? Probably you've heard a friend or family member talk about one and how they use it in their kitchen. Air fryers have grown in popularity, making them a choice for many cooking enthusiasts.
What about food dehydrators? Have you ever heard of one?
If you are not familiar with air fryers and food dehydrators' kitchen appliances, they can look very similar to you.
If you want to cook healthy and delicious food, the two kitchen appliances come in handy. Whether you want to lose weight or try out some new recipes, you can use air fryers or food dehydrators for the purpose.
But what's the difference between the two, and which one should you invest in?
What Is an Air Fryer?
Companies are manufacturing several devices geared towards making your life in the kitchen easier and more fun.
One such device is the air fryer.
Air fryers are kitchen appliances that enable you to cook delicious food that looks and tastes like fried food. The air fryers use hot air and little to no oil to cook your food. The air frying cooking method keeps your food moist from the inside and gives it a crunchy texture.
The kitchen appliance resembles a convection oven, and you can look at it as a smaller version of the oven. Just like a convection oven, an air fryer contains a heating element situated at the top of the device (see also 'Air Fryer vs Air Fryer Oven' article).
Additionally, an air fryer comes with a fan that helps circulate the hot air even underneath the food to ensure even cooking. The food in an air fryer is put in a fryer-style basket, allowing the air to penetrate while the oils drop on a tray.
The fast circulation of hot air ensures your food has a crunchy crust, similar to deep-fried foods, but without using a lot of oil (see air fryer versus deep fryer).
What Can You Cook Using an Air Fryer?
One of the reasons cooking using air fryers stands out from the rest is its versatility. The air fryers allow you to prepare various tasty recipes as it does the job on your behalf and, more importantly, getting one won't break your budget.
Some of the things you can cook using air fryers include:
- An air fryer can help you to cook delicious and crunchy french fries
- You can also use the appliance to prepare delicious veggies. By using a little oil, the hot air in the air fryer cooks the veggies to perfection while giving them a crunchy taste. You can also cook mushrooms, eggplants, chickpeas, okra, broccoli, carrots, and beans.
- Additionally, you can use the kitchen device to heat leftovers. Baked dishes and pizza don't feel hard if you heat them using an air fryer.
- You can also use the device to cook onion rings with liquid batter. However, you have to freeze the rings for 10 minutes before you can switch on the device.
- An air fryer can also cook frozen foods meant to be deep-fried, including tartar tots, frozen wings, and mozzarella sticks.
Pros of Air Fryers
Cons of Air Fryers
Nevertheless, an air fryer comes with some limitations. Such include:
What Is a Food Dehydrator?
A food dehydrator helps to dry food for an extended period at low temperatures. Food dehydrators remove moisture from the food to make it more shelf-stable and store it for an extended period.
Additionally, the dehydrated food offers the best taste, such that herbs will have a stronger taste and fruits taste sweeter.
You can use a food dehydrator to dehydrate various types of fruits, meat, and vegetables. Food dehydrators come in handy to help you prepare healthy snacks in the comfort of your home.
Snacks made using a food dehydrator are healthier as they don't contain additives or colors. You can also customize the taste of the dehydrated food by adding oil, sugar, salt, etc.
The food dehydrator blows warm air that helps to remove the fluids from foods. The method has been used for a long time, but people would use sunlight to dry the food. A food dehydrator helps to prevent bacteria from growing while also increasing the food's shelf life.
Dehydration is a healthy food-preserving method that has been in use for centuries. If you boil or steam some ingredients, you may lose nutrients such as vitamins and nutrients.
During dehydration, the food is cut into pieces or small slices and then arranged on shelves without touching each other. A fan then circulates the food at low temperatures, and you should use different temperatures for different types of foods.
Most dehydrator models are rectangular in shape though you can also get round ones. They also come with stacked or pull-out shelves. The models with stacked shelves feature a small fan at the dehydrator base that circulates the air upwards.
The models with pull-out shelves come with a fan at the back of the device. Experienced users prefer these models as they offer more temperature control.
What Can You Cook Using a Dehydrator?
A dehydrator helps you to prepare healthy snacks that you can enjoy at the office, home, or school. There are various types of food that you can prepare using a dehydrator, including:
- You can dehydrate herbs and other delicate types of food at 95 degrees
- You can also dehydrate veggies at 125 degrees Fahrenheit
- The appliance can also help you to make granola and fruit bars
- If you have stale food like pizza, bakery, and cookies, you can use a dehydrator to re-crisp the stale food
- The appliance is also useful in DIY projects such as potpourri and molds
- Additionally, you can dehydrate meat first at 160 degrees and then at 130 to 140 degrees to kill any bacteria
- Foods such as fruits that are water-dense can be dehydrated at high temperatures of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to preserve and intensify the sweetness of the fruits
Pros of Food Dehydrators
When you remove water from the food, you enhance the flavor of the food without adding any artificial flavors and preservatives. Some advantages of using dehydrators include:
Cons of Food Dehydrators
Differences Between an Air Fryer vs. Dehydrator
An air fryer cooks food while a food dehydrator ensures that the food is 100% dry. An air fryer has a fan that circulates air to ensure even cooking of the food, while a food dehydrator has a fan that helps circulate air in low temperatures to enable dehydration.
An air fryer has a small capacity and ideal for small families (see 'Best Air Fryer for Family of 4' post), though you can prepare food in batches. On the other hand, a dehydrator allows you to prepare large amounts of food.
A dehydrator offers a potent method of storing food. It enables you to store surplus food and minimize waste.
An air fryer and food dehydrator are both useful appliances that you should add to your kitchen appliances. An air fryer helps you to cook food while a dehydrator dries it for storage. They are both healthy methods of preparing food.