How to Dehydrate Fruit in an Air Fryer

Dehydrating your fruit comes with so many benefits that it’s actually kind of dizzying. 

It preserves nutrients! It makes everything last longer! I’m almost evangelical about it. 

Do you know those infomercials where the lady holds up a vacuum cleaner like it’s Simba from The Lion King? Well, that’s me with my dried strawberries.

One of my favorite things about dehydrating fruit is that it’s quick and easy to do. Gone are the days when you had to lay out racks in the sun. Today, we have appliances that make the job a breeze.

Now, I know a dehydrator is the go-to. I use mine all the time. 

But did you know that you can dehydrate fruit in an air fryer?

I assure you, dehydrating fruit in an air fryer is simple!

If you want to preserve the nutritional content of your fruit, extend its shelf life, and enjoy fresh seasonal treats year-round, then let’s talk about dehydrating with an air fryer.

What Temperature to Dehydrate Fruit in an Air Fryer

Short answer: The best temperature for dehydrating fruit is between 125°F and 150°F.

Long answer: If you’re using an air fryer to dehydrate, it’s important to understand how an air fryer works.

For starters, air fryers aren’t actually fryers. They’re small convection ovens that operate at high temperatures and circulate heated air with the help of a fan. This quick, blistering heat is what crisps your food in an imitation of oil frying.

To dehydrate fruits, you don’t want to use high heat settings. It’ll cook them rather than drying them out. 

Instead, you want to go in the entirely opposite direction with low heat settings; this will slowly draw out the moisture without crossing the line into baking.

Some air fryers have a “dehydrate” button that’ll automatically set the temperature to 130°F or so. Others won’t have a specific function for dehydrating, but you can manually set a good temperature for it.

Different fruits should be dried at different heats. Other things to consider in terms of methodology are timelines, drying quality, and desired appearance and texture. 

If you’re pressed for time, you can dehydrate at a higher temperature for faster results—and that’s exactly what I use my Cosori Dual Blaze Air Fryer for

Fruits are great candidates for drying at slightly higher temperatures because they contain such high moisture content. I have ran fruit through my dehydrator for 24 hours before, and it STILL wasn’t done. 

When you need dried fruit quick, an air fryer is the way to go.

What if My Air Fryer Doesn’t Have a Dehydrate Button? (+ Why I Love My Cosori)

As I’ve mentioned before, the best dehydrating temperature for fruit is around 135°F, which is the sweet spot in the full range of 125°F – 150°F. Air fryers with a dehydrate button will usually set the temperature around 130°F.

However, this can be a problem on air fryers without a dehydrate button. Many models have locked-in temperature ranges with allowed minimums and maximums, so if they aren’t equipped for dehydration, they might not go as low as 130°F.

If this is the case with your own air fryer, what can you do?

The answer is simple: use the “Keep Warm” feature! 

Every model is different in terms of permitted heat ranges, but most have a minimum below 200°F, and that’ll do in a pinch for dehydrating.

For example, my COSORI Dual Blaze Air Fryer doesn’t have a “dehydrate” setting, but it dries fruit beautifully nonetheless. 

Its “Keep Warm” temperature is 175°F, and its ventilation system works in a way that circulates the hot air very evenly and consistently.

In fact, it’s called “Dual Blaze” because it’s equipped with dual heating elements that allow for precise—and even—temperature control, which is exactly what you want in order to dry fruit in an air fryer without burning it. 

Besides dehydrating fruit, my Cosori air fryer is a WORK HORSE in the kitchen. We’re talking rotisserie chicken in minutes and fries crisped to perfection. If you don’t already have an air fryer, you’re missing out! 

I highly recommend the Cosori Dual Blaze 6.8-Quart Air Fryer:

How Long to Let Fruit Dehydrate in Your Air Fryer

Fruit typically needs 2 or more hours to dehydrate in an air fryer (compared to 8+ hours in a dehydrator). 

That said, there is no “one size fits all” schedule since different fruits can require different drying times. Drying times can also be affected by things like temperature, the type of fruit that you’re working with, and the exact make and model of your air fryer.

Generally speaking, however, you can expect it to take anywhere from 2 – 7 hours to dry fruit in an air fryer.

Remember that some fruits will fall outside of this range. C’est la vie!

Best Fruit to Dehydrate in an Air Fryer

Now that you know the basics of using an air fryer to dehydrate fruit, let’s get into some specifics about the best, tastiest, and most nutritious treats you can preserve all year long.

Air Fryer Dehydrated Apples

Apples are one of the most versatile fruits for drying. You can create apple rings, apple chips, dried apple slices, and more!

Most experts will suggest a temperature around 145°F for dehydrating apples. Drying times can be anywhere from 4 – 8 hours depending on your air fryer, so make sure to keep an eye on your machine; you don’t want to overdo it.

For Top Chef quality results, set your initial drying temperature to 145°F to wick away the surface moisture of your apples; then, after an hour or so, reduce the heat to 135°F to let them dry out more evenly over time.

Dehydrated Bananas

Who doesn’t love sliced bananas on their morning oatmeal? I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

The good news is that bananas are easy to dehydrate. You don’t have to fiddle with temperatures or turn them over or anything; just pop them into the air fryer at 130°F and you’re good to go.

The bad news is that bananas typically require a longer dehydration time than other fruits. Give yourself around 8 – 10 hours to fully dry them out.

But here’s some more good news: The Cosori’s “Keep Warm” feature is programmed to 175 degrees, and I have found that bananas can get done at that temperature within just 3-4 hours!

If you’ve ever dehydrated bananas in your dehydrator and been disappointed when they didn’t turn out like the banana chips in the store, try an air fryer next time. You’ll finally get that crisp bite you love with banana chips!

Dried Strawberries

Ahhh, strawberries. They’re one of my favorites. Thankfully, when I dehydrate them, I can enjoy them all year long without worrying about seasonal picking.

You’ll want to set your air fryer to around 135°F for strawberries. Drying times will vary depending on your machine, but it shouldn’t take long. They’re one of the quicker fruits to dry out, so they can be ready in as little as 3 – 5 hours.

Dehydrated Pineapple Chunks

You don’t have to wait for summertime to enjoy the refreshing sweetness of pineapple. In fact, when you dehydrate them into chunks, you can pop them like candy even in the dead of winter!

You’ll want a slightly higher temperature than usual for pineapple chunks since they’re so thick and heavy with moisture. That’s why I do my pineapple chunks in the air fryer at 175 degrees. 

Drying time will depend entirely on the size of the chunks; it could range anywhere from 2 – 6 hours.

Steps to Make Dried Pineapple Chunks in Your Air Fryer

My whole family loves dried pineapple chunks so much that I add them to our (near) daily trail mix snack. 

I know working with an air fryer is a lot different from using a dehydrator, so I wanted to include some step-by-step images of the process.

Step 1: Using paper towels, pat dry the pineapple chunks, removing as much moisture as possible. 

Step 2: Place pineapple chunks on your air fryer tray as evenly as possible. Try not to let any pineapple chunks touch each other.

Step 3: This step is optional, but it is SO good. Sprinkle your pineapple chunks with cinnamon. The two flavors complement each other really well! 

Step 4: Place the fryer basket in the air fryer. Set the air fryer to the “Keep Warm” setting, which will automatically set it to 175 degrees. 

Step 5: Set the timer to 60 minutes, and press the start button (it looks like a “Play” symbol). 

Step 6: When it beeps and tells you it’s ready, don’t take them out. Simply, set it to “Keep Warm” again, and then set the timer to 60 minutes a second time—for a total run-time of 2 hours. 

Step 7: At this point, they are trail-mix ready! Or just ready to pop straight into your mouth after allowing them to cool for a bit. 

Dry Mangoes

Mangoes are another fruit associated with summer, but again, dehydration will let you preserve them as a year-round treat.

It won’t be difficult. Most folks recommend the standard fruit drying temperature of 130ºF, myself included, and you can expect them to be ready in around 6 – 8 hours. Slice them thinly for faster results.

My #1 Tip for Dehydrating in an Air Fryer Successfully

As a first-timer, it can be tricky to get perfectly dehydrated fruit. Here are some of my best tips for all of the young padawans out there.

Make your slices the same size. Slicing and dicing your fruit is pretty much essential for fitting it into an air fryer, but make sure that you’re being uniform about your cuts. Bigger pieces won’t dry out as quickly as smaller ones.

Don’t let the fruit touch. Even more importantly, do not stack it. You want moisture to be drawn out evenly and consistently with no mushy spots. This means spreading out all of your fruit slices on a single layer.

Overall, the secret to air-fried dehydrated fruit is simple: consistency. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be racking up dried apples, mangoes, and pineapple chunks in no time.

If you’ve been wondering how to dehydrate fruit in air fryer, I hope I’ve solved the mystery for you. It’s honestly one of my favorite ways to preserve food, and it’s extra special because it’s so good for your health on top of being fun, easy, and space-saving. 

Once you start, you’ll never look back!

Dehydrated Pineapple Chunks in an Air Fryer

Dehydrated Pineapple Chunks in an Air Fryer

You don't need a dehydrator to make delicious dried pineapple chunks. This dried fruit is slightly spiced with cinnamon and dehydrated in the air fryer in just 2 hours!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can pineapple, diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

    1. Using paper towels, pat dry the pineapple chunks, removing as much moisture as possible. 

    2. Place pineapple chunks on your air fryer tray as evenly as possible. Try not to let any pineapple chunks touch each other.

    3. This step is optional, but it is SO good. Sprinkle your pineapple chunks with cinnamon. The two flavors complement each other really well! 

    4. Place the fryer basket in the air fryer. Set the air fryer to the “Keep Warm” setting, which will automatically set it to 175 degrees. 

    5. Set the timer to 60 minutes, and press the start button (it looks like a “Play” symbol). 

    6. When it beeps and tells you it’s ready, don’t take them out. Simply, set it to “Keep Warm” again, and then set the timer to 60 minutes a second time—for a total run-time of 2 hours. 

    7. At this point, they are trail-mix ready! Or just ready to pop straight into your mouth after allowing them to cool for a bit. 

Notes

If they still seem moist after 2 hours, run the air fryer for an additional, 1-hr cycle on the Keep Warm setting.

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