Difference Between Beef Jerky Air Fryer and Dehydrator

Whenever you have some munchies, whether on the road or at home, you can enjoy some beef jerky. It is a snack food that is rich in protein. What’s more, it is very easy to prepare. While you can easily grab a bag at the store, it is more fun and worthwhile to prepare some at home.

purblack shilajit banner

To be honest, there are different ways in which you can prepare some beef jerky, including using a dehydrator. At the same time, however, you can use an air fryer.

In this post, we will look at a comparison between beef jerky air fryer vs. dehydrator. We hope to figure out which is easier and better to use for preparing beef jerky. Let’s get to it.

Using a Dehydrator


Preparing beef jerky with a dehydrator is quite straightforward. Here’s how you do it.

Start by finding the best piece of meat, preferably with the least amount of fat. If any fat is on the meat, try to trim it off as much as you can. That way, the meat will not spoil fast. After that, partially freeze it, and cut it into slices.

Freeze it for around 2 hours in the freezer should be adequate so it does not completely freeze.

Prepare your marinade and add the beef strips in it so that it is covered evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, or more than 6 hours. The longer you allow it to marinate, the better. After that, ensure that you drain it and pat it dry to remove excess marinade.

Finally, lay the slices of beef jerky on the racks ensuring that they do not overlap or touch. That way, the air will circulate well.

It will take around 5 hours for the dehydrator to complete the process at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. As per USDA guidelines, the jerky’s internal temperature should be 160 degrees and above. After that, you can store it or simply enjoy it.

Using an Air Fryer

Ninja Air Fryer

The preparation process is the same with an air fryer and a dehydrator. However, after you marinate and dry it, you should place it in the basket. Avoid placing them on each other. They should not touch.


For the air fryer to produce good results, you should cook it slowly and at a low temperature. Set the air fryer to around 210 degrees Fahrenheit and cook it for 3 hours. That low temperature ensures that the moisture evaporates without burning the beef.

You should check the meat after 2 hours at intervals of 15 minutes until it is completely cooked. Certain aspects will affect how long your meat takes to be ready.

Can you Use an Air Fryer as a Dehydrator for Jerky?

Beef jerky

You will find some air fryers that have dehydrator modes in them. If yours does not, you should check your air fryer’s lowest setting. It should be around 160 degrees. It should also have adequate airflow. That is why it is important to allow adequate space between them.

If all these are okay, then you can use the air fryer as a dehydrator.

Is it Better to make Jerky in a Dehydrator or an Air Fryer?

The best way for you will depend on certain aspects. For instance, if you do not have much time, an air fryer would be the best way. If you have a dehydrator and adequate time to prepare the beef jerky, then we believe that the dehydrator would have more success. Either way, you will be pleased with the results.


So, what is the beef jerky air fryer and dehydrator difference? As you can see, making beef jerky is very easy with either an air fryer or a dehydrator. The difference is that you will have to use different settings for the two appliances and that a dehydrator takes more time to get the beef jerky ready.

Also, read:

Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!

Also, if you find the information in this post to be useful, be sure to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Noom 4

Leave a Comment