How to Dry Herbs in an Air Fryer

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When it comes to drying out herbs in an air fryer, the choice of air fryer being used can have a significant influence on the outcome. While many air fryers boast the convenience of a dehydrator function, it’s important to recognize that not all units come equipped with this capability.

To explore the feasibility of drying herbs in an air fryer without a built-in dehydrator function, I experimented with herb drying at my air fryer’s lowest temperature setting of 170°F (77°C) and got some favorable results.

Let’s dig in deeper to see if it’s possible to dry herbs in one of these sorts of air fryers.

Air Fryer Type Matters When Dehydrating Herbs

The type of air fryer you’re using will have a huge impact on your herb drying efforts. While many air fryers have a dehydrator function, not all models offer this feature. For optimal results, it is recommended to use an air fryer with a built-in dehydrator mode.

I do not have a dehydrator mode on my air fryer. You can read more about the results of my higher temp herb drying experiment in my air fryer below.

Air Fryers with a Dehydrator Mode

An air fryer with a dedicated dehydrator setting provides precise control over temperature and airflow, allowing you to dry herbs evenly and efficiently. This specialized function ensures that the herbs are dehydrated at the ideal temperature without cooking or overheating them. These models also often come with adjustable racks or trays to accommodate different quantities of herbs.

Herbs on butcher block with dried herbs in air fryer baskets

Air Fryers with NO Dehydrator Mode

When using an air fryer without a dedicated dehydrator mode, it’s essential to adjust the settings carefully. Most air fryers have a temperature range between 170°F (77°C) and 400°F (205°C).

Although using an air fryer without a built-in dehydrator mode may require some experimentation and monitoring, it can still be a viable option for drying herbs. Set the air fryer at the lowest possible setting (around 170°F) and monitor it often. It’s critical not to leave your herbs drying for too long when using high temps.

It’s also worth noting that the overall quality of your herbs will suffer a bit when drying them at higher temperatures.

My Herb Drying Experiment with a High Temp Air Fryer

I recently embarked on an experiment to dry freshly harvested garden herbs using my air fryer. While my air fryer does not have a built-in dehydrator model, I didn’t let this deter me from my attempts at drying herbs using my air fryer.

Check Herbs Often When Drying at Higher Temperatures

I used my Cosori air fryer for my herb drying experiment, but you can try this method with other models as well. To dry my herbs, I set the air fryer temperature to it’s lowest temperature of 170°F (77°C). When drying herbs at this high of a temperature, it’s important not to dry them for too long. Regularly checking on the progress is key.

It’s Important to Contain Herbs Due to Convection

One of the advantages of using an air fryer for herb drying is its convection feature, which circulates hot air within the appliance, maintaining consistent heat distribution.

A potential problem with convection when drying herbs in an air fryer is it could cause dried herbs to fly around inside the air fryer and come into contact with the heating elements. To remedy this potential issue, it’s critical to secure the herbs in trays or baskets that are able to contain the herbs while they are drying.

For a quick video of my herb drying experiment with my air fryer, check out my YouTube video below.

How to Dry Herbs with an Air Fryer

Step-by-Step Guide: Dehydrating Herbs with Your Air Fryer

Regardless of the type of air fryer you are using, the steps to dry herbs with your air fryer are largely the same.

1. Wash and Pat Dry Your Harvested Herbs

To begin the process of dehydrating herbs with your air fryer, start by washing the freshly harvested herbs. Rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt or debris, and then pat them dry using a paper towel or a clean kitchen cloth.

2. Place Herbs in Layered Air Fryer Baskets

Next, prepare your herbs for drying by arranging them in a single layer on stackable air fryer baskets. This allows for proper airflow and ensures even drying. Be sure to add an empty basket or “lid” on top to prevent the dried herbs from flying around the air fryer due to convection.

How to dry herbs in an air fryer

3. Set Air Fryer to Lowest Possible Temperature

If you have a dehydration mode on your air fryer, definitely use it. These modes are usually around 105-110°F (40-43°C) and will allow the herbs to dry out gradually over a longer period of time (usually around 2 to 3 hours). Low temperatures helps to preserve the flavor and nutrients of the herbs while slowly removing moisture.

If you do not have a dehydration function on your air fryer, just set it to the lowest possible temperature, which is likely going to be around 170°F (77°C). In my herb drying experiment at 170°F, I found that 30 minutes was sufficient for drying out my herbs.

If the lowest temperature on your air fryer is anything over 200°F, it’s probably not a good idea to try drying herbs in it.

4. Check Herbs Regularly

While dehydrating your herbs, it’s essential to check on them regularly, especially if you’re using higher temperatures. Higher temperatures can cause faster drying but may also increase the risk of over-drying or burning delicate herbs like basil. Keep an eye on their progress and adjust as needed.

5. Store Dried Herbs in Airtight Containers

Once your herbs are dry, remove them from the air fryer let them cool completely. Store them in airtight containers in a cool, dark place to preserve their freshness.

Dried herbs on butcher block from air fryer - mason jar for storage


When it comes to herb dehydration, the versatility of air fryers shines through. Models equipped with a dedicated dehydrator mode offer precision, but our experiment showcases the feasibility of using an air fryer lacking these types of features. With careful adjustments and monitoring, herb drying at temperatures higher than those typically used for food dehydration remains a viable option. This experimental journey underscores that successful herb dehydration is achievable, even in the absence of specialized dehydrator modes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use any type of air fryer for drying herbs?

Most types of air fryers can be used for drying herbs. However, it’s important to consider the temperature settings and airflow capabilities of your specific model. Air fryer models with a dehydrator mode around 105°F will perform better at drying herbs.

How long does it take to dry herbs in an air fryer?

The time required to dry herbs in an air fryer varies based upon drying temperature. If you have a dehydration mode around 105°F, herbs will dry within 2 to 3 hours. At higher temperatures around 170°F, herbs can dry in as quickly as 30 minutes. It’s important to check drying herbs frequently to not over dry them.

Can I dry multiple types of herbs at once in an air fryer?

You can dry multiple types of herbs at once in an air fryer. Just ensure that they are compatible in terms of moisture content and size so that they dry evenly. It’s also a good idea to separate different herbs by using stackable trays within the air fryer.

How should I store dried herbs?

To maintain their freshness and flavor, dried herbs should be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. Mason jars or resealable bags work well for this purpose. Label and date herb containers for identification. Check stored herbs occasionally for signs of moisture or mold and discard if necessary.

Can I use dried herbs in the same amounts as fresh herbs when cooking?

Dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor compared to fresh ones. As a general rule, you’ll want to use about one-third to half of the amount of dried herbs as you would fresh herbs. It’s always a good idea to taste when cooking and adjust according to your personal preference.

Should I wash the herbs before drying them in an air fryer?

Gently wash any dirt or debris off of your freshly harvested herbs with water and pat them dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel before drying them in an air fryer.

Are there any specific safety precautions I should follow when drying herbs in an air fryer?

When using an air fryer for herb drying, ensure that you follow all safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Avoid overcrowding the tray or basket to allow proper airflow. Be cautious when handling hot trays or removing dried herbs from the machine to prevent burns. Make sure herbs are contained when drying.

Last Updated on 13 October 2023 by Bob Lee

About Bob Lee

Bob Lee is a gardening and culinary arts enthusiast currently residing in Minnesota's northern climate. He shares his 25+ years of experience on where he combines practical gardening know-how with inventive cooking techniques.