Can An Electric Smoker Be Used As A Dehydrator?


If you are thinking about extending your kitchen gadgets to include an electric smoker or dehydrator, you might be wondering if it can be used for other purposes as well.

You may be wondering if an electric smoker can be used as a dehydrator, and the answer is yes! It is perfectly safe to use your electric smoker as a dehydrator, and it can be a great way to preserve food. But what if you are torn in on which to choose?

In this article, we will explore each option so that you can make an informed decision.

What is a Dehydrator?

A dehydrator is an appliance that is used to remove moisture from food. The process of dehydration helps to preserve the food and keep it fresh for a longer period of time. Dehydrators work by circulating warm air over the food, which causes the water to evaporate.

It is the evaporation of the water that removes the moisture from the food. Dehydration is a very effective way to preserve food, and it is often used to preserve fruits, vegetables, and meats.

What Is a Dehydrator Used For?

A dehydrator can be used for a variety of purposes. The most common use for a dehydrator is to preserve food. Dehydration is an excellent way to preserve food because it prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. It is also an effective way to keep fruits, vegetables, and meats fresh for a longer period of time.

Another common use for a dehydrator is to make jerky. Jerky is a popular snack made from dried meat that has been seasoned and then smoked.

Finally, some people use their dehydrators to make their own dried fruits and vegetables. This is a great way to get the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables without having to worry about them going bad.

Smoker vs Dehydrator – What’s the Difference?

You need to note the difference between a smoker and a dehydrator before you decide if you can use your electric smoker as a dehydrator. A dehydrator removes moisture from food while preserving its flavor and nutritional value. On the other hand, smoking adds flavor to food while preserving its moisture content.

The following are the key differences between a smoker and a dehydrator based on how they work:

1. The Movement of Air

For the dehydrators to work, they need a fan to circulate hot air around the food. The hot air removes moisture from the food, and the fan prevents the formation of condensation on the food. The air flows either vertically or horizontally, depending on the dehydrator model.

Electric smokers burn fuel to produce heat, and the hot smoke moves around the food. The movement of air is not as efficient as in dehydrators. When using the smoker as a dehydrator, you need to open the door frequently to allow air circulation.

2. Functions

A dehydrator preserves food by removing moisture from it. You can use a dehydrator to make your own jerky, fruit leathers, and dried herbs, among other things. You need to be careful with meat, though, as it can spoil if not dehydrated properly.

Powered by electricity, an electric smoker uses heat and smoke to cook food. You can use it to smoke meats, fish, and vegetables. The electric smoker is a great choice for those who want to try smoking food but don’t want to deal with the hassle of using a charcoal smoker.

3. Applications

Dehydrators are often used to preserve food, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat. They can also be used to make trail mix, jerky, and other snacks. Electric smokers, on the other hand, are most commonly used for cooking. However, some people do use them for dehydrating as well.

4. Uses

Dehydrators are used to remove moisture from food. This can help to preserve the food and make it last longer. The food stays fresh for a longer period of time and does not spoil as quickly.

Smokers are used to cooking food. The smoke from the smoker flavors and cooks the food. This can make for some delicious meals. Also, smokers can be used to preserve food. The smoke from the smoker will help to keep the food fresh for a longer period of time.

5. Temperature

Dehydrators work by circulating hot air around the food. The temperature inside the dehydrator is important as it needs to be hot enough to remove the water from the food, but not so hot that it cooks the food.

Smokers also use hot air to dehydrate food, but the temperature inside the smoker is much lower than that of a dehydrator. This is because smokers are designed to cook food, not just dehydrate it. The low temperature in a smoker means that the food will retain more of its flavor and nutrients.

6. Ease of Use

Dehydrators are very easy to use. You simply need to put the food in the dehydrator and turn it on. The dehydrator will do the rest.

Smokers are a little more difficult to use, but they are still fairly easy. You will need to put the food in the smoker and then set the temperature. You will also need to add wood chips to the smoker so that it produces smoke.

7. Cost

The price of a dehydrator can vary depending on the size and features. However, dehydrators are generally quite affordable. You need just to buy a dehydrator once and can enjoy its benefits for years to come.

Smokers are more expensive than dehydrators. This is because smokers are designed for cooking, and they come with more features. However, you can find some smokers that are very affordable depending on the size you want.

Smoker vs Dehydrator: Which is Better?

If you’re trying to choose between the two, it really depends on what you’re looking for. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to decide what’s most important to you before making a purchase.

Electric smokers are great for those who want to smoke food without having to worry about starting a fire. They’re also very easy to use, so they’re perfect for beginners. However, they can be more expensive than dehydrators, and they don’t always produce the same results.

Dehydrators, on the other hand, are perfect for those who want to make their own dried fruits and vegetables. They’re also much cheaper than electric smokers, and they can be used to dehydrate other foods like meats and fish.

However, they can be more difficult to use, so they’re not always the best choice for beginners.

So, which is better? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to smoke food without having to worry about starting a fire, an electric smoker is probably the way to go. If you’re looking to dehydrate your own fruits and vegetables, a dehydrator is probably the better choice.

Whichever you choose, make sure to read the instructions carefully before using the either appliance. Electric smokers can be dangerous if not used properly, and dehydrators can be messy if not used properly. With a little bit of care and attention, though, you can use either one to create delicious, healthy meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Smoke Dried Fruit?

Dehydrators are great for drying fruits, vegetables, and meats. However, you can also use your electric smoker to dry fruit. This is a great way to add flavor to your dried fruit.

Can You Smoke Cheese?

Yes, you can smoke cheese in an electric smoker. The smoked flavor will be imparted to the cheese, and it will also help to preserve the cheese. If you are planning to use your electric smoker as a dehydrator, you need to keep in mind that the temperature inside the smoker will be lower than what is needed for dehydrating foods.

The best temperature for dehydrating foods is between 155- and 165-degrees Fahrenheit. Electric smokers typically operate at a temperature between 100- and 200-degrees Fahrenheit.

Can You Smoke Jerky?

Jerky can be smoked in an electric smoker, but it will not be as traditional as if it were smoked in a smoker that uses charcoal or wood. The flavor of the smoke will be different, and the texture may not be as dry.

If you are going to smoke jerky in an electric smoker, it is best to use light smoke wood such as apple or cherry. These woods will give the jerky a light flavor without overpowering it.

Can You Dehydrate Beef on A Smoker?

Yes, you can dehydrate beef on a smoker. The key is to choose the right cuts of beef and to cook them slowly at a low temperature. The best cuts of beef for smoking are the chuck, brisket, and round. These cuts have a lot of connective tissue, which breaks down and tenderizes when cooked slowly at a low temperature.

To dehydrate beef on a smoker, you’ll need to cook it at a temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat and the type of smoker you’re using.

Once the beef is cooked, it can be shredded or sliced and then dehydrated. Dehydrating beef on a smoker is a great way to make jerky or other dried meat snacks. It’s also a good way to preserve meat for long-term storage.

How To Dehydrate Peppers in A Smoker?

You can dehydrate peppers in a smoker, but you need to be careful about the temperature. Peppers can easily be dried out and become charred if the temperature is too high. The best way to dehydrate peppers in a smoker is to use the low setting.

This will take longer, but the peppers will retain more of their flavor and color. You can also dehydrate peppers in an oven, but the results are not as good. Peppers can easily become overcooked and lose their flavor.

If you are going to dehydrate peppers in a smoker, it is best to use fresh peppers. You can also use frozen peppers, but they will not have the same flavor. To dehydrate peppers in a smoker, start by preheating the smoker to the low setting.

Place the peppers on the racks and close the lid. Smoke the peppers for about 2 hours, or until they are dry and slightly shrunken. Remove the peppers from the smoker and allow them to cool. Store the peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Is It Better to Smoke or Dehydrate Jerky?

Most people believe that smoking is the best way to preserve meat, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, dehydration can often be a better way to keep your jerky fresh and full of flavor. You see, smoking meats can actually add unwanted moisture, which can make the final product soggy.

Dehydration, on the other hand, removes moisture, leaving the meat with a more concentrated flavor.

Can You Use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker as A Dehydrator?

You can use a Masterbuilt electric smoker as a dehydrator with great results. The temperature and smoke control of these smokers is excellent, making them ideal for dehydrating food.

Here are some tips for using your electric smoker as a dehydrator:

  1. Place the food on the racks in a single layer so that the air can circulate around it.
  2. Set the temperature to between 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Smoke the food for 2-4 hours, or until it is dried to your desired level.
  4. Store the dehydrated food in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Related: How Do You Season a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Can I Smoke Then Dehydrate Jerky?

If you’re looking for a way to add more flavor to your jerky, you may be wondering if you can smoke it before dehydrating it. The answer is yes! Smoking jerky before dehydrating it will give it a more intense flavor that many people enjoy.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to smoke jerky before dehydrating it, though. First, you’ll need to make sure that your jerky is fully cooked before you start the smoking process. Otherwise, it won’t dehydrate properly and could potentially make people sick.

Once your jerky is cooked, you’ll need to smoke it at a low temperature. If you smoke it at too high of a temperature, it will cook the jerky instead of dehydrating it. A good rule of thumb is to smoke it at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, you’ll need to be careful not to over-smoke the jerky. If you do, it will become bitter and unpleasant to eat. If you’re not sure how long to smoke the jerky, it’s better to err on the side of smoking it for less time than you think it needs. You can always smoke it for longer if you want, but you can’t undo overcooking it.


A dehydrator is a great appliance that can be used for drying foods. However, not all dehydrators are created equal. Some dehydrators are better than others when it comes to drying foods. If you are thinking about getting a dehydrator, then you should definitely consider getting an electric smoker.

Electric smokers are great for dehydrating foods because they generate a lot of heat and they have a lot of power. This means that the electric smoker will be able to dehydrate your food quicker and more evenly than a dehydrator that is not as powerful.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.