What is the Best Fruit to Dehydrate? How to dehydrate fruit without a dehydrator? Read our step-by-step guide to learn how you can dry your fruits in a toaster oven.
Your convection oven or toaster oven will do the job just fine.
Drying fruits in an oven is a pretty straightforward process: just slice them up nicely and bake at a low temperature for a long time.
It’s cheaper than buying them from the grocery store, and a great way to store extra fruits that you won’t be able to eat in time.
In this article, we are going to share with you some examples of fruits that can dehydrate well in your oven.
Let’s dive right in!
The method is quite simple.
You’re simply heating the fruits at low temperatures to allow enough water to evaporate and minimize the growth of bacteria.
The typical range to dehydrate fruits is 135 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the temperature to change the texture or speed up the process.
Higher temperatures will take out more moisture from the fruits while the lower temperature will have a chewier texture as a result.
And if you go any higher than the recommended 225 degrees, you will most likely end up cooking the fruit instead of dehydrating them.
Step 1: Prepare the Fruits
- Wash fruit in cold water
- Remove any blemishes
- Remove the pits or stones from stone fruits
- Remove any stems from the berries
- Cut and slice them thin and evenly so they will all dry within the same time frame (except for berries)
Step 2: Soak Them
- Soak the sliced fruits in lemon juice and water to minimize discoloration
- Soak for at least 10 minutes, drain them and blot them dry with a kitchen towel
Step 3: Preheat the oven
- Preheat the oven to at least 135-225 degrees depends on the fruit you put in
- Use a lower temperature for thinly sliced fruits like apples or peaches; Berries should work well with higher temperatures
Step 4: Put them into the oven.
- Place parchment paper onto the sheet pans, arrange the fruit slices in a single layer, and do not stack them
- Put a pizza screen or silicone pan line on top of the fruit slices to keep them from curling up when they dry
- Rotate the pans every two hours
Step 5: Cure the Dehydrated Fruits
- Place dehydrated fruit in a glass or plastic container (without closing the lid) to “cure.”
- Shake the container every day or so to move the fruit around. This will help any leftover moisture from the drying process to evaporate
Step 6: Seal the container after 5 days
- Enjoy your dehydrated dried fruits!
Step 1: Prepare the Fruits
- Wash them in cold water
- Remove any pits or stones from the fruits
- Remove the stems from berries
Step 2: The Blend Method
- Pour berries or chopped fruits into a blender
- Start by blending at low speed to break up the fruit
- Bring up to higher to blend until fruit skin and pulp are incorporated
- Add in some simple syrup with the blender still on to mix evenly
Alternative Step 2: The Heating Method
- Add two cups of chopped fruits and berries into a saucepan with one cup of water
- Cook over medium heat until fruit is soft then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
- Puree the cooked fruit with honey and lemon juice
Step 3: Prepare the Sheet Pan
- Line Silpat baking mat or parchment paper onto the sheet tray
- Evenly spread the puree from Step 2 onto the sheet pan
- Tap the sheet pan a few times on the counter to release air bubbles
Step 4: Into the Oven
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and place in the sheet pan for 5-6 hours.
- If the fruit feels sticky after six hours, continue to dry for another one hour.
Step 5: Done
- Cut and roll the fruit leather with a kitchen shear into desired strips
- Roll them up to serve or store in a glass container
Almost all kinds of fruit can be dehydrated in your oven, and the process is similar.
Here are some examples of fruits that dehydrate well in the oven, along with a table of recommended time and temperature.
Fruits that can be dehydrated
Apples, Apricots, Banana, Pears, Peaches, and Citrus Peels can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to dry in the oven, depending on how thick you slice them.
If you like thick, semi-chewy slices, cut them thicker and bake at 150 to 200 degrees until they reach the texture you’re looking for.
If you prefer crispy chips, slice them super thin and bake at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just remember to place a pizza screen on top of the fruit slices if you don’t want them to curl up!
Cherries, Berries, and Grapes can be dehydrated
Cherries, Berries, and Grapes are easier as they require almost zero effort.
Just wash them thoroughly, spread them onto a baking sheet, and pop them into the oven. (Though you may have to pit the cherries first. )
You can leave them in the oven for 10 hours at 135 degrees or cut down the time to 6 to 8 hours at 200 degrees.
Just make sure to check on them more frequently if you’re turning up the heat.
Here’s the table as a general guideline for dehydrating your fruits.
Keep in mind that the recommended time is just a guideline. The results will depend largely on the thickness of your fruit slices and the size of your berries.
Feel free to change them to match the texture and amount of time you want to spend.
It is not necessary to buy a dehydrator if you're only making a few batches of dehydrated fruit now and then.
Although some might say that, using the oven is less energy efficient.
But if we are only making them in small batches yearly, adding another appliance to our kitchen does not seem to justify the cost.
Do you dry your fruit at home?