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Dehydrating apples is a great way to preserve them to enjoy later. Learn how to dehydrate apples the easy way.
I realize that apples are available year around, but fall is such a great time to stock up on them. Since they are in season the prices drop tremendously and they are so much more fresher. So it a great time to stock up and save money!
We are lucky to have an apple orchard here in our town and each fall, I’m making a “bee-line” there to buy a couple bushels. They are fresh and right off the tree!
If you don’t have a local orchard, it’s not a problem since you can buy them at the grocery store at a much cheaper price this time of year.
What are The Best Apples to Dehydrate?
I know there is a “bazillion” different kinds of apples. As far as the best kind of apple to dehydrate really depends on what your favorite is. Any kind of apple can be dried. So don’t get hung up on trying to find “the best.” Any recipe for dried apples will work with any kind of apple variety.
My favorite variety of apples is the Mutsu, but you may prefer Golden Delicious or Sugar Crisp. It is totally up to you.
How do you dehydrate apples in a dehydrator? Fortunately, dehydrating apples is easy to do!
How to Dehydrate Apples Easily
Fill a large bowl with water and 3 tablespoons of real lemon juice. Set this aside.
Start with apples that you like. They need to be free of rot and not mushy. These can be saved for making homemade applesauce.
Wash them well to remove any dirt. Core and slice them into 1/4 ” slices. I like to use an apple/corer/peeler to do this. You can decide if you want to leave the peel on or take it off. The apple peeler makes it easy to peel, core and slice an apple in about 30 seconds flat. It’s a real time saver.
I leave the peel on, I use apple cider vinegar on a clean cloth, rub and it takes the wax right off the peel.
Are you curious why do they apply wax to apples? It actually helps them to store longer. Apples are juicy and it prevents the moisture from escaping through the peel.
Once they are cut into 1/4 slices, I like to cut the slices in half. This is strictly up to you too. If you don’t cut them, you can dehydrate nice dried apple rings if you like. I prefer what is known as dried apple chips or dehydrated apple chips. These are “moon-shaped” dried apples.
Next, once you slice and cut your apples, dip them into the water / lemon solution. This will prevent them from turning brown while you are peeling the others. And then lay them out flat onto your dehydrator trays.
Make sure they are not touching and are in a single layer so they can dry evenly.
At this point, if you like, you can sprinkle with cinnamon. I do this sometimes, if I’m making a batch as a snack, but more often not. Since I use dried apples in other apple recipes, I prefer they be plain.
How long does it take to dehydrate apples in a dehydrator? My dehydrator is the Nesco FD60. I set it to 135°F and dry the slices apple for about about 12 hours. I like to make sure the moisture is gone.
How Do You Know When Apples Are Dried Well?
Dehydrated apples should feel leathery and have no moisture in them. When you tear or rip open a slice, it should have a sponge like look to it.
Can I Dehydrate Apples in The Oven?
Yes! You can with actually no problem as long as your oven will go to a low enough temperature. Most ovens and even convection ovens normally don’t go below 200°F.
If this is yours you can leave the door cracked open just a bit to allow the heat to escape. I did the for years until I was able to get myself a dehydrator.
I stuck a butter knife in the door and it worked great, and I used an oven thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. The door being cracked a bit also allows the moisture to escape.
So yes, you can make dried apples in the oven.
How Do You Store Dried Apples?
You can use use Ziploc bags to store them in. Just press as much as air possible out when you seal it.
How Long Do Dehydrated Apples Last?
If sealed well, and completely dried, they will last about 6-7 months on the shelf. But for longer storage they can be stored in the freezer for 12-18 months. Mine never last this long.
How to Use Dehydrated Apples
As I’ve mentioned already, dried apples not only make great healthy snacks, they can be used in so many different recipes too. You can use them to make cookies, old fashioned stack cakes and even toss a couple into a big bowl of hot oatmeal or grits.
What do you use them for?
More Preserving Recipes
- Fresh Apples - sliced and cored
- Lemon Juice
- Fill a large bowl with water and 3 tablespoons of real lemon juice. Set aside.
- Start with apples that you like. They need to be free of rot and not mushy.
- Wash, core and slice into 1/4 " slices. You can decide if you want to leave the peel on or take it off.
- Once they are cut into 1/4 slices, I like to cut the slices in half. This is strictly up to you too.
- Immediately dip slices into the water / lemon solution to prevent them turning brown.
- Lay them out flat onto your dehydrator trays, make sure they don't touch and lay in a single layer. At this point, you can sprinkle cinnamon on them (optional)
- Dry for 12 hours at 135°F. They will be pliable and sponge like when dried.
- Store in an air-tight container for 6-7 months or for longer storage, store in the freezer.
Makes sure to have all moisture removed or apples will mold.
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Dianne Hadorn is the owner of Hidden Springs Homestead nestled in the hills of East Tennessee. She is a Master Gardener and enjoys helping others learn how to grow and preserve their own food and sharing tips for living a more self-sufficient lifestyle.