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how to dehydrate apples in a food dehydrator


Dehydrating Apples: A Comprehensive Guide to Using a Food Dehydrator


Dehydrating apples is a fantastic way to preserve this delicious fruit for extended periods while ensuring all its nutrients are intact. With the help of a food dehydrator, you can effortlessly transform fresh apples into scrumptious and healthy dried snacks. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of dehydrating apples in a food dehydrator, providing you with expert tips and tricks along the way. Get ready to embark on a journey of deliciousness and learn how to prepare this nutritious and versatile snack at home.

I. Choosing the Right Apples:

Selecting the right type of apples is crucial for successful dehydration. Follow these guidelines to pick apples that are ideal for drying:

1. Variety Matters:

Choose apples with a firm and crisp texture such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Jonathan. These apple varieties are known for their excellent flavor and ability to retain their crunchiness during the drying process.

2. Organic or Conventional:

Whether you opt for organic or conventional apples is entirely up to you. However, organic apples are recommended as they are free from pesticides and other chemicals.

3. Size and Ripeness:

Select apples that are medium to large in size for easier handling. Make sure to pick fruits that are ripe but still firm, as overripe apples may not dehydrate well.

II. Preparing the Apples:

Before you start dehydrating, it's essential to prepare the apples properly. Follow these steps to ensure your apples are ready for the dehydrator:

1. Wash and Peel:

Thoroughly wash each apple under running water to remove any dirt or residue. If desired, peel the apples using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Peeling is optional and can be left to personal preference.

2. Core and Slice:

Remove the core from each apple using a corer or a knife. Next, slice the apples into uniform size slices, around ¼ inch thick. Ensuring consistent thickness will help the slices dehydrate more evenly.

3. Pre-Treatment (Optional):

To prevent the apple slices from browning during the drying process, you can pre-treat them in one of the following ways:

- Soaking: Submerge the apple slices in a mixture of lemon juice and water (one part lemon juice to four parts water) for 10 minutes, then drain.

- Blanching: Briefly blanch the apple slices in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then immerse them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain excess water before placing them in the dehydrator.

III. Using a Food Dehydrator:

Now that your apples are prepared, it's time to start dehydrating them in a food dehydrator. Follow these steps for a successful dehydration process:

1. Arrange the Apple Slices:

Lay out the apple slices in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, ensuring that they do not overlap. Leave some space between the slices to allow proper air circulation.

2. Set the Temperature:

Check the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended temperature setting for dehydrating fruits. Typically, it ranges between 125°F (52°C) and 135°F (57°C). Adjust the temperature accordingly.

3. Dehydration Time:

The drying time varies depending on several factors such as apple thickness, moisture content, and dehydrator efficiency. On average, it takes around 8-12 hours to fully dehydrate apple slices. Rotate the trays and check the progress occasionally.

IV. Testing for Proper Dehydration:

To ensure your apple slices are completely dehydrated, follow these simple tests:

1. Appearance:

The dehydrated apples should have a leathery texture with no visible moisture. They should be pliable but not sticky or tacky to the touch.

2. Bend Test:

Take a dehydrated apple slice and gently bend it. If it flexes without breaking, it indicates proper dehydration. However, if it snaps or breaks, it needs more drying time.

3. Moisture Test:

Allow the dehydrated apples to cool for a few minutes, then place them in an airtight container. If condensation forms on the lid within a couple of hours, it means the apples are not fully dehydrated.

V. Storing and Enjoying Dehydrated Apples:

Proper storage ensures your dehydrated apples stay fresh and tasty for an extended period. Follow these guidelines for optimal storage:

1. Cool and Dry:

Allow the dehydrated apples to cool completely before storing them. Store them in airtight containers or resealable bags in a cool, dark, and dry place.

2. Shelf Life:

When stored correctly, homemade dehydrated apples can last up to a year. However, for the best quality, consume them within 6-8 months.

3. Enjoying Dehydrated Apples:

Dehydrated apples can be enjoyed as a delicious snack on their own or used in various recipes. Add them to trail mixes, oatmeal, or granola for an extra burst of flavor. They can also be rehydrated by soaking them in water or apple juice before using in baked goods.


Dehydrating apples in a food dehydrator is a simple and rewarding process that allows you to enjoy this nutritious fruit all year round. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully preserve apples while maintaining their natural goodness and taste. Experiment with different apple varieties and flavorings to create your own unique dehydrated apple snacks. So, grab your food dehydrator and start transforming fresh apples into mouth-watering dried treats!


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