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how to dry strawberries in a food dehydrator


How to Dry Strawberries in a Food Dehydrator


Drying strawberries is an excellent way to preserve their flavor and extend their shelf life. While many opt for oven drying or air drying methods, using a food dehydrator can yield superior results. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of drying strawberries in a food dehydrator. Whether you're a seasoned dehydrator user or a beginner, this article will equip you with valuable knowledge to achieve perfectly dried strawberries every time.

Why Use a Food Dehydrator?

1. Retaining Nutritional Value

When using a food dehydrator, you can preserve the nutritional content of strawberries more effectively compared to other drying methods. The controlled temperature in a food dehydrator ensures that the strawberries dry evenly while retaining most of their essential nutrients, such as vitamins C and K, potassium, and dietary fiber.

2. Faster Drying Process

Food dehydrators are designed to remove moisture quickly from food items. With their adjustable temperature settings, they effectively speed up the drying process and reduce the overall time required for strawberries to dry. Compared to air drying, using a dehydrator can save you several hours.

3. Consistent Results

Food dehydrators provide a controlled and consistent environment for drying strawberries. With even heat distribution and proper air circulation, you can expect uniform drying among the slices or pieces. This ensures that all the strawberries are dried to perfection, resulting in a consistently delicious end product.

Preparing the Strawberries

1. Selecting and Washing

Choose fresh, ripe strawberries for drying. Ensure they are free from any signs of spoilage or soft spots. Carefully wash the strawberries under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

2. Removing Stems and Slicing

Remove the stems of the strawberries using a sharp knife or by gently pinching them off with your fingers. You can choose to slice the strawberries into halves or quarters, or even leave them whole if they are small in size. Slicing allows the strawberries to dry evenly and reduces the overall drying time.

Loading the Dehydrator Trays

1. Spacing and Placement

Arrange the strawberry slices on the dehydrator trays without overlapping them. Leave some space between the slices to allow proper air circulation during the drying process. Avoid overcrowding the trays, as this can lead to uneven drying and prolong the drying time.

2. Using Non-Stick Sheets or Mats

If your food dehydrator comes with non-stick sheets or mats, place them on the trays before loading the strawberry slices. These sheets prevent the sticky strawberry juice from dripping onto the trays and make cleanup easier.

Setting the Temperature and Time

1. Temperature Setting

Consult your food dehydrator's instruction manual to determine the appropriate temperature setting for drying strawberries. In general, a temperature range of 120°F to 135°F (49°C to 57°C) is suitable. Avoid setting the temperature too high, as it may lead to uneven or over-drying.

2. Drying Time

The drying time can vary based on factors like the thickness of the strawberry slices, the moisture content of the strawberries, and the humidity in your environment. On average, strawberries take around 8 to 12 hours to dry completely. Monitor the drying progress and adjust the time accordingly.

Ensuring Proper Storage

1. Cooling and Conditioning

Once the strawberries have dried to your desired texture, remove the trays from the dehydrator and let them cool completely at room temperature. After cooling, you can perform a conditioning test to ensure they are moisture-free. Place the dried strawberries in an airtight container for a day. If any condensation appears inside the container, further drying is needed.

2. Packaging and Storing

After the conditioning test, transfer the dried strawberries into airtight storage containers or mason jars. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture. Properly stored dried strawberries can last for several months, allowing you to enjoy their delectable taste year-round.


Using a food dehydrator to dry strawberries is a convenient and efficient method that ensures optimal flavor retention and nutrient preservation. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide, you can enjoy delicious dried strawberries anytime you desire. Don't forget to experiment with different thicknesses and enjoy this versatile fruit in a variety of culinary creations. Happy drying!


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