09 May 2016

My 2¢ on Dehydrating Apples: a How-To with 7 Tips

100_6118Making apple chips, or dried apples, is super easy to do at home with a dehydrator.  (I use a Nesco Snackmaster.) Here are the basic steps:
  1. Select firm apples with as little bruising as possible.
  2. Wash and core the apples.
  3. Slice apples thinly and as evenly as possible (about 1/4-inch).
  4. Places slices in lemon juice and water mixture.  A 1/4 cup juice to a quart of water is a good ratio.  This helps to deter browning.
  5. Season (with cinnamon, for example) if desired.  Place slices on dehydrator trays in such a way that air can circulate around them.
  6. Dry at 140°F for an average of 12 hours.
100_6125What I learned after my first attempt at drying apples at home:
  • It's easy! Don't stress over every little step.  Forget the lemon juice? That's ok.  Your slices aren't perfectly even? That's ok.  Some of your slices are touching on the dehydrator trays? That's ok! You should still end up with a nice finished product.
  • Be picky about your apples.  If you get a ho-hum flavored apple from the grocery store and dry it, it's still going to be a ho-hum flavored apple.  We now live about 3 miles from an apple orchard that's been around for 70 years.  Can you guess where my next batch to dry is coming from?
  • The skin is pretty tough after drying.  Next time, I'm going to peel my apples.
  • The lemon juice and water mixture works.  I had no browning of the apples using this method.  Having said that, there are plenty of people who skip this step.  Try some both ways.  If it doesn't make a big enough difference for you, you'll save time in future batches.
  • I used a Granny Smith (tart) type of apple.  Didn't care for cinnamon on it.  Might want to use a sweeter apple in the future.
  • Be flexible with your drying times.  External factors will play a role in how long it takes to dry your apples.  So don't be hard and fast about it.  Check on the drying progress from time to time.  You want a pliable and flexible apple slice with no signs of moisture.  If you are planning on storing them long term, over-drying is better than under-drying.
  • I store my dried apples in pint-sized mason jars.  The ones I made 10 months ago have not lost any flavor -- still delicious!


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  1. Wow, twelve hours in the oven! I would definitely have to do that during non peak hours. You have peaked my curiosity. I'll have to make a batch just to taste them when they are done. Pinning. Thanks

    1. It takes a while, for sure. That's why I'm thankful for the dehydrator. I've heard of people drying them in all sorts of places, though. Outside in a hot car under the sun, even. Thanks for stopping by, Darlene!

  2. Congrats -This fantastic post is the Highest CLIMBer on The Lady Prefers to Save & is being featured on my blog today:
    Thanks again & please link up your newest posts - you might just be featured in July also!

  3. Great tips! I especially appreciate this as we purchased a dehydrator this summer. We'll be enjoying "sun" dried cherry tomatoes for many months to come. Apples seem like a another fun thing to try. Thank you for sharing.

  4. LOVE dried tomatoes! We try to always have some on hand.


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