How to Make Dehydrated Apples in a Food Dehydrator

  • 01 of 09

    Drying Apples in a Dehydrator

    dehydrated apples
    Nils Hendrik Mueller/Cultura/Getty Images

    Dried apples are a great snack, and they're known to be a wonderful ingredient in winter compotes. You can also add them to fresh apples to make an extra-rich applesauce. This method preserves the unique flavors of individual apple varieties. Save the leftover apple cores to make apple scrap vinegar, jelly, and homemade pectin.

    Drying apples in a food dehydrator is an easy process. You can have your kids help load the trays or check the slices to see if they are dried. Depending on age and...MORE skill, they might also be able to help with slicing the apples.

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  • 02 of 09

    What You Need to Make Dehydrated Apples

    Green apple being thinly sliced on chopping board, front view
    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    Besides a food dehydrator and apples, you only need a knife, acidulated water (water with vinegar or lemon juice) and jars for storage. Plan for about 15 minutes to slice the apples and arrange them on the trays. Then it will take about 12 hours to dehydrate the apples in the food dehydrator. 

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  • 03 of 09

    Slice Apples to the Correct Thickness

    Apples sliced to the right thickness for dehydrating. Leda Meredith

    It's important the apples are the right thickness before dehydrating. Slice the apples approximately 1/3-inch thick--they should be no thicker than 1/2-inch thick. Otherwise, they won't dry well.

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  • 04 of 09

    Drop the Apple Slices Into Acidulated Water

    Apple slices in acidulated water pre-dehydrating. Leda Meredith

    To minimize browning, the apple slices need to be placed in acidulated water as they are sliced. To make acidulated water, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice per quart of water. 

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  • 05 of 09

    Drain the Apples

    Acidulated apple slices draining before going into the dehydrator. Leda Meredith

    Before drying the apples they need to be drained of any liquid. Place the apples in a colander and let them sit for a few minutes so they are really well drained. If you're in a hurry, spread the slices on a dish towel and lightly press another dish towel on top of them.

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  • 06 of 09

    Place Apple Slices on Dehydrator Trays

    Apple slices on a dehydrator tray. Leda Meredith

    Place the drained, acidulated apple slices on dehydrator trays. Be sure none of the pieces are touching and that there is some space around each slice for air to circulate. This is an important step to get even drying.

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  • 07 of 09

    Dry the Apple Slices

    Place the trays of apple slices into the dehydrator. Set the temperature for 130 F. Turn on the dehydrator and dry the apples until they have a leathery or crispy texture (depending on how you like them). This takes approximately 12 hours.

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  • 08 of 09

    Let the Dehydrated Apples Cool

    When the apple slices are dry, turn off the dehydrator and remove the trays. Let the apples cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. This step is called "conditioning."

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  • 09 of 09

    Store the Dehydrated Apples

    Store dehydrated apples in glass jars away from direct light or heat. Leda Meredith

    Once the apple slices have been dehydrated and "conditioned" (cooled), transfer them to glass jars. Seal the jars tightly.

    Label your jars so you know for sure the contents are dried apple slices. Also, include the date and year that you dried them. This way you can be sure you are using the oldest first if you have more than one jar.

    Store the jars away from direct light or heat. The shelf life of home-dried fruits is six months to a year if kept in a glass jar in a dark, dry, cool...MORE environment, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation.