Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

How to Dehydrate Fruits

June 23rd, 2010 · 84 Comments · Do It Yourself

How to Dehydrate Fruits

Dehydrating fruit is such a great option for long term storage without filling your freezer. Most make great snack foods and can stay in your diaper bag or desk drawer for a long time! Dehydrating apples has become my new favorite fall pastime. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, I explain how to make applesauce rolls in the oven in the eBook Healthy Snacks to Go, but often I find dehydrating much simpler.

Continue scrolling for other fruits, including strawberries, bananas, and cranberries PLUS a homemade fruit leather video.

Note: The two food dehydrators I’ve used include the Excalibur and an expandable Nesco dehydrator.dehydrating fruit strawberries cherries cranberries

I’m certainly still a dehydrating rookie myself, but I did try a few different ways to “pre-treat” some fruits, like apples. When buying dried fruit, you’ll notice that some packages claim “sulfate free!” while other have “potassium sulfate” in their ingredients list. Some fruits need to be pre-treated before dehydrating in order to make them taste better, look better, or last longer.

Generally you want to avoid potassium sulfate, just because it’s one more chemical you don’t need. For home dehydrating, I didn’t want to have to seek out any fancy ingredients. Luckily I read in the book Making the Best of Basics (a great resource on traditional foods, even though it’s aimed at preparing for emergencies) some alternative pre-treatment options using ingredients I had in my kitchen.

How to Dehydrate Apples

I tried dehydrating sliced apples without any pretreatment when I was first dabbling with my friend’s food dehydrator, and I was so disappointed. The end result was very chewy and not at all tasty to eat as a snack.

UPDATE: a bit of cinnamon makes a big difference, or my tastes have changed. I now find I often skip the pretreatment part.

dehydrating apple slices

From the Excalibur drying guide and Making the Best of Basics , I tried two different, simple pretreatments:

  1. Steam for 3-4 minutes. This was so easy to do with a steamer basket, and the end result was very light, less chewy than the other version, and a very fun snack that my whole family liked. Just be sure to rinse with cold water when the time is up and blot dry before arranging on the food dehydrator tray.
  2. Soak in lemon or lime or pineapple juice and water, 1:4 ratio . Also easy to do; I used the same pretreat liquid, 1/4 cup lime juice and 1 cup water, for apples and bananas since I wasn’t drying a big quantity. These apples are more dense and chewy, but I didn’t notice the flavor of the citrus fruit coming through too much, so that was a good thing.dehydrating fruit The steamed apples are on the right, soaked on the left. Strawberries prepared two different ways as well.

My apples were finished in either food dehydrator in less than 6 hours, even though the book said it might take up to 12. home dried apples This gives you an idea of the dried apple. The citrus juice treated apple is shown; steamed ones actually almost break in half when bent like this.

How do you tell when the apples are finished dehydrating? If you can’t squeeze any moisture out when you pinch the fruit, that’s a fairly accurate sign of being 100% finished. If you’re still unsure, put the apples into a plastic bag, box or glass jar right away while warm, and if condensation forms on the inside, you need to dry them out a bit more.

UPDATE 1/12: If you slice your apples thinly and evenly (try using a mandolin or apple corer/peeler/slicer), you can get amazing apple chips after about 24-30 hours with a full food dehydrator. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the apples before drying for a special treat.

See how to make applesauce fruit leather for instructions on this healthy snack with and without a food dehydrator. Here’s a video on making homemade fruit roll ups, too.

How to Dehydrate Bananas

My kids didn’t like the dried bananas! So sad. My husband can’t get enough of them, but for the kids and I, the flavor gets really concentrated and the bananas are very chewy, and it’s just not our thing. My son initially said, “It tastes like banana pancakes,” then on the second taste decided “Yuck.”

Pretreating does help them not get so brown, so it’s worth a try on one banana while you’re dehydrating other things, just to see if your family likes them.

UPDATE 1/12: They’re ugly without the lemon juice, but my husband likes them, so I skip that step now!

Pretreat with a citrus soak as described above for apples. Stop dehydrating when leathery. You can also continue dehydrating until you get banana chips if you slice them thinly enough, which would be a different texture to experiment with.

Dehydrating took about 10 hours. Chips would likely take 15-20 hours. With a full food dehydrator, expect longer times, like 15 hours for dried bananas. If you go too long on accident and don’t like the tough texture, keep going until you get to crunchy “chips” as long as you sliced thinly.
dried apples and bananas Here the strawberries and apples are done and the bananas are getting there.

How to Dehydrate Strawberries

Couldn’t be simpler: slice and dry. Making the Best of Basics recommended steaming for a minute, but in a side-by-side test with untreated berries, I found the results to be exactly the same. Skip the pre-treat for strawberries.

Mine generally take about 6-8 hours, but if you go overboard, they’re still tasty, just a little more chewy/crunchy. Unless you are a perfectly consistent slicer, you’ll probably have to remove some strawberries before they’re all 100% finished. Your berries may take longer than mine, too, if you slice them thicker than 1/8-1/4″.

*Fruit rolls: Particularly if you’ve been lucky enough to pick strawberries, you’ll have some that are getting mushy before you can process them. A fruit roll or fruit leather is a perfect way to be able to use up on-its-way-out fruit, and the preparation is generally easier than any other method of preservation. After an hour of washing, hulling, and slicing strawberries for dehydrated chips or frozen fruit, you’ll be glad to simply toss some fruit in a blender, pour the liquid onto a dehydrator sheet or parchment paper, set your food dehydrator to 135F, and walk away for 4-12 hours.

UPDATE: Here’s a video showing how to make strawberry fruit leather and my post on making homemade fruit roll ups with simple instructions.

Cool trick: You can even leave the leaves on. I’m not kidding. Just wash the berries, throw them in the blender, get ‘em mashed to a pulp so you can’t see the green stuff anymore, and pour carefully onto parchment paper. Just don’t drip strawberry puree all the way down your carpeted stairs like I did last week! I highly recommend pouring next to your food dehydrator instead of carrying the full trays… ;)

The sheets available for the Excalibur are called Paraflexx, and they are coated with Teflon to be non-stick. I spoke with the company on this, and they were quick to point out that it’s a non-chemical Teflon that has no adhesive involved; it’s apparently the adhesive that off-gasses when talking non-stick pots or pans. This will never flake or scratch off.

Excalibur also sells a vegetable-based parchment paper that is renewable and compostable as an alternative option. I was very impressed by their status as a “green” company. You can just tell when talking to someone if they understand how to be eco-friendly, and Excalibur certainly has a handle on that.

How to Dehydrate Cranberries

home dried cranberries Pretreatment for cranberries is absolutely necessary. There are two options:

  1. Add to boiling water and boil for 30 seconds, then dip in cold water. Although Making the Best of Basics instructions only called for 30 seconds of boiling, I found that the cold water bath didn’t pop them for me. The berries really need to be boiled until the skins crack, which takes a little longer for all of them to pop. Any cranberries that are not cracked simply swell and stare at you in the food dehydrator, unwilling to dry out because all the moisture is trapped under the tough skin. I had to use a paring knife and puncture each cranberry individually, which made me very glad I was only testing one small bag!
  2. Freeze. This one simply doesn’t work. More individual knife popping! Note: That’s a dumb Katie option. I just reread Basics, and it says to freeze, THEN drop into hot water just before dehydrating. Perhaps that works great!

dehydrated cranberries See how they are drying at all different rates? The cranberries took about 20-24 hours. You really need to watch this fruit closely, because if they get too dried out, they’re completely hard and have zero taste. If they get slightly overdone, they’re chewy – like eating waxed paper – and have almost no taste. And if you try to compensate and assume that a dried cranberry that looks about like a raisin is “good enough”, this might happen to you:moldy home dehydrated cranberries It about killed me to throw away two whole boxes, about 3 bags, of cranberries because I messed this up! You may need to take some of the home dried cranberries out while the others catch up. Which leads me to this all important tip:

How to Know if Food is Fully Dehydrated?

As you can tell by my sad, sad photo above, I didn’t always know this tip. When you think a food is finished drying out, put a few pieces in a plastic baggie and fold it over. If there’s any condensation on the inside of the bag after a few minutes, keep drying them out! Once you package the food for storage (I use glass jars as often as I can, but I do rely on plastic bags, too), keep an eye on it over the next day. If you see any moisture collecting on the inside, get it back in the food dehydrator, stat! You can check to see if the pieces come apart after being pressed together tightly. If so, they’re done.

How to Dehydrate Cherries

dried cherries Since cherries are already a bit complicated to prepare because you have to pit every one individually, it’s nice that they need no pre-treatment for drying. Simply halve, pit, and arrange the cherry halves, skin side down, on the trays. Mine took about 20 hours to finish drying. They weren’t as good as the Traverse City dried cherries that we get every year for Christmas from my grandparents, but those are tart cherries, and I only had black cherries. You could add a sprinkling of sugar or sweetener if you so desire.

UPDATE: We picked cherries and this time, they were finished and delicious in 12 hours. I added sugar to two of the five trays, but I really didn’t need to now that I taste the finished product. See a photo of my results here. Like cranberries, cherries are another fruit you’ll want to watch very, very closely and use the bag test for doneness. Chewy is great, crunchy…not so much.

Can I Dehydrate Different Fruits at the Same Time?

You bet. Since fruits don’t have much of a permeating odor, feel free to put many different fruits together in your food dehydrator. If it’s new to you, this is a great way to try a variety to see what your family likes. All fruits dehydrate at 135 degrees F. Start the first hour at 145F to get thing moving along faster without killing any enzymes.

What about other fruits? Here’s a page with really great step-by-step food dehydrator how-to videos for the rest of the known world of produce that I don’t tackle, including how to dehydrate tomatoes into leathers and then into paste. Honestly, I need to watch these videos! I never feel like I have the time.

dehydrating fruit

Want more? My other how-to posts:

Twice a month, no fluff, keep up without filling your inbox – the KS monthly newsletter has exclusive content with great tips like this plus a wrap up of the best of the month. Sign up below and get a free bonus:


I’d love to see more of you! Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money. If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

I am an affiliate of Amazon. See my full disclosure statement here.

This post is entered in Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.

Tags: ······

84 Comments so far ↓

  • Beth

    I love my new Excalibur! Yesterday we dried strawberries and made a recipe (from “Independence Days” by Sharon Astyk) for peanut butter banana balls. They smell sooo yummy while dehydrating! Going downstairs right now to remove them and add walnuts that soaked overnight.

  • Jolene

    Wow, love all the info! Was wondering however, how you dehydrate when you have no temp setting on your dehydrator? I have this old one from my mom and all you do is plug it in and it starts, no buttons, no dials or settings…does that matter?
    .-= Jolene´s last blog ..How should a garden grow? =-.

    Carrie Reply:

    I had one like this and what I did was I used my meat thermometers (not sure how accurate it was tho!) to see how high the temp got when it was on. I found it was usually around 150, so to bring the temp down some, I stuck some wooden spoons or other kitchen gadgets in between the stacked trays until it came down to about 145. It didn’t work very well though (the trays would teeter and it was just an annoying process!), so eventually I did invest in an Excalibur and I love it so far… we’re dehydrating bananas and apples for the first time right now!

  • nopinkhere

    Wow! So many different things to think about. I was hoping for more of a pop ‘em in and leave. Tip for evenly slicing strawberries–use an egg slicer.
    .-= nopinkhere´s last blog ..Is Walking a Father’s Day Present? =-.

  • Lanna

    Just something to ponder, different cherry varieties have different tastes and will react to dehydrating differently. One of my orchard guys swears that Van cherries are the best dehydrated – he and his wife grow something like 8-12 different varieties and have dried all of them. I have to say, he’s about right. Lambert cherries are the sweetest to me when they’re ripe, but dried? Meh. So up in my neck of the woods, Van and Royal Anne cherries may be worth a try. :D

    With apples, I’ve also done goofy things… to preserve color as I’m peeling/slicing they get dumped into a bowl of ice water with a little citric acid and sometimes a touch of sugar. Or when I’m in a mood, into a bowl with cinnamon sugar in it and tossed around by hand. Dehydrated cinnamon-sugar apples are super yummy (and I’ve found the Elstar variety to be a great dried apple, on the advice of my other orchard guy). All my stuff is still going strong, 6-10 months later. Yum.
    .-= Lanna´s last blog .. =-.

    Katie Reply:

    I thought cinnamon would be great on apples! Can’t wait to try it when they’re in season in the fall. Thanks for the tips! :) Katie

  • Patty

    Tip for evenly slicing bananas–I use an old Veg-O-Matic that was passed on to us from my MIL. Just set across blades and gently push the banana thru. I’ll have to try it with strawberries next.

  • JulieVW

    You are inspiring me to dig out my dehydrator and dry some fruit!

    The trick to being a “perfectly consistent slicer” with strawberries (and mushrooms) is to use an egg slicer! Wash the strawberry (or mushroom) and then slice it just as if it were an egg. Saves TONS of time and makes professional looking cuts!

    JulieVW Reply:

    Oops – I should have read nopinkhere’s comment before jumping in to share about the eggslicer. That’ll teach me to comment before I read.

  • Primal Toad

    Those all look so delicious. I just need to buy myself a dehydrator then I can enjoy some dried fruit veggies that I made myself!

    I can’t wait to dive into it all :)
    .-= Primal Toad´s last blog ..June Chicago Trip: Severe Storms (Tornado?) & Barefoot Golf =-.

  • FitRosie

    Looking at you photos the fruit seems to be sitting on plastic.
    Did you find a dehydrator that is stainless steel?
    Wondering about out gassing from plastic & contact with plastic.
    .-= FitRosie´s last blog ..Organic Additive Free Green Superfood – Sweet Wheat® =-.

    Katie Reply:

    I addressed the plastic vs. stainless steel dehydrators in Friday’s post here:
    I don’t know that plastic offgasses, does it?
    Thanks for the question! :) Katie

  • M. Charlot

    All the pictures looks great. Dehydrated cranberries last week and they are really delicious.

  • Janet Sheehan

    do oranges need to be treated before drying and how long is the process?

    Katie Reply:

    I’ve never done citrus other than pineapple, which doesn’t need any treating. So I’m really not sure on oranges, although I’m guessing no pretreatment, about 12 hours. Just watch them and see. Enjoy! :) Katie

  • Jane Bozarth

    My fruit sticks to my plastic trays. Any suggestions for what to do about this?
    Thank you.

    Katie Reply:

    It does get sticky, but with the flexible trays, I’ve always been able to peel them off one by one. I suppose you could grease the tray…? Parchment paper actually works well for fruit rolls, so why not fruit? Good luck! :) Katie

    carolyn Reply:

    I brush a thin layer of coconut oil on my fruit leather trays and comes right off!

  • charis

    do you always peel your apples first? how is it leaving the skin on? also, do slice the apples before you steam them?

    Katie Reply:

    I do peeled and unpeeled, depending on how lazy I feel. ;) The peeled ones are easier for my little ones, but I don’t mind the chewiness of the unpeeled. Yes, the apples are sliced first, then lightly steamed. Enjoy! :) katie

  • kolfinnas korner

    kiwi is my family’s favorite dehydrated fruit.

  • Emily

    So I’m ready to try round 2 of dehydrated strawberries. Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep them soft and chewy and not crunchy? Does the soaking in lemon juice and water help with that?

    Katie Reply:

    Oh, I’m way too late to be of any help here, so sorry! The only trick is just to dehydrate for a shorter time. You can stop them when they’re chewy (make sure they’re all evenly cut) as long as there’s zero moisture on the inside of a bag once you store them away. I’ve never done a lemon juice soak with strawberries, but I think that’s mostly for color and flavor. Hope it worked out! :) Katie

    Brigitte Reply:

    I never dry my fruits over 118 degrees. At this temp your strawberries will be chewy. Also they will be nice and red. Any temp over this will “cook” them. Also, you need a dehydrator with a fan. I have an Excalibur. It is worth the $. I also make beef jerky. When I dehydrate apples I peel and core them. They soak them in a water lemon juice solution they sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon. I use tart apples. They turn out the best.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Thank you, that’s very interesting about the temps! I never thought to experiment with various temps to see what sort of texture differences I would get; I just went with what my Excalibur’s dial recommends. I’ll have to try this for strawberry season next week!! :) Katie

  • Amy

    I have a ton of raspberries filling my freezer – any tips on how to convert the frozen delights to dehydrated?
    Mother Nature gave us heavy rain this spring, so the berries were extra good and plentiful when they came!

    Katie Reply:

    That’s a good question! My gut says that you can just put them on the sheets and dehydrate, although I didn’t love the dehydrated raspberries (or blueberries) myself, so you may want to try “some” first before committing to dehydrating a ton. I’m certain you could make great fruit rolls out of them – just blend and pour onto parchment paper and dehydrate, maybe with a little honey or mixed with other fruits. Good luck! :) Katie

  • barbara stenerson

    I am interested in hydrating apples and the length of time it takes-also other items of interest when hydrating apples

    Katie Reply:

    You knw, I’ve never rehydrated them for pies or anything, just eaten them dried. I do rehydrate peppers, and it usually takes about 2 hours in warm water. I’d just cover them with water and drain the excess. Good luck! :) Katie

  • Michigan Apples - A Family Tradition, Michigan Recipes | Pure Michigan Connect

    [...] through for more details on preserving apples all 5 ways or dehydrating apples in a [...]

  • Diane

    Thanks for this wonderful article! I’m a visual person and the photos really help but I do differ on this advice:

    “If you’re still unsure, put the apples into a plastic bag, box or glass jar right away while warm, and if condensation forms on the inside, you need to dry them out a bit more.”

    This was the point that I starting taste testing them and very few are making it back to the dehydrator. Delicious!!

  • Take it on Tuesday Blog Hop: Dehydrating Fruit « Romance on a Dime

    [...] the precise time for the slices to be sufficiently dry, but I learned a great trick from Katie of Kitchen Stewardship: If you can’t tell by simply squeezing the fruit and seeing if any moisture comes out, then [...]

  • Homemade Cherry Pie “Larabars” « The Mommypotamus

    [...] 1/2 cup organic unsweetened dried tart cherries (buy them here or make your own with these instructions) [...]

  • Week 17. Dried. |

    [...] and dry sliced strawberries but while researching I came across a “recipe” for strawberry fruit rolls (scroll about 2/3 day down to the strawberry section). The site is actually very informative, so [...]

  • Becky

    My Aunt who has now passed, used to dehydrate apples and pears. What she would do is dip them in jello crytals while they were still damp and then dehydrate. They never did last long they were so good. The best flavors were orange, cherry, raspberry

  • Sophia

    Hey! We bought a dehydrater at a garage sale the other day because I own pet rats and I make my own diet for them and I include dry fruit but it was getting expensive to buy so we make our own now! Apples and Bananas! The ratties love them!

  • How Marriage Helps You Stay Fit – God’s Way | Fit Marriage

    [...] being opened to the wonderful world of nutrition. She also sent gads of healthy snacks like nuts, homemade dehydrated fruit, homemade beef jerky, grain-free coconut muffins, and an assortment of homemade grain-free bars to [...]

  • Jackie KS Crochet Knitting Patterns

    We bought some apple chips at a garden morning yesterday. My son and I loved them so much that I asked around town if anybody was selling a dehydrator. Got one (used once) for $10!! Attemping apples today. Thanks for the information!

  • Judy Wise

    Hi Katie, thank you for all this wonderful info on dehydrating fruit. My husband cooks most of our food in solar ovens and now we have a dehydrating component to use. My task will be keeping the temp low enough as solar ovens are hot. 135-145 degrees is what you said. What happens if it gets hotter, you mentioned enzymes? Thank you, this was thee most user friendly site I found.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Happy to help; sorry it took so many days! Over 150F is when enzymes die, so then your fruit is not “raw” but cooked. Certain heat-sensitive vitamins will also die – but there will still be nourishment, it’s just closer to canned peaches than a fresh peach, for example.

    Good luck!

  • Real Food on a Budget: 25 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Affordable « The Mommypotamus

    [...] How To Dehydrate Fruit: Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Cherries . . .  [...]

  • Susan Alexander

    Alright – how do I get past my fear of everything going bad? LOL I dehydrate pineapple, mango and banana all the time now, but I’m petrified of it going bad and I keep the jars in my fridge. I’d love to get past my fear and reclaim some fridge space! :p

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hmmmm, if you’re afraid you m ight get sick eating something bad, I’m nearly positive that if they go bad, they will MOLD and you’ll see it before you accidentally ingest. So that’s comforting.

    If you don’t want to lose the food, just use the plastic bag trick – no condensation and you’re good to go. Or see if two pieces stick together – if they don’t, you’re golden. Or teach yourself – put part in the fridge and a handful in a bag in a drawer and label the date – see how long it lasts!

    Good luck! :) Katie

    Susan Alexander Reply:

    LOL, thanks, this puts my mind at ease. I’m chronically paranoid about stuff like this. I have a hard time making shelf-stable jams too because I’m paranoid they’re going to go bad. :p

    Not sure if it’s a food poisoning fear or just a wasted food fear, but either way…

    Anyway, thanks, going to try again. I’m determined to make this work (it would also be nice to pick up food when it’s cheaper and dehydrate a lot).

  • Dehydrated Basil | The Home Heart

    [...] here to see what Kitchen Stewardship says about dehydrating fruit and the [...]

  • nancie

    I have had trouble with my batch of bananas from the dehydrator. I put them in zip top baggies and they have developed kitchen moths in the baggies. Even the baggies in the tin container. I know I have never heard of moths hatching in dried foods. Will that happen to my other fruits and veggies too?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Yikes! I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that one! You can’t have bugs in a bag unless there were eggs in your fruit. Did that happen more than once? I don’t think it will happen to all your fruits, but really, that’s a new one on me…

    ! Katie

  • Mary Schwartz

    How long do we dehydrate banana chips? And do i need to soak them or sprinkle them with something? Would love a response

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    As long as you don’t mind them being brown, you don’t need to soak or sprinkle. Chips take maybe 12-16 hours? It’s kind of a guess and check based on exactly how thickly you slice your bananas – thinner is better. They’ll get chewy first, then crunchy. Enjoy! :) Katie

  • Five Easy Foods to Dehydrate at Home | Wake Up World

    [...] Extension. Or better still, read our very own 3 recipes for jerky here.Fruits The website Kitchen Stewardship has a nice in-depth tutorial on the process of dehydrating different fruits. Some, like apples and [...]

  • Five Easy Foods to Dehydrate at Home | Wake Up World

    [...] Extension. Or better still, read our very own 3 recipes for jerky here.FruitsThe website Kitchen Stewardship has a nice in-depth tutorial on the process of dehydrating different fruits. Some, like apples and [...]

  • Share » » 5 Easy Foods to Dehydrate at Home

    [...] The website Kitchen Stewardship has a nice in-depth tutorial on the process of dehydrating different fruits. Some, like apples and [...]

  • Tara Cousineau

    I am going to try the apple recipe tonight. I was wondering though how long do you suggest soaking them for?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    By now I’m sure you’ve just guessed – sorry I missed your comment for so long! I think it’s just about 3 minutes for apples…
    :) Katie

  • How to make strawberry chips | Everything Healthy Naturally

    [...] retain the maximum amount of nutrients.  You can learn how to make your own strawberry chips in this post.  This 9 tray dehydrator is by far the best dehydrator you can get and it’s quite [...]

  • Real Food on a Budget: 25 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Affordable « The Mommypotamus The Mommypotamus

    [...] How To Dehydrate Fruit: Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Cherries . . .  [...]

  • Lea

    Hey there, thanks for the great post! It really helped with the two bags of apples I brought home from the orchard and didn’t know what to do with. However, for future batches, what texture should the apples be after steaming? Around three minutes of steaming left me with half almost translucent, softened, and half solid apples.

    Also, have you ever dried apple rings instead of slices, and if so, any suggestions for cutting out the core neatly?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I have done rings, and they’re awesome if you slice them super thinly and dehydrate 24-36 hours until they’re apple CHIPS. Yum. The trick is to use a peeler/corer/slicer like this one:
    :) Katie

    Felicia Reply:

    Your apples just steamed a little too long. If the apples begin to turn shortly seconds/minutes after steaming, they did not steam too long. I normally steam my apples 1.5min when they are 1/4 inch. I test it out, if they begin to turn any a few minutes or so after steamed then I simple steam them for 30 seconds more. :) They are still ok to dehydrate when they turn out the way you explained. But they dry thinner.

  • Andrea

    I made banana chips that snap in half like a chip, and start out crispy when you chew them, but turn chewy and really stick to your teeth. I don’t see any condensation in the bag. Is it possible they should still dry longer? It’s my first try using a dehydrator.

    Also, it didn’t come with any plastic trays for fruit leather. Is it possible to just use wax paper? And how does it dry if the dehydrator doesn’t have all the holes?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Yikes, your comment got lost somehow! So sorry – If they snap, I’m positive they’re fine. Sometimes dried fruit can be chewy completely and still be fully dry. Break and squeeze and look for moisture as another way to tell.

    Don’t use wax paper, but parchment paper does great. It will still get enough heat without the holes. Have fun with it! :) Katie

  • Kristen VanderMeyden

    Hi I know this post is old, but where did you pick cherries. I live in West Michigan also and have been wanting to pick cherries for a few years now but haven’t found a place.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I think it was Wells on the west side of GR. Robinette’s also does cherry picking. :) Katie

  • Colleen

    Great advice. Thank you for the tips. I will attempt dehydrating apples today. Steaming vs lemon juice. I’m thinking of steaming with lemon juice.

  • Fresh Strawberry Recipes and Other Ways To Use and Preserve Them

    [...] Purchasing dehydrated fruit can be expensive, but it’s so easy to do at home. Have dried strawberries to munch on all year by dehydrating some of them. Just slice and dry in your oven or in a dehydrator. Directions and tips can be found here. [...]

  • John

    Could you suggest a soak length, specifically for the apples and bananas?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    John, I think it’s just like 10 minutes…

    nancie Reply:

    John, I used a salt water soak for apple slices and mine were too salty when dehydrated.

  • Curb71

    I’ve done strawberries. Sliced and they come out like a crunchy snack. But I’ve bought dried strawberries that are more like eating whole strawberries that are gummy-like. I can’t figure out how to make them when they are gummy-like.

  • Lan

    What is the texture of dehydrated strawberries? Are they very chewy and do they stick to the teeth a lot (like raisins)? I’ve never had them but am thinking of dehyrating some of the bounty we got from strawberry-picking yesterday. Thanks a lot!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lately I usually do the fruit rolls, since tossing them into a blender is much less work than slicing and my kids enjoy the “rolls” better. But no, home-dehydrated strawberries aren’t as chewy/sticky as raisins (at least I can never get that texture). The sliced strawberries I’ve done are more like tough/chewy/not sticky – but not so tough that they’re not still pleasant to eat. You can always try just a handful to experiment and make sure you like them! Length of time, of course, will make a difference – longer and they can be crunchy too. :) Katie

    Lan Reply:

    Thank you Katie! :)

  • carol

    I have found one but not both of my kids likes the bananas. What I do is an agave honey/water/cinnamon bath to add a little sweetness but not too much. I do this bath with the apples too. I just bought a nesco. I have found the shorter time produces a more chewy palatable banana and apple the kids like – but I set it overnight and results are not always consistent as it has not timer. I just tried strawberries and they turned out awful. I am still experiementing with slice thickness and time and it is hard if you are in and out with kids – or asleep!

  • Building an Eclectic Food Storage Plan - Disascaper

    [...] love to make jerky and dried fruits as a family!  Food dehydrators are a fun for the kids to get involved.  However, an oven can do [...]

  • Giveaway: Stainless Steel Excalibur Dehydrator ($400 Value) | The Mommypotamus |

    […] How To Dehydrate Fruit: Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Cherries . . .  […]

  • Wilna

    How long must I soak the apples and bananas before dehydrating?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Just a few minutes, easy peasy! :) Katie (and I’ve done both without any soak at all, and it’s no problem, they just get a tiny bit brown)

  • Caitlin via Facebook

    I just found out about how to do all this But my issue is Preserving without a pressure canner Kitchen Stewardship How long can they be preserved this way without being sealed?

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

Mollys suds laundry soap