How to Dry Apples in a Dehydrator – Best Tips!

How to Dry Apples in a Dehydrator – Best Tips!

I am sharing my BEST TIPS that I have learned on how to dry apples in a dehydrator, learned over many years experience with apple abundance. Be sure to watch the video, linked below. The time you invest in watching it will save you so much time in the kitchen. There is a TON of info in the video that doesn’t appear in the written recipe, such as tips for dealing with damaged fruit and using the “scraps” so that nothing is wasted.

Round dehydrator or square dehydrator – either one is just fine for drying apples!

Dried apples are sweet, chewy, a versatile addition to your pantry. You’ll feel smart and thrifty with jars of dried apples on your shelf. Highly snackable, I hardly need to tell you what to do with dried apples. Dried apples are a portable (non-messy, non-sticky) snack that you can take with you and feel good about giving to your children.

All apples dry and all apples dry well, so use what you have access to. Imperfect backyard apples are just fine and there is no need to peel unless you want to! Apples that are very small or that require a lot of cutting away of damage might be more suited to Crock Pot Apple Butter.

Add dried apples to oatmeal porridge, granola, yogurt parfaits, trail mix, or eat on their own! You can easily rehydrate dried apples to make cobblers, crisps, and pies.

Substitute for fresh apples: add dried fruit to a bowl, cover with boiling water. Allow a few minutes for the fruit to plump, then drain and add to your recipes. Can be used to make pie or fruit crisp.

Remember to drink plenty of water when consuming dried fruit so that your body can digest it properly!


How to Dry Apples in a Dehydrator

Go ahead and  use small, backyard apples that might otherwise go to waste. It is most efficient to run a full load in the dehydrator. You can use any kind and any amount of apples, we will use 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for planning purposes in this recipe.  

  • Author: Michele Pryse, FNTP
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 hours
  • Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: gallon jar
  • Category: preserving
  • Method: dehydrator
  • Cuisine: American



10 pounds apples

1 1/2 tablespoons ascorbic acid, or 1 teaspoon citric acid, or 4 lemons, optional


Best apples for drying?

The ones closest to you!

All apples dry and all apples dry well.

If you are purchasing apples for drying, fuji, gala, Honeycrisp are popular candidates. Granny Smith is beloved by some for its tart taste.


Step 1

Set up your work area 

Scrub your sink and then fill it with cool water. As it fills, set up your work area, “mise en place” as the French say. You will need a large cutting board, colander chef’s knife, paring knife, container for chicken scraps or compost and/or vinegar-making, dehydrator trays, and apple cutting gadgets if you have them.


Step 2

Wash apples in a sinkful of cool water, rinse and drain. Place the apples in a colander.


Step 3

Decide whether to pre-treat apples to preserve color (I generally don’t)

Pre-treating apples 

Stir 1 ½ Tablespoons (22 g) ascorbic acid or 1 teaspoon (7 g) citric in 4 cups (1 liter) cold water until mostly dissolved. Drop apple pieces in solution to soak 10 minutes.

Alternatively, combine fresh lemon juice 50/50 with cold water and soak 10 minutes. 

Ascorbic acid and citric acid are available in the vitamin aisle of most grocery stores.


Step 4

Decide how to cut the apples

Go ahead and use damaged fruit: cut out that piece and put in chicken container. Rinse insect frass away under cold running water.

Collect and sort the cores and peels for chickens, compost, or vinegar-making.


·      Dice

Tool: chef’s knife 

Technique: cut cheeks off of apple and cut in cubes. Cut off the side wings surrounding the core, leaving a square core, and dice them.  


·      Rings

Tool: apple coring tool

Technique: press and twist. Core pops out. Cut in rings ¼-inch (.6 cm) thick.


·      Rings (another way)

Tool: chef’s knife

Technique: leave the core in, cut apple in horizontal rings ¼-inch (.6 cm) thick.


·      Quarters or eighths

Tools: Chef’s knife, paring knife

Technique: quarter the apple with a chef’s knife, then use paring knife to cut out the core.

These do take a long time to dry, best for tiny backyard apples.


Step 4

Arrange apple pieces on dehydrator trays. Fruit can be close, but not touching. Pieces shrink as they dry.


Step 5

Set the dehydrator for 135°F (57 °C). Drying does not have an exact timeframe. Depending on the cut you chose, apple pieces may take 10-12 hours or even longer for quartered apples.


Step 6

Check the dehydrator every few hours. Rotate trays for even drying. 


Step 7

Test for doneness. Apples should feel leathery, rather than squishy. Bite into a piece. There should be no pockets of moisture. Larger pieces will take a bit longer. Leave them another 15-30 minutes and check again. 


Step 8

Post-treatment (conditioning)

Transfer cooled apples to a jar, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) headspace. Some pieces will have more moisture due to size and where they were placed on the tray. Put the lid on the jar, place in cupboard and shake daily for 2 days. If you see condensation inside the jar, the apples are not dry enough. Dehydrate a little longer.


Step 9

Optional if food may have been exposed to insects during or after drying.

Put container in freezer for 48 hours to kill insects/eggs.

Remove from freezer and store and room temp or leave in freezer.


Step 10

Label and store

Use a Sharpie marker to write the name of the product on a piece masking tape or use a label of your choice. Add date on bottom of jar. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year for best quality. (Dried apples can safely be stored longer, much longer.) 


Uses for dried apples: snacks, trail mix, add to cereal or porridge

Remember to drink water when eating dried fruit.


Substitute for fresh apples: add dried fruit to a bowl, cover with boiling water. Allow a few minutes for the fruit to plump, then drain and add to your recipes. Can be used to make pie or fruit crisp.

Congrats on adding a healthy, homemade food to your pantry! I’m proud of you.❤️ 


Keywords: apples, backyard fruit, low waste, zero waste, preserving, pantry, dehydrator, dehydrated, dry, dried, drying, snacks, trail mix,

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