Dehydrating apples is a great way to enjoy them year-round. In this post, I’ll talk about five easy methods to try, and show you exactly how to dry apples step-by-step.
If you love dried apples, then I have good news for you. It’s very easy to make your own using the fruit from your tree, the orchard, or even the grocery store.
Dehydrating apples is a great way to keep them for long-term so you can enjoy them year-round.
There are lots of ways to do it too, so you won’t need any special tools or equipment that you don’t already have.
Below you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to dehydrate apples at home so that they are perfectly dried every time.
Here’s what you’ll find in this step-by-step guide…
What Apples Are Best For Dehydrating?
There’s no right or wrong answer for which apples are best for dehydrating, you can use any type you want. It just depends on your flavor preference.
If you’d like your apple chips to be sweet like candy, then choose Pink Lady, Gala, Golden Delicious, or Honeycrisp.
Otherwise, if you prefer the tarter ones like Granny Smith, Braeburn, McIntosh, or Fuji, then use those instead.
Better yet, experiment with a few different types, and see which ones are your favorites.
Preparing Apples For Drying
There are a few steps you can take to prepare apples for drying. It works the best and fastest when they are thinly sliced. Thick ones take much longer, and are usually chewier.
It actually doesn’t matter how you slice them though. It can be done with the core still intact, you can core them and then slice them into rings, or if you find it easier, cut them in half first.
There’s no need to remove the peels beforehand, but you certainly can if that’s what you prefer.
Regardless of how you decide to cut them, they will turn brown very quickly if you leave them sitting out.
Drop the slices into this solution right away. Soak them for 10-15 minutes, then drain and pat them dry.
How To Dehydrate Apples
There are several ways to dehydrate apples, and it’s fun to try the different drying methods to see which you prefer. I’ll explain each one in detail below.
Drying Apples In A Dehydrator
My preferred method of drying apples is using my food dehydrator. It’s very hands-off, and there’s no risk of burning.
It takes a bit longer than some of the other methods. But, you can just set it and forget it, which more than makes up for the extra time involved.
Here’s how to dry apples using a food dehydrator:
- Spread the slices evenly on each tray, making sure to leave plenty of room between them so they can dry properly.
- Set your dehydrator to 135°F, or use the “fruits” setting if yours has that option.
- After the first 5-6 hours, check on them hourly, and remove the ones that are done.
Dehydrating Apples In The Oven
Using the oven to dry apples is another popular method. It’s easy and convenient, and you don’t need any special equipment.
You must keep a close eye on them though, since they can burn if left for too long.
Here’s how to dehydrate apples in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 200°F.
- Place the slices on a wire cooling rack or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they aren’t touching each other.
- Put them into the oven, and prop open the door a crack to release the moisture faster as they dry.
- Bake for 1 hour, then check on them every 10 minutes and remove any that are crispy.
Dehydrating Apples In An Air Fryer
If you have an air fryer, then it’s a great choice for dehydrating your apples too.
The advantage here is that it’s faster than using an oven or dehydrator. However, you can’t fit as many into one batch, so the overall time and effort may be more.
Here’s how to dehydrate apples in an air fryer:
- Place the slices in the basket in a single layer so they are only slightly overlapping, and put the rack on top.
- Close the basket, and set the temperature to 300°F.
- Flip the slices every 5 minutes so they dry evenly and don’t burn.
- After 15-20 minutes, remove them from the air fryer, and spread them evenly on a cooling rack.
Drying Apples In The Sun
If you have the patience and space, then you could try air-drying your apples outside in the sun.
The downfalls are that it takes several hours (less in the hot sun), and they will be softer and chewier than with the other methods.
Here are the steps for air-drying:
- Either thread the rings on a string so they aren’t touching each other, or spread them out evenly on a drying rack.
- Put them in the hot direct sunlight outside, or keep them in a dry area inside the house.
- After 6 hours, check on them hourly. It can take 12 hours or longer for them to dry completely.
Drying Apples In The Microwave
Believe it or not, the microwave is another way to dry apples. This is by far the fastest method and takes less than 10 minutes.
The downside is that they don’t come out as perfectly crispy or crunchy as they do with some of the other methods.
I also find that it’s much harder to fully dry them without burning them in the process. It’s great for a quick snack though.
Here’s how it works using the microwave:
- Arrange the slices on a paper or microwave-safe plate lined with parchment paper. Give each one some space.
- Cover them with a paper towel, and place them into the microwave.
- Run it on high for 5 minutes, then check on them, and remove any that are done.
- Continue running it in short 20-30 second bursts, checking on them between each for doneness.
How Long Does It Take To Dry Apples?
Exactly how long it takes to dry apples depends on the dehydrating technique you use.
Air-drying will take the longest, so plan for 6-12 hours or more. A food dehydrator usually takes 4-6 hours, while the oven will only be 1-2 hours.
The fastest methods are using an air-fryer (15-20 minutes), or the microwave (5-10 minutes).
How To Tell When They’re Dry
When they’re done, your dehydrated apples should be crispy or slightly chewy, depending on the method you used.
If they’re soft to the touch, sticky, or bend easily, then they need to be dried longer.
How To Store Dehydrated Apples
Regardless of the method you used to dehydrate your apples, make sure you allow them to cool completely so they get nice and crispy.
You can eat them right away, or store them long-term. To keep them fresh for as long as possible, seal them in an airtight container, and put them in a cool, dark place.
Dried apples also freeze very well, and they’ll last longer that way. Put them into a freezer-safe bag for the best results.
How Long Do Dried Apples Last?
When properly dehydrated and stored, dried apples will last for up to 6 months in the pantry, or up to 1 year in the freezer.
You’ll be able to enjoy them long enough to replenish your supply annually. But who the heck can keep them around for that long? They disappear very quickly around here.
FAQs About Dehydrating Apples
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dehydrating apples. If you can’t find yours here, then ask in the comments below.
Can you leave the peel on apples when dehydrating?
Yes, you can leave the peel on apples when dehydrating them. It doesn’t change the flavor, and certainly makes prepping them faster. But if you prefer, you can peel them first.
Do you have to soak apples before dehydrating?
It is best to soak apples in a slightly acidic solution before dehydrating them to prevent browning, but it’s totally optional.
How do you keep apples from browning when dehydrated?
Why are my dehydrated apples not crispy?
If your dehydrated apples are not crispy, it means they need to dry longer, or you should use a different method. They will be the crispiest when you use either the oven or an air-fryer.
What is the best way to dry apples?
The best way to dry apples in my experience is either using a dehydrator or the oven. I find that these are the easiest ways to get them to dry consistently.
Dehydrating apples is easy, and it’s fun to experiment with the different techniques for drying them. Pick the one that works best for you, and enjoy.
More About Preserving Food
- How To Preserve Apples For Long Term
- How To Store Apples For The Short & Long Term
- How To Dry Cayenne Peppers In 4 Ways For Easy Storage
Share your drying tips or favorite method of dehydrating apples in the comments section below.