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How to Dehydrate Apples in Food Dehydrator, Oven & Air Fryer

Article By: Suraiya Fardous - December 7, 2023
How to Dehydrate Apples in Air Fryer, Oven, etc

Introduction

Craving the sweet, tangy, delicious goodness of dried apples? You can easily do that with a dehydrator. What if you don’t have a dehydrator? Don’t worry; you can make your own dehydrated apple slices using common kitchen appliances like ovens, air fryers, and more! Dehydrating apples not only preserves the flavors of the apples but also helps reduce food waste and create delicious on-the-go snacks. In this blog, we will guide you on how to dehydrate apples using various techniques and provide you with step-by-step instructions and tips. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a beginner, this blog is your ultimate guide to help you dehydrate apples. So, grab your apron and get ready to discover the goodness of dehydrated apples.

 

How to Dehydrate Apples using different ways

One of the best ways to enjoy apples’ natural sweetness and flavor all year long is to dehydrate them. First things first, make sure your apples are ready for dehydration before we delve into the different methods.

This preparation not only creates the right conditions for the proper dehydration process but also ensures that your dehydrated apples are safe to eat.

 

Preparing the apples for dehydrating

Preparing the apples for dehydrating
Preparing the apples for dehydrating
  • Prepare the apples by washing them thoroughly and patting them dry with a fresh cloth.
  • Remove the seeds and center core; an apple core or a paring knife will work just as well for this.
  • Cut the apples into slices: Using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife cut the apples into slices that range from 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch thick. It is completely up to you to decide whether to use apple slices or rings; choose the design that works best for you. If you want to make delicious apple chips that are even crispier, try to cut your slices as thinly as possible.
  • To prevent browning, make a solution by combining 2 tablespoons of ascorbic acid powder with 4 cups (or 1 quart) of water, or you could make a solution of equal parts water and lemon juice.
  • Give the apple slices three to five minutes to soak in this solution.
  • Then, sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the apple slices if you’d like to add even more flavor. You might also add a little sugar to sour apples to bring out their sweetness. For those looking to make delicious, fragrant apple chips, this step is perfect.

Now that your apples are ready, you can now move on to drying them. You can use air fryers, ovens, food dehydrators, or even the air-drying method, depending on what you have and what suits your preferences.

Method 1: Dehydrating apples using a food dehydrator

One of the best ways to preserve apples and a variety of other fruits and vegetables is by using a food dehydrator. It’s a great option for getting consistent flavor and texture because of its precise temperature control and good air circulation.

Thus, if you enjoy making your own dried fruit snacks, getting a food dehydrator could be the best option for you.

Here’s how to dehydrate apples using a food dehydrator:

Dehydrating apples using a food dehydrator
Dehydrating apples using a food dehydrator
  • Before anything else, ensure your food dehydrator is clean and in good operating order. To find the ideal temperature setting for drying apples, refer to the user handbook that came with your dehydrator. The usual temperature range is 52°C to 57°C, or 125°F to 135°F.
  • Arrange the cut apples in a uniform layer, making sure they don’t overlap, on the dehydrator trays for adequate ventilation and steady drying.
  • Adjust the timing and temperature of your food dehydrator to your preferred levels. The thickness of the apple slices and the power of your dehydrator are two important variables that will affect how long it takes the apples to dry out precisely. It usually takes between six and twelve hours.
  • As the apple slices dry, check them from time to time. When they are no longer sticky and feel leathery, they are ready. Be patient, as the drying time may vary.

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Method 2: Dehydrating apples using the oven

If you want a more hands-on method, dehydrating apples in the oven is a great choice. It is perfect for those who don’t own a dehydrator.

Follow these steps to dehydrate apples using an oven:

  • Preheat the oven: Start by setting the oven between 150°F and 200°F. The apples’ moisture will be gradually removed because of this low heat.
  • Arrange apple slices: Arrange the cut apple slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheets or oven racks. To ensure adequate airflow and even drying, make sure the slices are not in contact with one another.
  • Keep oven door open: To help in drying, slightly crack the oven door open to allow moisture to escape. To keep the door open, you can use a folded towel or a wooden spoon.
  • Keep an eye on the drying process: The apples may need two to three hours to completely dry out in the oven. Make sure you check them from time to time to prevent over-drying. When they feel crispy and slightly fluid without being sticky, you can tell they’re done.

After the apples have become properly dehydrated, take them out of the oven and let them cool before storing them. To preserve their freshness, store your homemade dehydrated apples in airtight jars or vacuum-sealed bags.

Method 3: Dehydrating apples using an air fryer

Your apple slices will dry evenly because of the air fryer’s regulated temperature and effective airflow, creating a tasty, chewy snack that maintains all of the original flavors. Thus, the air fryer is your solution if you’re looking for a modern and efficient method to prepare your own dried apple slices.

Here’s how-to:

  • Preheat Your Air Fryer: To start, set the temperature of your air fryer to a low one, usually between 135°F and 150°F (57°C and 65°C). This process is made much easier by the fact that certain air fryers have a dehydrate feature.
  • Arrange apple slices: Place the cut apples in the basket or on the trays of the air fryer in a single layer. To ensure even drying and even airflow, make sure they don’t overlap.
  • Dehydrate: After preheating the air fryer, put the loaded trays or basket and set the timer. The duration of the dehydration process varies between six and twelve hours, depending upon the apple slices’ thickness and the air fryer’s power. No need to check the apples from time to time.

 

Take the apple slices out of the air fryer and let them cool once they are properly dehydrated. To keep them fresh, store them in airtight resealable bags or containers.

 

Method 4: Air drying the apples

You’ll need prepared apples before you can begin air drying them; these can be done by following the previously described preparation directions.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Thread the apple slices: After your apples have been prepped, thread them onto dowels or strings, leaving space between each slice to prevent them from touching. For air drying to be successful, this space is necessary.
  • Hang horizontally: Choose a good spot to hang your apple slices from the string. Locations close to a fireplace or wood stove are ideal. These sources of warmth can help speed up the drying process.
  • Allow for time: The whole drying time of the apples may require multiple days, depending upon the environment. The drying time might vary depending on conditions, including humidity, temperature, and airflow.

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How to be sure that apples are dehydrated

One of the most important steps in ensuring the safety and quality of your apples is figuring out when they are sufficiently dehydrated. When your apples show these qualities, you’ll know they’re ready:

  • Leathery Texture: The texture of dehydrated apples should be somewhat flexible or leathery. They shouldn’t feel wet or sticky to the touch.
  • No Moisture: Check the apple slices carefully. They shouldn’t show any indications of dampness or moisture. During storage, even a tiny bit of moisture can cause spoiling.
  • Bend Without Breaking: A dehydrated apple slice should be able to be bent without breaking. It should bend without shattering apart.
  • Consistent Color: The color of dehydrated apples needs to be constant throughout. If you see any parts that still look black or wet, then they are not fully dehydrated.

To test for doneness, just take a sample of an apple slice and let it cool down to determine whether it’s done. Once the texture and moisture content meets your needs, take the remaining apples out of the dehydrator or other drying device.

Uses of dehydrated apples

Dehydrated apples are a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can be used in various ways. Here are some common uses for dehydrated apples:

Trail mix

Do you want to add some delicious apple flavor to your trail mix? Here are two simple ways to go about it. First, roughly chop the dried apple rings or cut them into little cubes; these should look like raisins. In trail mix, raisins are frequently the dried fruit of choice. The fun part is that you can switch things up by adding these delicious apple slices in addition to raisins. They taste great together. They combine to make a wonderful mixture that enhances each other’s greatest qualities and adds a unique touch to your trail mix, making it even more tasty.

 

On a charcuterie or cheese plate

Dehydrated apples are your secret weapon for an amazing combination when it comes to putting up a delicious cheese platter or a classy charcuterie board. These dehydrated apple rings go amazingly well with a variety of meats and cheeses. You’re going to love this if you enjoy creamy cheeses like brie. Their deep, velvety flavors are perfectly balanced by dehydrated apple rings. And don’t think they end there—these dried apple wonders pair wonderfully with sharp cheeses like Manchego and aged cheddar.

The interesting part is that they also provide hot meats with a sweet, crispy contrast. They bring that subtle sweetness to balance the heat and create a symphony of flavors with each bite. Your guests will appreciate having a delectable substitute for the typical crackers. For a delightful and unforgettable experience, don’t forget to include those amazing dehydrated apple rings in your next charcuterie soirée plans.

Salad Topping

You may already be used to seeing fresh apples in your coleslaw and salads, but here’s a fun twist: dehydrated apples can make amazing salad toppings. Sprinkle them like tasty confetti over your salad if they are nice and crispy. If they are a little softer, just cut them into delicious pieces. They are similar to croutons but with a more nutritious twist! They give your salad a hint of sweetness and fruitiness in addition to giving your greens a delightful crunch. So, the next time you’re assembling a salad, remember to add these dehydrated apple toppings for a delicious and healthy twist.

Cheese Balls

Your dehydrated apples can be diced and blended directly into your cheese ball mix. The result? Absolute deliciousness. There are many different recipes for cheese balls online, but most call for cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and a hint of spice for flavor. This is the magical part: we add those dehydrated apples to the mixture. The great thing about using dehydrated apples in this recipe is that they add a great flavor without overly moistening and softening the cheese ball.

Stuffings

Add some chopped dehydrated apples to your favorite homemade stuffing recipe, whether it’s meant for turkeys or chickens. The harmony of flavors is what makes this amazing. Sage and rosemary are traditional stuffing spices that pair well with the natural sweetness of apples.

Dehydrated apple tips

  • Even Slices: For consistent drying, make sure your apple slices are all the same thickness. This is when a mandoline slicer or an apple corer/slicer comes in to help.
  • Avoid Browning: Soak the apple slices for a short while in a solution of ascorbic acid or lemon juice before drying. This aids in avoiding browning.
  • Spacing: The drying process is sped up by appropriate ventilation, so be sure to leave room between apple slices on the trays or drying racks.
  • Check for Dryness: Dehydrated apples shouldn’t be sticky or wet; instead, they should have a leathery, slightly flexible texture. To make sure they are sufficiently dry, test a sample slice.

Do you have to soak apples before dehydrating?

Although it’s not a must, soaking apples before dehydrating them is advised for a few reasons:

Preventing Browning:

When apples are exposed to air, they often oxidize and turn brown, which is particularly apparent in dehydrated apples. This browning process can be slowed down by soaking them in a mixture of water, lemon juice, and ascorbic acid powder. This improves the apples’ general quality.

Preserving Flavor:

You can save the apples’ natural flavor by soaking them in a solution containing ascorbic acid or lemon juice. You may better preserve the crisp, delicious flavor of the apples and increase their appeal in dishes and as a snack by reducing oxidation.

Improving Rehydration:

If you intend to rehydrate the apples later for use in specific recipes, soaking can also help the rehydration process. Apples that have been pre-soaked rehydrate more quickly and evenly, giving you additional options when using them in recipes.

Uniformity:

By ensuring that every apple slice has an equal layer of the anti-browning solution, soaking produces uniform dehydration results. In order to achieve even drying and avoid some slices going brown while others stay paler, this is crucial. Soaking apples before dehydrating is not required; it is a useful step to improve the caliber, look, and flavor of your dried apples. It’s especially helpful if you want the dried apples to keep their texture and flavor over time while also looking like new.

What is the best way to dehydrate apples?

The ideal apple-dehydrating technique will rely on your preferences and the tools you have on hand. A food dehydrator is a great option for larger batches since it allows for exact temperature control and even drying. Oven dehydration is convenient and works well for small amounts, but it can take longer and have less accurate temperature control. While air fryers save space and are quick and effective for small batches, their capacity is not as great as that of dehydrators and ovens. However, they do give even drying. Every technique has benefits; therefore, the one you choose should fit your needs and available tools.

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed how to dehydrate apples using various techniques. Whether you choose the efficiency of an air fryer, the accessibility of your kitchen oven, or the exact control of a food dehydrator, the result is a delicious apple treat. These dried apples can change the way you eat and snack, from crunchy apple chips to sweet salad dressings. Not to mention how they improve cheeseballs, stuffing, and platters of cheese. So, these recipes give you the opportunity to enjoy the delicious flavor of apples all year long, regardless of the techniques you choose.

 

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