How About Them Apples: 10 of the Best Apples For Dehydrating

Are you looking to create edible apple snacks for on the go?

In this modern-day and age, we have more access to nutrition and what foods are good for our bodies and our health. We’re all starting to think more about what we eat. And when it comes to snacking, we’re looking for healthy options that still taste great.

Dehydrated fruit and vegetable chips and bark have become popular. But if you’re new to it and apples are your favorite treat, you might not know which varieties work best.

Don’t worry! Read on for the 10 best apples for dehydrating to make snacks the whole family will love.

The Top Ten Apples for Dehydration

Discover the wonders of apple dehydration and the top varieties for this purpose! As you delve into the world of dried fruits, one of the first things you’ll discover is that not all apples are created equal when it comes to dehydration. Today, we’re going to help you explore the top apple varieties used for dehydrating and why they’re considered the best choices. 

1. Gala

If you’re the type who prefers sweeter apples as opposed to bitter ones Gala is a great choice for drying. The Gala is a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Kidd’s Orange Red. It’s a sweet apple that still has a crisp and juicy taste.

This is why it is also considered one of the best apples for eating in general. Its delicate flavor and juiciness isn’t recommended for cooking, sauces or pies though.

2. Gravenstein

The Gravenstein apple comes into season in both July and August. It produces tart chips, packed with intense flavor. So if that is what you have a hankering for, then this is the apple for you.

It withstands the dehydration process well with little loss of taste and flavor. But, unlike many other varieties of sour apples, it won’t keep well. You’ll need to store it in a cold, dark place. But that’s another good reason to preserve them as a dried treat!

3. Honeycrisp

The Honeycrisp is a new kid on the block compared to some other apple varieties on this list. Produced in Minnesota, it’s known for a very juicy and crisp taste. It’s another great eating apple in general.

But the Honeycrisp also has a firm texture and a largely sweet flavor, making it great for drying as chips. They’re usually in season from the middle of September to early October. Due to this limited harvest period and high demand, you’ll have to be quick as they’re usually sold out!

4. Fuji

Fuji apples are a popular choice among commercial apple chip produces, due to their year-round availability. Crisp and tender, they’re also good for snacking in general.

Whole Fuji apples keep well so long as they’re stored in cool, dark places. This means you don’t need to rush to get them all dehydrated and can enjoy them in both forms.

5. Granny Smith

Along with Fuji apples, Granny Smiths are another favourite with commercial crisp producers. They also bake well into tarts and pies. So if you’re a baker that’s looking for a variety that will perform well in both fields, this is the one.

Granny Smiths are also available all year and are bright green and shiny in appearance. Their pleasant, tart taste makes them a fresh snack to eat out of hand too. It’s a real allrounder.

6. Goldrush

Another newcomer is the Goldrush apple. It’s gaining in popularity and notoriety so expect to see more recommendations of it for drying.

The Goldrush is known for its intense, tart, apple flavor. It’s also one of the slowest browning varieties of non-GMO apples that’s grown in the US.

7. Cortland

Another slow browning variety is the Cortland. This is a cross between the McIntosh and Ben Davis apples. And it makes for great dehydrated treats.

The Cortland has a sweet flavor with a hint of bitter undertones. It’s another great option for eating out of the hand too. You can usually buy this apple from September-April.

8. Pink Lady

Pink Lady apples are available later in the season. But they’re a variety that will store exceptionally well if kept right. So if you have the proper conditions to store whole apples through the winter, these are the apples for you.

If you have a root cellar or other appropriate space for long-term storage, you’ll have a supply that will last you. But regardless of storage options, they’re an apple variety that does well under the dehydration process. This is due to their firm texture and their juicy, tart but sweet taste.

9. Empire

The Empire Apple is a cross between the Mcintosh and Red Delicious varieties. You can get it through fall and early winter and it’s a multi-purpose variety. You can:

  • Slice and dry it via a dehydrator
  • Eat it out of hand
  • Cook/bake it into pies, tarts and sauces
  • Press it to make a sweet tasting cider

If you’re looking for an all rounder that will excel not only in dehydration, this is the sure winner!

10. Zestar

The Zestar apple has a very distinctive flavor. Its sweet-tart with undertones of brown sugar are very identifiable. This mix of flavours also makes for very addictively delicious dried snacks. Or it’s equally as nice out of hand.

You can find it harvested in August and September, and it’s one of the earliest of the fall apple varieties. But you should note that after being cut, Zestars will brown easily. For dehydrating, place the slices in a mixture of lemon juice and water before putting them on your tray.

How to Prepare Apples for Dehydration

To prepare apples for dehydration, wash them thoroughly and remove the core and seeds. You can peel them if you prefer, but it is not necessary. Cut the apples into thin slices or wedges, ensuring they are of uniform thickness for even drying. You can also use a mandoline to achieve uniform results.

Drying Methods

There are two primary methods for drying apples at home. You can use a dehydrator or an oven. Here’s how:

Using A Dehydrator

Lay the apple slices/wedges on the dehydrator trays, making sure they don’t overlap.

Set the temperature to 130 F and let them dry for 8-10 hours. Check the apples periodically to ensure they are drying evenly.

When the apples are leathery and pliable, they’re done. This could take anywhere from 8-12 hours depending on the size of your dehydrated apple chips.

Using An Oven

To prepare, preheat the oven to 225 Fahrenheit. You should wash the apples and then slice them very thinly to about 1/8”. Using a mandoline is recommended for slicing. Remember to leave the cores in the apples but remove any seeds as you cut. To continue, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lay the apple slices on the trays, ensuring that they are not touching and in single layers. You may sprinkle them with cinnamon if desired.

To make apple chips, bake them for 1 ½ to 2 hours until lightly browned and curled. Wait for them to cool down for a few minutes as they will become crisp. You can test the crispiness of the chips by taking out one and setting it aside to cool. To preserve the chips, keep them in a sealed container or mason jar at room temperature for a maximum of 1 week.

Storage instructions

After dehydrating, allow the apple rings/slices to cool completely. Store them in an airtight container, preferably a glass jar. If you expect to frequently open the container or live in a humid area, it is recommended to use a desiccant packet that absorbs moisture., this can prolong the shelf life. Keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Recipe and Ideas

Here are some recipe ideas to get you started:

Trail Mix: Mix dehydrated apple slices with nuts, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips for a tasty and healthy trail mix.

Apple Pie: Rehydrate the dehydrated apple slices by soaking them in boiling water for two minutes before mixing them in with some sugar, cinnamon, and a pie crust.

Muesli: Combine dehydrated apple slices with oats, nuts, and seeds for a quick and easy breakfast meal.

Apple Sauce: Mix rehydrated apple slices with some sugar, and cinnamon, and cook them down to create an instant apple sauce.

In Conclusion, dehydrated apples are a versatile and healthy snack that can be used in several dishes. Choosing the right type for dehydrating and following the proper steps for cutting and drying will ensure optimal results. Be creative with how you use them and share them with family and friends.

What Is The Best Temperature for Dehydrating Apples?

The best temperature for dehydrating apples in a dehydrator is between 125-135F. Lower temperatures will take longer to dry, while higher temperatures can cause the apple rings to become mushy or burn. Experiment with different temperatures until you find one that works best for you. Also, adjust the time accordingly depending on the thickness of your apple slices/wedges. Check the apple chips regularly until they have reached the desired texture.

What Makes a Good Apple for Dehydrating?

To create outstanding dehydrated apples, not all apple varieties will give you the same result. So, what makes a good apple for dehydrating? Let’s shed some light on this question to help you whip up an amazing, healthy snack for everyone! 

When we talk about the best apples for dehydrating, various factors come into play: 

  1. Flavor: Tart apples, sweet apples, or a blend of both can all make excellent dehydrated apple chips. The vital thing to remember is that dehydration concentrates the apple’s natural flavor. This means that a sweet apple like Red Delicious will produce intensely sweet dried apples, while a tart apple like Granny Smith will result in a more tart flavor.
  2. Firmness: Good, firm apples that hold their shape are ideal for dehydrating. They provide you with a perfect balance between chewiness and crunchiness. Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious are excellent examples of firm apples.
  3. Color: The natural color of the apple also plays a role. Colorful apple varieties like Pink Lady or Empire can make your dehydrated apples look more appealing.
  4. Availability: When choosing the best apple to dehydrate, always consider the availability. You probably wouldn’t want to use a rare apple variety that’s hard to find and expensive. Gala, Fuji, and Red Delicious are universally available, making them a good choice for dehydration.
  5. Shelf Life: The best apples for drying are those that have a longer shelf life after being dehydrated. This trait is significant if you plan to store dried apples for an extended time. Certain types like Goldrush and Empire are known for their long shelf life.

Remember, the ideal apple variety for dehydrating may vary from person to person, and it often depends on individual taste preferences. So, why not try dehydrating a few different varieties and see which one you and your family prefer the most? 

Where to Buy Apples For Dehydrating?

For best results, try to buy apples that are seasoned from local farms or farmers. You can also find them in many grocery stores and specialty stores. Choose the freshest apples for dehydrating for texture. Look for any blemishes or bruises on the skin as these can affect the taste and texture. When in doubt, go for organic apples, as they are free from sprays and chemicals that can affect the flavor of the final product.

Whole Foods is a great place to shop for organic apples as they have a wide selection.
Sprouts Farmer’s Market is another good option for organic apples.
Central Market, the popular Texas-based grocer, also carries organic tart apples.

How to Prevent Browning During Apple Dehydration

While dehydrating apples, one common issue many folks face is the browning of apple slices. But fear not, we’re here to guide you through the steps to help you prevent that from happening! 

Incidentally, did you know that browning is due to a simple chemical reaction? When an apple is cut, an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase reacts with the oxygen in the air, leading to this discoloration. But don’t fret, it’s not harmful and doesn’t alter the taste! However, if you’re preparing dehydrated apples for the long term or aiming to wow guests with visually appealing apple chips, you may want to ward off this natural browning. Let’s find out how, shall we? 

  • Combine either 2 tablespoons of ascorbic acid powder with 4 cups of water, or use an equal ratio of water and lemon juice. Immerse your apple slices in this solution for a brief 3-5 minute soak. It’s a fantastic way to help prevent browning during the apple dehydration process!

You’re Spoiled for Choice When it Comes to the Best Apples for Dehydrating

So there you have it! You now know our top 10 choices of the best apples for dehydrating.

Picking any one of these varieties will serve you well. It will all depend on your taste preferences. Some are tart and fresh like the Granny Smith or the Goldrush. Others like the Zestar, the Gala and the Honeycrisp are sweeter in flavour.

There are also varieties like the Empire which are great choices if you like preparing your apples in other ways too like in cooking and baking.

For more tips on how to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, check out our blog for updates. You can also check here for tasty recipes to get you started.

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Hey there, since 2016, my mission has been to provide you with the information and guides you need to make food dehydrating simple and fun. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro, my site offers helpful guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your dehydrating experience. I take pride in only recommending products I believe in, ensuring my readers' trust. As an affiliate of various programs, including Amazon Associates, your support helps me continue providing quality content. Thanks for stopping by, and happy dehydrating!