Guiltless Pleasures: How Long Does it Take to Dehydrate Apples?

Love the crunch and flavor of apples, but hate when they turn brown and mushy after being out for a few minutes?

Especially if you have a busy lifestyle, you need a snack you can take with you and munch throughout the day. Fresh apples are excellent, but the reality is they don’t travel or keep particularly well. 

This is where dried apples shine.

Perfectly sweet, satisfyingly chewy and chocked full of three times the micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants as their fresh counterparts, they’re the answer to your snacking snafu.

The best part? They’re quick and easy to make at home with a food dehydrator. 

Today, we’re taking a look at this process and explaining it step-by-step, so you can start making your own! We’ll discuss how long to dehydrate apples, when you know they’re done, and some of the yummiest ways to add them into your diet.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get cooking!

1. Gather and Slice Your Apples

Of course, start by bringing out your food dehydrator and apples. Plan to dehydrate enough to keep on hand and use in your favorite recipes. 

Keep in mind your yield will vary based on the kind of apple you use, as each variety has its own water content percentage. In general, expect to get about two cups of dried apples for every five pounds of fresh apples you use. 

The only other items you’ll need are:

  • A peeling knife
  • Acidulated water (water mixed with vinegar or lemon juice)
  • Jars or containers for storage

Time Required for Step 1

Plan to allocate around 15 minutes to slice the apples.

Aim to create thin slices, as these will dehydrate quicker. Ideally, you should have 1/3-inch thick slices. Any slice thicker than 1/2 an inch may not dehydrate all the way.

2. Dip the Apples

Next, you can dip the apples in your acidulated water to prevent them from turning brown. There is no exact measurement for this step, as the amount of water you use will depend on your number of apple slices.

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the apples fully once they’re submerged. 

To make your solution, mix 1/4 of a cup of lemon juice or vinegar per one quart of water. Toss the slices in and let them soak for just a few minutes. 

This step is optimal and will not affect the taste or quality of your dehydrated apples. It is simply an anti-browning technique that can keep your apples looking brighter. 

Time Required for Step 2

You don’t want your apples to become mushy. Only leave them in the solution for a maximum of two to three minutes.

In fact, you can even mix up your solution, arrange your apple slices in a single layer on a plate, and lightly mist them with it instead to save time. 

3. Dry the Apples

Dehydrating apples works best when the fruit is completely dry. If you opted to do the acidulated water dip, drain your apples afterward and place them in a colander to get as dry as possible. 

Time Required for Step 3

Leave the apples in the colander for around five minutes. To speed this process up, place the apples between two clean kitchen towels and lightly press to eliminate excess liquid.

4. Dehydrate the Apples

Now, it’s time for the fun part!

Place the apple slices in a single layer on your food dehydrator trays. Check to make sure there is a little space around each slice and that none are touching or overlapping each other. You need that room for the air to circulate properly within the dehydrator to ensure an even result. 

Set your dehydrator temperature to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to a little sweetener at this time, make dried cinnamon apples by sprinkling the slices with three tablespoons of cinnamon before putting the trays into the dehydrator. 

Time Required for Step 4

The average amount of time required to dehydrate apples is around 12 hours. This will yield a batch of crispy and flavorful slices ready for snacking. If you prefer yours more on the chewier side, check your slices after eight hours or so. 

5. Condition Your Apples

Once they’ve finished dehydrating, your dehydrated apple slices need to cool before you store them. Turn the dehydrator off and carefully take out the trays.

Tear one apple slice in half to make sure it’s your preferred texture. Totally dried apples should look like a dense sponge inside. 

Time Required for Step 5

Your apples should dry, or “condition” for about 10 minutes to ensure they’re completely cooled off. From there, they should sit for another two to three hours at room temperature before you store them. 

When they’re ready, store them in airtight glass jars or containers. They’ll last six months to a year if you keep them in a cool, dark and dry spot!

How Long to Dehydrate Apples? Let’s Review

Steps 1 through 5 can be broken into the following timelines:

  • Step 1: Slicing apples: 15 minutes
  • Step 2: Dipping the apples: 2 minutes
  • Step 3: Drying the apples: 5 minutes
  • Step 4: Dehydrating the apples: 12 hours
  • Step 5: Cooling and Conditioning the Apples: 3 hours

Total time required: 15 hours and 22 minutes

From this, we can determine that it takes around 15.5 hours to complete this process from start to finish. It’s often easiest to perform Steps 1-3 in the evening, allow the dehydrator to work overnight, and finish up the next day. This way, you can wake up to the delicious smell of warm apples!

Your Guide to Everything Dehydrated

Intrigued by the idea of turning your favorite foods into quick-access snacks you can take with you anywhere?

Now that you know how long to dehydrate apples, you’re ready to take this process to the next level! From beef jerky to sweet potato chips, there’s no limit to the creative, mouth-watering treats you can create. 

Unsure where to start? Looking to buy the best dehydrator on the market but finding it hard to narrow the options down?

That’s where we come in.

We’re experts in this industry and we’ve done the research for you. From device reviews to recipes, if you can dehydrate it, we’ve covered it and we’d love to share our findings with you.

Looking for something totally unexpected to get started? Check out our guide to creating yogurt in your dehydrator! Then, check back for more innovative ways to use your new favorite machine. 

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