April 24

How to Dry Figs in a Dehydrator

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Food dehydration techniques are one of the easiest ways to preserve your figs and compared to some other fruits; the preparation is pretty minimal.

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Fresh figs are usually abundant during the summer, but once winter sets in, it becomes difficult to get them. However, dehydrating figs is a great way to preserve them for use all year round. The process is simple and there are many fig recipes you can try using dried figs. Dried figs are also excellent snacks and can be used as a natural sweetener.

The only ingredient you need when dehydrating figs is your fresh figs. There are different varieties of figs, but dehydrating them takes the same process. You may use an oven to dehydrate your figs but the best way to dehydrate your figs is by using a food dehydrator.

Below is one of my favorite ways of dehydrating figs. Let’s find out more

How to Dehydrate Figs in a Food Dehydrator

Well, if you have a food dehydrator, that will be an excellent place to start. Otherwise, you can use your oven but learning how to dry figs in a dehydrator is perhaps in a bit easier. Dehydrators give you greater control over the temperature, and they’re far more efficient; however, before you stick your figs inside, make sure that they are adequately prepared.

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  1. Wash the figs thoroughly. Figs are delicate, so be careful not to crush them. You may use a vegetable scrubber to remove all coatings and chemicals that may be present. Dry with a clean dish rag once you’re satisfied with the washing.
  2. Heat a pot of water until it boils. Dip the figs into the boiling water using a metal strainer and leave for about 30 seconds. Remove the figs and immediately place them in an ice bath. Doing this will help loosen the figs’ skins and hasten dehydration.
  3. Dry with a clean dish rag or paper towel. You may remove the stems if you wish.
  4. Cut smaller figs in half and larger ones into quarters. 
  5. Soak the cut figs in an ascorbic acid mixture. This prevents browning and extends the shelf life of your figs. To make the ascorbic acid mixture, mix two and a half teaspoons of ascorbic acid and one quart of water, stirring until the ascorbic acid dissolves. Soaking the figs in an ascorbic acid mixture is not a required step but is recommended.
  6. Place the figs in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, ensuring the cut sides are up. Leave enough space between them to promote airflow. 
  7. Set your dehydrator to the fruit setting or set it to a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of time required for your figs to dry depends on the moisture content, ripeness, and size of the figs. The humidity of your surroundings also weighs in. 
  8. Check on your figs after six hours to determine how much extra time is required. You can test for readiness by removing one and letting it cool. The seedy center should be dry to the touch with a little sponginess and the fig should be chewy. 
  9. Once the figs are dry, remove them from the tray and place them on a wire rack to cool. 
  10. Store the figs in airtight containers.

How Long Do Figs Take to Dehydrate?

Your dehydrator should have a “fruit” setting, but if not, you want them to dry at about 135 degrees.

When you are learning how to dry figs in a dehydrator, remember that dehydration times can vary, so it’s wise to keep an eye on your figs throughout the day. Dehydrating figs in dehydrator can take up to 24 hours to dry thoroughly, but if you have prepared them properly, they should finish more quickly than that.

However, the minimum dehydration time is roughly eight hours, so it’s a good idea to check your figs after about six hours and continue checking them frequently after that. Sometimes humidity levels and climate can affect drying time as well.

The figs are done when they are thoroughly dry, but they might still be a little chewy. Don’t hesitate to let one cool and eat it as a test.

How to Store Dried Figs

Once the figs are completely dried, allow them to cool before storing them in airtight containers. You can utilize one of three storage methods: room temperature, refrigerator, or freezer. If you’re storing your figs at room temperature, place the airtight containers with your figs in them in a cool, dark place. You can also leave them in the original sealed package at room temperature. But this will only preserve them for about a month.

You may also choose to store your figs in the refrigerator. For increased shelf life, store your figs in the freezer. You should be able to use them for one to two years.

How Long do Dried Figs Last?

It’s much easier to store dried figs than fresh ones, and dried figs last much longer. The shelf life of dried figs depends on their size and storage conditions. 

The smaller you cut your figs, the longer they will last. Dried whole figs don’t last as long as cut-up figs because less moisture is removed during dehydration. If you cut your figs into quarters and halves and store them in a cool, dry place, they should be good for a longer period.

If you dehydrate your figs whole, check them for mold after a month or two to ensure they are safe to eat. Cut your figs before dehydrating and store your figs away from humidity. They can last for more than a year if properly dehydrated and stored.

How to Use Your Dehydrated Figs

There are various fig recipes that you can enjoy using your fresh figs. You can use dried figs in various ways too. Here are some of the ways you can use your dried figs:

  • Eat them whole like prunes or dried apricots
  • They make a nice addition to your balsamic vinegarette once you’ve shredded them into tiny pieces.
  • Shred the figs and add them to your cream cheese.
  • They make a fine addition to your fresh summer salad when cut into quarters.
  • Use them as a topping on your breakfast porridge.
  • Add them to different dry fig recipes.
  • They complement several cheese varieties.

How to Rehydrate Dried Figs

There are several reasons why you may want to rehydrate your figs. Rehydrating your figs is quite easy, and there are two methods you may use.

The first method of rehydrating your figs is by using hot water. Place your dried figs in a bowl of hot water and leave them for one to four hours. Test them every hour to see if they are rehydrated enough for you. Once they are rehydrated to your liking, strain them. If you want to use them immediately, you may soak them in cold water to hasten the cooling process.

The second method of rehydrating figs is by soaking them in fruit juice. Fruit juice adds flavor to your dried figs and you may opt for that instead of water. Wash and dry your dried figs before placing them in a bowl filled with juice. You may use cherry, cranberry, or pomegranate juice.

Soak the figs in the juice for a few hours and test them every hour to see if they are rehydrated to your liking. When you feel they are rehydrated enough, strain them and immediately use them in a recipe. Leaving them out will cause the juice to start fermenting. Only use the juice to rehydrate your dried figs if you will be using the figs within a few days. 

Final Thoughts

Figs are extremely healthy fruits. They are a good source of calcium and potassium and contain fiber. You can have access to figs all year round once you dehydrate them. Dehydrating figs is quite easy and using a food dehydrator is the best way to dry figs.

The length of time your figs are in the dehydrator depends on the humidity, the temperature of the food dehydrator, and the size and ripeness of the figs. Once dried, you should store them in airtight containers. With your figs dehydrated, they are available for consumption all year round.

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