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Dehydrating Apples to Make Dried Apple Rings and Apple Chips

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image of dehydrating apple slices

I don’t know much about apples, except that they taste really good and are really good for you. There’s also about 5o million varieties so surely there’s a variety for everyone. Apples are one of those fruits that I’ll buy year round (along with bananas) but when they’re in season and the price drops I’ll buy apples by the case to make dried apples. Dehydrating apples is so very easy and makes for a great snack.

There are a lot of ways to dehydrate apples so don’t get hung up on dehydrating apples “the right”way – as long as the moisture is removed they’ll store well. Apples can also be canned, frozen, and fermented, so if you have a lot, try preserving apples in a variety of ways.

I like to keep track of all my food preservation projects on these worksheets. You can get your own copy emailed to you by filling out the form below.

Dehydrating Apples

Start with some apples that you know you like and that are not bruised or mushy (save those for apple sauce). 

Core the apple and slice into 1/4″ slices. I really like using an apple peeler/corer/slicer for this; it can also be used for pears. It’s not very expensive and I think it’s well worth the investment. You can peel the apples if you want, but I just scrub them with a little apple cider vinegar to get the wax off.

I usually cut the rings in half so that that I can get more on each dehydrator tray than if I left them round.

Dip the apples in some water with citric acid (fruit fresh) or lemon juice in it to keep them from browning. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don’t. Just like dehydrated bananas the apples turn brown if you don’t but they taste just fine and are fine to eat.

Lay the apples on the dehydrator trays – you can sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mix if you want to.

My dehydrator has a temperature gauge and I like dehydrating apples at 135°F for about 10 hours. You could also dehydrate them in the oven if your oven will go that low. I have a couple of dehydrators and for dehydrating apples I like this one better because it has the temperature gauge. It’s not fancy but it gets the job done and its easy to store.

The dehydrated apple rings are done when they feel leathery but not crispy. If you like dried apple rings that are more like apple chips just keep them in the dehydrator longer.

image of apple slices soaking in lemon water before dehydrating

Can I dehydrate apples in the oven?

Yes, you can dehydrate apples in the oven if your oven has a super low temperature. It’s probably a good idea to use an oven thermometer and the warm setting. If your oven doesn’t go below 200°F you can leave the door ajar to let some of the heat and moist air to escape.

Will home dehydrated apples taste like store bought dried apple chips?

Nope, probably not. But reproducing something you can buy isn’t the goal. Preserving the harvest or making healthy snacks for your family is the goal. Different doesn’t have to be bad or good, it can just be different and home dried apples taste different and have a different texture than store bought dried apples.

What if I over dry my dehydrated apples?

No worries, just add a damp cloth to the bottom of the dehydrator and let them absorb some of the humid air, they’ll soften up. But you might find that you like the crispier dried apples as much or even more than the softer dried apples.

How to store dehydrated apples?

Store in an airtight container – a mason jar works well. You could use a vacuum sealer for longer storage. This is the one I have along with the mason jar attachments. You could also use a ziplock bag.

How long do dehydrated apples last?

Fully dehydrated apples should stay fresh for up to six months but we’ve never had them last that long. You can keep them in the freezer to store longer or if you think they’re not completely dehydrated.

How much dehydrated apples will I get from fresh apples?

If you have 5 pounds of fresh apples you’ll be able to fill about 2 quart size mason jars with dehydrated apple rings. Although these are so very good, I’m not sure that economically they are the best investment as my children can eat a mason jar of dried apple rings in about 1 minute!

However, if I had access to some really cheap or free apples, say from my own tree, this would be a great way to preserve them for the summer.

What do I do with the apple cores and skin from dehydrating apples?

Personally, I just leave the skin on when dehydrating apples but if you remove it you’ll need to do something with it. You can use the skin and cores to make apple cider vinegar.

image of apples ready to make dried apples rings or apple chips

How to use dehydrated apples

We like dehydrating apples to snack on but there are many other uses for dehydrated apples. They can be chopped and used in oatmeal, muffins, or even cookies, like these maple dried apple cookies.

Dehydrated apples can also be added to tea or ground to make a sweetener.

Dehydrated apples can be reconstituted by soaking in water or apple juice and used in pies or other baked goods.

What do you use dehydrated apples for?

image of dehydrating apples

Home Dried Apple Rings and Apple Chips

Love dried apples? Dehydrating apples at home will allow you to get the flavor and crispiness you love without spending a fortune. It's super simple. Dehydrated apples make a great snack or can be used in baking.

Dehydrating apples at home is easy do to in a dehydrator or oven. Dehydrated apples make a healthy snack and is a great way to store apples for the winter. Dried apples can be used in from scratch cooking and baking.

Ingredients

  • Apples
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start with apples that you know you like and that are not bruised or mushy (save those for apple sauce).
  2. Peel the apples if you want or just scrub them with a little apple cider vinegar to get the wax off.
  3. Core the apple and slice into 1/4" slices. I really like using an apple peeler/corer/slicer for this; it can also be used for pears.
  4. Dip the apples in some water with citric acid (fruit fresh) or lemon juice in it to keep them from browning if you want to. Just like dehydrated bananas the apples turn brown if you don't but they taste just fine and are fine to eat.
  5. Lay the apples on the dehydrator trays - you can sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mix if you want to.
  6. Dehydrate apples at 135°F for about 10 hours. You could also dehydrate them in the oven if your oven will go that low.
  7. The dehydrated apple rings are done when they feel leathery but not crispy. If you like dried apple rings that are more like apple chips just keep them in the dehydrator longer.
  8. Store dehydrated apples in an airtight container for up to six months.

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