What this article will cover
- Can you dry fruit in the oven?
- What temperature is best for drying fruit?
- A step by step guide to drying fruit at home
- How long does dried fruit last?
- How to tell if dried fruit is off?
Can you dry your fruit in the oven?
Yes you can! Drying your fruit in the oven is the perfect way to dry your food without a dehydrator. You can dry pretty much any fruit you like and they make some of the greatest snacks, healthy ones at that. The main fruits people choose to dry at home are grapes (raisins), apples, bananas, strawberries and oranges.
To make raisins without an oven – see here.
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What temperature do you dry fruit in the oven?
To dry fruit you want your oven set low, around 60 celsius, 140 fahrenheit or gas mark 1 (Gas ovens are not ideal for this). If you don’t have clear markings on your oven, just set it as low as you can.
How to dehydrate fruit in the oven – A step by step guide
(You can use this method for nearly all fruits)
Before you get started you will need a bowl of water with a dash of lemon juice to wash the fruit once sliced, this helps stop fruits from browning during the process. Preheat the oven to 50c – 60c.
Step 1 – Slice your chosen fruit into thin slices, I personally like them around 5mm thick, but use your personal preference. Just remember the thicker they are the longer they will take to dry.
Step 2 – Place the sliced fruit into the bowl of lemon juice and water (acidulated water) and allow them to soak for a few minutes. Strain and then towel dry the fruit slices ready for the oven.
Step 3 – Spread the sliced fruit across a baking tray lined with baking paper/parchment leaving some room between each piece. You can now put this into your preheated oven on the lowest rack.
Step 4 – Leave the fruit to dehydrate in the oven, it can take between 5 – 24 hours depending on how juicy the fruit is. When dry, remove the baking tray from the oven and cover the fruit with a kitchen towel for 24 hours, this helps remove the final bits of moisture.
Step 5 – Once dry the fruit should appear leather like and tough. The less moisture there is the longer the dried fruit will last in storage. Store in airtight containers, jars or freeze in freezer bags for a rainy day.
Tip for making your own raisins – Before drying them, put them into boiling water for around 2 minutes. This softens skins and helps them dry quicker.
One of our favorite fruits to dry at the Backyard Farm are strawberries! They taste great dried and can be eaten as a snack or used in recipes, they are delicious chopped up and used in a flapjack recipe! If you want to dry your own strawberries at home, just follow the guide above using strawberries. Cut them thin, lay them out and dry them slowly – yum.
How long does dried fruit last?
Dried fruit will last anywhere between 4 – 12 months if stored correctly, kept cool and out of sunlight. If the fruit is too moist or storage conditions are not adequate it is likely to go off more quickly.
How can you tell if dried fruit is off?
You can tell when your dried fruit has gone bad by it’s colour, taste and texture. If it’s not quite right when your tucking into your dried snacks the chances are it has gone bad. Other signs are if your dried fruit has become dark, tough and chewy as well as lacking flavor.