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How to Make Dried Apples {Step by Step}

Dried fruit is such a delicious and healthy snack! Learn how to make dried apples in a food dehydrator or in the oven. Making dried apples is a great project for kids to try!

A glass jar of dried apples with a yellow cloth and apples on a wooden board

Dried apples are a favorite snack in the Cook household. My kiddos and my nephew are officially obsessed with them. I can feel pretty dang good about them snacking on fruit, and even better it is motivating to force encourage them to help me make them!

The best part of homemade dried apple slices? They’re so simple, and you only need two ingredients – apples and lemon juice. And love.

Wait. No, that’s some cheesy kid’s movie my punks made me watch.

Apples and lemon juice. Yep, that’s it.

What Are The Best Apples For Drying?

Easy to find varieties such as Gala, Fuji, Gravenstein, and Honeycrisp would all be great. Our local apple farm sells one called Burgandy that is my favorite and responsible for some of the pretty pink dried apples you’ll see in the photos in this post.

How Long Does it Take to Dry Apples?

The length of time they will need to dry out will vary based on how many trays you have going at once, and how thick your apple slices are. On average, it takes 4-8 hours for up to nine trays of apples.

Helpful Dried Apples Supply List

  • Dehydrator (I have this one)
  • Lemon juice or citric acid
  • Vegetable peeler and a sharp knife, or be lazy like I am and use this peeler/corer
  • Large bowl for soaking the apples
  • Refuse bowl for skins and apple cores

How to Make Dried Apples

Fill a bowl with cold water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice (or 2 tsp of citric acid). Set up your workstation with a peeler, cutting board, sharp knife, and a bowl for the peels and cores.

Pro tip: you do not have to peel the apples, but the peels may get very hard during the drying process and could detract from the taste.

Clean your apples, and peel, core, and slice the apples thinly. If using a hand-cranked peeler, put the apple on the spikes and lock the peeler into place. Turn the crank slowly, and the peeler will begin to remove the skin.

four photos showing how to use a hand peeler to make dried apples

Place the peeled apple on a cutting board and cut down once the middle. You’ll now have perfect apple slices.

Using a normal vegetable peeler? Cut the top and base off of the apple and remove the peel. Core the apple and make thin uniform slices.

Place the slices in the water/juice mixture.

Arrange the slices on your dehydrator so that there is space around each slice, and the slices are not touching. Set your dehydrator to the “fruit/vegetables” setting (135 degrees F).

apple slices in a bowl and on dehydrator trays for making dried apples

The length of time they need to dry out will vary based on how many trays you have going at once, and how thick your apple slices are. If you think about it, rotate the trays every few hours.

finished dried apples on a dehydrator trays

Apples are done when they don’t feel wet anymore (4-8 hours). Some apples will finish before the others on the same tray. Remove those that are done and set aside.

How Do You Dry Apples in the Oven?

Follow the peeling and soaking instructions above and then place apple slices on baking drying racks. Place in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (usually 140-170 degrees F) and prop open the door with the handle of a wooden spoon. This allows condensation to escape instead of just settle back onto the apples.

Bake for 5-8 hours.

How Do I Know if Dried Apples are Done?

Even finished apples might feel a bit sticky when warm. Allow the apples to cool for an hour and then fold a slice between two fingers. If the apples aren’t sticky/tacky and there is some give when you fold it, it’s done. If the apples fold in half like a piece of paper, they are overly dried. Still edible and delicious, but likely a little tougher.

demonstrating how to check to see if dried apples are finished

Store them in an air-tight container like a mason jar. If you see any condensation inside the container after a day or so, the apples were not dried long enough. It would be best to store them in the fridge or freezer at this point.

Dried apples will last for up to a year if stored in a cool dry place.

More Recipes Like This

A mason jar full of dried apples on a wooden board

Have you ever made dried apple slices?  Any tips or tricks to share?  What is your favorite way to utilize them?

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A glass jar of dried apples with a yellow cloth and apples on a wooden board
Print
5 from 1 vote
How to Make Dried Apples
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 20 mins
 

Dried fruit is such a delicious and healthy snack! Learn how to make dried apples in a food dehydrator or in the oven.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dried apples
Servings: 10
Calories: 95 kcal
Author: Sarah
Ingredients
  • 10 Apples preferably firm apples like Fuji
  • 1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Fill a bowl with cold water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Set up your workstation with peeler, cutting board, sharp knife, and a bowl for the peels and cores.

  2. Clean your apples, and peel, core, and slice the apples thinly. If using a hand-cranked peeler, put the apple on the spikes and lock the peeler into place. Turn the crank slowly, and the peeler will begin to remove the skin.

  3. Place the peeled apple on a cutting board and cut down once the middle. You’ll now have perfect apple slices.

  4. Using a normal vegetable peeler? Cut the top and base off of the apple and remove the peel. Core the apple and make thin uniform slices.

  5. Place the slices in the water/juice mixture.

  6. Arrange the slices on your dehydrator so that there is space around each slice, and the slices are not touching. Set your dehydrator to the "fruit/vegetables" setting (135 degrees F).

  7. The length of time they need to dry out will vary based on how many trays you have going on at once, and how thick your apple slices are. If you think about it, rotate the trays every few hours.

  8. Apples are done when they don’t feel wet anymore (4-8 hours). Some apples will finish before the others on the same tray. Remove those that are done and set aside.

Recipe Notes

Store in an air-tight container. They will keep for at least a year if not exposed to too much light or heat.

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Dried Apples
Amount Per Serving (40 g)
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Potassium 199mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 19g
Protein 0g 0%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 12.3%
Calcium 1.1%
Iron 1.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself. 

This recipe was originally published in November 2014. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

dried apples in a jar

Dried fruit is such a delicious and healthy snack! Learn how to make dried apples in a food dehydrator or in the oven. #sustainablecooks #driedapples #driedfruit #whole30 #paleo

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11 comments on “How to Make Dried Apples {Step by Step}”

  1. Those look awesome! I really need to use my dehydrator more. I made some green powder over the summer that I put in everything, but I never ended up making any dried fruit. Might have to get on that next week.

  2. Good idea! I’m always on the hunt for extra dehydrator trays at the thrift store. And apples are such a good value this time of year!

  3. My mom and I dry apples by covering the floor of large shallow boxes with foil, laying out the prepared apples, covering with tulle or and old sheer that we clip in place with clothespins, and setting out in the sun to dry. If the weather is uncooperative, transfer foil to large baking sheets and dry in a low oven (though this is a last resort for us).

    We make dried apple stack cakes and fried apple pies with ours.

  4. I worked on the committee for our 3rd graders to present Colonial Day at school. There was so much friggin prep. Each child did about 7 Colonial Day craft projects, including sewing his/her initial onto cloth, tin punch, making butter, baking muffins, cooking preserves, dipping a candle, and making dried-apple wreaths. The moms had to cut out one million cardboard circles (no mean feat), and then dry 8 million apple pieces to be glued onto said circle, said glue being runny which made the apples soft as it dried, thus creating a bug feast. I ruined the window in the door of my oven because I had no idea you’re supposed to leave the door ajar when you dry apples. The moisture couldn’t escape so it went between the glass. So I say “fie” on dried apples and purchase them at Target when I wish to eat them!

  5. Good to know about leaving the door open. I don’t have a dehydrator so I would go the oven route.

  6. I have the same peeler, but it does not stick well to the table. I do better with the old style clamp. No tips for you except these apples slices are great !

    • I wonder if it depends on the type of counter? We have horrible laminate. But I find that the peeler sticks better if I get the suction cup on the bottom of the peeler a little damp before flipping the lever.

  7. A friend shared a treat this weekend that I cannot believe I never thought of! She took all her apple peels and tossed into a large bowl with cinnamon and sugar… then she spread on parchment lined trays and dried in the oven on 250… OH they are like CRACK! Crispy and sweet!

  8. I don’t know if they keep zombies away, but they keep my 5 year old happy! Thanks!

  9. I can’t wait to try this. I just bought the peeler / corer you recommend and it does a wonderful job. My son asked if we could try drying apples, so this post is very timely.
    Have you ever tried dusting them with cinnamon before drying them? It sounds good, but I am not sure if it would impact how they come out.