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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

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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 2 votes
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
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*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 199mg6%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A 100IU2%
Vitamin C 10.1mg12%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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

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

  1. I received a lovely gift of schnitz foldovers for Christmas, made with rehydrated dried apples and spices. Oh, they are so delicious – taste a bit like mincemeat. They were so tasty that I just had to find out how to dry apples without a dehydrator. I look forward to trying your recipe as well as the one reader’s suggestion for the cinnamon sugar apple peels.

    Thank you!