How to Dry Apples

How to dry applesDried apples are a very healthy and low-fat treat. And drying them yourself is a fun fall activity!

We purchased several bushels of apples this year and decided we’d like to preserve some by drying.

How to Make Dried Apples

1. Wash apples. No need to peel them.  Leaving on the peel adds a little flavor to the dried apples AND increases the fiber content making them good for weight loss.

2. Remove the core and cut into thin slices.

We cored and cut our apples using our apple peeler/slicer (without the peeling blade engaged). It’s super fast and very easy to use. You can make a bunch of apple rings in just minutes!

Our apple peeler/slicer attaches to the edge of the counter, but you can get an apple peeler/slicer with a suction base to attach to the top of the counter if you don’t have an edge to attach to.

If you don’t have an apple slicer, you can slice them with a knife.

3. Dip apples in a solution to prevent them from turning brown.

We dip ours in a mixture of lemon juice, pineapple juice, and water. (I like how the pineapple juice adds a bit of sweetness to counteract the sour taste of the lemon juice.) You can also use orange juice or a solution made from 2 tablespoons of ascorbic acid and 1 cup water.

4. Place them single layer on whatever you are going to use to dry them on.

We use a screen from a retired food dehydrator. You can use a new, clean window screen or an oven rack covered with cheesecloth. Or if you’re drying your apples in a food dehydrator, place them on the racks of the dehydrator.

Drying Apples using an Oven, a Food Dehydrator, a Wood Stove, or in the Sun

There are several ways to actually dry the apples.  A dehydrator is probably the most common method, but since we think wood stove-dried apples are best, we usually dry them over the wood stove (more on this below).

Drying Apples in a Food Dehydrator

This is a good method for dehydrating food. An electric food dehydrator is simple to use and energy efficient.

Drying Apples in an Oven

You can also dry apples in your oven if your oven can get the temperature down to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. (Some ovens will only go as low as 200 degrees.) You’ll need to keep the oven door open slightly to allow the moist air to escape. Positioning a fan by the door to keep air circulating is helpful too.

Drying Apples in the Sun

This is rather difficult because you need lots of sun, plenty of heat, and low humidity. Besides drying blueberries in the back window of my car once – which actually worked great! – I have no experience with this, so if you are thinking about sun drying you may want to do a little research first.

Drying Apples over a Wood Stove

Our favorite method for drying apples is over our wood stove because we love how the apples turn out crispier and whiter than apples dried in a food dehydrator.  They also dry more quickly.

There are many ways to suspend the drying rack (I use the rack from my oven) over the stove.

You can place four tin cups (or other objects that won’t be damaged by heat) on the four corners of the stove and place your drying rack on top of them.

Or you can hang four strands of wire from four ceiling hooks and attach the wire to the drying rack.

Or, if you can keep your stove at a low temperature, you can place the racks directly on your wood stove.

We place our dehydrator screen on top of the rack.

If your wood stove has hot spots, be sure to rotate the rack or screen occasionally for even drying.

Drying apples

How Long Does It Take to Dry Apples?

The drying time will vary depending on which method you use, the moisture content of the apples, and how thick the apple slices are.

Drying apples in a food dehydrator takes between 12 and 24 hours.

Drying apples in the oven takes between 10 and 20 hours. The higher the heat, the quicker they will dry; but you’ll need to watch them closely and turn the slices often if your heat is higher than 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drying apples over a wood stove takes about 8 to 14 hours.

How to Know When Dried Apples are Done

Your apples are sufficiently dried when they feel leathery and very dry … almost crisp, but not quite. If you like your dried apples to be crispy, you can dry them a little longer.

How to Store Your Dried Apples

Allow apples to cool completely. Place your dried apple slices in a plastic Ziploc bag, seal well, and store in a cool, dry place.  Or you can put them in this delicious Apple Walnut Granola.  Or add some flavor and sweetness to Overnight Hot Cereal or Cranberry Oatmeal.

How Long Will Dried Apples Keep?

If sealed well and stored in a cool, dry place, dried apples should keep for about 6 months.  For longer storage, keep in the freezer.

How Many Dried Apples Will I Get From Fresh Apples?

The yield varies considerably depending upon the moisture content of the apples.  Different varieties of apples have different moisture levels. That said, you should get somewhere around 2 cups of dried apples for every 5 pounds of fresh.

Which Apple Varieties Work Best for Drying?

Gala apples work great for dehydrating, as do Fujis. I also like dried Golden Delicious apples. Have you tried a variety that you especially like dried?


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How to Dry Apples
  • apples
  • solution to prevent browning (I use a mixture of lemon juice and pineapple juice)
  1. Cut apples into thin slices.
  2. Dip in solution.
  3. Distribute single layer on drying rack.
  4. Dry until apples are leathery, very dry, and almost crispy.

Want some more yummy apple recipes?

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Healthy Caramel Dip

Caramel gets a healthy makeover – perfect to dip fresh apples in!

Healthy Apple Crisp Recipe
Cranberry Apple Crisp

Apples and cranberries are the perfect pair in this high-fiber, healthy, delicious crisp.

Healthy, homemade applesauce recipe
Strawberry Applesauce

Transform boring applesauce to luscious, thick, creamy strawberry applesauce.

Healthy Granola Recipe
Apple Walnut Granola

This fabulous granola is much lower in fat and sugar than the store bought variety … and it’s yummier too!

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  1. jen says

    I dry my apples over a wood stove.
    We have a Apple orchid down the road, buying 2nd apples for $1- kilo (42? kilos per bushel AU)
    We eat as many apples as we feed to the horses, as they are fresh off the trees, best tasting apple flavours, hence why I started drying for the off season.
    H&H (humans & horses) have yummy apples all year round.
    Slice with a sharp meat clever, (tossed the mandoline (of 30yrs) after too many lost/choped off finger tip tops)
    Slice then core, thread onto 1/4″ plastic coated wire hung over wood stove.
    turn & rotate as required.
    I’m further developing a hanger system each year.
    the ‘crisper’ dried slices once cooled re absorb some moisture, bringing them to the ‘leather’ type texture.
    Too damp/moist will create mouldy fruit, or ensure you use < 1 month.
    I store the same as Jennifer in Ex-Large plastic ziplock bags flat, along with a food moisture sachet.

    As yet I've not used a 'solution to prevent browning" thou may try this year, I have lime & pineapple juice.
    My 'crisp' dried apples do not brown/oxidate, as there is no delay from sliceing to drying, also may be the 'hanging' type method.

  2. wayne says

    This has been a big help to get me started in the right direction, Im doing country craft shows and want to sun dry apples and string them , can you help me in a stept by step instructions. thank you!

  3. Ray Summers says

    Together with Cranberry Apple Crisp this is a great how-to.
    For a long time I was doing in something similar in the oven but I discovered using a wood stove yields better results


  4. chris says

    You mentioned dipping apples in a solution to stop discoloration but didnt give recipe of solution. How much pineapple to lemon juice please and thank you

    • says

      Hi Chris,

      I usually use about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per 1 cup of pineapple juice and then dilute with about 1 tablespoon water. But this is only a general guideline as amounts depend on your tastes and how white you want your apples to be.

      Pineapple juice will impart a bit of pineapple flavor to the apples, which we like. If you don’t want that flavor, you can add more water, but the apple will turn brown a little faster.

      If you want super white apples, you can increase lemon juice amounts, but, of course, this will make the apples more tart.

      Hope this helps :) Thanks for the question.


  5. Dee says

    I sliced apples to less than 1/4 inch thick and laid them out on cookie cooling racks. I put the racks in large aluminum cookie sheets and covered them with a fine dark mesh fabric. I set them in the sun for about six hours for two days. The temperature was about 76 degrees each day. The apples dried beautifully and didn’t use any energy except for the sun! I did not use a solution to prevent browning, but the apples came out barely brown.

  6. Baygirl says

    I dried Habanero peppers atop my woodstove. Using your suggestions as a guideline. Thanks. I have a WOK which has a round metal base for placing on a burner, and used that to support my BBQ grilling basket. It was big enough to process 20 pepper halves. It took less than a day, turning the items every half hour. Put them in a zip-lock bag, whack with a rolling pin and there you have it. Saved a bundle on electricity too since the 200 degree oven overnight drying is the more common method.

  7. Crispy says

    How does one print your recipes? Caramel recipe and how much lemon to pinneapple juice in your non browning apple solutions. Got to be accurate –dont want to waste. Please and thank you.

    • says

      HI Crispy,
      Sorry, I don’t have a way for my recipes to be printed. I usually use about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per 1 cup of pineapple juice. If you want super white apples, you can increase lemon juice amounts, but, of course, this will make the apples more tart.

  8. Ian says

    Why don’t you say whether it is degrees F or degrees C? I assume that it is degrees F,which most of the world abandoned some years ago.

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