How to Prepare Dried Fruits


Drying or dehydrating foods is a process where moisture is removed. Dehydration extends the shelf life of the fruit. Select unblemished ripe fruit for drying. Overripe, underripe or bruised fruit will make an inferior product. Drying times vary depending on humidity and the type of food being processed. While dried fruit is a healthy snack food, often used as trail mix and when camping, it has more calories per oz. than fresh fruit of the same type.

Step 1

Rinse the fruit in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 2

Remove the fruit's peel, stems and seeds with a paring knife.

Step 3

Trim off any bruised or blemished areas of the fruit.

Step 4

Cut the fruit into uniformly sized pieces, approximately 1/8- to ¼-inch thickness.

Step 5

Bathe the pieces for three to five minutes in ascorbic acid. Use lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice or grape juice as the ascorbic acid. This helps prevent fruit from browning and aids in destroying bacteria during drying. Fruits already high in ascorbic acid (such as pineapple) will not require this step.

Step 6

Lay the pieces in a single layer on the tray. Do not overlap the edges of the fruit. If you are using a countertop food dehydrator, use the trays that go with the appliance.

Step 7

Turn the oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit if you are using an oven, or turn on the food dehydrator according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fruit can also be dried in the sun, yet it requires consistent temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, low humidity conditions and insect control.

Step 8

Place the racks in the dehydrator (according to manufacturer's instructions) or the oven.

Step 9

Leave the fruit in the oven or dehydrator until the fruit is pliable and leathery. It may take from 6 to 36 hours, depending on the type of fruit and humidity.

Step 10

Rotate and shift trays every 1/2 hour if using the oven method. Turn the pieces over every few hours.

Tips and Warnings

  • Drying food in the oven will take two to three times longer than in a food dehydrator.

Things You'll Need

  • Paring knife
  • Paper towel
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Food dehydrator trays
  • Food dehydrator or oven


  • Virginia Tech: Using Dehydration to Preserve Fruits, Vegetables, and Meats
  • Colorado State University Extension: Drying Fruit
  • Washington State University: Drying Fruits and Vegetables
Keywords: drying fruit, preparing fruit for drying, dehydrating fruit

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.