Dehydrating fruit is a great way to create tasty snacks for traveling and outdoor adventures.
We love to bring dehydrated fruit on our hiking and backpacking trips because dried fruit is so delicious, doesn’t weight much, and can be a great nutritious snack on the trail or an addition to our breakfast oatmeal when camping.
- Dehydrating fruit at home is more natural than buying dry fruit at the store
- It can be much cheaper in the long run especially if you plan to invest in a dehydrator and start drying veggies, jerky, and backpacking meals as well.
Getting a food dehydrator has been one of the best meal prep tools for our travels.
In this post, we’ll cover our favorite fruit dehydrator, why we chose it, and tips for how to dehydrate fruit – the easy way!
Choosing The Dehydrator
When browsing on Amazon, there are many different dehydrators that you can choose from which can feel overwhelming if you’ve never dehydrated food before.
We love it when things are made easy for us so we use the highly-rated Presto Dehydro food dehydrator.
Presto Dehydro is the best one to get if you’re new to food dehydrating.
With this dehydrator, the process is as simple as it gets. You just need to cut up the fruit and plug in the dehydrator.
You don’t need to worry about adjusting the temperature or any other settings – the Presto Dehydro already comes programmed with the optimal settings.
The Presto dehydrator has 4 trays that can easily be stacked on top of each other and used at the same time. Four trays of dried fruit usually comes out to be around one medium bowl or Ziploc bag.
If you have a bigger family, you can also purchase additional trays to dry even more food.
Presto Dehydro trays and lid have small holes in them so the air flows around evenly during the dehydration process. You don’t need to rotate any of the trays halfway through the process although the bottom ones do get slightly more heat.
The trays are made of light plastic so after you’re done they’re easily removable and can be cleaned in the sink or the dishwasher.
We’ve been using Presto dehydrator for over a year and are very happy with it, especially as newbies to this process!
Best Fruit To Dehydrate
For dehydrating you can use any fruit that you like or have at home. Dehydrating is especially great if you have fruits that are about to go bad.
Some of my favorite fruits to dehydrate are:
I mostly like to use larger fruit like apples and bananas that are cheap and easy to cut up. In this post, I am using fruits that were sitting in my fridge for too long and were slightly past their prime time.
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How To Dehydrate Fruit
The first step that you will need to do is cut your fruit into very thin slices. The thinner you cut the fruit, the faster it will dehydrate.
I recommend using a sharp knife that can cut very precisely. Having a sharp knife will make this step so much easier!
With medium-sized fruit like grapes, you can just cut them in half. Make sure to place the cut part facing up so it doesn’t stick to the tray.
After your fruits are cut up, place them directly onto the dehydrator trays. You don’t need to put down any parchment or wax paper first – the trays are designed to circulate air and are easy to clean.
Smaller berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries, can be placed directly on the trays without needing to be cut. If the berry is round and full of air, like a cranberry, about halfway through the dehydration process, you can take a sharp object like a toothpick and pop them to let out the air.
- When placing fruits on the trays, make sure to leave a little bit of space around each fruit slice.
- If you overpack or stack the fruit slices over each other, they might not dehydrate evenly.
When you’re done cutting and spacing the fruit, simply stack all of the trays on top of each other and plug in the dehydrator. You will see a green light come on and hear a slight humming sound.
Tip: When stacking the trays make sure to rotate between the trays that say “this side up” and ones that don’t.
This will create extra space between the trays to circulate the air for the best results.
Times And Temperatures
What I love about the Presto Dehydro food dehydrator is that I don’t have to be an expert to make delicious dry fruit. This food dehydrator comes programmed with the optimal temperature of 165° for dehydrating which makes it super easy.
It takes around 6-8 hours to dehydrate one set of fruit, depending on the fruit and cut size.
I like to cut my fruit pretty thin so they are ready within 6 hours.
Tip: As a rule of thumb, the more liquid a fruit has, the longer it will take to dehydrate.
When fruits are done dehydrating, they should be very light and dry. We usually eat our dried fruits within a few days of making so we’re not overly concerned about getting them “perfectly” dehydrated. Just dry enough that the fruits shrink and weigh less.
For a short backpacking or hiking trip, we’ll usually do one round of dehydration and fill up all 4 trays with fruit. If we plan to go on a longer trip, we’ll do several rounds of dehydration.
In our household, there can never be enough of dehydrated fruit!
The best part about fruit dehydration is the scent. I love how delicious our house smells during this entire process.
When we’re done with the dehydration step, we usually place the dried fruits in a Tupperware container or a Ziploc bag and keep them at room temperature until our camping, hiking, or backpacking trip.
Home dehydrated fruits don’t have any preservatives so they can go bad if they are not stored properly.
We usually eat our dehydrated fruits within a week so we don’t do anything special for storage. But if you plan to dehydrate fruits for future use, you might need to look into other methods for long term storage.
During our trips we keep the dried fruits in a backpack or a bear canister. Dehydrated fruit is the perfect snack when hiking on a trail or enjoying a quick lunch break. We also love to add dehydrated fruit in our breakfast oatmeal when camping outdoors.
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