How to Dry Apples: A Comprehensive Guide

Adding apples, apple juice, or sorbet for a sweet and tangy touch to your recipes is a smart idea, but have you ever considered using dried apples? They make your recipe stand out and give it that fine classic touch. People usually use a microwave oven to dry apples, but it takes long hours, and other shortcuts make apples hard or soggy. 

Well, we have some solutions and tips for you. You can simply do it with an air fryer or food dehydrator. Your choice is based on both availability and affordability. However, you should follow proper procedures to get the best results. So let’s jump into ‘how to dehydrate apples the right way!’

How to Dry Apples

Must-have Equipments to Dry Apples

  1. A sharp knife: To make the apple slices with clean and precise cuts
  2. An air-tight container:  To store the dried apple slices so you can have them later and they do not get soggy from air moisture
  3. Seasoning (Optional): Try adding your favorite seasoning before putting your apples in the air fryer or dehydrator
  4. Acidifying agent: Anything like citric acid, ascorbic acid, lemon juice, or vinegar will help you prevent the apple slices from darkening because of oxidation
  5. An electronic air-fryer or food dehydrator: To help you dehydrate the apples slices evenly

Although all kinds of apples can be used to make dehydrated apples, we still suggest you choose organic apples. By doing so, your dried apples will have a higher nutrient content as pesticides and other chemicals deteriorate the original nutrient quality. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing the Apples for Dehydration 

Step 01: Clean and Pick the Rotten Apples Out

First and foremost, clean your apples and choose the healthiest ones to ensure there are no rotten ones in the batch. Having a single decaying apple may destroy your final product.

Step 02: Prepare an Acidic Medium First 

Do not let those apples air dry while directly exposing them to air. Cover or dip them into an acidic medium first. This will ensure the apples are not dehydrated or soggy before going into the dehydrator. 

To make an acidic solution, add one teaspoon of citric acid, two tablespoons of ascorbic acid, one-fourth cup of lemon juice, or one tablespoon of vinegar to four cups of water. After that, carefully combine your acidic agent with water in a large container.

Step 03: Wash the Apples and Then Cut Them

Wash all the apples and clean them properly with a cloth. Removing the core or peeling is optional; you may start slicing the apples right away. Make sure you slice the apples evenly. This will confirm that your apples dry evenly and look aesthetic as you garnish them on a dish.

Step 04: Dip the Slices into the Acidic Solution

Now, add those slices to the acidic solution you just made. Let the slices soak in that solution for about 10 minutes, and then you can proceed to the drying stage. However, if you have used citric acid, you would need to first rinse the slices with water thoroughly. 

Step 05: Assemble the Slices and Season Them

This is the final stage, where you assemble the apple slices for drying. As simple as it may sound, it is not that easy. You have to ensure that all the slices are placed away from each other so as not to touch. Otherwise, you will have a sticky lump of apples if you let them all dry in heaps. Don’t forget to sprinkle your favorite seasonings or spices to make them taste better.

2 Quick Ways to Dehydrate Apples in Electronic Appliances

How to Dry Apples
  1. In an Air Fryer

Once you have prepared the apple slices properly, place them in the air fryer. Despite the limited space, you can add a considerable amount to the air fryer. But only add enough slices, as you would need some space to flip or move them while they cook and dry. 

Follow these steps to use an air dryer properly:

  1. Set your air fryer to 300°F, and keep rotating and flipping the slices after every five minutes.
  2. Each batch you make will not take longer but pay special attention to the way you cook them. Let 15 minutes pass, and your apple slice will be ready for the next step. 
  3. Take the slices out of the fryer and let them dry for a while. Otherwise, they will taste soggy. The more they keep drying, the crunchier and yummier your apple slices will become. 

Tip: For more crispiness, fry them for 4 more minutes and turn the heat to 325°F. This time, flip the slices every minute to prevent overcooking and overdrying.

2. In a Food Dehydrator

If you don’t have an air fryer at home, you can use a food dehydrator. Dehydrators let you store your sliced apples for longer. So, here’s how you can use a food dehydrator:

  1. Once you are done preparing the slices, dry them a little with a soft piece of cloth. 
  2. Take your tray and arrange the apple slices in a single layer.
  3. After arranging the slices in a single layer, turn the dehydrator on and set it to 145°F for around an hour. This will help remove the remaining soaked acid solution in the slices.
  4. Turn the temperature to 135°F and let the dehydrator do the rest. The dehydrator will take almost 6 to 12 hours to make the finest dried apple slices completely. 

Fun Fact: Unlike an air fryer, there is absolutely no need to turn the slices on and off and make even cuts to have leathery smooth apple slices in a food dehydrator!


It is not enough to just put the apple slices into the air fryer or food dehydrator and expect them to be the yummiest dried apples. You must prepare the apple slices properly before making them dry in a machine. Give your apple slices at least half an hour to rest and settle properly before you eat them. And then store them in an air-tight container. However, look out for any condensed build-up on the walls of your container. If you notice some,  just pop the apple slices into your fryer or dehydrator for a few more minutes, and you will be good to go!