How to Dehydrate Apples

Dehydrating food is a skill that all preppers should master and dehydrated apples are probably the easiest food to learn with.  But I would be seriously remiss in letting anyone think that I store dehydrated apples as long term food storage in this house. Truth is, the second my kids see this bag on the counter they will be gone. The work involved used to make the fact that they would disappear faster than I could peel them discouraging and then I bought an apple peeler/corer/slicer. It cut my prep time down into a ridiculous 20 mins for a 5 lb bag to be opened and the nesco trays running. Now, that is a time I can deal with for making a healthy snack! If you don’t have teenage boys roaming your home, this makes an excellent long term food storage option. Especially when you get apples on sale in the fall.

I used a combination of Fuji and Gala this round.

5# bag of fuji applesI was able to slice, peel and core all the apples in less than 10 mins. You can also use this when prepping potatoes.

apple on peeler/slicer/corerNext, everything goes into a water bath dip with Ball Fruit Fresh.

apples in water and ball fruit fresh bath

5 lb bag fits 6 Nesco trays perfectly.

nesco tray with dehdrated apples I dehydrate for 6-12 hours (depending on how chewy or dry you like them)on 135 degrees. It works perfectly for me to put them in around 3:30 in the afternoon and have my husband shut it off in the morning around 6:30 am.

bagged homemade dehydrated apples

This whole process yields roughly a 1/2 gallon Ziploc bag, which will take my teens minutes to munch through. If I was storing this for long term use, I would seal in a mason jar, take the air out with the foodsaver jar sealer and include a silica gel pack.

I had to wonder who this compares cost wise to just buying a bag. I looks like in my local area I can get a bag this size for roughly $10. Apples right now are running about $1 a pound (not on sale) in my area so this is cheaper. Finding apples less expensive would be better economically but even at the $5 savings I like doing this for my family. They love the taste and it is easy and I know what is in it!


  1. We sprinkle a little cinnamon on the apples before dehydrating – makes the house smell like apple pie!

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    • I have been dehydrating apples for years as a snack for backpacking and canoeing. I also put cinnamon on them but I don’t peel them. I run a tube style apple.core remover through the fruit and then put them across the mandolin slicer into a bowl with water and lemon juice. There have been times where I don’t even core them. They are much more.decorative (and still edible). They do disappear quickly though. With the teens in the house!

  2. Why use mason jars and not freezer bags? Could I use my food sealer?

    • Mice or other rodents can smell & chew through plastic bags unless you put them in tough 5 gallon buckets that are sealed.

  3. I have an 18 tray dehydrater. It takes about 8gallons of apples peeled and cored to fill it and I get 2gallons of dried apples. The peeler throws them into a pot of water with some lemon juice. I take an trim and lay them on a clean towel. Take another towel and blot them from the top. Arrange on the tray. I have a spray bottle that I put warm water and a little sure fresh maybe some honey and give the tray a spritz top and bottom (tilt it a bit). Or I mix cinnamon and sugar in a jar I can sprinkle the tops a little. The sugar helps the cinnamon to flow better. I store in gallon or half gallon jars. As long as their still crisp, I have used them up to 18 months. I dehydrate for about 12 hours. Test by letting one cool a minute. If it snaps it’s ready. If I don’t dry them with the towels they remain rubber and less shelf life.

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