Join me and learn how to dehydrate apples. This easy apple chips recipe will save you money on this healthy snack!
I found myself buying dehydrated apples for a backpacking trip years ago. I needed a delicious snack on the trail. They were one of my favorite healthy snacks on that trip. I figured my kids would like them too, so I decided to get myself a food dehydrator with several dehydrator trays in it.
This would be a great way for my family to get access to dehydrated apple chips without breaking the food budget. When I stared out, I didn’t worry about what time of year I was dehydrating apples, I just did it when I wanted too.
Now I make sure to get my hands on large amounts of fresh apples in the fall and store up these tasty sliced apples in an air-tight container for longer storage. This allowed me to get the best bang for my buck!
What apples should I use to dehydrate?
So, what are the best apples to dehydrate? There are many different apple varieties to choose from. Some say tart apples like granny smith, others say sweet apples like pink lady, or gala apples. The type of apple that you will want to use really depends on your personal preference and what you plan on using your dehydrated apple slices for.
If you are wanting to use your dried apples for apple pie, you would use more tart apples like granny smith. The sweeter apples are better for snacking on. You can do a variety of apples. I have tried a lot of apples and I really like ones that have a sweet and tart flavor like golden delicious or honey crisp apples.
The easiest way to figure out what apple you prefer for this easy snack is to get several different kinds and dehydrate each on them. Then you can do a taste test to find your favorite one!
What type of dehydrator should I use to dehydrate apples?
One of the more popular dehydrators is the Excalibur dehydrator. I use this Cosori dehydrator and love it. It is also a little more affordable. There are smaller ones like this dehydrator for drying cut apples that is less expensive.
How to prepare you apples to be dehydrated?
First you will want to rinse off you apples in cold water. Remove any stickers that may be on there if you have purchased your apples from the grocery store. Then you will want to decide if you are going to leave your apple skins on the apple, or remove them.
I personally like to leave my apple skins on for added nutrition and texture, but you can peel apples if you want. This apple peeler would be helpful for this process. I use one similar to this apple peeler, corer, slicer. This thing is over 20 years old and still going strong. It also gives you the option to remove the peels or to leave them on by flipping a little lever.
When preparing your apples you will want to make sure that the thickness of the slices are consistent. The thicker the apple the longer the drying time. If you apples are really thick, it could increase the drying time almost 2-3 hours.
The APPLE slicer I use keeps the slices thin and very consistent. It also will remove the apple core as it is slicing and peeling the apple. Once you have your apple rings It is a good idea to add citric acid or a bit of lemon juice to keep the apple slices looking more vibrant and less brown.
Put your slices in a large bowl or ziplock bag, add the lemon juice an mix up the slices. Our family absolutely loves adding cinnamon to the bowl as well to make cinnamon apple chips. The kids love to dehydrate apples this way.
How to dehydrate apples
Once you have your apple slices ready you can pull out the dehydrator. The best way to put the slices on the wire rack is to spread them out in a single layer. This is key for best air circulation during the dehydration process. I have had apple slices overlap and those will often times take much longer to dehydrate.
I have since learned that for more consistent results you will need to have the slices in a single layer. Make this process worth your time and fill all of your dehydrator trays. Even if this means pulling out another apple or two to quickly slice up and put on the trays.
Once your trays are all in the dehydrator you will set your machine to dehydrate the apple slices for 4-6 hours at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, this time will largely depend on the thickness of your apple slices. You can always check your slices as they are cooking.
With my dehydrator, I an just open the door as it is running and pull out a slice. I will eat it and see if it has the texture that my family likes. Usually it is closer to the six hour mark.
How to store your dehydrated apples
After your dehydrator has finished it’s drying cycle, you will want to allow the apple chips to cool down before storing them. This is because the heat they release may add steam to the container you store them in which would cause them to soften. Once your homemade apple chips are completely cooled you need to store them in an air tight container.
Containers to store your apple chips in
If you want to add some more shelf life to your dehydrated apples you can add some of these in your containers. I also prefer to store my own apple chips in a dark location that isn’t too hot. Heat will also soften your chips.
What can I use my dehydrated apples for?
My kids love these as a snack. I have also put them in their school lunches. I really love packing these apple chips because they are a dry fruit that isn’t messy or hard to toss in a snack container for on the go. I have also seen people use them in pies or tarts.
The apple slices will re-hydrate once they are put in the pie filling. You may need to add more moisture to the recipe if you do this. Another way to enjoy them is to chop them into smaller pieces and add them to salads or trail mixes. Comment below on how you like to enjoy your apple chips!
How to become more self sufficient
Learning to preserve food is a great way to become more self sufficient which is really becoming more important these days. If you are wanting to become more self sufficient, but don’t have a farm or large amount of space to grow your own food don’t lose hope!
I have spent many years (apartment gardening) learning to garden on balcony and becoming an apartment homesteader before we were able to buy land. You can become a homesteader whereever you live and with whatever circumstances you are in.
Check out this post on apartment homesteading and self sufficiency to start your journey today. Don’t wait to get started. Dehydrate some apples today, Learn how to grow your own food. There is nothing stopping you!
Comment below on how you have become more self sufficient.
Tell me what your favorite apples are to dehydrate are!