Dehydrating apples has never been easier. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about a food dehydrator, plus simple step-by-step instructions on how to make these amazingly delicious dehydrated cinnamon apples!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cosori. All opinions are my own.
Kitchen gadgets are amazing and make my life so much easier. Slow cooker, air fryer, and Instant Pot recipes have literally saved me hours in the kitchen and now I’ve fallen in love with my food dehydrator. And I especially love making these dehydrated apples. They’re full of flavor, perfect for snacking, and are super nutritious. I literally can’t keep them around because they get eaten so quickly! Dehydrated cinnamon apples are my favorite right now, especially this time of year because the favor reminds me of the holidays. I would have never thought dehydrating apples would be so easy, but the process is simple. You cut the apples, prep the cinnamon sugar lemon glaze, and let the dehydrator do all the work. I’m going to show you step-by-step how to make these dehydrated cinnamon apples.
Best Food Dehydrator
I am thoroughly enjoying my Cosori Dehydrator, mainly because it’s so intuitive and easy to use. It’s made of stainless steel and easy to clean with its 6 dishwasher safe trays. It has a built in timer which allows me to set the time to 30-minute increments and shuts off when done, which allows me to dehydrate foods overnight while I’m sleeping. The adjustable thermostat is easy to use by clicking the + or – button. The temperature range will allow dehydrating anywhere from 95°-165°F. It’s easy to clean and easy to store.
I never thought dehydrating food could be this easy!
How Does A Food Dehydrator Work?
Dehydrating food is basically a process of removing moisture from food. Also called “food drying”, it’s a method of preserving different types of food such as fruit, vegetables, meats, and more. A food dehydrator uses a heat element and air vents to allow air circulation. The dehydrator heating element, fans, and vents work together to remove moisture. The heating element warms the food causing its moisture to be released. The dehydrator fan then blows the warm, moist air out of the appliance via the air vents. This process continues for hours until the food is dried to a lower water content.
Difference Between Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Food
I often get asked what’s the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried food. It boils down to moisture content. When it comes to any type of food preservation, moisture needs to be removed from the food. Here’s what you need to know:
- What is dehydrated food – Dehydrating Process:
- Dehydrated food usually contains less than 20% moisture content. Dehydration of food has been around for thousands of years and used to be done with fire. Today, the process involves circulating hot and dry air across the food. This removes a lot of the water. The moist air is then dried so that water continues to be removed. The temperatures are high enough to remove water but not high enough to cook the food. Dehydrated food is usually withered and pliable.
- What is freeze-dried food – Freeze-Drying Process:
- Freeze drying removes about 98% of moisture in foods. You’ll need a freeze-dryer for this process. When it comes to freeze-drying, you first need to cut and freeze the food. When you start the process, it takes the temperature from freezing level and then is slowly raised. The water in the food moves from a solid state to a gaseous state while maintaining the structure of the food. You also keeping the nutritional value during the freeze-drying process.
How To Dehydrate Apples
Here’s the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Apples – use 4-6 apples. The best apples for dehydrating are honeycrisp, fuji, gala, and pink lady.
- Lemon – the acid in the juice of a lemon helps keep the apples from browning. Lemon juice also helps absorb more of the cinnamon.
- Sugar – I love using a tart apple when dehydrating and the sugar helps cut some of the tart flavor from both the lemon and apples.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg – ground spices that act as flavor enhancers.
- Vanilla Extract – pairs well with the ground spices and sugar to provide a hint of vanilla flavor.
Dehydrated Apples Recipe
- The first thing you’ll do is core the apple and slice into rings that are 1/4″ thick. If you want dehydrated apple chips, just cut the apple rings into pieces.
- You have the option to peel the apple before dehydrating or leaving the peelings on. My preference is to leave them on. My son likes his apples peeled so I often do a combination of both for this recipe.
- Next, mix the lemon juice, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
- Whisk until well blended. It’s ok if some of the mixture is a bit lumpy.
- In a colander, rinse the apples.
- Place the apples in a gallon size Ziplock bag.
- Pour the lemon juice cinnamon mixture into the bag and seal. Make sure all the air is removed before sealing.
- Shake the bag until the mixture is well coated on the apples.
- Let them marinate on the counter for 10 minutes.
- Place each apple on the wire rack. They should not be touching and should not overlap.
- Place the wire racks into the dehydrator and close the door.
Temperature For Dehydrating Apples
I’ve seen articles and read books advising to dehydrate apples on 130F, 135F, and 145F. I prefer dehydrating apples at 135F. The key is this – if the temperature is too hot, it breaks down the vitamins and enzymes and actually starts the process of cooking the food. This element becomes more important when dehydrating meats. When it comes to dehydrating apples, I’ve found that 135F works best for this recipe.
How Long To Dehydrate Apples
Depending on the desired texture depends on how long you will dehydrate the apples.
- Crisp – I like my apples more on the crisp side, so I run my dehydrator for a full 12 hours.
- Pliable – run the dehydrator for 5-6 hours.
Once the apples are done to your desired texture, let them cool. Remove the apples from the tray and enjoy!
How To Store Dehydrated Apples
Store dried apples in airtight containers or airtight storage bags. You can also use jars or glass storage containers. Using Ziplock freezer bags are also safe to use, just make sure all the air is removed so mold can’t grow.
How Long Dehydrated Apples Last
If sealed well, they will last about 6 months. Make sure you store the apples in a dry, cool place. To make them last longer, just throw them in the freezer and thaw when you’re ready to eat or use them.
Can You Dehydrate Apples In An Oven?
Yes, you can. Most food dehydrators range from 95° to 165°F which is the temperature range needed when dehydrating. Many ovens don’t drop below 200 degrees, so it’s harder to use the oven to truly dehydrate food. If you’re dehydrating apples in the oven, set the oven to 200°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and bake the apples for 2-3 hours until desired texture.
Other Expert Tips for Dehydrating Apples
- You “technically” don’t need to add any sweeteners when dehydrating apples. The natural sugars in the apples get more intense during the drying process, but because I like to use tart apples and this recipe calls for lemon juice, I like to cut the tart with a little bit of sweet.
- Do not package the dehydrated apples for storage until they are completely cool. You don’t want to trap any moisture.
- Label your storage containers with the date of when you dehydrated the apples.
- By vacuum sealing the apples, you increase the shelf life and reduce any chance for mold to grow.
- You can actually dry apples in the sun. All you need is a low humidity environment. Since I live in Arizona, this works really well when we have 120 degree days in the summer. And yes, that happens here. To dry apples in the sun, simply lay the sliced apples on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. After 6 hours, turn the apples over. Allow to dry in the sun for 6 more hours until they reach the desired texture.
- Dehydrated apples make the perfect gift for teachers, co-workers, and friends!
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Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples Recipe
- Food Dehydrator
- Core the apple and slice into rings that are 1/4" thick.
- Mix the lemon juice, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended. It's ok if some of the mixture is a little lumpy.
- In a colander, rinse the apples.Place the apples in a gallon size Ziplock bag. Pour the lemon juice cinnamon mixture into the bag and seal.
- Shake the bag until the mixture is well coated onto the apples.Let the apples marinate on the counter for 10 minutes.
- Place each apple on the wire rack of the dehydrator. Apples should not be touching and should not overlap.
- Place the wire racks into the dehydrator and close the door. Set the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 12 hours.
- Once the apples are completely done, remove from the dehydrator and allow to cool.
- Store in an airtight container.