Tons of articles can show you how to dehydrate oranges, but I have a secret trick that I found and it’s going to make the process so much easier!
How To Dehydrate Orange Slices
No part of the world needs me as a food blogger unless you need to know the quickest route to your nearest Taco Bell.
But when you combine 2 things I love – food and home decor – I can definitely be of some assistance.
Dehydrated fruits and veggies are a great way to preserve your garden’s bounty, and a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen. But did you know that dehydrating oranges makes for an easy decoration around the house?
I’ve outlined all the steps below, so you can forage your nearest supermarket for oranges and make this easy recipe. This method works for any fruits (especially citrus fruits like oranges) and can easily be replicated, regardless of your fruit of choice!
How To Dehydrate Oranges In The Oven (Without a Food Dehydrator)
- Very sharp knife or mandolin slicer
- Optional: Cinnamon or brown sugar
*Note: Any type of fresh oranges that you can cut will do! Don’t use a mandarin orange that you can peel and eat. You’ll want something like naval oranges or even blood oranges which could create a really cool variety in color.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
This is the hardest part of this recipe. This project is super easy, but it just takes a long time. Think crockpot, not microwave if you will. Look at me knowing cooking things and whatnot!
Cut your oranges into equally thick slices. I cut mine around 1/4 of an inch, but you can choose whatever thickness you want.
(I shared a super annoying part of this project with my email family because I like to give them anecdotes to spice up posts. If you’re tired of FOMO and want to see the worst of the worst and the dumbest things I do, come join our email family!)
The reason you want them to be the same thickness is you want them to cook as evenly as possible. This is why some people choose to use a mandolin slicer. If you want them to dry faster, make sure you slice your oranges in thin slices.
Because I didn’t have a mandolin slicer, I used one of our super sharp kitchen knives and it worked great. Use what you have.
Once your slices are cut, here comes my secret trick that I figured out accidentally.
Most people will tell you to put them on parchment paper. When I pulled out my roll of parchment paper, I didn’t have enough to put on the cookie sheet, so I added a silicone baking mat.
However after round 1 of dehydrating oranges and flipping them over every 45 minutes or so, I realized that they weren’t getting as dry as I would have liked.
My secret ingredient is an oven safe cooling rack!
When I went in for my second batch of dehydrated oranges (since I needed 2 for my project), I stuck the oranges on a cookie cooling wire rack. I also decided to sprinkle cinnamon on these oranges, although I have also seen other people who have done brown sugar which seems like it would also be a great option.
Your oranges will take at least three hours to dehydrate in the oven and can take up to 6-8. It may be tempting to raise the temperature of your oven so that it will go faster, but you don’t want to do that and risk burning them.
The way to dehydrate oranges is to slowly pull out the moisture so if this happens too quickly, they will be ruined which means you need to dehydrate using the low temperature.
I flipped my oranges maybe once or twice throughout the process, but I didn’t time it at all.
Prior to putting them in anything or using them to make a DIY garland or other home decor project, you’ll want to make sure they’ve fully cooled to room temperature.
Here are some things you may need to know if you’re wondering how to dehydrate oranges:
How Do You Know When Dried Oranges Are Done?
As oranges begin to dry out, they will start to “shrink” and shrivel. They will become a bit smaller. The fleshy part should become thinner and see through.
To the touch, dried slices of oranges will not feel wet at all. If you touch it and it feels juicy at all, they’re not done.
Because you cook them at 200 degrees, you can touch them directly out of the oven to feel them.
How Long Will Dried Oranges Last?
As long as they’re fully dehydrated and stored properly, dehydrated oranges should last well over a year! In some instances they’ll last you closer to 2!
How Do You Store Your Dried Orange Slices?
The most important thing to storing your dried orange slices is to make sure they’re in an airtight container. If you have a container that isn’t all the way sealed, you run the risk of moisture building up inside and getting the dehydrated oranges soggy.
If you have a glass containers like mason jars or a lidded hocking jar, that is preferred to keep them fresh and moisture free!
What Do You Do With Dehydrated Orange Slices?
The possibilities are endless but some of my favorite ways are to use them in decor, especially around the holiday season.
- Add them to a tablescape
- Make a faux wreath look real by adding dried oranges to it
- Make a DIY dried orange garland and add it to your Christmas tree
- Add berries, cinnamon sticks or cloves to your dried oranges and put them in a bowl or a jar as decor and a natural room freshener
- Use the dried oranges and make them into ornaments
I love a project that’s an easy DIY and also easy on the wallet and dehydrated citrus slices are the perfect way to have both!