Oven Drying Citrus
Orange you glad it’s Friday?! (sorry – impulsively had the urge to say that as I started typing!) But seriously, thank goodness for the weekend – it has been a very busy week and I think I may be able to not work one of these days this weekend, and that is always exciting. Anywho, I recently had to dry some oranges for a project I’m working on and similar to everyone else on the internet, I couldn’t help but photograph these beauties before they went into the oven. Prior to this, I had never experimented with oven drying fruit, so I wanted to share what I learned and have provided a few tips that I gained from my experience.
The first how-to I found for drying fruit online (sidenote: the particular post I’m talking about is alllll over the internet) has a couple directions that are so totally off, I’m a bit confused as to how it hasn’t been revised yet. So, tread lightly when researching and if anyone is telling you the oven time should be more than 7 hours for orange slices, run away quickly.
Oven Drying Tips for Oranges:
- Use a wire rack when drying orange slices in the oven on the top rack.
- No need to space each slice of citrus 1-inch apart from each other, put ’em all together – as long as they fit level on the rack, they will dry well.
- In terms of the oven temperature, dry the citrus at 170 – 200 degrees (most likely your oven’s lowest temp) for about 3-4 hours, opening the oven 1-inch for a few minutes every hour to let out any moisture from the fruits.
- I had flipped a few of the orange slices each time I opened the oven, but wound up finding no difference between those and the ones I kept same-side-up. So, no need to flip!
- Once the citrus slices have hardened and the orange flesh is opaque, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Since the slice have been dried at this point, it’s totally fine to leave them in the open air for a day or two- I’d actually recommend it, as they will dry out any remaining moisture at this point (unless you have a very humid kitchen).
- Once the dried slices have been in the air for a few days, it’s fine to move them to a ziplock bag – just make sure to remove the air from the bag before you close it.
And I’d show you more of the finished project, but you’ll just have to wait for that!