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Out of all of the things that I’ve dehydrated, citrus fruit is one of my favorites. In this article I show you how to dehydrate citrus in a food dehydrator. I specifically show you how to dehydrate sliced mandarin oranges. I also dehydrated 3 sliced grapefruit as well as some peeled and segmented oranges.
How to Dehydrate Oranges and Grapefruit
I started off with 6 pounds of mandarin oranges (Cuties). I washed them and removed the stickers. I then sliced them.
I tried using my mandolin, because I wanted thin, even slices, and I’m not very precise. The oranges were very ripe, and because of that, soft, so the mandolin didn’t work well.
After getting through less than one orange with the mandolin, I switched to using a knife.
Dehydrating Oranges and Grapefruit with a Cosori and Nesco Dehydrator
Since I sliced the oranges pretty thin, and since I didn’t want to overlap them, I needed to pull out both my Cosori and Nesco dehydrators. I had 6 trays in the Cosori and 10 trays in the Nesco.
Since fruit is sticky due to the high sugar content, I like to dehydrate it on mesh screens rather than putting it directly on the dehydrator trays. On the bottom of each dehydrator, I used a fruit leather try to catch any juices.
I dehydrated all of the parts of the fruit, including the peels. The peels have a lot of nutrients. They also contain pectin, and because of that are more filling than the flesh. You can also grind the peels to make powder.
To preserve as many nutrients as possible, I set the dehydrators as 110 degrees, even though the recommended fruit setting is 125 degrees.
Naturally, it took longer to dehydrate them at the lower temperature – about 24 hours. I think it’s worth it, though, because not only are they more nutritious, they also maintained a vibrant color.
From the 6 pounds of mandarin oranges, I ended up with 2 half gallon jars or dehydrated orange slices. Three sliced grapefruits yielded a quart of dried grapefruit slices. Since grapefruits are so large, even though I used wide-mouth jars, I had to break some of the slices into smaller pieces to fit them into the jars.
Both the oranges and grapefruit cracked nicely and easily when completely dry.
Pro tip: Check out my Nesco Dehydrator Review for my thoughts on a basic, but very good dehydrator.
Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above. If you can’t get the one I linked to on Amazon, check out this selection of options available on Walmart.