Dehydrating frozen fruit is one of the best ways to add fruit to your prepper pantry. This is especially true if you live in an apartment or small home without a huge garden. While you can dehydrate any type of frozen fruit, in this article, I’ll get into how to dehydrate frozen strawberries.
How to Dehydrate Frozen Strawberries
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Now let’s get into the specifics on how to dehydrate frozen strawberries.
You’ll start off, of course, by purchasing frozen strawberries from your local grocery store. I’ve found that a 3–4-pound bag of strawberries is a good amount for filling a typical dehydrator.
Especially since you won’t know for sure how many strawberries will fit on your dehydrator, I recommend against thawing the berries first. If you don’t thaw them first, once your dehydrator is full, you can put any remaining strawberries back into the freezer and use them for some other purpose such as in smoothies.
Break Up Clumps of Frozen Strawberries
When you purchase frozen fruit, sometimes the pieces of fruit stick together. If that’s the case, break up the pieces that are frozen together.
This should only take a minute, and in most cases, the frozen strawberries will easily come apart. If they don’t, I find a good whack on the counter usually breaks them apart. If that doesn’t work, pop the clump of frozen fruit into the microwave for just long enough for the pieces to easily break apart. In most cases, 30 seconds in the microwave is long enough.
Cut Large Strawberries into Smaller Bits
I personally recommend purchasing sliced frozen strawberries instead of whole ones, because then most of the work is done for you. Whole frozen strawberries are often large enough that it’s possible they will dry completely on the outside to such a degree that the inside never dries completely. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen.
Even if you purchase sliced frozen strawberries, you may find that some of the pieces are pretty thick. If that’s the case, slice those larger pieces in half.
Place the Sliced, Frozen Strawberries on Your Dehydrator Trays
The next step is to place your sliced, frozen strawberries onto your dehydrator trays. While you don’t need to have huge amounts of space between each slice, do your best to avoid overlapping.
The good news is that since the strawberries will shrink up as they dehydrate, if you need to overlap a bit, that’s okay. Just be sure to move them apart and “unstick” any strawberry slices that are stuck together as soon as possible.
Dehydrate at 145 Degrees Fahrenheit for 1 Hour
Since you’re starting with frozen strawberries, it’s a good idea to speed up the dehydrating process just a bit. You can do this by setting your dehydrator temperature at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for the first hour.
Now, if you’re thinking that since the frozen strawberries dehydrate faster at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, why not use that temperature the whole time?
The reason for that is that dehydrating at too high of a temperature for too long will result in case hardening, which simply means that the outside will dry too fast, which will prohibit the inside from drying properly. This is essentially the same potential problem from dehydrating pieces that are too large or stuck together.
2 Hours Max
I have heard of people setting the temperature at 145 degrees for two hours, but I’m personally more comfortable with using the higher temperature for only an hour.
Pro Tip: In this article, I’m using the Cosori dehydrator, which you can get here on Amazon. One thing I love about it is that it has a timer. This makes it easy to ensure that I don’t keep the dehydrator going at that higher temperature for too long. If your dehydrator doesn’t have a timer on it, either use a kitchen timer or the timer on your phone to remind you to reduce the temperature after an hour.
After 1 Hour in the Dehydrator
Above is a photo of what the frozen strawberries looked like after one hour dehydrating at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, they weren’t at all dehydrated, but they had thawed completely and were soft and juicy.
Since frozen strawberries tend to drip a lot of juice as they thaw, it’s a good idea to put a solid dehydrator tray at the bottom of the dehydrator to catch any drips.
Reduce the Dehydrator Temperature to 125 Degrees Fahrenheit
After the first hour, reduce the temperature on your dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point I set the timer for an additional 3 hours. Note that it’s going to take longer than a total of 4 hours for the frozen strawberries to dehydrate completely, but I wanted to check on them more frequently in part to show you the progress periodically. 🙂
Strawberries after 4 Hours in the Dehydrator
Here’s what the strawberries looked like after a total of 4 hours in the dehydrator (one hour at 145 degrees and 3 hours at 125 degrees).
At this point there were beginning to dry around the edges, but were still VERY plump and moist.
Frozen Strawberries After 7 Hours in the Dehydrator
I put the strawberries back into the dehydrator for an additional 3 hours of dehydrating, for a total of 7 hours. Above is a photo of what they looked like at that point.
At this point, when I first looked at them, they were thin and looked completely dry. But when I tried to remove them from the trays, they stuck on the trays, and still had some moisture.
Pro tip: When you’re dehydrating fruit and it’s sticking to the trays, that is sometimes a sign that the fruit isn’t completely dehydrated. While some fruit sticks no matter how long you dry it, I’ve found that fruit that is stuck on the tray often comes off more easily after a few more hours of dehydrating.
Frozen Strawberries after 11 Hours in the Dehydrator
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to check the strawberries in 3 more hours, so I set the timer on the dehydrator for 4 additional hours, for a total of 11 hours.
Note that one of the downsides of dehydrators with timers is that it’s unsafe for a dehydrator to stop running and just sit there, if the food isn’t completely dehydrated. That’s why I, based on my schedule, chose 4 hours for this particular cycle.
At this point, the strawberries were almost completely dehydrated, and no longer stuck to the dehydrator trays. However, there was still just a tiny bit of moisture remaining in the dehydrator, so I stuck them back in for an additional 2 hours.
13 Hours Total Dehydrating Time
After a total of 13 hours in the dehydrator, the frozen strawberries were completely dehydrated! At this point the strawberries were super thin, and while they came off the trays easily, there was a red blotch on the tray under each strawberry.
The good news is, I stuck the mesh tray into a sink full of hot soapy water, and in no time, the trays easily wiped clean.
These dehydrated strawberries make a delicious snack, and also work great in granola or snack mixes. I also like using them in smoothies. If your blender isn’t very powerful, you may find it works best to let the dehydrated strawberries rehydrate a bit before blending.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these related articles.
- Can You Dehydrate Frozen Fruit? | Yes, Here’s How!
- Dehydrating Great Value Frozen Cherry Berry Blend
- How to Dehydrate Frozen Peaches
- How to Dehydrate Frozen Pineapple
- Dehydrating Frozen Cherries
- Freeze Dried Vs. Dehydrated Strawberries for Your Prepper Pantry
Here are a few of my favorite dehydrating tools and resources.
- Cosori Dehydrator – this is the dehydrator I used in this article. Get it here, on Amazon.
- I also use and love my Nesco Dehydrator. You can get it on Amazon, or Pleasant Hill Grain.
- The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff – available here on Amazon. If you only buy one dehydrator book, this is the one I recommend.