One of the best ways to savor the taste of summer is by dehydrating strawberries. Dried strawberries are sweet and chewy with all the great flavor of fresh berries. Follow along with this step-by-step guide with process photos and video tutorial to learn how to dry and dehydrate strawberries in the air fryer, oven, or a classic food dehydrator!
Why You’ll Love These Dehydrated Strawberries
Dehydrating strawberries is a fun way to have summer strawberries all year long! I recently wrote a post on how to dehydrate oranges and other citrus (perfect for winter), so I thought I’d share a simple step by step guide on how to dehydrate some spring and summer produce!
Here are a few reasons you’ll love this tutorial:
- Locks in Peak Summer Sweetness – By dehydrating strawberries, you can trap the juicy sweetness of peak season fruit, ready for you to enjoy whenever you’re craving it.
- Versatile – Dehydrated strawberries are an excellent substitute for freeze-dried strawberries in most recipes. They can also be used to add a pop of color and a burst of flavor!
- Step-by-Step Photos & Video Tutorial – Follow along with visuals to help you make the best oven dried or air fryer strawberries!
Differences Between Dehydrated Strawberries and Freeze Dried Strawberries
Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning the difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried strawberries. I love both and in some cases they can be used interchangeably.
- Dehydrated strawberries are made by applying low heat over a long period, which slowly removes moisture while maintaining the fruit’s sweet flavor. The end result is a chewy, shriveled, darkened berry that retains much of its original taste. This is what we’re doing today!
- Freeze-dried strawberries, on the other hand, are flash frozen and then placed in a vacuum chamber to remove moisture. This method retains the strawberries’ original shape, color, and creates a crispy texture. The flavor is intensified and the result is a crispy, light, and airy fruit that can rehydrate quickly.
What Fruit Can I Dehydrate?
From my past experience dehydrating other fruits, for the most part, oven-drying or air-frying fruit is faster than drying fruit slices in a dehydrator because the heat is higher. This can lead to fruit that is slightly darker or browner in appearance, but the end result is still delicious. While dehydrating fruit takes a few hours, most of the time is passive and it’s a relatively easy process!
Air frying fruit is much quicker than oven drying. But one downside is that you aren’t able to dehydrate as many slices at a time because of the air fryer’s small size, so just keep that in mind.
⭐️ If you have an air fryer, I recommend using it over an oven. Overall, my air fryer did a better job at dehydrating the strawberries without browning them. ⭐️
Baking Times & Air Frying Times For Other Fruit:
Here is a handy chart comparing how long various fruits took to dry in either my oven or my air fryer. You can see below that air frying is much faster across the board!
|Oven Drying Time (175F)
|Air Fryer Drying Time (180F)
|45 m. – 1 hr
|45 m. – 1 hr
|Dried Cara Cara, Blood, or Navel Oranges
|1 hr – 1.5 hrs
|1.5 hrs – 2 hrs
Creating dehydrated strawberries is simple and…you guessed it- all you really need is one key ingredient:
- Fresh Strawberries – I tested this process with fresh, ripe strawberries. But I suspect frozen strawberries can also be used. Just make sure to thaw the frozen berries, and pat them dry to remove excess moisture. Frozen berries may take longer to fully dry.
In this step by step guide, I’ll walk you through the process of drying fresh strawberries in the air fryer, the oven, or a food dehydrator. The following are a few pieces of helpful equipment– of course, you’ll need either an air fryer, oven or dehydrator to follow along.
- Parchment Paper or Wire Cooling Rack
- Paper Towels or Tea Towel
- Large Baking Sheet, Air Fryer Basket, or Dehydrator Rack
- Sharp Knife (preferably serrated) or Mandoline Slicer
- Food Dehydrator, Oven, or Air Fryer
🎥 *Video Tutorial is Above the Recipe Card Below!*
Prepare the Fresh Strawberries
STEP 1: The first step is to prepare the strawberries. You can use either fresh fruit from the grocery store or a local berry farm. Remove the stems and cut them into thin slices, about ⅛”-¼” thick.
STEP 2: If the slices are very juicy, gently pat them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
📌 TIP: The uniformity of the slices and the thickness impact the drying time. Thicker slices will take longer to dry.
Air Fryer Instructions
STEP 1: Preheat the air fryer to 180°F (80°C) or its lowest setting.
STEP 2: Line your air fryer basket with air fryer parchment paper. If you only have regular parchment paper, you can use this too. Air fryer parchment paper is made with perforations that help increase air circulation.
STEP 3: Place the strawberry slices in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Then, place the basket in the preheated air fryer.
STEP 4: Air fry the strawberry slices at 180°F for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, flipping every 20–30 minutes.
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 175°F (80°C), or the lowest temperature your oven can go to! The lower the temperature, the better. If your oven has a convection or a fan setting, turn it on now.
STEP 2: Next, prep the baking tray by placing a wire cooling rack on it. If you don’t have a wire rack, line a large baking tray with white parchment paper (white paper helps prevent the slices from browning or burning as quickly- you can use brown paper too, but the slices may be darker in color).
📌 TIP: A wire cooling rack helps air reach all sides of the strawberries, which helps dry them faster and uniformly!
STEP 3: Place the strawberry slices in a single layer on the wire rack or the parchment. If the slices are very juicy, gently pat them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
STEP 4: Bake the slices at 175°F for 2-3 hours, flipping every 30 minutes. Adjust the baking time as needed. (See the next section for tips on how to know when the slices are fully dehydrated!)
STEP 1: Preheat the dehydrator to 135°F (60°C). Then, place the slices in a single layer on the dehydrator racks.
STEP 2: Dehydrate the strawberry slices for 6 – 9 hours. The drying time will vary depending on the juiciness of the berries and the thickness of your slices. Be sure to check the berries periodically throughout the process to make sure they don’t become too shriveled!
How to Tell the Strawberries are Done Drying
When testing the strawberry slices, let them cool for about ten minutes.
While the slices are warm, they may be soft and pliable. Once they cool, they’ll firm up and be easier to test.
For the best results when dehydrating strawberries, it’s important to consider the following:
- Texture – The perfect dehydrated strawberries should have a leathery and flexible texture. They won’t be crispy like strawberry chips, but rather pliable and chewy.
- Moisture – When the strawberries have been fully dehydrated, there should be no visible moisture, either on the surface or when cut in half. The center should appear dry, indicating that the dehydration process is complete.
- Dehydration Level – It’s always safer to lean towards over-dehydration rather than under. Too much moisture left in your strawberries can lead to mold or them spoiling. If you’re unsure, dehydrate a bit longer to be on the safe side.
Uses for Dehydrated StrawberrIes
Whether you’re using the air fryer or a traditional oven, these dehydrated strawberries are a fun snack to enjoy, especially during the winter months when fresh strawberries aren’t readily available. It’s a simple, efficient method of preserving the fresh taste of strawberries and is a wonderful way to introduce dehydrated foods into your diet!
These oven-dried or air fried strawberries make a versatile sweet treat or they can even be used as decoration for cakes and drinks. Here are some of my favorite ways to use them!
- Breakfast Booster: Kickstart your day with a flavorful addition of these to your morning cereal, granola, or oatmeal.
- Yogurt Topper: Level up your yogurt bowls by adding a sprinkling of these dried strawberries. I love mixing them into my almond milk yogurt in the morning.
- Cake and Cupcake Decor: They serve as a delightful, edible garnish on cakes, cupcakes, or tarts. They make your baked goods look extra special!
- Trail Mix Component: These can be included in your homemade trail mix for a pop of color and flavor.
- Smoothie Ingredient: Rehydrate them in a little water and blend them into your smoothies for some fresh fruity flavor.
- Homemade Granola Bars: Dice them up and mix them into your granola bar recipe for a burst of strawberry goodness.
- Dipped in Melted Chocolate: For chocolate lovers and to enjoy as a fun snack!
- Decoration: Place the dried fruit in a bowl as potpourri.
- Garnish: Dehydrated berries are a great garnish for other meals like salads.
- Tea, Drinks & Cocktails: Place the dried slices in a warm cup of tea, a latte, or a cold cocktail for extra flavor or color!
Storing Dried Strawberries
Storing your dehydrated strawberries is a super important step in making sure they last as long as possible.
For best results, place them in a clean, airtight mason jar or a similar storage container and keep them in a cool, dark location.
They can last over 6 months, but they’re so delicious, I know I usually eat them long before then! Here are a few more storage tips for you:
- Let the air fried or oven dried strawberry slices cool completely at room temperature.
- Sterilize your jar or storage container and let it dry completely.
- Place the dried strawberries in a glass jar, like a mason jar, or another airtight container.
- Store in a cool, dry and dark place.
- Thinly Slice The Strawberries: Cut the berries so the slices are ⅛”-¼” thick. Whatever thickness you opt for, make sure the slices are uniform so they cook evenly.
- Gently Pat The Berries With A Paper Towel or a Tea Towel: If your berries are extra juicy, gently pat them with a towel remove excess moisture. This will help speed up the drying time.
- Flip The Slices Every 20-30 Minutes: Be sure to flip the strawberries periodically to prevent the slices from burning.
- Adjust The Drying Time As Needed: The amount of moisture in the berries and the thickness of the slices affect the amount of time needed to dehydrate the slices. Increase or decrease the drying time as needed until the slices are completely dehydrated.
Yes, strawberry slices and other fruit can be dehydrated in the oven.
Yes, strawberries slices can be dehydrated in the air fryer.
Dried strawberries make an amazing snack, dessert decoration, salad topper or garnish for drinks and cocktails.
To dehydrate strawberries in the air fryer, it typically takes about 1 1/2 hours at 180°F. Be sure to flip them halfway through to ensure even dehydration.
They should be flexible and leathery, with no visible moisture, juiciness, or stickiness. If in doubt, slice one in half; the center should be dry and not soft. And it’s always better to over-dehydrated than to under-dehydrate.
Mold indicates incomplete dehydration or moisture exposure during storage. Moldy berries should be composted or discarded. It’s very important to ensure the strawberries are fully dehydrated before storing.
More Strawberry Recipes:
- Classic Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Simple Syrup for Cocktails
- Strawberry Latte
- Fluffy Strawberry Buttercream
Did you make these dehydrated Strawberry slices?
I’d love to know! Leave a star rating and comment below!
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