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How to Dehydrate Orange Slices: (plus 11 Ways Using them)

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Dehydrated orange slices are a simple and delicious way to enjoy the fresh, citrusy flavor of oranges year-round. In addition, they make eco-friendly decorations that bring bright colors and unique scents to your home. 

Dry sliced oranges are my favorite way to decorate my some during Christmas. From Christmas garland, potpourri, and Christmas wreaths, it all starts with dehydrating oranges. Then, once Christmas is over, I store them or turn them into different projects, so oranges are the most sustainable and eco-friendly way to cheer up your home with minimal cost and effort.

Learn how to dehydrate orange slices using three methods and 11 ways to use them in various projects.

dehydrating orange slices

Why dehydrate oranges?

In addition to Christmas decorations, oranges can be dehydrated for several reasons. First, drying oranges allows them to be stored for long periods, making them an ideal snack for camping or backpacking trips. Second, dehydrating also helps to concentrate the flavor and sweetness of the fruit, making it a great addition to trail mixes or granola bars. Finally, dehydrating oranges is a great way to preserve the vitamins and minerals contained in the fruit without having to take up space in your refrigerator.

dehydrated oranges

What citrus can I dehydrate?

Large Navel or Valencia oranges are the best. They have round shapes and bright orange colors.

Please search for a firm, seedless oranges, as cutting them into thin slices of the same size is easier. 

Using these methods, you can dehydrate all citrus fruits, including blood oranges, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, limes, and kumquats. While blood oranges look stunning when dried, mandarines or tangerines are less. However, drying citrus fruits is a great way to preserve them for longer.

Why do people decorate with dried oranges?

One of the reasons is the availability of citruses as they ripen during the winter. Their vibrant orange color and pleasant scent brighten up any room. Thus, it has become a common tradition to give someone an orange or mandarin as a gift during the holiday season. In Germany and Austria, children hang stockings filled with fruit like apples and oranges on their beds on Christmas Eve. This practice is believed to symbolize good luck and prosperity throughout the year. This means that they are visually appealing and have a deeper meaning behind them, making them an ideal choice for adding a touch of charm to any home. Additionally, because they are inexpensive and easy to make, these decorations can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

All in all, dried oranges slices offer an attractive and meaningful way to decorate your home!

christmas wreath with orange slices
christmas wreath with orange slices

Tools you will need

  • Fresh Oranges. You can use a variety of oranges. I used 3-4 valencia or naval oranges.
  • Sharp knife or mandolin to slice oranges all evenly. The even thickness of slices matters.
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Paper towel for blotting.
  • Dehydrator of Air fryer – optional.

Make dehydrated orange slices.

Step 1: Slice the oranges.

Tip: Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 200-225°F. See more information about the temperature range to follow.

Wash the oranges thoroughly and dry them. Begin by cutting the oranges with a sharp knife or Mandoline slicer into ¼”-⅛” slices. `slice the oranges into thin and even pieces so they’ll dry simultaneously. Cut them across the equator so the perfect cross-section can reveal. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

cutting thin orange slices

Step 2: Blot and spread.

To faster the drying process, I like to blot the orange slices to remove excess juices before placing them onto trays. This helps them dry much faster and stick to the trays less. You can use paper towels or any absorbing material. You don’t need to push hard to squish them, just enough to soak up some juice.

Step 3: Dehydrating.

Oven-dried orange slices.

Preheat your oven to 200 -225°F and use a conversion oven setting as the air circulation faster the drying process. Spread the orange pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Oranges are sweet and sticky, so lay them out in a single layer, not overlapping. Depending on your oven and the thickness of the slices, the dehydrating process may take 3 to 5 hours. Turn the slices every hour to ensure even drying. Keep watching them, remove dry pieces, and let the thick slices longer to dry. Once the orange slices are completely dehydrated and no moisture remains, transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool.

oven dried orange slices

Using the dehydrator.

Set the dehydrator to 130-135°F and place them on a tray of the dehydrator. Alternatively, choose a “fruit” setting or medium heat. If unsure, check them after an hour and adjust the temperature accordingly. The thickness of the orange slices determines how long to keep them in the dehydrator. They should be dried within 8 hours. Rotate the trays every two hours to promote even drying. Once the dehydrated citrus is “fully dry” and thus no longer gooey or soft, transfer them to an airtight container.

how to dry orange slices

Can you dehydrate oranges in an air fryer?

If your air fryer has a dehydrator setting built in, you should be able to dehydrate them completely. 

Place your citrus slices on food dehydrator trays and Set the temperature to 120 F or dehydrating setting. The fruit’s moisture and the slices’ thickness affect the amount of time needed to dehydrate the slices. Pretty thin slices may take 10 hours, while thicker up to 14 hours of drying. I suggest checking every few hours until fully dry.

How long do dried orange peels last?

As long as all of the moisture has been removed, fully dehydrated oranges can last a very long time, up to two years. Once the slices stop snapping when bent or turn brown, it is time to compost them or give them to birds. Store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.

gift wrapping with oranges

How do you know when dried oranges are done?

The completed oranges will be translucent and will break when bent. Make sure the oranges are correctly dried out. Any remaining dampness in the slices is a source of germs.

drying orange slices

What can I do with dehydrated citrus fruits?

Use them for Decoration.

Create a Christmas orange garland by stringing the orange slices on twine or string. You can use it to decorate your Christmas tree, doorway, or fireplace mantle.

Attach your dehydrated orange pieces to Christmas wreaths as per the image below.

Make a small hole near the top and tie the knot around the rind. Or use the natural hole in the center to hang them as Christmas ornaments on trees or elsewhere.

Use dehydrated orange slices in gift wrapping by attaching them with twine or a bow to a gift package.

Turn them into a potpourri with other Christmas herbs and spices.

christmas garland

Eat them.

Infuse them in a warming cup of tea, coffee or in your favorite cocktails, such as Campari with orange juice.

Grind them into a versatile lemon or orange powder or and use it in your homemade beauty products or these lemon curd cookies.

Orange peel powder

Incorporate them into granola bars, muffins, and other recipes for dried fruit.

Use the dried slices to make an orange extract or orange liqueur.

Dehydrated oranges make a great snack!

Add orange slices to a homemade chocolate bar or oatmeal.

Sprinkle the slice on top of a salad or yogurt for added flavor and texture.

The candied orange zest pieces are great when Dipped in melted chocolate.

christmas decoration

How to store dried orange slices?

Store dehydrated oranges in an airtight container, mason jar, or ziplock bag in a cold, dry place. 

Do dehydrated orange slices taste good?

Dehydrated oranges can be a delicious, healthy snack. They are sweet and tangy, with a chewy texture. Some people like to add spices or sugar to their dehydrated oranges, while others enjoy them plain.

Can you dehydrate oranges without the peel?

Yes, you can dehydrate oranges without the peel. Cut the oranges into thin slices and place them on a dehydrator tray. Set your dehydrator to 135 degrees Fahrenheit and dry until the orange slices reach your desired texture.

Yield: 30 slices

How to Dehydrate Orange Slices: (plus 11 Ways Using them)

dried orange slices

Dehydrated orange slices are a simple and delicious way to enjoy the fresh, citrusy flavor of oranges year-round. In addition, they make eco-friendly decorations that bring bright colors and unique scents to your home. 

Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 4 oranges
  • baking paper

Instructions

  1. Slice the oranges. Tip: Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 200-225°F. See more information about the temperature range to follow. Wash the oranges thoroughly and dry them. Begin by cutting the oranges with a sharp knife or Mandoline slicer into ¼"-⅛" slices. `slice the oranges into thin and even pieces so they'll dry simultaneously. Cut them across the equator so the perfect cross-section can reveal. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  2. To faster the drying process, I like to blot the orange slices to remove excess juices before placing them onto trays. This helps them dry much faster and stick to the trays less. You can use paper towels or any absorbing material. You don't need to push hard to squish them, just enough to soak up some juice
  3. . Oven-dried orange slices. Preheat your oven to 200 -225°F and use a conversion oven setting as the air circulation faster the drying process. Spread the orange pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Oranges are sweet and sticky, so lay them out in a single layer, not overlapping. Depending on your oven and the thickness of the slices, the dehydrating process may take 3 to 5 hours. Turn the slices every hour to ensure even drying. Keep watching them, remove dry pieces, and let the thick slices longer to dry. Once the orange slices are completely dehydrated and no moisture remains, transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool. Using the dehydrator. Set the dehydrator to 130-135°F and place them on a tray of the dehydrator. Alternatively, choose a "fruit" setting or medium heat. If unsure, check them after an hour and adjust the temperature accordingly. The thickness of the orange slices determines how long to keep them in the dehydrator. They should be dried within 8 hours. Rotate the trays every two hours to promote even drying. Once the dehydrated citrus is "fully dry" and thus no longer gooey or soft, transfer them to an airtight container. In an air fryer. If your air fryer has a dehydrator setting built in, you should be able to dehydrate them completely. Place your citrus slices on food dehydrator trays and Set the temperature to 120 F or dehydrating setting. The fruit's moisture and the slices' thickness affect the time needed to dehydrate the slices. Pretty thin slices may take 10 hours, while thicker up to 14 hours of drying. I suggest checking every few hours until fully dry.

    Did you make this project?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    dehydrating oranges
    Vladka Merva on December 16th, 2022

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