Learn how to easily dry peaches at home!
Drying peaches at home doesn’t have to be complicated and, in fact, many people are surprised by how easy it is. There are many different methods of drying your peaches, two of which include sun-drying and air drying. The thing is, most experts do not recommend these two methods simply because it is possible for bacteria to grow and make the peaches unhealthy to eat.
Most experts believe there are only two safe methods if you want to dry peaches at home:
- drying peaches in the oven or
- drying them in a food dehydrator.
How to Dry Peaches at Home
Preparing your peaches before drying
Regardless of which method you choose, your fresh peaches need some preparation before you start to dry them.
The first thing you need to do is wash your peaches and make sure the skin is totally dry. Rinse them off well with cold water, then let them air dry on a baking sheet, which could take up to 24 hours to make sure they’re dry enough. But taking your time with this step makes a big difference in the final outcome, so it’s smart to do it correctly right from the start.
You’ll also want to slice the peaches, and if you’re thinking, “but what about peeling them,” just know that leaving the skin on the peaches can help during the drying process. Go ahead and leave the peels on the peaches and slice them to around one-eighth of an inch thick. Discard any brown spots you see while working on the peaches, but keep the slices thin because if you don’t, they’ll take a lot longer to dehydrate.
The next step is to place your peach slices in a large bowl and sprinkle some lemon juice in it, then stir the peaches with a wooden spoon so that each slice is coated well. Use half a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice for every peach that you slice; in other words, the juice of one lemon should last through four peaches. Once you get to this point, you’re ready to start drying your peaches.
Drying peaches in the oven
To dry peaches in the oven, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit,
then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next, arrange all of your sliced peaches in a single layer on the sheet.
Plan on every two peaches taking up an entire single baking sheet. So, if you’ve sliced up six whole peaches, you can count on using a total of three baking sheets to dry them out. After the peaches are lined up on the baking sheets, place them in the preheated oven and keep them there for two hours.
After the two hours are up, take the baking sheets out of the oven and flip each peach slice over to the other side.
Place the baking sheets back into the oven and bake for an additional two hours. In other words, you’ll want to cook the peaches for a total of two hours on each side. It will take four hours total for the peaches to completely dry.
After both sides of the slices are dried, take them out of the oven and check them. All ovens are different, so you may have to cook your peaches for a little more than four hours total to get them completely dry.
Drying peaches in the dehydrator
Drying your peaches in a food dehydrator is simple because all you have to do is follow the user manual instructions regarding the time and temperature. That being said, most dehydrators work well set at 135 degrees Fahrenheit and by cooking the peaches for roughly three to four hours.
Before you dehydrate your peaches, you can still slice them at one-eighth of an inch without peeling them just as you do when drying the peaches in the oven. The only difference is how you’ll be drying them.
If the instructions for your dehydrator are different from the general instructions we’ve listed here, always go by what your dehydrator’s instruction manual says. Since all dehydrators are a bit different, it’s best to follow their directions so that your peaches come out perfectly every time.
Choosing the Best Peaches for Drying
Regardless of how you end up drying your peaches, buying the right ones, in the beginning, is a crucial step.
I recommend buying freestone peaches if you’re going to dry them, not cling peaches. Freestone peaches do not cling to the pits, which means they are easier to remove from the pits before you dry them. You’ll also want to choose ripe peaches that are not too hard or too soft.
Some people buy their peaches then wait for up to a week for them to ripen enough to start drying them. You can speed up the ripening process by placing them in a brown box, adding one banana to the box, then waiting for them to get ripe enough to dry.
How to Store Dried Peaches
Storing dried peaches is also easy because you simply need to keep them dry and cool. You can keep them in a resealable plastic bag or even a jar if you like, but always make sure the dried peaches stay away from any type of heat source and in a cool place. If dried peaches are stored properly, they will last six to 12 months, which means you can get a lot of enjoyment out of them in the meantime. Both drying peaches and storing them are very simple once you learn the basics.