Learn how to dry lemon slices at home.
Lemon slices are used to make lemon water, which is a good detox drink, as well as to season various dishes. Since lemon slices don’t last very long, many people dry them in order to keep them a lot longer. Fortunately, drying lemon slices in your own home is easier than you think.
How to Dry Lemon Slices at Home
- Cut the lemons in half and remove all of the seeds, then slice them into slices no more than 1/4 inch in thickness.
- When using an oven: Preheat the oven to 135-185 degrees Fahrenheit, and dehydrate between 2 – 12 hours.
- When using a dehydrator: Set the machine to a temperature of 125-135 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 8 hours
- When using a microwave: Set the microwave on defrost mode and dehydrate for 7 minutes.
- Let it completely cool before a plastic reclosable bag or a clear jar with an airtight lid.
Let’s look at each method separately.
Preparing the Lemons
As you can imagine, you can’t just dry your lemons without preparing them first.
Lemons need to be cleaned and rinsed well and leave the skin on the fruit.
Cut the lemons in half and remove all of the seeds, then slice them into slices no more than 1/4 inch in thickness. Make sure the slices are clean and contain no debris or dirt of any kind.
Once you have the lemons properly cleaned and sliced, you can then decide which method you want to use to dehydrate them.
Drying Lemon Slices in an Oven
To dry lemon slices in the oven …
- Preheat the oven to 135-185 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the slices on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and set it in the preheated oven.
- Here is where it gets a little tricky. It will take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours to dehydrate the lemon slices, so check them after 2 hours to see if they’re done. If they’re not done, keep them in the oven but check them hourly. This should be easy because the lemon slices have to be turned over every hour as well. If the lemon slices start to look like they’re burning at any point, you should lower the temperature in the oven because this means they’re cooking too fast.
Once the slices are done, you can remove them from the oven, let them cool completely, and store them in an airtight container.
Lemons often turn brown during drying. Dropping the temperature can help prevent that, though it makes the drying process longer.
Drying Lemon Slices in a Microwave
While drying lemon slices in your microwave can produce inconsistent results, many people still prefer this method because it is so fast.
- You’ll start by placing 5 paper towels on a microwavable plate and placing the lemon slices on top of the towels. Make sure there are spaces in between each slice so that none of them overlap. When you’re done, place 5 more paper towels on top of the lemon slices and place the plate in the microwave.
- Next, you’ll make sure the microwave is on Defrost mode. If you don’t have that option, set it to 50% power. Microwave the slices for about seven minutes, then remove them from the microwave.
If they’re done, go ahead and remove them, then throw all of the paper towels away. If they’re not done, microwave them again but use new paper towels, and use the same method as you did the first time. This time, however, you’ll want to microwave them for only two minutes. Keep up the process until they’re done.
Drying Lemon Slices in a Dehydrator
Dehydrating machines are an easy way to dry lemon slices.
- You can get started by setting the machine to a temperature of 125-135 degrees Fahrenheit. I suggest using a dehydrator because this is the easiest way to get the job done.
- After you set the temperature of the machine, place the lemon slices on the tray and let them cook for a minimum of two hours. After the two-hour period is up, check the slices to see how the process is going. Afterward, check them every hour until they’re done. Usually, it takes about 8 hours to dehydrate lemon slices.
If the instructions that go with your dehydrator tell you how long or what temperature it will take to properly dehydrate your lemon slices, go by that instruction. If you’re unsure, just check the slice every hour to make sure they are cooking the way they’re supposed to.
Other Ways to Dehydrate Your Lemon Slices
You can dehydrate lemon slices in the air fryer if you like, and many people love this method because it is so quick.
- Just set the fryer to 100 degrees and no higher, then cook the slices for 45-50 minutes.
- After that time, go ahead and check them, and if they’re not yet done, cook them in 5-minute increments until they are completely dehydrated.
Keep in mind that when you use this method of drying out lemon slices, the slices may be transparent once they’re done, so don’t be alarmed if this happens.
You can also sun-dry them if you like, although this can easily take up to two days.
- Just place them on a baking sheet and put it directly in the sun, or near a window sill with direct sun coming into your home.
- Check them after a day but leave them in the sun longer if they need extra time.
Drying lemon slices in the sun is how dehydrating fruit and veggies used to get done, but now there are dehydrators that do the same work in a much shorter period of time.
Storing Your Dehydrated Lemon Slices
Dehydrated lemon slices need to be stored in an airtight container and then placed in a cool, dry location.
Try using a plastic reclosable bag or a clear jar with an airtight lid. Once you store them, and if they’re stored properly, the lemon slices will last for several months. You’ll know they’re no longer any good when they no longer smell good or offer no taste when you use them in a recipe. If you accidentally consume one anyway, it will not harm you, so there’s no need to worry.
READ ALSO: Step-By-Step: How to Store Dried Fruits at Home
Dried lemon slices can be used to flavor things or to make a water-and-lemon detoxifying tonic, among other things. Lemons have huge amounts of vitamin C and offer numerous health benefits. Most people don’t want to eat lemons whole, so dried lemons are a great way to get the health benefits of this fruit without having to put up with the sour taste. Drying lemon slices is easy, fast, and cheap, and besides that, it’s a lot of fun to see the results in the end.