3 Fantastic Methods for Dehydrating Figs

fresh and dried figs on a table
While it is possible to dry figs in the oven or by sun-drying, the best way to dehydrate figs is to use a food dehydrator. Simply set the dehydrator temperature to 130°F and let the sliced or whole figs dry for 6–8 hours until fully dehydrated.

What Is the Best Way to Dehydrate Figs?

The best way to make dried fruit is by using a food dehydrator. This is because many ovens don’t reach the low temperature that’s ideal for dehydrating fruit.

While a food dehydrator is ideal, you can also dry figs in an oven or by sun-drying. If you have plenty of fresh figs, you’ll need to prepare them in batches.

How to Dehydrate Figs in a Food Dehydrator

Ripe figs dry quickly when dehydrating them in a food dehydrator:

  1. Rinse fresh figs with clean water to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Prepare a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, drop whole figs into the boiling water.
  3. After 30 seconds, remove the fruits from the hot water and place them in an ice bath to finish blanching them. This helps break down the fig skins and speeds up the drying process.
  4. Pat the figs dry with paper towels. Remove the stems and cut figs into halves or quarters.
  5. Place fig quarters or halves on dehydrator trays with the skin side down, leaving space between the pieces for air circulation.
  6. Dehydrate fresh figs at 135 degrees Fahrenheit (or the fruit setting) until they are fully dry. The total dehydrating time will vary depending on the moisture content of the figs, the humidity, and whether you are dehydrating halved, quartered, or whole figs.
Shape of FigDrying Time
Halved figs7 – 8 hours
Quartered figs5 – 6 hours
Whole figs8 – 12 hours
  1. Test the figs for dryness once they develop a leathery appearance. Fully dried figs have a chewy texture and won’t excrete liquid when squeezing them.
  2. Once fully dry, pull the dried figs off of the dehydrator trays and place them on a wire rack. Let them cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours before storing them in an airtight container.
sliced figs on food dehydrator trays
Figs on dehydrator trays

How to Dehydrate Figs in an Oven

If you don’t have a dehydrator to make dried figs at home, you can use your oven.

Here are the steps for oven-drying figs:

  1. Wash fresh figs with running water to remove any dirt.
  2. Use paper towels to remove excess water from the fruit.
  3. Slice the figs into halves or quarters to speed up the drying process.
  4. Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature, and dry the figs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 6 to 10 hours. Keep the oven door partially open when drying figs.
  5. Make sure to flip the fig pieces periodically to help them dehydrate evenly.
  6. Once dehydrated, allow the figs to cool to room temperature.
  7. Store your dried figs in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to extend their shelf life.

How to Dry Figs in the Sun (Air-Drying)

Although air-drying is simple, it’s also the most time-consuming method.

  1. Wash fresh figs by running cold water over them.
  2. Use paper towels to remove any excess water.
  3. Cut figs into vertical halves.
  4. Arrange the sliced figs in single layers, with the cut side facing upwards on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover the sheet with two layers of baking paper or cheesecloth.
  5. Place the tray of halved fresh figs outside in the sun and flip them from time to time. Take the figs inside at sunset and place them back outside the following morning.
  6. The drying time ranges from 2 to 7 days. Once they develop a leathery appearance, cut one in half. If it is chewy and doesn’t excrete liquid when pressed, it is dehydrated.
  7. Keep your sun-dried figs in airtight jars and store them in the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature in a cool, dry place.
Whole figs outside on mesh screens in the sun
Sun-drying whole figs

What are the Benefits of Dried Figs?

  • Dehydrated figs are high in calcium which promotes healthy bones
  • Dehydrated figs have more antioxidants and phenolic compounds than fresh figs
  • Dehydrated figs have vitamins A, B1, and B2 and minerals such as potassium, iron, and phosphorous
  • Dried figs are a healthy snack
  • Dried figs are often used in fig jam recipes for natural sweetness
  • Drying ripe figs extends their shelf life and helps make the most of fig season
  • Figs are a great source of dietary fiber and can aid digestive issues

What is the Best Type of Fig to Dehydrate?

There are more than 600 fig varieties, but the best to dehydrate is Black Mission. Black Mission figs are relatively small, soft, and sweet inside. Other common varieties of figs used for drying are white figs and brown figs.

Black Mission figs cut in half
Black Mission figs

How Many Figs Does It Take to Fill a Dehydrator Tray?

Different dehydrators have different capacities, and depending on how many figs you’re drying, you may need to dehydrate them in batches. Avoid placing too many fresh figs on the dehydrator trays at the same time.

The drying time varies depending on the number of figs being dried and whether they are halved, quartered, or whole figs.

How Long Do Dehydrated Figs Last?

Dehydrated figs can last from 6 to 12 months when stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. If stored in the refrigerator, dried figs can last up to 12 months.

How to Store Dehydrated Figs

Store dehydrated figs in an airtight container like a Mason jar or vacuum-seal bags. To extend their shelf life, place an oxygen absorber in the storage container.

The ambient temperature and humidity are important for storing figs. The best storage temperature for dried figs is 32°F – 36°F. The optimum relative humidity for storing dried figs is 50–60%. Keep figs out of direct sunlight in a well-ventilated environment for the best results.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic it is to dehydrate and preserve food by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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