How to Dehydrate Apricots and Extend Their Shelf Life

dehydrated apricots
The best way to dehydrate apricots is in a food dehydrator. Wash the apricots, cut them into halves or quarters, and remove the pits. Dehydrate the pieces at 135°F for 8-16 hours or until fully dry.

What is the Best Way to Dehydrate Apricots?

The best way to dehydrate apricots is in a food dehydrator. Drying apricots in a dehydrator reduces the chances of the fruit browning and gives the longest shelf life.

  1. Pick fresh apricots for dehydration. Choose sweet, ripe apricots that are fragrant and firm to the touch but yield when squeezed.
  2. Rinse the apricots in cold water, then pat them dry using clean paper towels.
  3. Cut the apricots into halves, slices, or quarters using a sharp paring knife. Remove the pits and dispose of them.
  4. Pretreat the apricot halves or quarters with a pre-treatment solution, such as an ascorbic acid solution, or toss them with lemon juice. Pretreatment helps preserve color and freshness.
  5. Expose more flesh to the air by popping the apricots. Press the skin side to turn the fruits inside out.
  6. Spread the apricot slices or halves in single layers on dehydrator trays. The skin side should rest against the trays. Space the pieces to allow for airflow.
  7. Dehydrate the fruits at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-16 hours.
  8. Check the apricots periodically throughout the drying process and rotate the drying trays to dehydrate the apricots evenly.
  9. Take out a few pieces at the beginning of the 8th hour and test them. Cool to room temperature and inspect them for moisture. Keep dehydrating the apricots if they aren’t fully dried.
  10. Once the apricots are fully dry, remove them from the dehydrator and allow them to cool to room temperature. Put them in airtight containers for 7 days of conditioning. Shake the containers once or twice daily.
  11. Once conditioned, store the dried fruits in labeled, airtight containers and keep them in a cool, dry place for long-term storage.
Quartered apricot pieces on food dehydrator trays
Apricots in dehydrator

How to Dehydrate Apricots in an Oven

It’s easier to burn your apricots when drying them in the oven. Monitor the apricots closely throughout the drying process when dehydrating them in an oven.

Here’s how to dry apricots in an oven:

  1. Rinse the fresh fruits under cool running water. Pat the rinsed apricots dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
  2. Cut the apricots into halves, quarters, or slices. Remove the pits and discard them. Pop each apricot half or quarter to expose more of the flesh to the air.
  3. Pretreat the pieces with an ascorbic acid solution or toss them with bottled lemon juice.
  4. Arrange the apricots on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Spread them in single layers with the flesh side up and the skin side down. Leave enough space between the pieces for proper airflow.
  5. Dehydrate the apricots at the lowest temperature setting in the oven for 10-12 hours. Leave the door partially opened for aeration and to allow humidity to escape.
  6. Monitor the drying process closely. Turn apricot pieces every few hours for even drying.
  7. Once the apricots appear dry, allow a few pieces to cool to room temperature. Test them for moisture by squeezing them. If any liquid emerges, they need more drying time.
  8. Once dried, take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the apricot pieces cool to room temperature. Condition them for 7 days and ensure no condensation forms on the interior of the container.
  9. Transfer the fully dried apricots into labeled, airtight containers, such as Mason jars, for long-term storage. Keep them in a cool, dry place, away from humidity and direct sunlight.
Oven-dried apricots in a bowl
Oven-dried apricots

Do You Have to Pretreat Apricots Before Dehydrating?

It is recommended to use a pretreatment method to extend the shelf life of dried apricots. Pretreatment helps reduce browning and darkening during storage.

Here’s how to pretreat apricots:

  • Mix 1 cup of bottled lemon juice with 4 cups of water in a large bowl
  • Dip the apricot pieces in the solution for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pieces and pat them dry with a kitchen roll or paper towel

How Long Does it Take to Dehydrate Apricots in a Dehydrator?

Drying apricots at 135 degrees Fahrenheit in a dehydrator takes 8-24 hours. The actual drying time depends on the size of the pieces, the dehydrating temperature, relative humidity, and whether the apricots were pretreated.

Whole apricots can take 20-24 hours to dehydrate at 135°F and much longer at 115°F. Remember to include a prep time of 20-30 minutes when calculating the total time for dehydrating.

Quartered apricot pieces in food dehydrator trays
Apricots in dehydrator trays

What are the Health Benefits of Dehydrating Apricots?

Some of the health benefits of drying apricots include:

  • Dried apricots are rich in vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium which help with electrolyte balance, bone health, and proper blood circulation.
  • The dietary fiber in dried apricots helps reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, and diabetes.
  • The natural sugars in dehydrated apricots boost energy levels and enhance stamina.
  • The vitamin C in dried apricots helps strengthen the immune system to fight against diseases.

How To Know if Apricots are Dehydrated

Apricots are dehydrated when they appear shriveled, wrinkly, crispy, chewy, leathery, and pliable. Apricots become darker during the drying process, turning from bright orange to brown or rusty orange. Apricot halves flatten when fully dried, and fresh apricots shrink when dried.

Appearance of dried apricots of different colors
Appearance of dried apricots

How to Store Dehydrated Apricots

Dehydrated apricots should be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place away from humidity, heat, and direct sunlight.

What is the Shelf Life of Dehydrated Apricots?

The shelf life of unopened, homemade dried apricots is six months at room temperature in airtight containers. Unopened store-bought dried apricots kept at room temperature have a shelf life of 6-12 months since they contain preservatives.

You can extend the shelf life of unopened store-bought or home-dried apricots by placing them in cold storage. Store them in a refrigerator or freezer in vacuum-seal bags or Mylar bags for the best results.

Alex Maina

Preserving food has become a meeting point for Alex's passions—gardening, cooking, and writing. Having grown up on a farm with cows, goats, chickens, and fresh fruits and vegetables, Alex knows the importance of preserving food for leaner times. He spends his time drying and canning foods, trying new recipes, and writing for Dehydrated Cookbook.

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