How to Dry Bananas and Make Sliced Banana Chips

Dried banana chips
To dry bananas, peel, chop, and toss the sliced bananas in lemon juice. Dry banana pieces in a food dehydrator at 135ºF for 6-12 hours. Remove when crispy and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry place.

What is the Best Way to Dehydrate Bananas?

The best way to dehydrate bananas is by using a food dehydrator. Food dehydrators are energy efficient, easy to clean, and specifically designed for food dehydration with temperature presets and optimal moisture removal.

How to Dry Bananas in a Food Dehydrator

One of the joys of dehydrating fresh bananas is they take so little prep time. Here’s how to dry bananas in a dehydrator:

  1. Peel and chop ripe bananas using a sharp knife or mandoline into 1/4-inch thick circles or longer slices if making banana jerky.
  2. Toss the banana slices in lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. Lay the banana slices out on a food dehydrator tray in a single layer. Make sure none of the pieces are touching, and leave space between them for airflow.
  4. Place the dehydrator tray in your food dehydrator and set the machine to 135ºF or use the fruit setting.
  5. Let the fruit dehydrate for 6-12 hours, checking on them regularly. Turn the pieces or rotate the trays as needed to ensure even drying.
  6. When fully dehydrated, the bananas will be leathery or resemble dry banana chips. They should be brittle and not bend.
  7. Remove the bananas from the dehydrator and allow them to cool to room temperature.
  8. Once fully cool, store in a labeled, airtight container for long-term storage in a cool, dry place.
Dehydrated banana slices
Dehydrated banana slices

How to Make Dried Banana Chips in an Oven

Dried banana chips are delicious as a healthy snack, blended into smoothies, as a topping for banana bread or ice cream, or mixed into granola or trail mix.

Making banana chips in the oven is one of the easiest dehydrator recipes and is a perfect way to use overripe bananas that are turning brown.

Follow these steps to make dehydrated banana chips:

  1. Peel and chop the banana into thin circles. Dip them in lemon juice briefly to prevent browning.
  2. Lay the banana pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or oil the baking sheet with cooking spray or coconut oil to prevent the pieces from sticking to the pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (usually 170ºF).
  4. Place the tray into the middle of the oven and leave the oven door propped open to encourage aeration.
  5. Check on the banana chips frequently to ensure even drying, and dehydrate them for three hours or until they are fully dried.
  6. Once the dried fruit is crisp, remove the tray from the oven and allow the banana chips to cool to room temperature.
  7. Transfer the chips to an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry place.

Are Dehydrated Bananas Healthy?

Like other dehydrated fruit, dehydrated bananas retain all the health benefits of fresh fruit. When eaten in moderation, they can be a part of a healthy diet.

  • Bananas are an antioxidant-rich food and include flavonoids and amines
  • Bananas can be used to make dehydrated fruit leather
  • Dehydrated bananas are high in calcium
  • Dehydrated bananas may support digestive health due to their insoluble fiber
  • Dried bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C
  • Homemade banana chips have less sugar, preservatives, and additives than store-bought
  • They may help improve blood sugar levels
Whole bananas dehydrated and placed on a woven mat
Whole dehydrated bananas

How Long Does it Take to Dehydrate Bananas?

The total time it takes to dry bananas in a food dehydrator is 6-13 hours, including prep time. Oven-drying bananas take between 3-5 hours.

Can You Sun Dry Bananas?

Yes, it is possible to sun-dry bananas. To do this, chop and peel the bananas. Dip the slices in lemon juice, then lay them on a wire rack to allow air to reach the front and back.

Lay them out in direct sunlight, placing a fine mesh netting over the top to keep flies and bugs away, and leave them until they are dry. It takes around 24 hours in bright sunlight for bananas to dry completely. Allow for 2-3 days of drying time in a cooler climate.

Can You Dehydrate Bananas in a Microwave?

It is possible to dehydrate bananas in the microwave, but it is not recommended. Food dehydrators, ovens, and air fryers all dehydrate bananas more evenly than microwaves.

To dehydrate bananas in a microwave, follow these directions:

  1. Remove the banana peels, and slice the bananas into thin pieces.
  2. Toss the bananas with a bit of lemon juice to give them a thin, even coating.
  3. Spray a glass microwavable tray with cooking spray and lay out the pieces in a single layer.
  4. Set the microwave to the defrost setting for 10-15 minutes. Turn the bananas over halfway through this time to ensure both sides are dry.
  5. Repeat the process as needed until the bananas are thoroughly dried.

Do You Need to Use Lemon Juice When Dehydrating Bananas?

Yes, it is recommended to use lemon juice as a pre-treatment before dehydrating bananas. The lemon juice prevents the banana from discoloring.

If you don’t have lemon juice, you can also create a citric acid solution or ascorbic acid solution, which offers the same benefits and will prevent oxidation.

Ascorbic acid powder with whole lemons
Ascorbic acid powder

Can You Dehydrate Plantains and Bananas the Same Way?

Yes, you can dehydrate plantains in almost the same way as bananas. The only differences are that plantains are slightly tougher and should be sliced thinner (aim for 1/8-inch-thick slices) and take longer to dry fully (8-12 hours).

How Long Do Dried Bananas Last?

If properly stored, dried bananas have a shelf life of up to a year at room temperature. If stored in the freezer and not exposed to the air, the shelf life is two years.

When dried bananas start to go bad, they will harden and become unpleasantly tough and chewy. If dehydrated bananas develop this texture or have any sign of mold or discoloring, do not consume them.

Dried banana chips in container
Banana chips container

How to Store Dehydrated Bananas

The easiest way to store dehydrated bananas is in an airtight container in a pantry or cupboard. Glass jars such as Mason jars work well for room-temperature storage.

Exposure to direct sunlight, heat, air, or moisture will accelerate spoiling for dried bananas, so it is best to keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Jack Fairey

Jack is a writer and keen foodie based in London, England. When he's not writing, he can be found in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes for him and his partner to enjoy!

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