How to Dehydrate Cherries at Home [Best Ways]

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Quick Answer: How to Dry Cherries at Home

The best methods to dehydrate cherries at home are – using a food dehydrator, using an oven, microwaving, sun drying and freeze-drying. For those who live in tropical climates, drying your cherries in the sun is the best option. If you only need a small number of dried cherries right away, you can use a food dehydrator to dry them.

Cherries, a fleshy drupe, can be acquired from cultivars of a multitude of species. The Vitamin C-rich fruit incorporates antioxidants, enhances athletic performance and drastically reduces body soreness.

Drying cherries is a necessary step to get rid of any moisture which can cause mold in the fruit.

There are a multitude of alternatives for dehydrating cherries; how do you pick the simplest one?

Don’t worry; we’ve put in hours of testing and practice to come up with five simple ways to dry cherries.

How to Dehydrate Cherries Using a Food Dehydrator

Time needed: 20 hours.

Using a food dehydrator to dry your cherries is the most common method used by people. This is because it’s quite easy and straightforward.

However, you will need to keep a watch on your cherries during this process to ensure they don’t overheat and burn.

Optimum temperature: 165 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. What will you need?

    1. Fresh Cherries
    2. Colander
    3. Beer/wine bottle
    4. Chopstick
    5. Dehydrator trays

  2. Wash the Cherries

    Wash the cherries and rinse for a few minutes in a colander. The stems should be removed and discarded.

  3. Pit the Cherries

    Place a cherry on the bottle’s opening, stem end up (but with the stem already removed). With the chopstick, give it a good thud.

    The pit of the cherry will fall into the bottle, while the rest of the cherry will stay in its original place.

  4. Arrange the Cherries

    Place the cherries on the dehydrator trays so that each piece of fruit has some room around it.

    Make sure you spread these cherries so there is proper air circulation as they dry.

  5. Dry the Cherries

    Preheat the dehydrator to 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius. If your dehydrator doesn’t go this far, use the highest temperature you can.

    Dry the cherries for 2 to 3 hours at this temperature. Reduce the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit and dry the cherries for another 10 to 20 hours, depending on their size.

    The cherries should feel completely dry but leathery and pliable.

  6. Cool the Cherries

    Allow them to cool for 20 to 30 minutes on the trays. Split one of the cherries in half after it has cooled down.

    There should be no moisture apparent on the break’s surface. You can watch how Leda does this entire dehydrating process here.

Dehydrate Cherries Using an Oven

Time taken: 6-9 hours

Optimum temperature: 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

What will you need?

  • Fresh Cherries
  • Colander
  • Baking sheets
  • Drinking straw
  • Parchment paper

 

Using an oven to dehydrate your cherries is amongst the speediest ways to do so. You will be able to consume dried cherries within a few hours itself.

However, you will need to keep a watch on your cherries during this process to ensure they don’t overheat and burn.

Wash the Cherries

Wash the cherries well. To drain, place them in a colander. Remove and discard the stems.

Pit the Cherries

Between your forefinger and thumb, hold a cherry steady. The fruit’s stem end should be facing up. Get a straw made of plastic.

Punch out the pit of the cherry with this. The pit will remain inside the straw. Rep the procedure with another cherry.

You can either empty the straw or get a new one as needed.

Set your Oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set the temperature to 170 or 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It is recommended to use your oven’s lowest setting.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

Arrange the Cherries

Arrange the cherries on the baking sheet so that they do not cross one another. If you’re using sliced cherries, place them sliced side up on the tray.

Dry your Cherries

Bake for 6 to 9 hours, or until the cherries are wrinkled and leathery in appearance.

Since halved cherries dry out faster than whole cherries, keep an eye on them from time to time.

Cool the Cherries

You won’t know if the cherries are dehydrated before they’ve cooled. Split one of the cherries in half after it has cooled down.

There should be no moisture apparent on the break’s surface.

Dehydrate Cherries Using a Microwave

Time taken: 30 minutes

What will you need?

  • Fresh Cherries
  • A Microwave plate
  • Colander
  • A Plastic straw
  • Baking gloves

 

Wash the Cherries

Wash the cherries well. To drain, place them in a colander. Remove and discard the stems.

Pit the Cherries

Between your forefinger and thumb, hold a cherry steady. The fruit’s stem end should be facing up. Get a straw made of plastic.

Punch out the pit of the cherry with this. The pit will remain inside the straw. Rep the procedure with another cherry.

You can either empty the straw or get a new one as needed.

Break into Thin Slices

You should cut the cherries into smaller sections. Go for thin slices but don’t overdo it or else your dried cherries will come out squishier and gummier than you expect.

Wash your Microwave Plate

Since you will be putting your fruit directly on the spinning plate of the microwave, make sure it’s clean and dry.

You can use a microwave-safe silicone mat, such as a Silpat, if you have one, though it might not fit nicely into your microwave.

Dry your Cherries

Place the fruit slices on a microwave plate with enough space between them to allow them to breathe, at least an inch or two.

Set a Timer

Keep a timer for 30 minutes and allow the cherries to cook.

Check the Cherries

Return 30 minutes later to flip the cherries. You could have your baking gloves on because the cherries will be hot.

Make sure you are constantly checking on your cherries so that they don’t overheat and burn.

Cool the Cherries

Let the dried cherries cool down. Split one of the cherries in half after it has cooled down.

There should be no moisture apparent on the break’s surface.

Dehydrate Cherries Using Sun-Drying

Time taken: 3 to 4 days

Optimum temperature: Sunlight

What will you need?

  • Fresh Cherries
  • Colander
  • A Plastic straw
  • Cooling racks
  • Cookie sheets
  • A Cheesecloth

 

Sun-dry your cherries if you have plenty of time and don’t require them urgently. This is the safest method for dehydrating your cherries at home.

Wash the Cherries

Wash the cherries well. To drain, place them in a colander. Remove and discard the stems.

Pit the Cherries

Between your forefinger and thumb, hold a cherry steady. The fruit’s stem end should be facing up. Get a straw made of plastic.

Punch out the pit of the cherry with this. The pit will remain inside the straw. Rep the procedure with another cherry.

You can either empty the straw or get a new one as needed.

Arrange the Cherries

Place the cherries on cooling racks to allow air to flow around them freely. Place the racks on baking sheets.

Place the Cheesecloth

Get a clean cheesecloth and drape it over the racks loosely. This will drive insects away from the cherries.

Dry the Cherries

To dry the cherries, find a warm, dry, and sunny place. Turn the cherries now and then to ensure that they dry uniformly on both sides.

At night, remember to bring the trays inside. The next day, lay them out to dry in the sun.

Within 3 to 4 days, the cherries should be dry enough to eat.

You can watch Michael sun-dry his cherries here :


Dehydrate Cherries by Freeze Dry

Time taken: 35 to 38 hours

What will you need?

  • Fresh Cherries
  • Dry ice
  • Trays
  • Paper towel

 

Freeze dry your cherries with the simple steps outlined below. You won’t need to keep a constant watch on your cherries while they freeze-dry.

Wash the Cherries

Wash the cherries well. To drain, place them in a colander. Remove and discard the stems.

Pit the Cherries

Between your forefinger and thumb, hold a cherry steady. The fruit’s stem end should be facing up. Get a straw made of plastic.

Punch out the pit of the cherry with this. The pit will remain inside the straw. Rep the procedure with another cherry.

You can either empty the straw or get a new one as needed.

Arrange your Cherries

When freeze-drying, you can usually put down a good, single sheet.
You should light load instead because cherries take a long time to freeze dry.

Freeze Dry the Cherries

Fill a tub or a bucket halfway with drying ice. Fill the dry ice bucket with trays of cherries. Allow for a day and a half of freezing.

Watch Sharon explain the intricacies of freeze-drying cherries here:

 

The Importance of Conditioning Dried Cherries

Even after the cherries are correctly dehydrated, there may still be some residual moisture in the fruit that you can’t feel.

This shouldn’t be enough to keep the fruit fresh and mold-free for a long time. If you do what’s known as “conditioning” the dried fruit, you’ll get a tastier, better product.

Fill glass jars with the dried, cooled cherries, filling them just 2/3 full. Cover the jars with plastic wrap. For one week, shake the jars a couple of times a day.

This re-distributes the cherries, as well as any remaining moisture. If there is some condensation on the jars’ tops, the fruit isn’t completely dried and should be dehydrated for a few hours.

After conditioning your dried cherries, store them in airtight containers away from direct light and heat.

It is fine to fill the jars entirely at this point; the 2/3 filling was just for the conditioning process when you needed to shake the parts around.

The Right Way to Store your Dried Cherries

If you store dried fruit properly, it will last longer. Put your cherries in airtight containers after drying and conditioning them.

Containers with screw-top lids are preferable. They will protect the cherries from the air, moisture, and other toxins thanks to the close lids.

Keep the containers somewhere cool and dry. Ensure that they’re kept out of the sun and away from the humidity.

You can freeze-dried cherries if you have a large quantity and want to preserve them for a more extended period. For this, you can use vacuum-sealed freezer bags.

While freezer burn is a problem for certain foods, dried cherries freeze fare much better.

Our Take on which Method is Best

For those who live in tropical climates, drying your cherries in the sun is the best option. If you only need a small number of dried cherries right away, you can use a food dehydrator to dry them.

Drying cherries are done using drying racks, ovens, and microwaves in areas where sunlight is scarce.

If you don’t want to risk the cherries burning, you can also use drying racks to dry them in bulk.

FAQs

When it comes to dried cherries, how long do they last?

The precise answer to that question is highly dependent on storage conditions. Dried cherries should be kept in a cool, dry place.

After opening, store dried cherries in an airtight container or heavy-duty plastic bag to extend their shelf life.

How long can you keep dried cherries in the freezer?

Dried cherries will keep their best quality for around 12 to 18 months if stored properly but will be healthy for longer.

The freezer time indicated is for best quality only; dried cherries kept frozen at 0°F for an extended period will stay indefinitely.

How do you say if dried cherries are rotten?

The best approach is to smell and inspect the dried cherries: discard any that have an off odor or appearance, and discard any that have mold on them.

Bottom Line

We’ve gone through five simple ways to dry cherries for various purposes. Hopefully, this guide has aided you in understanding how to dry fruits like cherries at home.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family, and feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below!

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.

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