How to Dry Cranberries at Home – 4 Easy Methods

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Quick Answer: How to Dry Cranberries at Home?

One of the easiest methods to dry cranberries is by using a food dehydrator. If it is not available you can also use an oven or an air fryer. Lastly, if time is not a constraint you can also freeze-dry them.

Cranberries, termed as evergreen dwarf shrubs, are commonly consumed as a fruit in its natural form.

They are known for slowing down cancer, prevent various types of gum diseases and incorporate antioxidant properties.

Dried cranberries can be consumed in trail mix or on their own. There is a multitude of alternatives for preparing them; how do you pick the simplest one?

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

Prepare your Cranberries Before Drying

You must blanch and sweeten the berries before drying them. If you don’t want to sweeten the cranberries, you can skip this step, but keep in mind that most commercial dried cranberries are sweetened.

Cranberries that haven’t been sweetened are likely to be bitter and astringent.

How to Dry Cranberries Using a Food Dehydrator

Time needed: 14 hours.

Using a food dehydrator for drying your cranberries is an effective dehydrating technique.

Even though it takes the most time out of them all, your cranberries do dry perfectly without any moisture.

Optimum temperature: 135 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. What will you need?

    1. Cranberries
    2. A big bowl or a pot
    3. Boiling water
    4. Some Sugar
    5. A Knife
    6. Dehydrator trays
    7. Parchment paper

  2. Wash the Cranberries

    Place them in a big bowl or pot and cover them with boiling water. Allow 10 minutes for them to soak in hot water.

    They should “pop” or break open, but don’t worry if a few don’t; you can deal with those later.

  3. Make a Syrup

    1 part sugar to 2 parts water makes a simple syrup. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup syrup and the cranberries.

  4. Arrange your Cranberries

    Place the cranberries, blanched and sweetened, on the dehydrator trays.

    If any cranberries did not break, pierce them with the tip of a paring knife.

  5. Prepare the Dehydrating Tray

    To capture any drips from the fruit or the syrup, cover the base of the dehydrator with a sheet of parchment paper.

  6. Set the Food Dehydrator

    Place the trays inside the food dehydrator. Set it to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

  7. Check the Cranberries

    Start checking the cranberries after 8 hours. They should be fully dry but still pliable or leathery.

  8. Allow the Cranberries to Cool

    Allow the cranberries to cool for 20 to 30 minutes after turning off the dehydrator. Tear one of the berries in half after it has cooled.

    If there is no noticeable moisture along with the split, they have been dried properly. Watch how to carry out this method here.

Dry Cranberries Using an Oven

Time taken: About 3 to 4 hours

Optimum temperature: 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

What will you need?

  • Cranberries
  • A big bowl or a pot
  • Boiling water
  • A knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Paper towels
  • Olive oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Salt

Using an oven to dehydrate cranberries is one of the fastest ways to do so. You will get crunchy dehydrated cranberries within just 3 to 4 hours.

However, it is important that you keep a watch on your cranberries as they dry in order to prevent them from overheating.

Wash the Cranberries

Place them in a big bowl or pot and cover them with boiling water. Allow 10 minutes for them to soak in hot water.

They should “pop” or break open, but don’t worry if a few don’t; you can deal with those later. Place the cranberries on a paper towel for them to dry.

Make a Syrup

Mix the cranberries with olive oil, salt and maple syrup.

Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to approximately 225 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet, place a piece of parchment paper.

Arrange the Cranberries

Spread the blanched and sweetened cranberries out on the baking sheet, leaving about half an inch between them, after coating them with the syrup.

If any cranberries did not break, pierce them with the tip of a paring knife.

Dry the Berries

Bake them for three to four hours. Start testing for completion at that stage. You want them to wither and dry until they resemble store-bought dried cranberries in texture.

You can watch how Jeen implements this method here:


Dry Cranberries Using an Air Fryer

Time taken: 6 to 8 hours

Optimum temperature: 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

What will you need?

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Avocado oiL
  • Sweetener
  • Paper towels

You can make use of an air fryer to dry your cranberries at home as well. This is amongst the quickest methods for doing so and you will get crunchy dried cranberries within just a few hours.

Wash the Cranberries

Place them in a big bowl or pot and cover them with boiling water. Allow 10 minutes for them to soak in hot water.

They should “pop” or break open, but don’t worry if a few don’t; you can deal with those later. Place the cranberries on a paper towel for them to dry.

You can also take a sharp knife and place it on the cranberries flat and apply pressure from your other hand to pop the cranberries.

Make a Syrup

In a medium cup, cut the cranberries in half. Toss with sweetener after spritzing with oil. You are free to make use of any sweetener of your choice.

Preheat

Preheat the air fryer to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the Cranberries

Place the cranberries in a single layer on the shelves, leaving some room between them for air to circulate.

Dry the Cranberries

Shake and rotate the racks every 2 hours to dry the cranberries for 6 to 8 hours. Watch how Bridget show us how to use this method:

You want them to wither and dry until they resemble store-bought dried cranberries in texture.

Dry Cranberries Using the Freeze-drying

Time taken: About 24 hours

Optimum temperature: -40 to -50 degrees

What will you need?

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Trays
  • Knife
  • Boiling water
  • A big bowl or a pot

Freeze-drying your cranberries to get that crunchy frozen texture might be the longest procedure for doing so.

However, the full process is automatic and you will not have to keep a check on your cranberries as they dry.

Wash the Cranberries

Place them in a big bowl or pot and cover them with boiling water. Allow 10 minutes for them to soak in hot water.

They should “pop” or break open, but don’t worry if a few don’t; you can deal with those later. Place the cranberries on a paper towel for them to dry.

You can also take a sharp knife and place it on the cranberries flat and apply pressure from your other hand to pop the cranberries.

Arrange the Cranberries

Place your cranberries on a tray and spread them out. They will get proper air circulation during the process accordingly.

Place the Trays in the Freezer

Freeze the cranberries at 40 or 50 degrees below zero. The vacuum pump will start automatically once they are frozen.

The freeze-dryer will then warm the cranberries gradually and the water will sublimate off as a gas, leaving your cranberries dry.

Check your Cranberries

Dried cranberries will have the same texture and flavour after you freeze-dry them. They will be more crunchy and might increase a bit in their size as well.

The Proper Method for Conditioning Dried Cranberries

Even if the cranberries have been adequately dehydrated, there can be some moisture left in the fruit that you cannot detect.

This shouldn’t be enough to keep the fruit fresh and mold-free, but “conditioning” the dried fruit will make it taste better and last longer.

Fill glass jars or BPA-free food storage containers halfway with dried, cooled cranberries and cover. For one week, shake the jars a couple of times a day.

This re-distributes the berries, as well as any remaining moisture. If there is some condensation on the jars’ tops, the fruit hasn’t dried entirely and needs to be placed back in the dehydrator for a few hours.

The Right Way to Store Dried Cranberries

If you want to keep cranberries in the pantry, they can last 6 to 12 months. To store dried cranberries without refrigeration, place them in plastic bags and seal them tightly.

Ensure that you get as much air out of the plastic bags as possible. Alternatively, you may put cranberries in a mason jar. Just make sure the jar is clean before you start.

Then, using a permanent marker, write the storage date on the container, whether it’s a plastic bag or a mason jar. Finally, store the bag or container in the pantry.

Our Take on Which Method is Best

If you are in search of a method for drying cranberries in bulk at home, you can simply place them in the freeze-dryer appliance or use a food dehydrator.

Freeze-drying your cranberries is the longest method. Regardless, it is quite safe and the entire process is automatic.

On the other hand, you can use an oven or an air fryer to instantly dry your cranberries. You will have to keep a constant watch while using an oven and a food dehydrator to ensure that your cranberries do not overcook during the process.

FAQs

What is the best way to keep dried cranberries moist?

Place the cranberries in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow for 15 minutes of resting time before draining the fruit and discarding the water.

The dried cranberries would be plumper, smoother, and juicier as a result of this.

Can you eat dried cranberries that have gone bad?

If you realize that your dried cranberries have passed their best by date, scrutinize them. If it doesn’t taste right after biting into a dried cranberry, throw it away to be sure.

Is it possible to freeze-dry cranberries?

Yes, you can freeze dry cranberries in a tray. The freezer time indicated is for best quality only; dried cranberries kept frozen at 0°F for an extended period will stay indefinitely.

Bottom Line

We’ve gone through four simple ways to dry cranberries for various purposes. Hopefully, this guide was insightful for you to learn how to dry fruits like cranberries at home.

If so, please share it with your friends and family, and feel free to leave us any questions that you may have in the comments section below!

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About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!

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