Whether you need a fun garnish on your favorite cocktails, or classic Christmas decorations, learning how to make dehydrated orange slices can come in handy! This is the ultimate guide to making this must-have for the holiday season.
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Dehydrated Orange Slices recipe
You may have seen old classic Christmas movies with trees decorated in popcorn garlands with dried orange slices. The citrus garland has Swedish origins but has become a beloved holiday icon. But it can be used for so many different things!
Creating dry orange slices also makes your house smell amazing. Whether you’re making these to use as holiday cocktail garnishes or to hang on the tree, you can fill your home with an aroma that is reminiscent of the holiday season.
I mean, Christmas margaritas with a dried orange slice would be the most beautiful party cocktail! Something all of your guests would enjoy, and it will have a gorgeous presentation.
So follow this step-by-step guide to making the perfect dried citrus slices! You can make classic decor or get as adventurous as you want with the fun drink creations to use this as a garnish.
Let’s get started on this easy how to recipe!
Why you’ll love this recipe
I love making these orange slices because it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit. But there’s so many other reasons to love this too:
- Dehydrated orange peels are a super affordable way to decorate your Christmas tree. If you are into the Scandinavian style interior decorations, then you’d love how simplistic this dried fruit looks!
- My method of drying fresh oranges is one of the easiest ways out there. Anyone can make these successfully and they’ll turn out great!
- You can use this method to make any variety of dehydrated citrus fruits. It is adaptable and works for limes, lemon, and even grapefruit.
Tools & equipment
All you need for this super easy recipe is your oven, a few baking sheets, parchment paper and a very sharp knife. If you have a mandolin slicer, that will work wonderfully as well but a sharp knife will do the trick!
Most people don’t have a food dehydrator, so this method is widely used. However, you can absolutely use one if you like.
If you plan to make garland or ornaments, make sure you have a way to poke holes through the top of the dried slices (a sewing needle will work!) and some string to strand them on.
Sure, you could buy dried orange slices from a hobby store or grocery store, but they are so incredibly simple to make on your own.
Not to mention, you just have to smell the aroma they put off while drying! It’s just as decadent and warming as a holiday simmer pot! The only ingredient you need in this recipe is:
Fresh oranges: You can use any variety of oranges that you so choose. I used blood oranges navel oranges and cara cara oranges!
The pinkish ones in the photos here are cara cara and the reddish ones are blood oranges. If you don’t have oranges, you can use tangerines or clementines.
Any citrus fruits will do and you can make multiple different ones at the same time as long as the slices are similar in size and thickness! Lemons, grapefruits and limes will all work as well.
How to Make Dehydrated Orange Slices
Follow this guide, step by step, and you’ll have the perfect dehydrated orange slices in no time at all. Here is what you will need to do:
Begin by preheating your oven to the lowest temperature that it can go. Personally, the lowest my oven will go is 170°F (77°C). This is a sufficient temperature when drying oranges.
Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
Then slice the fresh oranges into ⅛-inch pieces. The thickness of the orange slices really matters, so make sure you don’t make them too thick!
Place the sliced oranges onto the parchment lined baking sheets in a single layer. It is okay if they touch a bit since they’ll shrink in the oven, but it’s ideal that they do not overlap when placed onto the sheet pan.
Bake the orange pieces for 3-4 hours. Keep in mind that the bake time will vary and you should check the orange slices every hour and rotate the pan. If any slices begin to curl, flip them over to help them flatten out.
Once the thin slices are dried, remove them from the oven and allow them to completely cool to room temperature overnight.
Store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place then use when needed!
Tips & tricks
Even though this is super simple to do, I still have a few pro tips that will ensure your success:
- Make the thickness of the slices as even as possible. If you have some super thick slices and super thin ones, then you’ll have some oranges dried before others are.
- A low temperature is key to making this a success. Low and slow wins the race when it comes to make dehydrated orange slices! Don’t try and speed up the process by cranking your oven temp up.
- Store your orange slices with cinnamon sticks to make them smell even more inviting and cozy. Then when you use them as a garnish or decoration, they will smell just as good as they look.
Uses for Dehydrated Orange Slices
You can do so much with such a simple little creation. Add a slice of dried orange to a drink like an Oaxaca old-fashioned or a Hemingway daiquiri for extra touch of sophistication to special beverages.
For extra fun, use dried oranges as cake decorations. Top your gorgeous cupcakes with beautifully preserved orange slices. Or, make a bakery-worthy Guinness chocolate cake decorated with freshly dried orange slices.
While these are technically edible, they would be quite crunchy and hard to chew. However, some people claim they are a tasty snack and you could even dip them in melted chocolate for a little something extra!
Dry orange slices have a shelf life of 2 years if stored properly. Place them in an airtight container or plastic zip top bag and store in a cool and dry place. It’d be even better if you have a food safe oxygen absorber that you can add into the container that they are kept! But the main thing is to keep them out of direct sunlight and in a place where the temperature won’t rapidly change. Do not store them in the fridge.
This all depends on how many dehydrator trays you have, but typically it will take 6-9 hours. I prefer the oven method because I find it faster and I don’t have to have any special equipment to make this recipe a success. Just a baking tray or two, some parchment paper, and an oven!
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Dehydrated Orange Slices
- 3 oranges sliced
- Preheat oven to the lowest temperature your oven can go — mine was 170°F (77°C).
- Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
- Slice oranges into ⅛-inch pieces. Arrange slices on the parchment lined sheet. They can touch but it's ideal not to overlap them a lot. A little overlap is okay as the slices will shrink in the oven.
- Bake in the oven for 3 to 4 hours — the time will vary based on your oven, the temperature and how thin they are sliced. Check every hour and rotate the pan. If any of the slices begin to curl, flip them to encourage them to flatten.
- When the citrus is dried, remove them from the oven and let cool completely overnight.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. They will keep for up to two years if stored properly.
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