How to Dry Your Own Orange Slices
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
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Dried orange slices have so many unique uses and they are beautiful too! I needed to dry several batches for some upcoming projects so I tried out three different drying methods to see what would give the best results.
Keep reading to see how each method worked and to see the verdict on the best way to dry your own orange slices at home.
Total time: 2 - 3 hours
Non-stick baking sheet
To dry orange slices in the oven, first preheat your oven to 200 degrees fahrenheit (93 degrees celsius). While the oven is preheating you can go ahead and start preparing your oranges. I rinsed them under cold water to remove any unwanted dirt and stickers before cutting them into slices. I used large navel oranges for this tutorial but you can use whatever kind of oranges you have available.
Slice the oranges as thinly as possible to help speed up the drying process. To make cutting thin slices easier, use a good sharp knife. I also used the end peels and the smaller bits
for some extra filler for my upcoming dried potpourri tutorial. Arrange the slices on your baking sheet so they are not touching each other and place them in the oven on the top rack so they do not burn.
After 30 minutes, use your potholders to pull out the rack carefully so you can check on the orange slices and flip them over. At this point, they are just starting to look a little drier but they have a ways to go before they are ready! Repeat this process every 30 minutes until they are fully dried. Once they are dry, use your potholders to remove the baking sheets from the oven and let them cool off before using.
This method works well to dry the orange slices but slices can burn or stick to the baking sheet if you forget to flip them or leave them in too long.
The longer you “cook” the slices, the darker in color they will get. I left these in longer because I was hoping for a more golden color for my fall potpourri mix.
Total time: 4 - 6 hours
For the sun-dried orange slice method, you will need a nice sunny day! Prepare your orange slices the same way you would for the oven method by cutting thin slices.
Line your baking sheets with paper towels to absorb the juice and arrange your orange slices so they are not overlapping. I chose a heavier baking sheet to make it harder for the wind to blow it over.
Place your orange slices outside in direct sunlight. Luckily we were experiencing a major heat wave and it was very hot outside! I did this in the morning so the slices would have plenty of time in the sun. About half way through, flip the slices to help them stay flat and to speed the drying process. Don’t forget to bring them in for the evening! If some pieces do not completely dry you can put them out for a few extra hours the next day but if you start early enough in the day they should be thoroughly dried.
Of these three methods, sun-dried takes the longest but I have to say, I am so happy with how these turned out! Even the thicker pieces were completely dry when I checked them in the evening after they sat in the sun most of the day.
They still have a very nice orange color and maintained their shape nicely. Another perk of this method is that I didn’t have to throw any away.
Total time: 1 - 2 hours
Microwave safe plate
To dry orange slices in the microwave, thinly slice your oranges and arrange them on a microwave safe plate so they are not overlapping.
Place the plate in the microwave and use your microwave’s defrost setting or lowest setting. Open the microwave every 10 minutes or so to flip the slices using the tongs.
Be careful, the plate and slices can get very hot! This took a little over an hour until eventually the slices were completely dry.
Similar to the oven method, the slices got somewhat darker in color with some darker spots. This is definitely the fastest method of the three and the result is pretty good if you don’t mind the color. If I were in a hurry to make another batch of orange slices, I would definitely use this method!
I am thrilled with how these turned out! Of the three, sun-dried turned out the best with the nicest color and shape but it also took the longest. Sun-dried also requires less maintenance vs. the oven and microwave methods.
The microwave method was the fastest and gave a nice result too. For the oven dried slices, next time I would consider trying out parchment paper to keep the orange slices from sticking to the pan. I can’t wait to put together the dried potpourri I made these for - stay tuned to see how it turns out!
I hope this helps to give you some ideas for how to make your own dried orange slices, good luck and happy decorating!