Dried apples are the perfect naturally sweet snack. If you’re looking to dehydrate apples, you’re probably wondering what type of apple to use. With all the apple varieties out there it can be intimidating to choose just one! Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to choose the best apple for dehydrating.
Apples that Hold Their Shape
Some varieties of apples will wither up when they are dried. You probably don’t want shriveled dried apples. Believe it or not, it is possible to make dehydrated apples that hold their shape at home. When you’re choosing an apple for dehydrating, it’s important to consider the texture of each variety.
To avoid that withered-up dried apple look, choose apples that have firm flesh. Apples that are very juicy and crispy might be delicious for eating, but they aren’t the best dehydrating apples. That’s because all that liquid in very juicy apples will evaporate. This leaves the flesh looking shriveled.
The best dehydrated apples hold their shape during the drying process. To achieve dried apple slices that look almost store-bought but taste even better, choose one of these varieties. What they all have in common is firm flesh with good flavor.
Here are the best apples for dehydrating that hold their shape:
Pink Lady Apples: Pink Lady apples are a very firm and dense apple with delicious flavor. They’re known for their perfect balance of sweet-and-tart flavor. Pink Lady apples are good apples for dehydrating because they don’t wither up much when dried and also are slower to brown than many other varieties. That means Pink Lady is just about the perfect dehydrated apple: holds its shape, delicious, and with a light color.
Golden Delicious: The Golden Delicious variety is a dense apple that’s very sweet. It has an almost honeyed flavor with notes of vanilla and citrus. The Golden Delicious is the best apple for dehydrating if you like chewy dried apple slices. The firm flesh and sweet flavor lead to the perfect fruit-leather flavor and texture for chewy dried apples.
Kidd’s Orange Red: Kidd’s Orange Red is one of the best apples for dehydrating if you want apple chips that hold their shape. It may not be as widely popular as a variety like McIntosh or Gala, but it’s just as delicious. Orange Red apples are incredibly aromatic in flavor and deliciously sweet. As you can imagine, the flavors are only more pronounced when the Orange Red apple is dehydrated. It is a very dense and firm variety with enough flesh not to wither up when it is dried.
Best Sweet Apples for Dehydrating
If you have a sweet tooth, any one of these apple varieties will be your perfect apple for dehydrating. Apples that are known for their sweetness taste just like candy when dried. If you’ve never had apple rings made from one of these sweet apple varieties, you’re in for a treat. Even better, sweet dried apples are so much healthier than traditional candy and just as delicious.
The best apples for dehydrating if you want sweet, candy-like dried apples are ones with a high sugar content and generally a lower acid content. You may need to brush these apples with lemon juice so that they won’t turn brown, but the sweet flavor is worth the extra step. If you don’t have lemon juice, you can also dip the apple slices in salt water.
If you make dried apples with one of these sugary varieties, you won’t regret it. They’re a hit with children and adults. If you’re looking for a naturally sweet dried apple snack, here are the three best apples for dehydrating:
Fuji Apples: Fuji apples are the sweetest of the sweet. Their juice is up to 18% sugar. Their firm texture only makes them an even more perfect apple for dehydrating. They’ll taste like candy and hold their shape when dried. Dehydrate Fuji apples if you’re looking for very sweet apple chips. Dried Fuji apples will taste like you’ve added sugar even when you haven’t.
Gala Apples: The Gala variety is the number one most popular apple in the United States. Why wouldn’t you love its sweet flavor dehydrated just as much as fresh? It’s firm enough that it doesn’t wither when dried. Pick up some Royal Gala apples at your local orchard or grocery store and make dehydrated apple rings. The pretty red color of the skin and sweet flavor will make them some of the best dehydrated apples you’ve ever had.
Cortland Apples: Cortland apples are sweet and mildly aromatic, with tender white flesh. That makes them a perfect apple for dehydrating. Cortland apples have enough acid that they won’t brown as quickly as other apple varieties during the dehydration process. Blot as much juice off the apple slices as you can before putting these apples in the dehydrator. They do have a higher juice content and may wither somewhat when dry.
Best Tart Apples for Dehydrating
If you want dried apples to throw on top of a salad or pair with ice cream, tart apples are your best choice for dehydrating. They won’t overwhelm the other flavors. These tart apples for dehydrating will just lend a pop of delicious apple flavor in any dish.
Tart apples tend to store well and maintain a fresh flavor when dried. They won’t end up losing their flavor or tasting musty if stored for several months. That makes them the best apples for dehydrating if you want to store dried apples to use in recipes. Consider using these apple varieties for your next dehydrating project.
The three best tart apples for dehydrating:
Granny Smith: If you love that tart green-apple flavor, these are perfect apples for dehydrating. Granny Smith is the classic green apple. The fresh sour-apple flavor stays even after these apples are dehydrated. The crisp, firm flesh only adds to the appeal. Granny Smith apples are the best apples to dry if you’re looking for a hint of tart fruit flavor in a recipe. Try throwing dried Granny Smith apples on ice cream with some caramel sauce for a caramel apple sundae.
Braeburn: Braeburn is a dense and tart apple that holds its shape well. It has a delicious, well-balanced tart appley flavor. If you love the flavor of a slightly tart glass of apple juice this is the best apple to dehydrate. This variety also has flavor notes of cinnamon or nutmeg. If you’re looking to dehydrate an apple for use in baked goods Braeburn is the right choice.
Zestar: Zestar is a sweet-tart variety with a hint of caramel or brown sugar. It has a crisp texture that holds up well when the apple is dried. You’ll think this is the best apple for dehydrating if you want balanced sweet-and-tart apple rings for a snack or to decorate a dessert like a cake.
Top 3 Apples for Dehydrating
There’s certainly an apple for everyone who dehydrates. Depending on your personal taste, you may particularly love one of these varieties for its flavor or texture. However, based on taste, texture, and ability to hold its shape, we’ve decided on the top three apples for dehydrating.
No matter what you want to dehydrate apples for, one of these three varieties will work for you. These three varieties are the stand-out best apples for dehydrating.
Fuji Apples: Fuji apples make it into the top three best apples for dehydrating for their firm flesh and sweet flavor. They’re a winner for almost any use. However, you’ll particularly love them if you want a candy-like dried apple that will hold its shape when dried.
Pink Lady: Pink Lady is the most versatile choice for dehydrating. They can make crunchy apple chips, pretty apple rings, or delicious chewy dried apple slices. They make it into the top three best apples for dehydrating not only because of their versatility, but because they hold their shape when dried and manage to keep their color for a long time.
Granny Smith: Granny Smith is the winning variety for tart dried apple chips. What other variety can rival the classic green-apple flavor of a good Granny Smith? Between the firm texture, resistance to browning, and classic tart flavor, Granny Smith is certainly one of the top three apples for dehydrating.
Now you know all about what apples to choose for your next dehydrating project. Learn everything you need to know to make dehydrated apples at home and you won’t ever want to go back.