How to Dry Apricots in an Air Fryer

Drying apricots in an air fryer is a convenient and efficient method to preserve their sweetness and extend their shelf life. Air fryers, which operate by circulating hot air, can mimic the drying process of a traditional dehydrator. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dry apricots using an air fryer.

Preparing the Apricots

1. Select Ripe Apricots

  • Choose ripe but firm apricots for drying. They should be free of blemishes and not overly soft.

2. Wash and Dry

  • Thoroughly wash the apricots under running water. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

3. Cut and Pit

  • Slice the apricots in half and remove the pits. You can leave them in halves or cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Smaller pieces will dry faster but may be less chewy.

4. Optional: Pretreatment

  • To preserve color and prevent browning, you can briefly blanch the apricots in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then dip them in cold water. Alternatively, soak them in a mixture of lemon juice and water (1 tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of water) for about 10 minutes.

Drying the Apricots in the Air Fryer

1. Preheat the Air Fryer

  • Preheat your air fryer to its lowest setting, ideally around 130°F to 160°F (55°C to 71°C). If your air fryer does not go this low, set it to the lowest possible temperature to avoid cooking the apricots instead of drying them.

2. Arrange the Apricots

  • Place the apricot halves or pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Ensure there is some space between them to allow for air circulation.

3. Start the Drying Process

  • Insert the basket into the air fryer and set the time for about 4 to 8 hours, depending on the air fryer’s temperature setting and the desired dryness. Lower temperatures and longer times typically yield better results.

4. Check and Rotate

  • Check the apricots every hour and gently turn or rotate them to ensure even drying. This is also a good time to assess how quickly they are drying and make any necessary adjustments to the time.

5. Cooling

  • Once the apricots are dried to your liking (they should be pliable, not crispy), turn off the air fryer and let them cool completely in the basket. This helps to avoid any condensation that might occur if they are removed while still warm.

Storing Dried Apricots

  • Store the cooled, dried apricots in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Keep them in a cool, dark place. Properly dried apricots can last for several months.

Tips for Success

  • Uniform Size: Try to cut the apricots into uniformly sized pieces to ensure they dry at the same rate.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding can lead to uneven drying. If necessary, dry the apricots in batches.
  • Be Patient: The drying process requires patience, especially at lower temperatures. It’s better to dry slowly at a low temperature than to rush and end up cooking the apricots.

Drying apricots in an air fryer is a straightforward process that yields delicious results. By following these steps, you can enjoy homemade dried apricots that are perfect for snacking, baking, or adding to cereal and salads.

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Bubbly Chef author