Best Dried Orange Slices- Oven or Dehydrator (2024)

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Dried Orange slices are beautiful and easy to make for Christmas ornaments, string together for mantel garland, or add to Christmas presents for lovely gift wrapping. This is the ultimate guide for how to dry oranges in the oven or dehydrator, including the best tips and tricks for best results!

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A Christmas Tradition- Drying Oranges

I love making homemade Christmas decorations and think these dried orange slices look especially beautiful on a full and beautiful mantel garland or as a garnish on top of this gorgeous gingerbread cake. They would also be pretty on any of these Christmas trees or in this easy 10 minute holiday centerpiece.

When I was a little girl, my mom and I would spend hours drying oranges for Christmas. She loved having them on her Christmas tree along with cinnamon sticks and gingerbread cookies, and I loved the smell of citrus in the air. Citrus in the wintertime is so rejuvinating!

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Now, I make them with my own children and they love it every bit as much as I do. They help lay the slices in the dehydrator and take them out when they're dry. And they really enjoy turning them into ornaments or garlands with a bit of string or twine. We love making these ornaments and memories at the same time.

Dried Orange Slices

Dried orange slices are fresh oranges that have been sliced so the cross-section of the oranges show the triangular pattern of the flesh. They're dried so that the resulting orange slice will last all season long (or longer). When dried correctly, orange slices are translucent, kind of like little natural stained glass windows.

How to Use dehydrated oranges

These dried orange slices are gorgeous and can be used for so many things! Here are a few of my favorite ways:

  • string together for garland on a mantel
  • ornaments on a Christmas tree
  • add to a wreath
  • add to a centerpiece
  • add to desserts as a garnish
  • gift wrapping embellishment
  • wrap in cellophane and give as neighbor Christmas gifts
  • Mix in a bowl with cinnamon sticks and pinecones for easy potpourri decor
  • add in a flower arrangement

They look especially stunning up against a white backdrop or mixed in with fresh greenery. Dehydrated orange slices are the perfect way to create simple, elegant holiday decor in your home.

Oven vs. Dehydrator

I prefer to dry orange slices in a dehydrator rather than the oven because of a few reasons, but it is completely personal preference.

The oven tends to make them darker and more cooked looking. If you prefer a more primitive style, then the oven is the way to go. The oven is also the faster way, only taking a couple hours to dry out the orange slices.

Dehydrated oranges tend to stay truer to their original color and have the prettiest peel color, in my opinion. The white part also stays white, keeping the oranges more natural and bright. Dehydrating takes longer than cooking in the oven- closer to 8-12 hours.

Our dehydrator can hold up to 8 racks at a time, so it makes projects like this very easy. It is an older model, but there is a similar one here or here. We use ours to make other things like jerky and dried fruit, so we love having our big one.

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How to Pick the Best Oranges for Dehydrating

Believe it or not, navel oranges can vary greatly and effect the end result of your project! I will show you how to tell which oranges are the best to use for drying!

I was at my local grocery store to buy oranges for this project and I saw 4 different brands (stickers) of navel oranges in the same box- all with varying color and textures.

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Most oranges are very pretty when dried, but I think there are a couple of things that make them look the best:

  1. Look for a deep orange color.
  2. Look for oranges that have a thick peel instead of a thin peel. These will have the most peel color once dried, and also a generous beautiful white portion that contrasts with the orange.
  3. Look for the oranges with the deep porous-looking texture. The ones with the thicker texture tend to be the ones with the nice, thick peel.
  4. Make sure there are no soft or rotten spots in the peel. Nothing is worse than cutting open your oranges to find them rotten on the inside.
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How to Make Dried Orange Slices in the Dehydrator

Here are the steps to make dried orange slices in the dehydrator:

  1. Slice each orange into roughly 1/4" slices. Try to make them as uniform thickness as possible. This usually gives me about 8 slices per orange.
  2. Line the dehydrator trays with your slices, making sure not to overlap.
  3. Pat each slice with a paper towel soak up excess juice.
  4. Allow to dehydrate for roughly 8-12 hours or until translucent. Dehydrators vary, so I recommend checking your oranges at the 8 hour mark and gauge time needed from there. I always check every hour from there and pull out the finished slices, leaving the rest to finish.
  5. Remove from dehydrator and lay in a dry place until cool and completely dry. I usually just plop them on a cookie sheet until I am ready to use them.
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How to Make Dried Orange Slices in the Oven

Orange slices dry more quickly in the oven than the dehydrator and have a darker color.

Here are the steps to make dried orange slices in the oven:

  1. Slice each orange into roughly 1/4" slices, or smaller if you can (for the oven method). This usually gives me 8-10 slices per orange.
  2. Lay orange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Note- if you would like them to dehydrate more quickly, place on an oven-safe cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet (or just lay directly on the oven racks). This has the potential to add lines to your dried oranges, so you will need to keep an eye on them and flip them as needed.
  3. Put in 190℉ oven and bake for 2-4 hours. Flip once, after an hour or so of baking.
  4. Remove from oven once finished. Oranges should be thin and translucent. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
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Dried Oranges Tips:

  • Use a sharp knife! This makes the biggest difference in the finished product. Using a sharp knife helps to glide through the tough peel and keeps those slices nice and round.
  • Pat dry your orange slices with a paper towel. This doesn't have to be too thorough, but patting them helps to keep the juice off of the peel to keep it from browning.
  • Use a dehydrator! The oven will work, but the dehydrator makes prettier dried orange slices.
  • I don't usually dry the ends of the oranges when I am making a garland or ornaments, but I do dry them when I make potpourri.
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Best Dried Orange Slices- Oven or Dehydrator (9)

5 from 2 votes

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Dried Orange Slices

Dried Orange slices are beautiful and easy to make for Christmas ornaments, string together for mantel garland, or add to Christmas presents for lovely gift wrapping. Here are instructions to dry them in the oven or dehydrator.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Dehydrating Time 0 minutes

Servings 48 Slices

Author Kristen | Ella Claire & Co.

Ingredients

  • 6navel oranges, sliced

Instructions

Dehydrator

  1. Slice each orange into roughly 1/4" slices. Try to make them as uniform thickness as possible.

  2. Line the dehydrator trays with your slices, making sure not to overlap. Pat each slice with a paper towel soak up excess juice.

  3. Allow to dehydrate for roughly 8-12 hours or until translucent. Dehydrators vary, so I recommend checking your oranges at the 8 hour mark and gauge time needed from there. I always check every hour and pull out the finished slices, leaving the rest to finish.

  4. Remove from dehydrator and lay in a dry place until cool and completely dry. I usually just plop them on a cookie sheet until I am ready to use them.

Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 190°.

  2. Slice each orange into roughly 1/4" slices, or smaller if you can (for the oven method). This usually gives me 8-10 slices per orange.

  3. Lay orange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Note- if you would like them to dehydrate more quickly, place on an oven-safe cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet (or just lay directly on the oven racks). This has the potential to add lines to your dried oranges, so you will need to keep an eye on them and flip them as needed.

  4. Bake for 2-4 hours; flip once, after an our or so of baking.

  5. Once dried, remove from oven and allow to cool on the rack.

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Best Dried Orange Slices- Oven or Dehydrator (2024)

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