Let’s talk about something potentially controversial: dried mangos may actually take second place as your favorite dried fruit after you give dehydrated strawberries a try!
If you haven’t ever tried dried strawberries, likely because it is hard to find them in most grocery stores, now is definitely the time. They are easy to make and smell and taste amazing, satisfying a need for fruit when on the trail or camping.
Below, you will find information on air fryer dehydrated strawberries, oven-dried strawberries, and a classic food dehydrator method.
Very few summer fruits get me as excited as juicy fresh strawberries, deep red to the core! I am not talking about the strawberries from the grocery store that are white inside when sliced.
I am talking farm fresh, straight from the field, as ripe as can be, summer strawberries. In the Northeast, where I live, these are typically strawberries harvested in June or July.
When buying flats of strawberries they can sometimes become overripe rather quickly. Jam-making is one way to deal with an abundance of strawberries. Freezing strawberries is also a great way to preserve them.
However, making dried strawberries adds another unique way to keep your berries for future enjoyment! Let’s get started.
How to Choose Berries
Save your softest and most ripe juicy strawberries for fresh eating. Let the juice dribble down your chin, enjoying the burst of flavor only a summer strawberry can deliver.
Select fresh and fully ripened fruit to dehydrate. Overripe fruit is not the best for the dehydration process for a couple of reasons. It is not easy to slice uniformly and is messy to work with. Sort and discard any fruit that shows decay, bruises, or mold.
Take your lovely ripe strawberries, without any white on the exterior, and set them aside to dehydrate. Immature produce lacks flavor and color. Dehydration will not improve the quality of the fruit so selecting fruit at the peak of ripeness is best.
- Sharp paring knife
- Huller (optional)
- Dehydrator, Air Fryer, or Oven
- Wash – if needed then drip dry or place on a towel
- Destem – with a knife or a dehuller.
- Slice – into 1/4″ – 1/2″ uniform slices
You will have to judge your strawberries for how clean they are and if they need washing. This of course depends on their source.
If they came from a field where it recently rained hard, they might have soil sticking to them. In this case, soaking in a bowl of ice-cold water will remove the silt quite nicely.
If your berries are organic and you picked them in a clean patch (as in it hasn’t rained hard lately) typically they will not need washing. I prefer to not wash mine if they appear nice and clean since keeping them drier is preferable.
Remove the stems using a knife or a dehuller. We like to feed our strawberry tops to our laying hens for a treat! But, you can also use the strawberry tops for herbal TEA! Dehydrate them as well for future use or use them fresh.
Next, cutting the strawberries with a sharp knife either in half or into 1/4″-1/2″ slices is desirable for processing. I prefer to cut mine into slices for faster drying. It is not recommended to keep them whole. Slice the berries evenly and consistently so they dehydrate at the same rate.
Halving the strawberries is also an option. This slicing goes much faster yet you will have a longer dehydration time.
✔️ How to Dehydrate Strawberries in a Food Dehydrator
• Load sliced strawberries in a single layer onto dehydrator trays, without touching too much. You want to leave space for air to circulate around the berries. There is no need to be too fussy about this as the berries will start to shrink soon during dehydration.
• Timing will vary based on your dehydrator, but typically strawberries will take 8-10 hours at 135 degrees to dry completely. Strawberry chips will take longer.
• Start by setting your dehydrator at 135 degrees and the timer at 8 hours, check for dryness, and dry them longer if needed, another 1-2 hours.
• Once dry, set strawberries out on the counter to cool to room temperature.
👉 THE BEST DEHYDRATORS for Camping Food
Different dehydrators have unique features you may prefer, depending on your needs, but I recommend one with a thermostat and a timer. Many folks enjoy the top-rated Excalibur dehydrator.
You can also check out my 11 Best Food Dehydrators post for a comparison of all the dehydrators I recommend!
✔️ How to Make Dehydrated Strawberries in Oven
• Arrange your strawberry slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
• Bake at a very low temperature. Oven models differ on how low they will go. Ideally, you want to set it for 135-140 degrees but anywhere from 175-200 degrees will work as well.
• Depending on the temperature of your oven they will take anywhere from 2-6 hours. Six hours is likely the time it will take if you can achieve a lower temperature such as 140 degrees.
• Flip your strawberries every hour, keeping a close eye on them. They will become slightly rubber and pliable. Once the oven-dried strawberries cool off they will feel like your typical piece of dried fruit.
• For dehydrated strawberry chips, a crispier result, simply bake the strawberries in the oven longer until you achieve the result you desire.
• Bonus: your kitchen will smell amazing!!
✔️ How to Make Dehydrated Strawberries in Air Fryer
The downside to this method is most air fryers don’t hold as much as an oven or a dehydrator.
• Place strawberry slices in the air fryer basket.
• Set your air fryer at its lowest temperature: typically 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Cook for 30 minutes and stir. Then, cook for another 30 minutes.
• Remove the berries from the air fryer if they are done. Otherwise, flip again and cook another 15 to 30 minutes.
TIPS and FAQS: Dehydrated Strawberries
Let’s talk about how to use your dried strawberries, how to store them, and more.
Can I Dehydrate Frozen Strawberries?
Yes, you can! Simply use the pre-sliced frozen strawberries or slice them frozen using a sharp paring knife. Otherwise, slicing defrosted berries create a mushy mess.
How Long Does it Take to Dehydrate Strawberries?
This depends on the drying method you use and how you slice your berries. Below, I will outline how to dehydrate strawberries in a dehydrator, an oven, and an air fryer.
Plan on anywhere from 2-8 hours for thin slices and 16 to 18 hours for halved berries.
Once your dried strawberries have reached the leathery state of dryness you will need more dehydrating time to achieve strawberry chips. Try drying for another 4-6 hours to make crispy strawberries.
There is no such thing as overdrying in your food dehydrator but it is very easy to overcook and burn your dried berries in an oven. I haven’t tried to make strawberry chips in the oven due to this reason.
What Can I Do with Dehydrated Strawberries?
Dried strawberries are so delicious as a simple hiking snack, but how else can you use them?
🍓 On top of a bowl of yogurt or in a layered yogurt parfait with granola
🍓 Bake into muffins or quick bread.
🍓 Mixed into oatmeal while it is cooking. This softens the berries.
🍓 Homemade granola bars are so delicious with dried strawberries mixed in.
🍓 Trail mix made with chocolate chips, dehydrated strawberries, coconut chips, and hazelnuts is amazing!
🍓 Chopped and sprinkled on top of any cereal, granola, or oatmeal
🍓 Mixed into pancake batter
🍓 Chocolate Bark! Sprinkle chopped dried strawberries on top before cooling.
🌿 Strawberry Leaf Tea 🌿
The calyx (the very top with the strawberry leaves) benefits actually rival that of the wonderful strawberry fruit! Strawberry leaves are incredibly healing! They have antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent, and nervine qualities.
- Add 5 fresh or dried strawberry tops to your mug
- Add 1 tsp of fresh herbs such as lemon balm, mint, or chamomile
- Pour boiling water over the leaves and herbs
- Let steep for 5-10 mins, covered if possible
- Add a squeeze of lemon or sweetener of your choice.
The cooled tea can also be used to soothe sunburned or inflamed skin!
How to Store Dried Strawberries
Once completely cooled place your dried berries in an airtight container such as a mason jar, or a clasped jar with a rubber gasket.
It is recommended that you condition your dehydrated produce. This ensures no moisture remains in the fruit and prevents molding.
Conditioning brings the humidity level of your dried fruit to a balanced percentage throughout the container.
Leave jars on the counter for one week. Open daily to release any moisture and reseal. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.
REMEMBER: Label the storage containers with the date!
How Long Do Dehydrated Strawberries Last?
After conditioning, properly contained dried strawberries may be stored for up to 6 months. To extend the shelf life, vacuum seal your jars and keep them in the freezer in an airtight container for a year.
You can purchase accessory hoses for a food vacuum sealer which let you create an airtight vacuum seal on regular-mouth and wide-mouth mason-type jar lids.
Final Thoughts on Dehydrated Strawberries for Camping
Dehydrating strawberries is a wonderful way to capture that perfectly sweet moment when the fruit is at its peak ripeness in the summertime.
Healthy and loaded with nutrients, dried berries make an excellent portable snack when backpacking and enjoying the outdoors.
Need a new keto snack? These strawberries are low-carb and delicious. Just be sure to eat only a serving size.
Now that you know how easy it is to dry strawberries, I hope you give this method of preservation a try!
More Dehydrating Fruit Recipes
If you are looking for more reliable fruit dehydrator recipes check out some of my collection here:
For more hiking snack foods and food-on-the-go ideas be sure to check out: The Ultimate Day Hike Food List for 2022: Best Hiking Snacks and Lunch Ideas and 45+ Best Portable Snacks for Skiing. Enjoy!
🍓 Quick and Easy Strawberry Sauce Recipe with Dried Fruit
- 1 cup dehydrated strawberries
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 tbs butter
- 2-3 tbs maple syrup
- 2 tbs (optional) jam such as apricot or strawberry
- Add dehydrated strawberries and boiling water to a pan over medium-low heat.
- Cover the pan and let cook for 5 minutes to soften the strawberries.
- Stir and add butter and maple syrup.
- Keep stirring and add preserves (optional but helps to thicken the sauce).
- Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the sauce is soft and thickens slightly.
- Enjoy on top of pancakes or waffles or stir into hot cereal.