Cherries in a Jar

How To Dehydrate Cherries-Dehydrator or Oven

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I decided to show the world how to dehydrate cherries today! I remember when my daughters were young we would all pit the cherries with this two-finger tool. You could only do one cherry at a time. We bottled dozens of quart bottles of cherries years ago. To be honest with you, I never liked them, I really didn’t.

We picked the cherries for free, so I was on it to bottle them. Yes, we bottled them for years until we no longer got them for free. In the bumper years, we bottled more jars than we could count. The only thing I needed to buy were new canning lids/seals and sugar. I loved using a wide-mouth mason jar to provide a means for storage on shelves in our basement. Fun time with family working on projects together.

Back then, we did more canning than dehydrating. The kids loved canned fruit with breakfast in the morning or as an after-school healthy snack.

How To Dehydrate Cherries-Dehydrator or Oven

Updated Post from 2015

I’m updating this post from 2015 with better images and more information. You’ll love to dehydrate cherries!

Well, I have been on the lookout for a better cherry pitter. I didn’t want one that only did one cherry at a time. I’m so past that one cherry-at-a-time pitter game. I Googled and searched reviews, and other blogs for the perfect cherry pitter. Let me say this, this cherry pitter is so much better than the one cherry at a time gizmo. Check out this link to see what I used to prepare the whole cherries for the batch of dried cherries shown in this post.

PREPWORKS Cherry Pitter

I use an Excalibur dehydrator so I’m going to give you the instructions that are in my dehydrator book. Always check your own manual, and of course, the drying time will always vary according to the humidity in the room and the temperature setting on the unit. Here’s the one that is similar to the one I use: Excalibur Food Dehydrator. I prefer the dehydrators with a timer because I can set the temperature and the hours to dehydrate as needed. I can always add a few hours after returning home from errands as needed to remove any residual moisture.

You can also dehydrate your cherries in the oven or on screens outside covered with cheesecloth. My first dehydrator was a HUGE 24-inch square gold harvest gem. It was a beauty, trust me.

How To Dehydrate Cherries

Wash the Cherries

Wash and rinse your fresh cherries in a colander and drain. Colander Remove the stems and discard any bad cherries. For the best dehydrated fruit, you need to make sure the fruit isn’t too ripe or damaged.

Cherries Being Rinsed

Get Your Cherry Pitter Ready

This is my favorite cherry pitter for everyday use when eating fresh cherries, as well as for dehydrating cherries. PREPWORKS Cherry Pitter

Cherries Ready To Pit

Remove the Cherry Pits

You can remove the pits from 4 cherries at a time. The pits stay in the container below.

Cherries Seeds Removed

Remove all The Seeds

This cherry pitter makes it so much easier to prep them.

Cherries Being Pitted

Cut The Cherries in Half

Cut the cherries in half and place them in a single layer with the skin side down and cut side up on the dehydrator trays. As you cut them you can make sure all the cherry seeds are removed since sometimes the pitter may miss a few.

Cherries on the Dehydrator Rack

Cherries in the Dehydrator

According to my Excalibur dehydrator, the instructions say to do the following: Turn your dehydrator on (145°F) = (62°C) degrees for two hours. Then lower the temperature to (135°F) = (57°C) degrees and dehydrate until the cherries are leathery. Watch the cherries towards the end to prevent them from over-drying. When using dried cherries in your recipes like jams, pies, homemade trail mix, or just as a topping on ice cream, you want them to be a little pliable and not crispy.

Cherries in the Dehydrator

What’s really nice about dehydrating our own healthy fruit snacks is we know what’s in the jar because we dried them ourselves. We love to eat dry cherries as a healthy snack while watching TV at night, they’re delicious!

Read More of My Articles  How to Dehydrate Green Onions & Make Powder

Dehydrated Cherries

These took almost 36 hours to dry. They were very large Bing cherries. Remember the times will vary depending on the humidity in the room where you’re drying your fruit or vegetables. Dried cherries become similar to raisins after drying. They are great for snacks, spinach salads, or added to muffins, cakes, a pie, or cookies. Of course, you generally use more tart cherries when making cherry pies, and your recipe will more than likely not call for using dried cherries.

I store mine in pint jars because we eat them so quickly. You can get more “shelf life” from the dried cherries if you put them in a jar in the refrigerator rather than leaving them on your countertop at room temperature.

Cherries Dehydrated

Once you start dehydrating food you’ll be hooked, I promise. I don’t know about you, but I can only freeze so many things in my freezer. I want some food that sits safely on my pantry shelves or in the fridge. Life is good when you know what you are eating.

How To Condition Your Fruit or Vegetables

Cherries Conditioning On Countertop

If you live where it’s HUMID: “To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled on a cooling rack and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for 7 to 10 days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.” https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/pack_store.html

I used to live in the DRY DESERT: I set my fruit and vegetables on my countertop for 5-7 days. Ten days is even better to make sure everything is dry before using your FoodSaver unit to preserve them. They are good for about one year because we don’t put any preservatives in our jars. They never make the year mark because we eat them or use them in recipes.

Can I Dehydrate the Cherries in My Oven?

Yes, you can. Many people like to use ovens for dehydrating fruits and veggies. You need to set the oven to its lowest temperature, put a wad of foil to keep the oven door ajar, and place the sliced cherries on a cookie or baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Be sure to check the cherries often since your oven will dry them much faster than a regular dehydrator. The lowest temperature my oven can be set at is (170°F) = (76°C) degrees, If you can set yours lower to (150°F) = (65°C) degrees that would be much better.

5 from 4 votes
Cherries in a Jar
Dehydrating Cherries in Your Dehydrator or Your Oven
Prep Time
30 mins
Dehydrating Time
1 d 12 hrs
Total Time
1 d 12 hrs 30 mins
 
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Author: Linda Loosli
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems from the cherries and discard any bad ones

  2. Rinse the cherries in a colander and drain them

  3. Use a cherry pitter of choice to remove the cherry pits

  4. Cut the cherries in half

  5. Place the cut cherries skin side down with the cut side up on your dehydrator racks in a single layer

  6. Turn your dehydrator on to (145°F) = (62°C) degrees for two hours. Then lower the temperature to (135°F) = (57°C) degrees and dehydrate until the cherries are leathery. Please refer to your Dehydrator Book, I have an Excalibur Dehydrator. All dehydrators have a different wattage so some will take longer than others to dehydrate.

  7. The time to fully dehydrate your cherries will of course depend on the humidity in the location you are dehydrating them.

How to Condition Your Fruits and Vegetables
  1. If you live where it’s HUMID: “To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for 7 to 10 days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.” https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/pack_store.html

    I used to live in the DRY DESERT: I set my fruit and vegetables on my countertop for 5-7 days. Ten days is even better to make sure everything is dry before using your FoodSaver unit.

Dehydrating in Your Oven
  1. You need to set the oven to its lowest temperature, put a wad of foil to keep the oven door ajar and place the sliced cherries on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Skin side down and cut side up.

  2. Be sure to check the cherries often since your oven will dry them much faster than a regular dehydrator. The lowest temperature my oven can be set at is (170°F) = (76°C) degrees, If you can set yours lower for instance (150°F) = (65°C) degrees that would be much better. Then Condition your cherries before storing them.

Where else can I use these dehydrated cherries?

We like to add dehydrated cherries to granola, yogurt, and oatmeal. Any recipe that calls for cherries is a time to consider putting them to use.

Cherry Health Benefits:

Not only do these sweet cherries taste delicious, but they are also very good for us too! Here are just a few of the health benefits:

1. They are high in Vitamin C

2. High in antioxidants

3. They help reduce the risk of gout-check with your doctor to see how much is safe for you to eat

4. Natural melatonin helps you sleep better

5. Helps reduce arthritis inflammation

6. They may lower our risk of strokes

My Other Dehydrated Articles

Final Word

I guess this is why we keep hearing that we should eat more fruits and vegetables to stay healthy. Let’s stay healthy by preserving our own food. Please be prepared for the unexpected. May God Bless this world, Linda

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Dear, dear Linda: You always have the BEST ideas out there, AND you know that my 18 lbs. of Bing Cherries will arrive next week. On that note, THANK YOU SO MUCH for mentioning to us all the multi-cherry pitter from Amazon. As a matter of fact, I just ordered one of those AND one of the for large cans, can opener you suggested, too. Yes, we already had a can opener, but your idea of “one can opener is none and two is one” really spoke to me. We ALL need to be prepped with our equipment, too!

    I also see that you wrote about “what to do with your excess food storage products” or some title similar to that. Made me wonder, since I just also wrote to you about what to do with too much prepping and nowhere to put the newest harvests and acquisitions! THANK YOU!

    Best with blessings,

    1. Hi Joyce, oh my gosh, you are getting the cherries!!! Squeal! Life is good when we have more than one can opener! I was teaching a class once about how to use your food storage and telling the group you need a good can opener, or two, or three. One lady said she had never owned one, I was shocked. I asked how she was going to open her #10 cans, she had never thought of that. We all learn something new every day. Life is good. Linda
      P.S. Thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend. Linda

      1. 5 stars
        Dear Linda: I am starting to think you may well be my new “best friend” on the Internet! We got the Bing Cherries today from Azure. As it turned out, I think we got the very last box they packed, because although the cherries were wonderful tasting, they were definitely nearing their “last leg”! THANK YOU FOR THE TIP ON THE 4-CHERRY PITTER FROM AMAZON! You definitely saved the day for me today!! I pitted about 6# of bing cherries and then just threw the remainder in my freezer in a ziplock bag, cause I’m too exhausted today to finish those. The pitted ones will go in the freeze-drier shortly, and the rest can be pitted when we get ready to use them!! THANK YOU, dear Linda! You really saved the day with rescuing those super-juicy overripe cherries that still tasted like 1 million bucks! Another orchardist friend called me last night to remind me that they will have organic peaches ready next week, so glutton for punishment that I am, I told her I’d buy 2, 8 quart baskets! 🙂

        Hugs,

        Joyce S.

        1. Hi Joyce, oh my gosh, my mouth is watering over those cherries!! Isn’t that cherry pitter the best?? You pitted 6 pounds of cherries, oh my gosh! OH, and peaches are coming, I love peaches!! Hugs back you my friend, Linda

          1. 5 stars
            Hey, Linda: I actually did not finish pitting my 8 lbs. of bing cherries, cause even with the four-some cherry pitter, it was a long day for little old me! The last 2 # went into a ziplock bag an into the freezer, for at least a little while. It is n ot a project I choose to repeat anytime soon!! Actually, the zephyr squash “coins”and the pink lady apples slices and last bit of the apricots all came out of the freeze-drier this evening, so I will cut the cherries in 1/2s tomorrow sometimes= and start the freeze-drying process once again (tomorrow)!! WHEW!! We gave our friends from church 3 quarts of berries this morning, 2 of blackberries and one of blues. Now, maybe at least a FEW of those cherries and peach slices (coming up) can still make it into the freezer. Wow! This is getting TIRING!!! Am thinking about pressure canning more organic chicken pretty soon, too, cause the prices in the stores is absolutely RIDICULOUS!! PLUS, pressure-canning chicken breasts is the easiest job a person could ever wish for!!
            My husband scared off the two young deer that were gorging themselves on our Aronia Berries today. I don’t care one bit. I told Bob, just give me 4-6 quarts for winter and they can eat the rest!

          2. Hi Joyce, oh my gosh, you are super busy! I love hearing about your food storage adventures! Canning chicken breasts are super easy, you are so right. The price of groceries just continue to rise, it’s so frustrating. The young deer story, I love it!! Linda

  2. 5 stars
    Linda: Sorry for repeating myself at times. Yes, I am THAT TIRED OUT! Too much planning, prepping and shopping today, all on top of each other!

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