Once you start dehydrating strawberries you will be hooked on preserving, even more, fruits and vegetables. I posted this article a few years ago, but I think it needed a little work to refresh the article, so here I go. I have taught classes to many people on how to dehydrate just about every fruit and vegetable known to man. I have dehydrated hamburger jerky as well.
I’m all about making dehydrating fresh strawberries as easy as possible. Call me lazy, but I use a strawberry slicer for a few reasons. The biggest one is the fact that it slices the strawberries the same thickness, which means they should dry evenly.
If you have a garden or you can buy them at the store, it’s very easy to make a healthy snack in a dehydrator. I bought an Excaliber dehydrator because that’s what I used to teach classes and they sold that brand where I taught. I have had it well over ten years. Now, I bought mine with a timer, but it’s not necessary, but it works for me. I can set it and forget, it within reason. What I mean by that is that I like my strawberries a little pliable and not crispy, so I need to keep an eye on them, so to speak.
You can see below how I placed the freshly sliced strawberries in a single layer on the drying rack. My Excalibur dehydrator booklet states to set the temperature at 135 degrees. Keep in mind, not all dehydrators have the same temperature settings so the time it takes to dehydrate the product may be different between machines and models. Please check the book that comes with the one you purchased.
Master Canning Preserver Classes
When Mark and I took our Master Canning and Preserving class we used an Excalibur in the class! Yes, we both have our certificates! It was a 12-week class with hands-on experience. I have been canning and dehydrating for over 50 years and I still learned a few new tricks.
While I’m thinking about it, please be careful with FREE E-books on canning. They scare me because I’m not sure the instructions given are safe to use. This is the only book I trust for canning food: USDA Canning Book or The Ball Canning Guide
Be sure and watch for really plump red strawberries that are in season. You will wash them, remove the hull and slice them uniformly before placing them on the trays. Here’s the deal, if the strawberries are sweet before you dehydrate them they will be sweet after. If the strawberries are not sweet before dehydrating they will not be after drying.
I want you to think like this, you know how we can buy a container of strawberries and some of them are so beautiful and juicy? Then there might be some that are not so sweet, right? It’s Mother Nature, I guess.
I use a stainless steel strainer to wash my strawberries. Then I use a small paring knife to remove the hull. Stainless Steel Strainer
Mark sliced some strawberries and I used the Strawberry Slicer, that’s how we roll.
Now, fill your dehydrator with the racks. Turn the temperature to 135 degrees (Excalibur), please check your book to see the correct temperature for the brand you have. Turn it on to 3 hours and check the strawberries as needed.
These took about 4 hours to dehydrate. If you are having trouble getting them off the plastic trays, they may not be totally dry, just giving you the heads up here. These “popped” off the plastic sheets for me.
These took four hours to dry. Now, remember, the time to dry will always depend on the humidity of the room in which you are drying them. I will let these “condition” before I place them in jars. I want to make sure every nook and cranny is totally dry.
How To Condition Your Fruit or Vegetables
If you live where it is 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 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.
Strawberry Health Benefits:
1. Vitamin C is a great immune booster.
2. Vitamin C protects our eyes from getting cataracts.
3. Fights the bad cholesterol.
4. High in antioxidants.
5. Great for helping stop inflammation from arthritis.
1. One medium Strawberry is only 4 calories.
2. Fat: 0 g
3. Cholesterol: 0 mg
4. Protein: 0.1 g
5. Sugar: 0.6 g
6. Sodium: 0 mg
7. Vitamin C: 11%
How To Use Dehydrated Fresh Strawberries:
1. Throw a handful into a fresh spinach salad, add some almonds and homemade poppy seed dressing.
2. Throw some into lunch boxes for lunchtime snacks.
3. Put some in a bag to munch on while parked waiting for music or sports lessons.
4. Add some to homemade muffins.
5. Sprinkle some on pancakes before flipping the pancake to add a special flavor.
6. Add a few slices to your water container for a refreshing taste.
You can see why we keep reading to load up on fruits and vegetables. Life is good when our body is strong and healthy.
Drying Food Outside
In the Pioneer days, we know people dried food outside. This will work, but keep in mind it will take days compared to hours in the dehydrator. Cover the food with a cheesecloth or screens to keep the flies or critters away. It will all depend on the humidity outside to determine how long it will take to dry the food.
Can I Dehydrate these in my Oven?
Yes, you can. In fact, some ovens now come with a dehydrating feature. If you don’t want to invest in a dehydrator, set your oven as low as possible. The lowest I can set my oven is 170 degrees. This is the recommended temperature for oven dehydrating. Slice the strawberries, and spread evenly on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
You may even have a convection button on your oven, which would be awesome because the air will circulate around the food to dry more evenly. Just keep in mind you must keep an eye on the tray you have dehydrating or they may get too hot and burn. If your oven will not go below 200 degrees, prop the oven door open with a ball of foil.
What the term Condition means after dehydrating?
Before I store my dehydrated fruit or vegetables, I want to make sure they are really dry. I set them out on the counter for at least 5-7 days to ensure every crevice is completely dry.
There is something awesome about having jars of fruit lined up after dehydrating strawberries, right? If you have a dehydrator you will never waste excess food again. Please preserve your harvest, you will be so glad you did. May God Bless this world, Linda
- 1-2 packages fresh ripe strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
I use a stainless steel strainer to wash my strawberries. Then I use a small paring knife to remove the hull. Mark sliced some strawberries with a knife and I used the Strawberry Slicer, that’s how we roll. Place the sliced strawberries evenly on your racks. Now, fill your dehydrator with the racks. Turn the temperature to 135 degrees (Excalibur), please check your book to see the correct temperature for the brand you have. Turn it on to 3 hours and check the strawberries as needed. These took about 4 hours to dehydrate. If you are having trouble getting them off the plastic trays, they may not be totally dry, just giving you the heads up here. These “popped” off the plastic sheets for me.
Now, remember, the time to dry will always depend on the humidity of the room in which you are drying them. I will let these “condition” before I place them in jars. I want to make sure every nook and cranny is totally dry. Store in airtight mason jars for a year using a FoodSaver.
My Other Dehydrating Posts:
- Dehydrating Apples
- Dehydrating Bananas
- Dehydrating Blackberries and Powder
- Dehydrating Blueberries and Powder
- Dehydrating Cilantro
- Dehydrating Cucumbers and Powder
- Dehydrating Ginger and Powder
- Dehydrating Green Onions and Powder
- Dehydrating Kale and Kale Powder
- Dehydrating Kiwi
- Dehydrating Lemons and Powder
- Dehydrating Marshmallows
- Dehydrating Peppermint Marshmallows and Powder
- Dehydrating Mushrooms and Mushroom Powder
- Dehydrating Onions and Powder
- Dehydrating Pears
- Dehydrating Pineapple
- Dehydrating Raspberries and Powder
- Dehydrating Spinach and Powder
- Dehydrating Strawberries
- Dehydrating Tomatoes and Powder
- Dehydrating Watermelon