Every weekend I stock up on citrus for all of my recipe and cocktail needs because there is nothing like fresh citrus to brighten up a recipe. This past weekend I decided to make dehydrated citrus because I love the aged look it adds to cocktails but also to have it around for baking and DIY projects. I started this project really late in the evening so I was up for a long time but the end results were worth it. With that said, you will want to plan ahead because depending on the citrus the dehydration process can take up to 9 hours in the oven.
Here are some tips for having the best success with your citrus:
- Slice them 1/4 inch thick. Anything thicker will take longer to dry out.
- If you have a single oven, you will need to dehydrate in batches if you have more than 1 tray of citrus.
- Dehydrate each citrus individually (lemons with lemons, limes with limes, etc) because different citrus have longer drying times
- If you can, use a wire rack on top of your baking sheet. If you don’t have an oven-safe wire rack, use parchment paper but you will need to flip them every 2 hours.
- Dehydrate until the citrus wheels are brittle and completely dried out. You don’t want any remaining moisture in the fruit.
How to use Dehydrated citrus:
Cocktails. One of the most common uses is adding them to your cocktails. The citrus adds a beautiful aged look to any cocktail and releases an enjoyable scent.
Cake garnish. Whenever you want to add a simple touch to your cakes or cupcakes, dehydrated citrus is a classy garnish that really helps with bringing the decor together.
Home decor. You can get creative and place the citrus in glass jars and place them around the house for a minimal look. Another fun use is making Christmas tree ornaments out of the citrus wheels.
Citrus sugar, salt, and spice rubs. This is probably my favorite use! You can grind the citrus up using a food processor or coffee grinder then add the citrus to sugar, salt, or a blend of spices and use it in your recipes.
How to make Dehydrated Citrus
Preheat your oven to 170° or the lowest temperature setting you have. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or an oven-safe wire rack.
Arrange the citrus slices on the tray grouping the fruit together (limes with limes, etc).
Limes and Lemons
Dehydrate for 4 to 5 hours and rotate the baking sheets every 2 hours so that the citrus in the back is now in the front.
Dehydrate for 6 to 7 hours and rotate the baking sheets every 2 hours so that the citrus in the back is now in the front.
Dehydrate for 8 to 9 hours and rotate the baking sheets every 2 hours so that the citrus in the back is now in the front.
Remove the citrus from the oven and let them cool completely. You can store the citrus in an air-tight container in a cool dry area.
How to store dehydrated citrus
The citrus can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a year although I like to use my citrus within the year. Storing can be tricky if your citrus is not properly dehydrated and still contain moisture. If this happens, the citrus can start to grow mold so be sure to let the citrus fully dehydrate before removing them from the oven.Print