There are many ways to eat oranges but the uses of dried orange slices are even more. You can enjoy dried orange slices all over the year. But how long can you store? What is the best way to store it? Let’s learn in-depth.
How long do dried orange slices last? Do they go bad?
Dried orange slices can last about 2 years if dehydrated and stored properly. For eating, 2 years is a standard limit as it can be smelly afterward. For decorating, one can use it until the color does not fade. If not dehydrated or stored properly it can go bad by developing mold.
Dried orange slices last for a long time. The dehydration process takes up all the water from the orange. So bacteria, yeast, and molds can not colonize as they need water to live. This is why dried oranges can last over two years if stored well.
However, after dehydration, the nutrient content stays almost the same for years. As dried orange slices don’t contain any water they can’t go bad easily. Only if it gets moisture, it can create opportunities for microbes to colonize.
So, it should be kept in an airtight container so that it doesn’t get worse from the air moisture. You may think the container itself has air in it, but the air does not have enough moisture to make it bad.
Most dried fruits can be stored for about 4 to 12 months. But oranges are different. Dried orange slices have a high volume of citric acid which makes it hard to colonize for most bacteria.
Is there any difference between oven-dried and dehydrated orange slices? Let’s see.
Oven-dried orange slices:
Ovens heat cooks the orange slices a bit before dehydrating. The slices turn brownish in the oven. You need less time to dry orange slices in the oven. Can be stored like any other orange slice.
Dehydrated orange slices:
Dehydrators need 8-9 hours to dehydrate the orange slices. The slices get brighter colors and look natural with a dehydrator.
Dehydrators usually come with a rack. A rack helps you to dehydrate more oranges at once. It can be stored like any other dried orange slice.
How do you store dried orange slices?
Find out how to store the dried orange slices perfectly,
No matter how hard you work to make the dried orange slices if you don’t store them well, It will go bad. For storing you need an airtight jar with a tight lid. It’s easily available everywhere. Every time you open the jar you must close the lid tightly.
How do you know if a container is airtight? Well, most of the containers we use in our daily life are airtight. If you have any doubt, put the empty container in a bucket of water. Keep it for 10 minutes. If the container has no moisture inside, it’s airtight.
Keep a silica gel packet in the dried orange slice jar. It is a great moisture absorber and will protect the dried oranges from excess moisture.
Well, you may know silica is not edible itself. But it can be risky for a curious kid. And also most probably you don’t have it now.
So you can put salt or sugar in a small bag and put it in the dried fruit jar. It absorbs the moisture just fine, it’s safe for kids and importantly it’s readily available.
Don’t use your hand:
Well, it’s not a rule, but a common mistake we make is we get some dry fruit without washing our hands. The dried orange slices can go bad as our hands are full of bacteria and fungi.
But even if we wash our hands we don’t remember to dry our hands properly before touching food. You can’t do those with dried orange slices. Use a clean and dry spoon or something to get dried orange slices from the jar.
How to make dried orange slices?
There are some different ways to make dried orange slices. Choose the suitable one for you.
You can make dry orange slices fast and easily with an oven.
First, cut circles about 3-4 mm thick. Spread the circles evenly on baking paper in a tray. Send the tray into the oven. Set the oven at 150°C in convection mode. Set the timer to 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes rotate the oranges and put them into the oven in the same settings for another 15 minutes.
After the timer stops, rotate the oranges, remove the burnt ones, and put them into the oven for 1 hour at 70°C, convection mode. After one hour you get nice and dry orange slices.
Slow dry in the oven:
To slow dry the orange slices, you will have to put them in an oven, set the temperature at 70°-80°C, in convection mode, and keep it overnight. This method takes time but is easy and hustle-free.
With a dehydrator, you can make dried orange slices easily. The dehydrator usually doesn’t burn the slices and keeps it colorful.
Lay the slices on the dehydrator rack and set them to 60°C or 135°F. Remember to rotate the slices after 3 hours. After 5-7 hours your orange slices should be ready.
If you want colorful orange slices, put the orange slice in lemon juice water before dehydrating. You can use sugar coating to give it a glossy look.
There are no limits when it comes to experimenting with your dried orange slices. Use chocolate, nuts, or coconut toppings to make it an attractive cookie for kids. It fits well in cakes, desserts, or juice.
What can I do with leftover dried orange slices?
There are many things you can do with leftover dried orange slices. It’s an excellent material for decorating and has other uses too.
It can reduce bad smells from your fridge. It can be used as an air freshener in your kitchen. Leftover dried orange peels and slices can also absorb the bad odor from your shoes. Burn them in the fireplace to get a nice orangy aroma.
Just be creative while decorating with dried orange slices. Decorate your Christmas trees with dried orange slices. Hang them around the trees or simply attach them with leaves.
You can attach them to the wall with other decorations. A wreath is a good place to add dried orange slices. The good thing is they don’t attract any bugs. Dried orange slices add a classic nostalgic vibe to your decoration.
How long does it take to dry orange slices in the oven?
It depends on how thick your orange slices are. And what temperature you are setting. If you cut the orange in 3-4 mm slices, it will take about 8-9 hours at 60°C.
If you raise the temperature it will take less time. Thicker slices will also take less time to dehydrate. The best thing is to check and rotate all the slices every one hour. When you feel it’s done, keep another half an hour.
If you want to use the fast drying method with the oven, two hours will be enough for preparing dried orange slices.
Keep the orange slices in the oven at 150°C for 15 minutes. Rotate the slices and keep another 15 minutes. Now remove the burnt ones and put the slices into 70°C, convection mode for 1 hour. Make sure to cool up the slices before storing them.
Can you dry orange slices in an air fryer?
Yes. It’s also possible to dehydrate orange slices in an air fryer. It does as well as traditional dehydrators. Moreover, many air fryers have a dehydrator setting.
Well, if your air fryer does not have a dehydrator setting, don’t worry. It can be done just fine if your air fryer can go to 55°C-60°C.
It will take 8-9 hours to fully dehydrate orange slices in an air fryer. Don’t forget to rotate the slices after halftime. If you want better results, rotate the slices every one hour.
How do you know when dried oranges are done?
When the time comes closer, check the slices multiple times. If the slices do not stick to your hand and become slightly glassy like stained glass, you can assume the orange slices are done dehydrating.
Well, don’t expect them to be hard and crunchy when they are still hot. Cooling will make the slices hard.
After cooling there should not be any soft part in your newly prepared dried orange slices. If there is, put it back in the oven for some time.
Dried orange slices can last for two years in an airtight jar. But in the open air, it can last for a week, more or less depending on the air moisture. They can go bad due to moisture. So, store it carefully in a dark place and enjoy them as you want for years.