How To Make Dried Orange Slices (Oven + Dehydrator)

Learn how to make dried orange slices for simmering potpourri, Christmas garlands, crafts, & for beverage garnishes. Festive and beautiful, these dried orange slices can be made in the oven, or a dehydrator.

diy dried oranges on mantel with pine garland

It’s easy to fill your home with the lovely and fresh scent of citrus, cinnamon, and other natural elements by making your own custom simmering scented potpourri. Any combination of items can be used, but a must-have ingredient is dried oranges. Making DIY dried orange slices to use in simmering potpourri, or to add to a beautiful Christmas garland, is an easy project. The end result is perfect for the holiday season, and totally worth the time!

oranges on red striped tea towel

Supplies Needed

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Oven vs. Dehydrator

This is the first year I have dried oranges in a food dehydrator. I have wanted to try dehydrating fruit for snacks, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take the plunge. I purchased this dehydrator because it is reasonably priced, it’s small enough to sit on my kitchen counter, and it can be easily stored when not in use. I found there are two differences between oven dried and dehydrated orange slices. 

1.) Using a dehydrator takes a long time. It took my oranges 9 hours to dry in my dehydrator, compared to a few hours in the oven. I honestly didn’t mind though. I started in the morning, and by dinner time, my oranges were done. 

2.) Dehydrated orange slices are a brighter and lighter shade of orange. Oranges dried in the oven tend to turn dark, and I really love that the dehydrator allows the oranges to keep their vibrant color. A bonus is that the slices keep their round shape, and don’t curl. 

sliced oranges on round wood board

How To Make

The Dehydrator Method

  • Soak the whole fresh oranges for 5 minutes in a bath of warm water and apple cider vinegar.
  • Dry well.
  • With a sharp knife, cut each orange into thin slices that measure 1/4 inch thick. (A mandoline slicer can also be used.)
  • Place the orange slices on paper towel, and cover with more paper towel.
  • Press on the top layer of paper towel to remove excess moisture. 
  • Place the orange slices on the trays of your dehydrator.
  • Set the timer for 8 hours, and the temperature to 135-140 degrees F.
  • At the 4 hour mark, rotate the trays, and turn the orange slices.
  • Oranges are done when they are translucent and no longer sticky.
  • Place on a baking sheet to dry completely.
  • All dehydrators are different. It’s possible that the orange slices could take up to 12 hours to dry completely.
orange slices drying in dehydrator

The Oven Method

  • Follow the first 5 steps above.
  • Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F.
  • Place the blotted orange slices on large wire racks in a single layer.
  • Place the wire racks directly on the grates of your oven.
  • Bake for 2 to 3 hours, turning the slices every 30 minutes. (If you don’t turn them, they will most likely stick to the wire rack.)
  • The slices are done when they darken in color and become translucent.
  • Cool completely.
  • Place on parchment paper or a cookie sheet and keep at room temperature until you are ready to use them.
diy dried oranges on round wood board

Helpful Tips

  • In the past, I have placed the orange slices directly on my oven racks. It was quite a process leaning over to turn them every 30 minutes. It’s much easier to use cooling racks so the slices can be removed from the oven, and easily turned. They need air flow both above and below, so do not use any sort of pan or baking sheet. 
  • I have a gas convection oven, and set at 225 degrees F, the drying process takes 2 hours. 
  • Let them sit out for a few days just to make sure they are completely dry.
  • The thickness of the slices matters. Thicker slices will take longer to dry. It’s also a good idea to keep the thickness of the slices uniform.  
  • This method can be used for all citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, or grapefruit.
  • The best oranges to use for drying are navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, or blood oranges. Choose firm oranges, with no seeds. 
garland on twine with diy dried oranges

Different Ways To Use Dried Orange Slices

  • Use dehydrated oranges as a main ingredient for simmering potpourri.
  • Dehydrated orange slices can be used in marinades, or as a garnish for hot tea.
  • Garnish cocktails or mocktails with dried orange slices for a touch of holiday cheer. 
  • One of my favorite ways to use dried orange slices is to weave them onto a length of twine to make a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree garland.
  • For a custom look, add bay leaf, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks to the garland in between the orange slices.
  • Add a twine hanger to individual slices to make classic Christmas ornaments and add a pop of color to your tree. 
  • Use them in holiday decor, especially wreaths or centerpieces.
  • A great way to give dried orange slices as Christmas presents is to package them in clear cellophane bags or mason jars.
  • Drop dried orange slices into a pitcher of water for a refreshing citrus-infused drink.

How To Store

​For best results, store your dried orange slices at room temperature in an airtight container. Place them in single layers, with parchment paper in between the layers. 

diy dried orange garland on mantel with norfolk pine garland 1
dried orange slices in mason jar with twine bow
diy dried oranges strung on twine

How To Make Dried Orange Slices

Learn how to make dried orange slices for simmering potpourri, Christmas garlands, crafts, & for beverage garnishes. Festive and beautiful, these dried orange slices can be made in the oven, or a dehydrator.
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Servings: 40 slices
Author: Ann Drake
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Ingredients

  • 6 large navel oranges

Instructions

The Dehydrator Method

  • Soak the oranges for 5 minutes in a bath of warm water and apple cider vinegar.
  • Dry well.
  • Cut each orange into slices that measure 1/4 inch thick.
  • Place the orange slices on paper towel, and cover with more paper towel.
  • Press on the top layer of paper towel to dry the orange slices and remove excess moisture.
  • Place the orange slices on the trays of your dehydrator.
  • Set the timer for 8 hours, and the temperature for 135-140 degrees F.
  • At the 4 hour mark, rotate the trays, and turn the orange slices.
  • Oranges are done when they are translucent and no longer sticky.
  • Place on a baking sheet to dry completely.
  • All dehydrators are different. It's possible that the orange slices could take up to 12 hours to dry completely.

The Oven Method

  • Follow the first 5 steps above.
  • Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F.
  • Place the blotted orange slices on large cooling racks.
  • Place the cooling racks directly on the grates of your oven.
  • Bake for 2 to 3 hours, turning the slices every 30 minutes. (If you don't turn them, they will most likely stick to your racks.)
  • The slices are done when they darken in color and become translucent.
  • Cool completely.
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dried orange slices on pine mantel christmas garland

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