How to Dry Cranberries in a Dehydrator

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Fresh cranberries lend a delicious tartness to muffins and quick breads and they also give oatmeal and granola an enjoyable zing. If you have enough fresh cranberries, consider drying some in a food dehydrator to keep them ready to use for an extended period. With minimal preparation, the cranberries will dry effectively in the dehydrator. Within hours, they will be ready to package and keep tasty for months.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • 2-quart pot
  • Slotted spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic food bags (with zipper)
  • Fill the pot about two-thirds full of water and boil the water. Fill the large bowl about two-thirds full of ice water.

  • Place the cranberries into the colander and wash them under cool water.

  • Pour the cranberries into the boiling water and leave the berries in the water for about 30 seconds.

  • Transfer the cranberries from the boiling water with the slotted spoon and place them directly into the ice water. Leave the cranberries in the ice water for about one minute.

  • Drain the ice water from the cranberries.

  • Spread a double layer of paper towels onto the counter and place the cranberries onto the paper towels in a single layer. Blot the cranberries with additional paper towels to dry them completely.

  • Transfer the cranberries to the racks of the dehydrator, spacing them in a single layer so they do not touch.

  • Turn on the dehydrator and set it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the dehydrator to run for 24 hours.

  • Check the cranberries. If they look shriveled and dry without any moisture remaining on the berries, stop the dehydrator and remove the racks. If you detect remaining moisture, continue drying them until the moisture disappears -- up to 36 hours of drying.

  • Turn the dehydrator off, remove the racks and allow the cranberries to cool completely.

  • Transfer the cranberries to the plastic food bags, filling bags two-thirds full. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bags.

  • Condition the dried cranberries. Place the bag in a warm location and shake the bag well once each day. Continue this for two weeks. Check the cranberries after two weeks. As long as you do not see any spoiled berries, store them permanently. If you see moisture or spoiling, remove any spoiled berries and dry the moist berries for additional time in the dehydrator. Remove the cranberries after three or four more hours of drying -- when no moisture remains in the cranberries.

  • Store the cranberries under 60 degrees Fahrenheit for up to one year. If temperatures are at 80 or 90 F, the shelf life of the cranberries will reduce to two or three months.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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