Concord grapes are delicious right off the vine, or you can crush them to make juice and jelly. If your Concord grape vines are overflowing, consider drying the grapes. Drying grapes gives you plenty of raisins to use in recipes or to give to your kids as a healthy snack. Although drying concord grapes does take some time, it is not time you have to spend actively processing grapes.
Things You'll Need
Remove all of the Concord grapes from the stems. Be careful not to leave any stems in the grapes.
Place some of the grapes in a colander, being careful not to overfill the colander. Wash the grapes under running water, moving them around to make sure you get all the surfaces clean. Remove any grapes that do not look healthy.
Shake as much water off the grapes as possible. Spread the grapes out on towels to further dry them.
Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper so the grapes do not stick to your pan. Parchment paper will also aid in cleanup later.
Use a small knife, such as a paring knife, to split the grapes in half. Remove the seed from each grape.
Lay the grape halves on a cookie sheet. Set the cookie sheets in the oven. Fit as many pans in the oven as you can so you can get the most raisins out of the time in the oven.
Set the oven temperature to 115 to 120 degrees.
Allow the grapes to dry for 48 to 72 hours. Rotate the pans every couple of hours and stir the grapes to keep them from sticking and to make sure that all surfaces are drying evenly. Watch for the skins to get a wrinkled appearance common to raisins.
Test one raisin to see if it is dry all the way through. Cool the raisins and store in covered, air-tight containers in a cool, dark place until you are ready to use them.
Removing the seeds from the grapes can be a time-consuming task. Enlist the help of a friend or your kids to make the time and the project go by faster.
Where many fruits need special treatments before drying to help save the color of the fruit, grapes do not.
Use a dehydrator if you have one. Grapes usually take 24 to 48 hours to dry in a dehydrator, depending on the size of the grapes and the power of the dehydrator.