An easy step by step guide on how to make dried orange slices for holiday decorations. Add natural beauty to your decor during the most wonderful time of the year.
It’s become an annual fall tradition for me to make oven dried orange slices in preparation for the holidays.
I adore the look & smell of dried orange slices!
Dried orange slices are a versatile decoration that can be used in a variety of different ways.
They look beautiful in a dried orange slice garland or hanging on the Christmas tree as a natural and organic ornament. They are also a great addition to stovetop potpourri for a delicious citrus scent.
Now, you may be thinking it’s a little early to be planning Christmas decorations when fall hasn’t even officially begun?!
You may be right (You guys know I started decorating for fall August 1st, right?). However, properly dried oranges can last for years, so getting a head start on these now, helps me later when the craziness of the holidays begins.
And…I have a couple of new ideas on how to incorporate beautiful oven dried orange slices into fall decor, which you can see here!
Let’s take a look at how easy it is to make dried fruit that will brighten your home now and for the holidays.
Why make dried orange slices?
Making dried orange slices can be a delightful and fulfilling craft for several reasons.
They serve as a unique and charming addition to your holiday decor, infusing your space with a warm, citrusy aroma that evokes the spirit of the season.
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Dried orange slices also offer a natural and rustic aesthetic, adding a touch of organic beauty to your festive decor.
Finally, crafting dried orange slices is a creative and budget friendly way to personalize your holiday decor, whether you use them as tree ornaments, in a Christmas wreath, or gift wrapping accents.
Did you know you can dry apples in the oven too? Check out this blog post with all the details on how to dry apples in the toaster oven!
Materials You’ll Need
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The Easy Steps for Dehydrated Orange Slices
1. Preheat Oven
Start by preheating your oven to its lowest setting, typically around 170°F (77°C).
Note: Convection ovens (or convection toaster ovens) are great for drying fruit. The convection oven fan helps to evenly circulate the steam, which is perfect for drying citrus. The moisture is evenly removed making the drying process move along faster.
2. Thinly & Evenly Slice Oranges
Slice the fresh oranges into thin slices to create perfectly dried fruit.
A mandolin is a great kitchen tool to achieving thin, even slices.
A knife will also work, however you will want to make sure that the oranges are sliced evenly.
I sliced a combination of navel and mandarin oranges.
3. Line Baking Sheet With Parchment Paper
Place orange slices in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
This will help prevent the orange slices from sticking to the baking sheet.
4. Oven Drying
Once the thinly, evenly sliced orange slices are placed on parchment line baking sheets (about 1/2″ apart between slices), add the cookie sheet to the oven.
Dry oranges for approximately 4 hours (exact drying time will depend on oven, size of fruit, and thickness of slices).
I flip the orange slices and rotate the baking sheet in the oven once every hour. This helps the fruit to dry evenly.
Remove the orange slices from the oven once they are completely dried and all moisture has been removed.
5. Allow to Cool & Decorate
Once the orange slices are dried, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely to room temperature on a wire rack.
You can now get creative with your beautiful citrus slices in your holiday decor!
- Use a sharp knife or mandolin to slice the oranges into even rounds. Thicker slices will take longer to dry and may not look as visually appealing.
- Set your oven to the lowest temperature, typically around 170°F (77°C). Drying at a low temperature preserves the color and aroma of the oranges.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. This also makes it easier to remove the slices when they’re done.
- Periodically check the slices and rotate the baking sheet to ensure even drying. This helps prevent any slices from getting burnt or undercooked.
- Allow the dried orange slices to cool completely on a baking rack after removing them from the oven. They may feel slightly soft when hot but will firm up as they cool.
How can you tell when orange slices are fully dried?
Orange slices are done drying when the pulp of the orange appears glassy, similar to a stained glass window.
If the orange slices are still tacky, it may need a little more time in a low oven.
Remember, the thickness of the orange slices will depict how long they will take to dry in the oven.
What is the best way to store dehydrated oranges?
Properly dried oranges (all moisture removed from slices) have a long shelf life. In fact, they can last for years.
Slices of dehydrated orange can be stored in a ziploc bag or airtight container in a dark place in your home that’s cool and humidity free. This allows the orange slices to last longer, and the slices will keep their beautiful, vibrant color.
What other kinds of citrus fruits can be dried in the oven?
Any type of citrus can be dried in the oven. Drying times will vary based on the size & moisture content of the fruit.
- Lemons: Lemon slices can add a zesty and bright touch to your decor. They have a tart aroma and vibrant color.
- Limes: They bring a zingy and refreshing scent to your dried citrus collection. They work well for both decor and culinary purposes.
- Grapefruit: Have a unique and slightly bolder fragrance compared to oranges. They can add a pop of pink or red to your decor.
- Mandarin Have a sweeter and milder aroma than regular oranges. Their smaller size makes them perfect for crafting intricate decorations.
- Blood Oranges: Blood oranges have a distinct deep red color and a sweet, citrusy aroma.
Ideas on How to Decorate With Dried Oranges
Dried orange slices can be incredibly versatile and add charming natural elements to your home decor.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to utilize them…
DIY Dried Orange Slice Garland
This Christmas garland will not only look visually appealing but also fill your space with the delightful fragrance of citrus.
It’s a lovely addition to holiday decor, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for Christmas.
Dried Orange Slice Ornaments
These dried orange slice ornaments are not only adorable but also bring a natural and festive feel to your Christmas tree.
Plus, the process of making them can be a fun holiday activity to enjoy with family and friends.
Stovetop Potpourri Gift Idea
Last year I created homemade Christmas gifts for friends & family by combining dried fruit, evergreens, cinnamon sticks, and seasonal spices in a mason jar for dried stovetop potpourri.
This gift was a great way to share the coziness of our home with others!
Dried Orange Slice Gift Tags
Attach dried orange slices to your gift packages with twine or ribbon.
They’ll add a personal and charming touch to your Christmas presents.
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