As an Amazon Associate, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from our site and choose to make a purchase.
Sometimes when you see cherries on sale, you instinctively will buy a bag full of these things and bring them home. Unfortunately, if you don’t eat it all they start going bad.
But I’ve got a solution for you. There is a way to make sure your cherries are preserved for a much longer period of time.
In this article, I want to discuss the option to dehydrate cherries in an air fryer.
Can you dehydrate cherries in an air fryer?
Yes, you can dehydrate cherries using an air fryer. Some air fryers actually have dedicated functions to dehydrate. If there is no dedicated dehydrate function, then the best temperature to set your air fryer at would be 135 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15 hours. Just make sure that you pick, pit, and slice your cherries properly while arranging them evenly over your tray.
How to Dehydrate Cherries
1. Clean your cherries
You can’t just eat fruit right off the stem, you’ve got to wash them first. I suggest you put them into a straighter and run them through water for about 30 seconds to a minute to make sure all the dust and dirt get cleaned off. Then, Pat them dry with a paper towel.
2. Pick and pit them (preferably with tools)
To prepare your cherries, you’re going to need to pull off the stem and pick and choose the ones that are ripe and ready to eat. You’re also going to need to pit these cherries. Pitting the cherries is when you remove the inner seed. There are a variety of devices out there that you can use that will make pitting really fast. These tools, such as the one we found here, would have these long pointy sticks that end up going right through the center of the cherry and pushing the seeds right out. They make it way more convenient and faster especially compared to when you’re doing it by hand.
3. Cut your cherries
Here’s the decision you’re going to have to make. Do you want to cut these cherries into a half or smaller? Because you see, if you make them too thick it’s going to take a much longer time to dehydrate them. But if you make them then, will dehydrate sooner.
The concept is all about exposing more of its surface area to the heated air. The more heat that has access to touching the surface of the cherries, the faster it will dehydrate.
4. Arrange the cherries onto tray
Here’s the thing, there are a few things you need to know about arranging your cherries onto the tray.
First, you want to make sure the insides of the Cherry are exposed in an upward fashion. Don’t lay any of the cherries down flat with its skin exposed to the air. To maximize the effectiveness of the air fryer’s heat, you need to expose more of the insides of the Cherry.
Another thing is that if you have a rack oh, you can stack them on top of each other and place even more cherries in a spaced-out fashion. Remember, you got to give these cherries some room and you have to spread them out evenly. I would recommend not stacking them on top of each other because that would ultimately just block the heated air from gaining access to those areas.
Now it’s time to dehydrate your cherries. One thing to keep in mind is that modern-day air fryers sometimes come with a dedicated dehydrate button. In that case, you only need to click it and have it set on while air frying. Your air fryer should be able to do the rest as long as you tell it how long you want to air fry it for.
We suggest air frying your cherries at a low 135 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15 to 20 hours.
If need be, you can also rotate the racks between each other halfway through the dehydration phase.
6. Let your dehydrated cherries settle
Now it’s time to let you were dehydrated cherries settle and cool down. I would give it about 20 to 30 minutes before you can start the next step.
7. Store in an airtight container
You’re going to want to put these are fried dehydrated cherries into an airtight jar. This will help preserve the dehydrated cherries for a longer period of time.
One thing I like to do is try and vacuum the air out of the jar before I seal it tight.
If you have a straw laying around at home, you can try and place it inside the jar with your mouth over the straw. Have the lid right over the jar ready to close it immediately. Now get the straw and suck out all the air you possibly can until you can’t suck in anymore. At this point immediately close the lid and lock it tight.
How do you know when dehydrated cherries are done?
It’s not going to be difficult to see when your dehydrated cherries are done dehydrating. They’re going to start looking like raisin pieces but at the same time still kind of look like cherries. The color is going to be much darker than it was before. If it was red, it will now become a very dark brown color. If you ever pick it up it will actually feel kind of like a raisin and it will be immensely dry.
How to store dehydrated cherries
You can even store your dehydrated cherries in a Ziploc bag. Just make sure you flatten the back as much as possible and seal it up. The goal here is to make sure as much of the air is removed as possible. You can also use the straw technique I mentioned above regarding the airtight container.
The other goal here is to make sure you’re dehydrated cherries don’t end up making contact with any form of water. If you live in a humid area, then you’re definitely going to want to keep it sealed up either in an airtight jar or a Ziploc bag.
There are also things you can buy like desiccant packets that will help reduce the moisture within the container that you are dehydrated cherries are in.
If that’s not good enough for you, you can take it one step further by looking into vacuum seal bags and investing in a vacuum sealing machine.
The beer bottle & chopstick pitter method
If you’re having trouble with pitting your cherries in the beginning and you don’t want to buy any dedicated pitting device like the one I mentioned, there’s an easy way to hack this method.
With an empty beer bottle and a single chopstick, rest the cherry on the mouthpiece of the beer bottle. Make sure the cherries stem is upright. Then what you want to do is grab the Chopstick and poke it down through the center of the Cherry until it comes out the other side and ends up inside the bottle.
This method will force down the seed into the beer bottle.
The drinking straw pitter
If that didn’t work, then there is another method you can try. It involves using a straw. Just think about how the straw is so thin that it basically acts as a sharp edge that cuts through the cherry.
What you want to do is hold on to your cherry. While with the other hand holding the straw, Force the straw through the head of the Cherry. You can twist the straw as much as you want to get it to cut into the skin of the cherry and through the center completely. The straw will pick up the seed.
One problem with this method is that you’ll have to find a pretty strong straw because if it’s not strong enough, the straw will bend and we’re down. If you happen to have one of those reusable straws, the ones that are made out of really thick plastic, Denise would work perfectly for pitting your cherries before you air fry them.
Arranging the cherries on the dehydrator trays
Just as we’ve explained previously in the steps above, you want to make sure the slices of cherries have their insides exposed to the air as much as possible.
In some cases, the slices at the end and at the beginning will have a U-shape where the skin is covering most of the rounded Edge. Just make sure you leave the skin part laying down on the tray and the inside of the cherry should be pointing upward so that it will face the heating element as well as the heated air circulating through the air fryer.
If you have a rack, try to stack as many on top of each other as possible in the air fryer and if you need to, make sure you switch the racks up midway between the dehydration phase. This will help provide a more even cooking between all your cherry slices.
It’s also important to give your cherry slices plenty of room between each other. I recommend that you try not to let too many of them touch each other because when they touch each other, no air can get in between them. If they were separated by just a few millimeters, the air could pass in between them and cook the sides of them as well.
Uses for dried cherries
There are perhaps hundreds of different ways you can use dried cherries in your food. Just do a simple Google search and you will find nothing but recipes for desserts that include dehydrated cherries. But the thing is, you don’t even need to add it to anything if you don’t want to. Air-fried and dehydrated cherries make wonderful standalone snacks.
What temperature should I dehydrate cherries?
Your air fryer has to be capable of cooking at a very low temperature. The standard of practice for dehydrating cherries is usually at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are dried cherries good for your liver?
Cherries, in general, have anti-inflammatory properties. They have a substance called polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants that are linked to protecting against fatty liver disease.
Can you dry cherries whole?
Yes, you can dry cherries whole. You don’t need to cut them into two slices. The only disadvantage you’ll see here is that it may take even longer to properly dehydrate your cherries completely. This is because the center of the Cherry is covered up by the skin. While in the air fryer, it will have a difficult time dehydrating all the moisture from the cherries if they are not sliced up and directly exposed to the Heat
Do I have to pit cherries before dehydrating?
You don’t necessarily have to pit your cherries before dehydrating them but it does help make everything easier for when the product is finished. If you would rather remove the pits after dehydrating your cherries, then that’s okay too. Just keep in mind that leaving the pits in the cherries may change the effectiveness of how your air fryer dehydrates your cherries.
You may even need to leave your cherries in the air fryer to dehydrate for a longer time. Also, when it is done dehydrating, your cherries will have wild be different shapes and sizes. This may cause some difficulty when trying to remove all those pits.
What happens if you leave a dehydrator on too long?
In the dehydrator for too long then you may end up burning your cherries. The heat will make the cherries even darker and drier than they should be.
What are the health benefits of dried cherries?
There is a lot of vitamin A and pro-vitamin A or beta carotene in dried cherries. They’ve also been known to help reduce the risk of uric acid which can contribute to some types of arthritis.
Cherries, in general, are powerful antioxidants as well. They can help reduce inflammation and also be beneficial for people who are prone to gout.
Other interesting articles: