I love drying Oranges! It makes the house smell like the holidays and I love holidays. I’ve been experimenting with drying citrus for the last few years and I can tell you that it’s super easy and great to have it on hand for all your crafty needs. Now you can dry all citrus so it’s all your preference.
Before getting started you will want to choose what kind of citrus you would like to dry. I’ve dried Oranges, Blood Oranges, Lemons, Limes and Grapefruit. They all dry very well and smell amazing during the process. They also hold up pretty well during the holiday season.
Next, you’ll want to grab yourself a cutting board, sharp knife and your citrus of course. Slice your citrus into 1/4 inch pieces. If you want to dry the end pieces, you absolutely can. If you cut your citrus too thick, it’ll take longer to dry – just a word from the now-wise.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees F. Cook time will be around 2 – 2 1\2 hours checking every half hour to make sure they are properly drying. Now I’m going to give you a few options for where to place your slices. You can put them on a pan with parchment paper. You will want to flip your slices at the half way point. You can lay your slices directly on the rack in the oven and not have to flip them. Or you can put them on a pan that has a rack. Or you can put them in a dehydrator and avoid the oven all together!
I used my dehydrator this year and I loved it; however, it took about 24 hours for them to fully dry. That’s a long time to keep an appliance running, especially unattended while sleeping. Not to mention the fact that my house is super old and so if the electricity… I don’t need a fire happening overnight, you know what I’m saying?
No matter how you are dehydrating your citrus, you will need to keep a close eye on it. In the oven they can burn/ darken quickly. If you like to have a mix of orange or burnt orange like me then that’s great, but the lemons and limes do not look good if you let them go too long so keep an eye out if you decide to dehydrate them.
My last year’s dried oranges are still hanging in my kitchen and window sills. They looked so beautiful I never took them down after the holidays. They are still bright, vibrant and just a tad bit dusty but still going strong. Once your citrus is dried you can use them right away to make holiday decor, or you can store them. I have some in Mason jars and some displayed in wood bowls and both displays look fabulous!