How to dehydrate peaches

Capture the fleeting flavors of summer by dehydrating peaches! Dehydrated peaches are great for storing seasonally harvested peaches for long-term storage or for easy snacking.

Thanks to global shipping, there are very few foods that can truly only be found in season. From Mexican strawberries to Chilean apples, North American supermarkets are stocked with “seasonal” produce year-round.

But one of the biggest exceptions is peaches! Look high and low, but you can’t find a peach anywhere in January. They are a summer fruit and summer is the only time you can have them.

In addition to canning and making jams, one of the best ways to capture this summer surplus is to dehydrate peaches. Dried peaches retain almost all their flavor and can be eaten as chips for a snack or rehydrated to make a peach cobbler.

So if you want to extend your own personal peach season, grab a bushel and a dehydrator and let’s make some dehydrated peaches!

Several ripe peaches on blue background

There is a true art to choosing a good peach. Fortunately, there are plenty of subtle clues to look for to help you find the best ones.

Color: For yellow peaches and nectarines, the key indicator is to look for dark yellow or golden skin color. The red color has actually been bred into peaches by farmers to make them look more appetizing and not tell you much about the ripeness of the peaches. Dark yellow is the color you’re looking for, especially around the stem. Pale yellow or even green hues indicate that the peach was picked too early.

For white peaches, you want to see a pale yellow undertone in the “white” around the stem. Snow white or white with green tints indicates that the peach was harvested too early.

Appearance: Of course, avoid peaches with bruises, spots or dark spots. But things you want to look for are roundness and wrinkled skin. Peaches become slightly rounder as they ripen, so avoid anything with a sharp angled crease. Wrinkled skin around the stem indicates water evaporation through the skin and means the peach is ripe.

Scent: Smell the top of the peach, by the stem. A ripe or near-ripe peach will have a rich, floral scent—almost as if you’re tasting it just by smelling it. Conversely, an under-shredded peach will smell muted and flat.

Softness: Softness must be measured with caution. Peaches bruise VERY easily, so firmly squeezing a peach will ruin it. But if you pick up a peach in your hand and just gently wrap your fingers around it, you’ll be able to tell if the flesh is giving. A peach that is rock hard is unripe, but if it gives a little, you’re on the right track.

Any really soft or mushy spots on a peach are likely bruises, possibly from an overzealous juicer. Avoid.

Choose organic peaches if possible as peaches are on dirty dozen list, meaning they are more likely to contain pesticide residues.

Peach cut on a cutting board

First, make sure your peaches are fully ripe. You want all the sugars to be fully developed so that the dehydrated peaches taste rich and sweet. If you need to speed up the ripening process, you can place your peaches in a brown paper bag overnight.

Before you start preparing your peaches, make sure your counters, equipment, and hands are clean and sanitized to prevent contamination that could ruin your batch.

  • Remove the skin (optional!): Peach skin is thin and completely edible, so if you want you can leave it on – just make sure to wash them thoroughly. If you’d rather remove the skin, the quickest way is to blanch the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and place in an ice bath. Once cooled, you should be able to easily peel off the skin with your fingers.
  • Slice the peaches and remove the core: Use a sharp knife to cut the peach in half and remove the pit.
  • Cut into slices: For a chewy peach chip texture, aim for about 1/2″ thick. For a crunchier, crisper peach chip texture, aim for about 1/4″ thick.
Before and after pictures of dehydrated peaches

Dehydrating peaches is super easy! Once your peaches are prepped, set up your dehydrator and follow these steps:

  • Arrange the peach slices on your dehydrator trays. Be sure to leave some space between the pieces to allow air to circulate.
  • Dehydrate at 135ºF (52ºC) for 8-12 hours until the peaches are dry and leathery (they will still be a bit pliable).
  • Depending on your machine, you may need to rotate the trays periodically to promote even drying.

Equipment Spotlight: Dehydrators

If you are looking for a dehydrator, we recommend buying one that has an adjustable temperature, which allows you to set the drying temperature to give you the best results for individual ingredients. The dehydrator we recommend (and use) most often is COSORI Premium. You can also check our best dehydrators post for a comparison of all the dehydrators we’ve used and would recommend.

It is important to note that the stated drying time is only one discretion– there are many factors that can contribute to longer or shorter drying times (humidity, home temperature, dehydrator load, etc.). The way to tell if your peaches are dry is to physically check them.

Peach slices should be leathery in texture when properly dried. To test, remove a slice and let it cool completely. They will have some flex, but if you tear one in half and squeeze it, there should be no moisture seeping out. If they show signs of residual moisture, put them back in the dehydrator to dry longer.

Dried peaches in a glass jar

If you are drying peaches for snacks and plan to eat them within a week or so, you can store them in a sealed container or zip-top bag on the counter or in your pantry. Just let them cool and put them in a closed container. We like to use these reusable ones ReZip bags.

However, if properly dried and stored, dehydrated peaches can last up to a year! Here are our tips for long-term storage:

  • Cool: Allow the peaches to cool completely before transferring.
  • Condition: Loosely pack the peaches in a transparent airtight container. Check it daily for a week for signs of moisture or condensation, and shake it to prevent the peaches from sticking together. If any signs of moisture appear, stick them back in the dehydrator (as long as there is no mold – in which case, throw the batch away). After a week, if there are no signs of moisture or mold, you can pack them for long-term storage.
  • Store in a clean, airtight container. For longer shelf life, vacuum seal.
  • The use moisture absorbent desiccant pack if you expect to open the container frequently or if you live in an area with high humidity.
  • Label the container with date and other important details
  • Place the container in a cool, dark and dry place– inside a pantry cupboard works well.

Vacuum sealing tips

We like to store our dehydrated foods in mason jars that have been vacuum sealed with this handheld FoodSaver vacuum sealer along with these jar sealing accessories. This gives us the advantage of vacuum sealing without waste (and expenses) of vacuum-sealed plastic bags. Once the jars are clear, we make sure to store them in a dark place in our pantry to keep them out of direct light.

Dehydrated peaches in a bowl with blue background

Dehydrated peaches are great to have on hand as a healthy snack, but here are a few more ideas on how to use them:

  • Add to trail mix
  • Top oatmeal or yogurt with chopped, rehydrated pieces
  • Add to granola
  • Add to iced tea while brewing
  • Chop and rehydrate before adding to scone or muffin batter
  • Rehydrate and simmer with a little sugar to create a jam compote for pancakes, waffles, oatmeal or ice cream
  • Turn them into powder to add to yogurt, cake or cupcake batter, ice cream, smoothies, cream cheese and more!
  • Included as part of a cheese plate or charcuterie plate
Dried peaches in a bowl
Dried peaches in a bowl

Avoid your screen going dark

  • Start with clean hands, equipment and countertops.

  • Wash the peaches and peel if necessary. Remove the pit by cutting each peach in half and scooping out the seed (a spoon can be useful for easing stubborn pits).

  • Cut the peaches into ¼”-½” thick slices with a sharp knife. The thinner they are, the crispier they will be in the dehydrator.

  • Arrange peach slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays, leaving space between pieces to allow for air flow.

  • Dehydrate at 135F/57C for 6-12 hours until dry (see note).

Tips for storage

  • Allow the dried peaches to cool completely before storing.

  • Short-term storage: If the peaches will be eaten within a week or two, store them in a ziptop bag or sealed container on the counter or in a pantry.Long-term storage: Adjust by loosely packing the dried peaches in a clear, airtight container. Leave it on the counter for a week and check it daily for signs of moisture. If condensation occurs, return the peaches to the dehydrator (unless there is evidence of mold – then throw out the whole batch). Shake occasionally to prevent the peaches from sticking together.
  • After conditioning, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Vacuum sealing will help extend the shelf life and quality of the peaches.

Total time will depend on your machine, total dehydrator load, humidity, air temperature. 6-12 hours is a range, and you should primarily rely on the feel and texture of the peaches to determine doneness.
Peach slices should be leathery and pliable in texture when properly dried.

To test, remove a slice and let it cool completely. They may have some bends, but if you tear one in half and squeeze it, there should be no moisture seeping out. If they show signs of residual moisture, put them back in the dehydrator to dry longer.

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information from a third party nutrition calculator

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