Dehydrating123: Why and How To Dehydrate Citrus Fruits

Why Dehydrate Citrus Fruits

Sour or sweet, juicy and colorful, citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, limes, and lemons, are very well-known for their high content of vitamin C or ascorbic acid.

The vitamin C is something we need on a daily basis, especially when we are out for hiking or backpacking. A diet rich in citrus fruits (vitamin C) can help us rebuild tissues and bones, reduce inflammation, lessen the symptoms of cold and boost immunity.
Citrus is the only fruit in the world in which vitamin C remains in the natural form throughout a long time that makes it an ideal candidate for drying.

Dehydrated lemon and orange slices can add flavor and color to your hot or cold trail drinks.  Peeled and dried grapefruit or tangerine wheels make a tasty hiking snack.

Dehydrated citrus fruits can be also ground to sprinkle over cereals or granolas, to spice up muffins, bread, soups or sauces. The citrus powder can be mixed with salt and other herbs and spices to make rubs for fish, seafood, and chicken.

How To Dehydrate Citrus Fruits

Step 1
Wash and dry citrus fruits. Slice into 1/4” (4-6mm) thick slices.
Notes: The white pith of both grapefruit and oranges is extremely bitter. If you want to make citrus chips, peel fruits and discard white pith before slicing.

how to dehydrate citrus fruits

Step 2 
Place citrus fruit wheels on a dehydrator mesh sheets.

how to dehydrate citrus fruits step 2

Step 3
Dry at 135F/57C for 4-8 hours until crisp and brittle.

how to dehydrate citrus fruits step 3

Step 4
Using coffee grinder or spice mill, grind dried fruit slices into powder. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.

how to dehydrate citrus fruits step 4


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  1. Patricia on July 1, 2022 at 12:04 am

    Can citrus sections be dehydrated? Not slices

    • Tanya Krezevska on January 5, 2023 at 5:42 pm

      Yes, but it can take much more time

  2. Wanda on January 2, 2022 at 1:12 am

    Wow this is great information, I am new to dehydrating and I was so curious about citrus and I am glad I saw your article first. I think I’ll do the powder and also leave some whole because my son is absolutely crazy about dried fruits, and he’s going to love being able to have his citrus dried now too. Thanks Tanya, you are great!

  3. Betty on September 21, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    My lemons are dried but have pink lines on the pith. Is this edible

  4. Heather on November 16, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for sharing – Will the powder mix up to a liquid with cold water? Will it be bitter if I leave skin on grapefruit & grind up?

  5. Lisa on July 7, 2020 at 12:18 am

    do you grind up and eat the peels too?

    • Tanya Krezevska on July 14, 2020 at 11:17 am

      Depends on where I’m using powder. For rubs I grind dried lemons with peel. For teas I’m also using dried lemon rings with peel.

  6. Leann on June 25, 2020 at 1:08 am

    I’m just curious–why grind the dehydrated fruit slices?

    • Tanya Krezevska on June 25, 2020 at 9:25 am

      To make a fruit powder. You can use it in so many ways…

    • Cathy F. on December 31, 2020 at 1:44 am

      I like to add fruit powders to plain greek yoghurt to flavor it naturally.

  7. David on June 13, 2020 at 6:04 am

    Hi Tanya

    I’m trying to dehydrate limes using a Sunbeam dehydrator – instructions say use setting 2 (which is supposed to be about 55degC for citrus), but even after about 14 hours they are still chewy and fleshy. Do you think I should crank it up to setting 3 (which is supposed to be about 75degC for meats) or use the oven or just persist for longer on the same setting.

    Sorry I know your recipe is for using an oven, but I thought you might have some views on this dehydrator situation I am having.


    • Tanya Krezevska on June 13, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Hi David
      Dehydrating of some citrus fruits (especially ones with higher sugar content) can take a bit longer – up to 12 or even 24 hours. Do not rise temperature, just let your limes seat more time in dehydartor. Try to rotate sheets every hour or so.

  8. Carol on April 21, 2020 at 5:36 am

    My lemon slices have been dehydrating for over 12 hours, the edges are crispy but the fruit sections are still sticky and soft. Do I just keep going?

    • Tanya Krezevska on April 22, 2020 at 7:44 am

      Yep! They should be dry and crispy.

      • sara h on May 15, 2020 at 8:36 pm

        hello! I wanted to keep my lemon slices kind of chewy and then vacuum seal them – have you tried this, will they mold if they are sealed ?

        • Tanya Krezevska on May 16, 2020 at 12:02 pm

          Hi Sara! If your lemon slices are chewy, they are still contain moisture and if you will try to seal them, they will mold. You can only seal food that have been dried completely.

  9. Ivan on January 25, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Do you have any idea how this impacts the nutrient content for calories, carbs, fiber and protein?

    • Tanya Krezevska on January 25, 2019 at 9:03 am

      Hi Ivan! Usually the nutrients stay more or less same as before dehydration. However, some vitamins may lost their concentration.

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