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How to Make Dried Orange Slices

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It was only a matter of time before my love of drying all things turned to citrus fruit! In this easy tutorial, I’ll show you how to make dried orange slices for crafting, decor, and even recipes. I’m especially loving the orange slice trend for home decor from fall through Christmas!

Orange slices before baking and after baking as a table decor accent. Text overlay reads "How to Make Dried Orange Slices"

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How to Dry Orange Slices

Luckily, you have many options when it comes to making dried orange slices. You can use the air-dry method, oven-drying method, or dehydrator method. Each has its pros and cons.

Orange slices on baking rack before drying in the oven

Air Drying

The air-dry method requires the fewest tools. Simply run a piece of jute cord or baking twine through the tops of your orange slices, and hang them in a cool, dry place.

Much like drying flowers, you’ll need up to a week (or more) for the orange slices to dry completely. Beyond the time required, you may find that your slices may become more warped with this method.

Oven-Drying

Oven-drying is my preferred method for drying citrus. That’s the focus of this tutorial. This method does require a day at home to babysit your orange slices, but the quality is fairly consistent.

It’s also less expensive than investing in a food dehydrator.

Dehydrating

If you have the dough to spend on a dehydrator, you’ll want to go this route when drying oranges. Many models like this one have a temperature adjustment feature that helps preserve nutrients in the fruit.

Tips for Getting the Best Dried Orange Slices

Tip #1: Slice Oranges Very Thin

Make sure you have a sharp knife when slicing your oranges. You’ll want the slices to have roughly the same thickness so they will dry evenly. Thinner is better, so aim for slices about 1/4-inch thick.

A mandolin is a great tool to ensure even thickness when slicing fruit. Just slice off one end of the orange to create an even surface before continuing with the mandolin.

Tip #2: Dry Excess Moisture Before Baking

With a paper towel, dab each side of the orange slices before placing them in the oven. This gives the fruit a head start on dehydrating.

Tip #3: Bake Orange Slices in the Oven at Low Heat

I tested the oven-drying method at two different temperatures: 175°F and 200°F. Either is fine, but I say if you have the time, go low and slow.

Raw orange slices on baking rack

The orange slices I baked at 175°F had better color and texture, though I did have to exercise some patience waiting for them to finish. (Cue the Jeopardy music.)

It can take up to 6 hours to thoroughly dry your citrus fruit at 175°F, while the slightly higher temp takes closer to 4 hours.

I find it helpful to use a baking rack with parchment paper underneath to bake the slices more evenly and prevent the cookie sheet from getting sticky.

Tip #4: Flip Orange Slices Each Hour

When baking your oranges, set a timer to remember to flip the slices every hour or so. This helps the oranges to dry evenly and retain a flat shape rather than curling.

Checking the slices each hour can help you judge when they are dry enough.

Tip #5: For a Culinary Treat, Add Sugar or Spices

If you’d like to use your orange slices as a garnish for a cocktail or in a holiday punch, try sprinkling on some sugar, cinnamon, and/or ginger. This will result in a carmelized slice that makes a great treat.

I recently had a sugared orange slice served with my sangria while on vacation. It was heavenly!

Ways to Use Dried Orange Slices

My favorite way to show off dried orange slices is in home decor. You’ll see a peek at my fall table decor below.

Here are a few specific ideas for displaying your beautiful citrus slices!

Table Decor Centerpiece

Place a few dried orange slices in a dough bowl with pumpkins and greenery for fall or oversized ornaments for Christmas to celebrate each season.

Fall centerpiece with faux pumpkins and orange slices in a dough bowl

Place Setting Accent

A single dried orange slice can look beautiful as a place setting accent with a sprig of fresh herbs or faux stems.

Dried Orange Garland

Dried orange slices are all the rage when it comes to wreaths and garlands. You can add them to a cypress, pine, spruce, or fir garland to add a pop of color to Christmas decor.

I’m also loving the look of orange slices for fall wreaths.

Tiered Tray Decor

A few sprinkles of orange slices add great texture and contrast to a tiered tray, too!

Tiered tray with fall decor accents and dried orange slices

Sidenote: I use this tiered tray for every season, and I absolutely love it!

Potpourri Accent

When making DIY potpourri with dried florals, you can add a few dried orange slices for a more interesting blend.

DIY Christmas Ornament

Add a pretty holiday ribbon or cinnamon sticks and greenery to your dried orange slices for a unique Christmas ornament. What a great handmade gift idea!

For an extra special touch, tie an orange slice onto your gift wrapping, too!

Simmer Pot Ingredient

Dried orange slices also make a nice ingredient for a stovetop simmer pot. Combine them with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, and apples to make your home smell amazing.

Pin it for later!

Orange slices before drying and after, shown in fall home decor ideas. Text overlay reads "How to Dry Orange Slices"
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Place setting with faux pumpkin, olive stem and dried orange slice

How to Make Dried Orange Slices

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner/Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Learn how to make dried orange slices with this simple tutorial. Use your dried oranges to decorate for fall and Christmas or create fun crafts you can give as gifts.

Dried orange slices are trending for wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, and more. You'll love how easy they are to make!

Materials

  • 2 medium oranges
  • Parchment paper

Tools

  • Baking rack
  • Cookie sheet
  • Mandolin (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175°F (80°C).
  2. Wash and dry the oranges.
  3. Cut the oranges into 1/4-inch slices. A mandolin works well for this purpose.
  4. Pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
  5. Place the orange slices on a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the orange slices out with space in between to prevent sticking.
  6. Bake the slices in the oven for about 6 hours or until dry. Flip the slices each hour to help the oranges dry evenly.
  7. Remove the slices from the oven once the centers look dry and not glossy. Let the slices finish air-drying, if necessary, rather than overbaking.

Notes

For a faster drying time, you can increase the oven temperature to 200°F (93°C) and bake for about 4 hours. Watch the slices closely near the end to prevent overbaking.

Recommended Products

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More Dried Flower & Citrus Crafts


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4 Comments

    1. Yes, I feel like they are showing up more in fall decor this year too. I’ve been wanting to do some for a long time, and I’m glad I finally did! Thanks for stopping by, Paula!

  1. Thanks for sharing so many great tips and how-to’s for drying orange slices… that centerpiece looks amazing, and I can only see a portion of it! Can’t wait to see the whole thing next week! Pinned!