Easy Way to Dehydrate Pears

My youngest fledgling is studying to be a pastry chef. As luck would have it, last week her class was tasked with dehydrating pears. Everybody needs to know this: at chef school, nothing is supposed to be ‘easy. If it is easy, it will just be awful!

dehydrated pears in tupperware container

So, my daughter, being who she is, after reading the directions to an international hotel level dried pear, chirps up and says, My mom’s way is way easier than this, and it probably tastes better too.

The head chef hears her and starts laughing. He immediately responds with, Chef T thinks her mom’s way is easier and better than the way of thousands of top international chefs. Care to put your money where your mouth is?

You do it both your mom’s way and my way – so I know you can do it, switch dishes with anyone in the class, I will grade them and tell the class whose was worst and whose was best.

If the dish I mark as the worst dish is actually your mom’s way, I dock 10% off your grade and you have to clean the kitchen every Friday for the next 2 weeks.

Oh, before you choose to take up the challenge, remember that you are currently the top student of the class, and this score will affect that!”

Chef T says, “Challenge accepted!”

She makes her dish and switches with a student she knows very little about thinking, he probably thinks I will switch with one of my friends.

Long story short, not only is she not cleaning the kitchen, but she also scored the top mark in the class.

If you have pears that are not being eaten fast enough, but you do not want to throw them out and waste food, or if you are just wanting to dehydrate for trips, lunch boxes, or storage for future recipes that require pears.

Here is the easy way, to get delicious, dried pears for any occasion.

What You Will Need

I am going to focus on using an oven. Many homesteaders do not bother with buying a dehydrator as they are costly and unnecessary if you already own an oven. I have a meat dehydrator which, if needed, can be used to dehydrate fruit by putting a rack at the bottom of the box.

In addition to your oven or dehydrator, you will need your pears (while all pears will work, I prefer Asian pears or honey pears because of their flavor), sugar, water, lemon juice.

Some prepping tools including a knife to peel the pears, a spoon or apple corer to remove the pips, and a colander, baking paper or wax paper, a baking tray or rack and optionally some honey or cinnamon:

Pears Sugar Honey Cinnamon Lemon Juice and Wax Paper
You Will Need Pears, Sugar, Honey, Cinnamon, Lemon Juice, a Knife, Baking Trays or Racks, and Wax Paper

You will also need appropriate storage containers and the correct conditions to store the dehydrated pears.

How to Prepare Your Pears

Step 1. Before you start with your pears, dissolve ½ a cup of sugar in 1 and a ½ cups of boiling water. You will need to let this cool down before you can soak your pears in it.

Whether You Use White or Brown Sugar, use a Half Cup of Sugar for Every Cup and a Half of Boiling Water Depending on How Many Pears You are Dehydrating

Alternatively, dissolve a ½ cup of honey in 1 and a ½ cups of boiling water for a more exotic taste. If you have a very sweet tooth, add the honey to sugar water once it has cooled off.

pears soaked in sugar water with honey on wax paper
I Soaked These Pears in Sugar Water with Honey to Sweeten Them Up

Step 2. Keep a bowl of cool water next to you to put the pears in as you peel them and slice them – optionally you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar stirred in so that they do not turn brown.

squeezing lemon in tupperware container
Add a Little Lemon Juice to a Large Container of Water to Soak Your Pears in as You Peel and Slice Your Pears to Prevent the Pears from Going Brown

Now to get to work on your pears…

Step 3. First off, you need to peel your pears.

peeling pears with knife
You Can Use a Vegetable Peeler or a Knife to Peel Your Pears

Step 4. As you peel and slice your pears, drop them in your lemon water to stop them from going brown.

pears in container with water and lemon juice
As You Peel and Slice Your Pears, Drop Them in a Bowl with a Teaspoon of Lemon Juice to Ensure the Pieces Do Not Go Brown as You Work

Step 5. Cut off the stem, halve your peeled pears, and remove the pips.

coaring pears using knife
Use a Knife or Apple Corer to Core Your Pears

Step 6. Using the slicing part of a standard cheese grater, slice your pears lengthwise or cut them with a knife however you want them – sliced, halved, quarters.

slicing pears on grater
You Can Save Time by Slicing Your Pears on Your Grater

I use the slicer on the grater because keeping the slices even is important to ensure they all dehydrate evenly. It saves me time as I do not have the steadiest hands, so even slices rarely occur if I cut the pears by hand.

Step 7. Drain the lemon water off of the pears. You will need to remove as much of the lemon or vinegar as possible in this and the next step.

Drain the Lemon Water Before Rinsing
Drain the Lemon Water Before Rinsing

Step 8. Rinse them well before placing them on your baking trays or racks – especially if you have added lemon juice or white vinegar as these will affect the taste.

Thoroughly Wash the Pears to Clean Off All the Lemon Water
Thoroughly Wash the Pears to Clean Off All the Lemon Water

Step 9. For the final preparation step, you can now choose how you want your pears to taste.

For a completely natural tasting pear, just rinse them and dehydrate them without adding anything else.

rinsed pears on wax paper
You Can Leave Your Pears Tasting Natural by Just Rinsing Them Before Dehydrating Them

For a sweet but natural taste, soak the slices in a mixture of ½ cup of sugar or honey in 1 and a ½ cups of water for 5 – 10 minutes before dehydrating them. Do not rinse them before dehydrating them once they have been soaked.

pears soaked in sugar water with honey on wax paper
Soak the Pears You Want a Little Sweeter in Sugar Water for 5 to 10 Minutes
browned pears because of brown sugar
The Type of Sugar You Use Will Affect the Final Color of Your Pears, I Use Brown Sugar Which Browns the Slices a Little

For a spicy taste, lightly sprinkle cinnamon over the slices before dehydrating them. Do not rinse them before dehydrating them.

pears sprinkled with cinnamon
Sprinkle a Little Cinnamon Over Your Pears Before Dehydrating Them for a Spicy Flavor

For a sweeter taste, drizzle honey over the slices before dehydrating. Do not rinse them before dehydrating them. It is important to note pears drizzled with honey will not dry out completely.

They will be sticky when you remove them from your oven. This moisture will mean that your pears could spoil quicker; they should be eaten within 3 to 5 days.

sliced pears covered with honey on wax paper
For the Most Decadent Treats, Drizzle Honey Over Your Pears Before Dehydrating Them, the Honey Leaves Them a Little Sticky When They Have Been Dehydrated

honey-dizzled pears after dehydration
This is How the Honey Drizzled Pears Look Like Post Dehydration, They Are Still Light, and You Can Still See the Drizzles of Honey

Or, for an absolutely decadent taste (this is how Chef T scored top marks) dissolve ½ cup of sugar in 1 and a ½ cups of boiling water (do this before you start peeling and slicing). Once cooled, add ½ a cup of honey.

Soak the slices of pear in this solution for + / – 10 minutes. Remove the slices and place them on your trays or racks without rinsing them off.

Diluting the honey will ensure the pieces dry out properly without making them sticky, so they will last as long as all but the honey drizzled pear slices.

adding honey to pear slices soaked in sugar water
Add Honey to the Sugar Water for a Very Sweet Taste

How To Dehydrate Pears Steps

Step 1. Place the slices – whichever method of flavoring them you chose – on a baking tray lined with baking paper or wax paper or on a rack. Make sure the slices do not touch each other, you do not want them sticking together when they are dehydrated.

laying pears on wax paper
Lay Your Pears Out on the Wax Paper Making Sure That the Pieces Do Not Touch Each Other

Step 2. Whether you are dehydrating your pears in the oven or in a dehydrator, you will need to set the temperature to 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (57 to 60 Celsius), the lowest temperature setting.

Step 3. If you are using a dehydrator, place the pear slices on the trays making sure they do not touch each other.

Step 4. If you are using an oven, place your baking trays or racks in the oven. Close the oven door, but not all the way. Leave a small gap to allow steam to leave the oven. If you close the door all the way, you will be trapping the moisture in the oven and therefore the fruit.

4 trays of pear slices in oven
I Am Doing 4 Trays at One Time, Plain, Sugar Water, Cinnamon, and Honey Drizzle, I Have My Oven Set to 135 Degrees Fahrenheit (57 Celsius)

Step 5. Take the pear slices for 8 to 10 hours depending on how dry you want them. Check on them regularly to ensure that the pears are as dry as you want them. Baking them longer will make them a healthier alternative to chips.

Step 6. Leave the pears on the trays or racks on your counter until they are 100% cooled and then store them in the storage container of your choice. I will tell you in the next section what works and how to store them.

twisting wax paper to remove dehydrated sliced pears
To Remove the Slices from the Wax Paper, Just Twist the Paper, and the Slices Will Pop Off the Paper

How to Store Your Dehydrated Pears

You will need a suitable airtight container. Exposure to air, light, and heat will all affect the optimal storage time of your dehydrated pears.

Use an airtight bottle, airtight tupper, vacuum pack bag, or zip lock bag. If you are using a zip lock bag, place the bag in a container that will block direct light.

Store your dehydrated pears in a cool dark place like a dark cupboard, dark pantry, or a container that will block out light.

The best way to store dehydrated pears is to freeze them. To do this, you will need to vacuum pack them.

Dehydrated pears are best eaten within 6 months to a year. If you freeze them in vacuum bags, they will last 12 to 18 months.

Tips

  • Make sure your slices are not touching as this will make them stick together
  • Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on them before dehydrating them for a melt in your mouth flavor
  • Avoid using very bland pears or pears that are overripe
  • The sweeter the pear, the better the taste
  • Adding a drizzle of honey over the slices before setting them in the oven makes them super delicious
  • The longer you leave them in your dehydrator or oven, the more chip-like they will be
honeyed pears in bowl
Honeyed Pears Are the Ultimate Movie Night Snack

Conclusion

At least 2 out of 2 chefs agree that my honey-infused dehydrated pears are heavenly. At least Chef T is still top of her class…

Dehydrated food takes up way less space in your pantry than canned pears. It is convenient to take with you wherever you go for your little ones – and big ones – to snack on when cranky or hungry.

Your family will love you even more than they love you right now when you prepare delicious, dried pears for good snacking the whole year-round.

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