How To Make Dried Orange Slices For Christmas Decorations

How To Make Dried Orange Slices For Christmas Decorations

Dried orange slices can be a delightful and versatile addition to your home. Not only can they be eaten as a snack, but they also serve as charming DIY home decor, enhance potpourri mixes, and so much more! This TeeNavi post will guide you through how to make dried orange slices effectively and also explore the various creative uses for your dehydrated oranges.

1. How To Make Dried Orange Slices For Decoration

My fondness for drying various items was inevitably going to include citrus fruits! In this straightforward guide, I’ll show you how to make dried orange slices, perfect for crafting, decorating, and even culinary creations. I’m particularly enamored with the trend of using it for home decor, which has become increasingly popular from the fall season right through to Christmas!

1.1 Materials and tools

To create dehydrated orange slices for Christmas decorations, all you need are oranges, but feel free to experiment with any variety of oranges or other citrus fruits. This technique is versatile and can be applied to a range of citrus, including:

  • Naval oranges
  • Blood oranges
  • Cara oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • And more!

If available, opting for seedless varieties is ideal. This choice helps avoid large holes in the slices. Also, it’s best to select fresh, firm oranges as they tend to be less juicy and, consequently, dry a bit quicker. Follow this guide on how to make dried orange slices for Christmas decorations, and you’ll add a unique, festive touch to your holiday decor.

how do you make dried orange slices
Gather oranges, a knife, and a baking sheet

The essential tool you need is a sharp serrated knife, but there are a couple of other gadgets that simplify the process of how do you make dried orange slices.

  • Mandoline: This tool is ideal for slicing oranges thinly! It’s the most efficient way to get uniform slices.
  • Sharp serrated knife: My go-to knife for precisely slicing delicate items like tomatoes or citrus. However, a sharp bread knife works just as well!
  • Dehydrator: While I don’t have a dehydrator (which is why I’m teaching you how to make these dried oranges in the oven), they are excellent for drying a variety of things. If you’re up for a little indulgence, it’s a great buy. But honestly, I find it unnecessary and it adds extra steps to the process!

>>>> LEARN MORE: How to make a dried orange garland: 5 easy steps

1.2 Dry in the oven

In this tutorial, we’ll focus on my favorite technique for drying citrus fruits: oven-drying. The question “how do you dry orange slices in the oven” is a common one, and I’m here to guide you through this method. Although it does mean you’ll need to spend a day at home to keep an eye on your orange slices, the results are consistently good. Plus, it’s a more cost-effective option compared to investing in a food dehydrator.

how to make dried orange slices
Dry orange slices evenly in a low-heat oven
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Thinly slice the oranges to about 1/4 inch thick. Remember that thicker slices will take longer to dry and may burn before drying completely.
  • Place the orange slices in an even layer on the parchment paper-lined baking tray.
  • Bake for up to 3 hours, checking the slices every hour. Flip the slices halfway through the baking time.
  • Once the orange slices are dried to your preference, let them cool on the countertop before using or eating them.

Additional tip: For quicker drying, use a cooling rack on top of the lined baking tray and arrange the orange slices on the rack. This method allows hot air to circulate more effectively around the slices.

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1.3 Air drying

The air-dry technique is notably straightforward, requiring minimal tools. Just thread a piece of jute cord or baking twine through the tops of your orange slices, and suspend them in a cool, dry area. This process, akin to how you would dry flowers, might take up to a week or longer for the orange slices to fully dry. While this method on how to make dried orange slices for decoration is time-intensive, be aware that your slices may warp slightly during the drying process.

how to make dried orange slices for Christmas decorations
Naturally air-dry orange slices in a ventilated area

1.4 Dry with a dehydrator

Using a dehydrator can be a convenient method, with minimal supervision required. However, it’s important to remember that a dehydrator is a sizable and potentially costly appliance that might not be readily available for everyone. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make dried orange slice decorations:

  • Start by thinly slicing the oranges, aiming for about ¼ inch in thickness. Keep in mind that the thicker the slices, the longer the drying time.
  • Next, place the orange slices in a single layer on your dehydrator trays.
  • Fill as many trays as needed, then stack them onto the base of the dehydrator and secure the lid.
  • Turn on your dehydrator. If it features a fruit or vegetable setting, that’s the best option to use.
  • Allow the dehydrator to operate for up to 12 hours. It’s important to rotate the trays every 3–4 hours to ensure even drying. This prevents any tray from remaining at the top for the entire duration.
  • After the orange slices are fully dried, store them in an airtight container.
how do you dry orange slices in the oven
Use a dehydrator for quick, consistent drying

Recommended Dehydrator: I’ve had great success with the Gourmia GFD1650 Premium Electric Food Dehydrator Machine, which I purchased in 2016, and it’s still performing excellently.

Tip: Drying times vary based on your dehydrator’s make and model, as well as the thickness of your orange slices. It can range from 3 to 12 hours. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance on how to use your machine effectively.

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2. Tips for drying delicious orange slices

There are many how to make dried orange slices for Christmas tree. To be successful on the first try, TeeNavi will reveal to you the following tips:

  • Thinly slice your oranges: It’s crucial to use a sharp knife for slicing your oranges. Aim for uniform thickness in each slice to ensure they dry evenly. Thinner slices are preferable, about 1/4-inch thick, for optimal drying.
  • Remove excess moisture before baking: Gently dab both sides of the orange slices with a paper towel before you start baking them. This step is key in kick-starting the dehydration process.
  • Oven-bake at low temperatures: In my exploration of how to make dried orange slices for decoration, I experimented with two oven temperatures: 175°F and 200°F. Both work, but for the best color and texture, I recommend the lower temperature, albeit it requires more patience. It can take about 6 hours to dry at 175°F, while a slightly higher temperature reduces this to around 4 hours. I suggest using a baking rack with parchment paper beneath to achieve an even dry and to keep the cookie sheet clean.
how to make dried orange slices for Christmas tree
Choose ripe oranges and control the drying temperature
  • Regularly flip the slices: While baking, it’s important to flip the orange slices every hour. This ensures even drying and prevents them from curling up.
  • Add a sweet or spicy touch for edible use: If you plan to use these dried orange slices in drinks or as a holiday treat, consider adding sugar, cinnamon, or ginger. This extra step creates a caramelized, flavorful slice perfect for enhancing a cocktail or a festive punch.

3. How to use dried orange slices?

Dried orange slices have become a cherished holiday tradition for many. In this guide, I’ll teach you how to make dried orange slices for Christmas decorations, perfect for adding a festive touch to your home. These versatile slices can be used in various ways, from creating charming orange wreaths to enhancing your holiday cocktails as unique garnishes, and more. Discover the simple and enjoyable process of drying orange slices to bring a special, aromatic flair to your holiday decor.

3.1 Make a dried orange wreath

Dried orange slices can be strung onto thread or twine to create unique Christmas tree ornaments or festive garland. Additionally, they make a gorgeous enhancement to holiday wreaths. This guide on how to make dried orange slices for Christmas decorations will walk you through the process of transforming simple citrus into stunning decor. Whether you’re crafting individual ornaments or adorning wreaths, these dried orange slices add a touch of natural beauty to your holiday decorations.

how do you make dried orange slices
Craft a festive dried orange slice wreath

3.2 Cocktail decoration

Enhance your bar cart by adding a bowl of dried citrus slices, an effortless and elegant garnish for cocktails. They also add a vibrant touch to your charcuterie boards. Wondering how do you make dried orange slices? It’s simple! Once you’ve made them, try incorporating these delightful slices into our Easy Mulled Wine or pair them with our Vegan Gingerbread Cookies for a festive treat.

how to make dried orange slices for Christmas decorations
Use it to decorate and enhance cocktails

3.3 Make Christmas gifts

These dried orange slices are a fantastic and simple project to undertake during the holiday season, and they can be beautifully integrated into homemade holiday gifts. Here’s how to make dried orange slices for decoration and more:

  • Enhance your dried potpourri mixtures: Dried blend perfectly with cinnamon sticks and other spices. Creating your potpourri with these ingredients makes for a delightful DIY gift!
  • Aromatic home scenting with a simmer pot: Just add a few of the dried orange slices, a cinnamon stick, and a sprig of fresh rosemary to a pot of water on a gentle simmer. Your kitchen will be filled with an amazing aroma in no time. These simmer pot sachets, featuring dried orange slices, are excellent for gifting!
how long do dried orange slices last
Create Christmas gifts from orange slices

3.4 Orange chips

Enjoy snacking on dried orange chips. They’re great for dipping in yogurt or you can create a fancy treat by dipping them in dark chocolate and garnishing them with dried flowers, similar to the style of Loria Stern.

how to make dried orange slices for decoration
Make crispy, tasty dried orange chips

3.5 Delicious recipes

There’s a whole array of creative ways to incorporate these dried orange slices into your cooking! Here are a few of my top picks:

  • Chocolate dipped: Try dipping them in chocolate for a delightful treat. I often add a bit of sea salt for an extra twist. It’s a healthy snack that feels like a luxurious treat! You can follow the same steps as this tutorial for chocolate-dipped nuts, but use the dried oranges instead.
  • Mulling spice addition: They’re fantastic in a mulling spice mix. My go-to is a recipe for pomegranate apple mulled wine that’s simply divine.
  • Hot sangria ingredient: Adding them to hot sangria is brilliant. The warmth of the wine rehydrates the orange slices, allowing their citrusy essence to infuse into the drink.
  • Tea enhancer: Steeping them in hot water or black tea creates a wonderfully aromatic beverage.
how to make dried orange slices for decoration
Incorporate dried oranges in sweet recipes

4. FAQs about how to make dried orange slices

There are many questions surrounding the use of dried orange slices. Let’s decode the most frequently asked questions, these may also be questions or problems you encounter.

4.1 How long do dried orange slices last?

If you’re wondering how long do dried orange slices last, it depends on their use. For consumption, they can remain good for up to two years. When utilized as potpourri or decoration, their lifespan extends indefinitely. As long as there are no signs of mold or other indicators of spoilage, feel free to continue using them for decorative purposes.

how to make dried orange slices for Christmas tree
Orange slices can last for several weeks

4.2 How to preserve dried orange slices?

Using a mandoline is the most efficient and quickest way, but a sharp chef’s knife and a cutting board are also effective. Ensure that your cutting board doesn’t have any lingering garlic or onion odors before you start slicing for your dried apple and orange slice ornaments.

4.3 Can I eat dried orange slices?

Are they edible? They are completely safe for consumption! They make excellent snacks, or you can chop them finely and mix them into granola or muesli, or incorporate them into baked treats.

how long do dried orange slices last
Enjoy orange slices as a snack

4.4 Is it possible for dried orange slices to spoil?

Indeed, they can spoil if subjected to excessive heat or moisture. Signs of spoilage include the presence of mold, an odd odor, or a slimy texture.

4.5 How thick should orange slices be sliced for drying?

An ideal thickness for the slices ranges from ⅛ to ¼ inch. If you’re equipped with a mandoline slicer, this is the perfect opportunity to use it! It simplifies the process of preparing your orange slices, especially when learning how to make dried orange slices for Christmas tree. This tool ensures you can effortlessly create uniform, thin slices.

4.6 Is it possible to dehydrate various kinds of citrus fruits?

Absolutely! Whether it’s lemons, limes, grapefruits, or various types of oranges, all citrus fruits can be dehydrated using the technique I’ve described in this article.

how to make dried orange slices
Dehydrate different citrus fruits for a variety

In summary, this guide on how to make dried orange slices decorations for Christmas, shared by TeeNavi, offers a simple and festive way to bring a touch of natural beauty to your holiday decor. By following these easy steps, you can create charming and aromatic ornaments that will add a unique and homemade feel to your Christmas celebrations. Remember, these not only look beautiful but also embody the spirit of a DIY holiday season.

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