Sustainability made simple

How to Freeze Dry Fruit Without a Machine: Step-by-Step

how to freeze dry fruit
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Devin Rajaram

Save money and reduce food waste by learning how to freeze-dry fruit without a machine. Our easy tutorial shows you how to do it yourself in just a few steps.

Freeze drying is a low-cost and sustainable way to extend the life of food. Fruit is perfect for this, leaving you with tasty snacks you can enjoy anytime.

The freeze-drying process involves removing water from food by allowing the water molecules to evaporate. If you’re interested in learning more, read about what freeze-drying is and how it can help reduce food waste.

Why should you learn how to freeze-dry fruit?

Freeze-drying fruit at home is a rewarding activity that preserves fruit for up to several years. It isn’t the same as air-drying, or de-hydrating (although these methods are also used to remove water from food). Freeze drying is one of the most effective methods of food preservation — and you don’t need a machine to do it.

So, whether you are a prepper (the pandemic showed us that having emergency food is a very good idea), want to enjoy your fruit out of season, or just like to avoid food waste, freeze-drying fruit could be for you. 

Freeze-drying is practical and cost-efficient. Read on for our step-by-step guide.

How to Freeze-Dry Fruit Step-by-Step

Freeze-drying is a great way to preserve food and can keep it edible for years.
Freeze-drying is a great way to preserve food and can keep it edible for years.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Magnascan)

Many foods are easy to freeze dry (you can even learn how to freeze-dry candy). Fruit is a great candidate for freeze-drying, and almost all varieties react well to it. Some have different preparation methods, but most follow the same basic principles. The process also works best in a freezer that isn’t overcrowded, but it will still work if you have a busy freezer (just try and use a less-used shelf). 


  1. Remove any peels you don’t wish to keep on your fruit.
  2. For items you don’t want to peel, wash them under cool water and allow them to dry.
  3. Slice the fruit into bite-size pieces or chips. The pieces will shrink, so don’t make them too small. Bite-size pieces will dry out faster and are easier to grab for snacks later on.
  4. You don’t need to chop up smaller berries. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are already the perfect size. Larger berries, like strawberries, you can halve or quarter.

Instructions for how to freeze-dry fruit:

  1. Place parchment paper over a clean baking sheet. Make sure it covers the entire tray. 
  2. Spread the fruit evenly over the tray, keeping space between each piece. This space helps the pieces dry evenly and minimizes the chances of them sticking together.
  3. Place the tray on a level surface in the freezer.
  4. Leave it in the freezer for 7-10 days, and try not to disturb it.
  5. Remove the freeze-dried fruit from the tray and place the pieces in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing, or pop them into a sealable glass jar. 

Keep freeze-dried fruit in a cool, dry place, like your pantry or cupboard. Keep them out of direct sunlight and ideally below 75°F.

Now that you know how to freeze-dry fruit, you can enjoy it whenever you like! You can even rehydrate the individual pieces if you want. Just let them sit in some cool, clean water for a few minutes.

    How Long Does Freeze Dried Fruit Last?

    Learning how to preserve perishables helps your food go further.
    Learning how to preserve perishables helps your food go further.
    (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / CSU-Extension)

    Freeze-drying is a preservation technique that extends the shelf life of fruits up to several decades while retaining their natural flavors and nutrients. With a few simple steps, you can easily learn how to freeze-dry fruit and enjoy it anytime. 

    Don’t forget to label your batches for easy tracking and replacement, so you never run out of delicious treats. 

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