Dehydrating Pears: How to Dry Pears for Long-Term Storage

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Dehydrating pears is one of the easiest ways to preserve them for later! Learn how to make your own dehydrated pears for a deliciously chewy and naturally sweet treat to enjoy all year.

vintage mason jar with dried pears.

I’ve quickly fallen in love with dehydrated pears after tasting one perfectly dried pear at the house of a farmer friend. She has several pear trees in addition to a variety of other fruit trees and often has the dehydrator running in the summer and fall. She had me try one of her dehydrated pears once, and it had such a bold, concentrated pear flavor it felt like a switch turned on in my head.

Immediately, I knew I had to dry my own. They’re so chewy, naturally sweet, and flavorful…I want to snack on them all the time. So, we started with one case of pears and then moved on to another…We keep drying more, but the jar ends up empty almost as soon as we fill it!

Can you dehydrate pears?

Yes, and I highly recommend it! Dehydrated pears are slices of fresh pears that have had the majority of their moisture removed through a drying process. This preservation method enhances their natural sweetness, resulting in a tasty and chewy snack with a concentrated pear flavor.

Dehydrated fruit is an easy way to make your fresh produce last a long time – though, maybe not that long because you will probably eat them up quickly! Compared to fresh fruit, dehydrated fruit has a richer, more intensified sweetness, accompanied by a chewy texture. They make a great snack!

hand holding a single dried pear chip in front of a glass jar.

Why you’ll love dehydrating pears


  • DELICIOUS SNACK – Dried fruit is a wonderful way to satisfy your sweet snack cravings without the added sugar of prepackaged snacks.
  • READY QUICKLY – The prep for this recipe is quick and easy! All you have to do is wash and cut your pears into thin slices. Once that’s done, the drying time depends on which dehydrating method you use. The oven method takes less time than the dehydrator, but they’re both pretty quick! 
  • PRESERVE THE HARVEST – If you grow your own pears or buy in bulk from your local farm, this is the perfect way to store that delicious fruit for later. Since it’s shelf-stable, you can add them to your oatmeal or trail mix for a long time.

Equipment

To make this dehydrated pears recipe, you’ll need:

  • Cutting board and knife (or a mandolin slicer)
  • Dehydrator Method: Food dehydrator with dehydrator trays
  • Oven Method: Half sheet pans with parchment paper
  • Glass jars for storage
  • Oxygen absorber (optional; recommended for long-term storage)
dried pears spilling out of a glass jar.

Ingredients

  • Fresh, ripe pears – It’s essential to use the freshest pears at the peak of ripeness or just before. You don’t want to use any pears that are starting to turn, as that can affect the final quality of your product. I’ve also found that pears that are still slightly firm dry really well, so anything from a little firm to perfectly ripe will work great. The more moisture in the pear, the more translucent and chewy the dried pears will be. Slightly underripe, firm pears tend to be crunchier and less chewy.

Feel free to use any variety of fresh pears, including Asian pears and Bosc pears. I like using Bartlett pears the most because they have a smoother, less gritty texture that works well when drying. 

How to Dehydrate Pears in the Dehydrator

  1. Rinse and dry the pears. Slice them into thin rounds using either a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer. I prefer to slice around the core, then cut those into thin 1/4 inch pieces, but you can also cut them through the core for a large round slice.
  2. Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees F. Arrange the pear slices on the dehydrator trays and dry for 6-8 hours or until completely dry.
  3. Allow the pears to cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container, like a mason jar, for up to 1 year. 

How to Dry Pears in the Oven

  1. Prepare the pear slices following the instructions above. 
  2. Set the oven to the lowest temperature it can tolerate (usually 170 F). Arrange the pear slices on a sheet pan lined with a baking sheet or silicone mat. Place the tray in the oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon to help drop the temperature.
  3. Dry the pears for 1-2 hours, then turn and continue drying for an additional 1-2 hours. Remove the pears from the oven when they are fully dried. The total amount of drying time will depend on the moisture in the fruit, so be sure to check them for doneness.
  4. Let the pears cool to room temperature before storing the dried pear slices in a mason jar.

Storing

Once the pear slices have finished drying, allow them to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This also helps them absorb just enough moisture to keep them from being too dry. Then, store them in an airtight container, like a quart jar. They’ll stay fresh for approximately 6 months to a year. I like to shake the jars every few days for the first week to keep them from sticking together. To extend their shelf-life, add an oxygen absorber to the jar as well.

It’s best to keep them out of direct light in a cool, dark place like a pantry.

How to Use Dried Pears

We love to eat the dehydrated pear chips just as they are with some sharp white cheddar or add them to oatmeal or granola, but that’s just the start! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy these dehydrated pear slices!

  • Add to homemade granola
  • Stir into homemade oatmeal or baked oats
  • Eat as a healthy snack
  • Add to salads for some texture and flavor
  • Drop a few slices into hot tea or mulled cider for a subtle fruity flavor
  • Soak in vodka to make pear liqueur or pear extract
  • Mix in with some nuts, seeds, and other dried fruits for a customized trail mix
  • Incorporate into muffins, cookies, or scones, like these blue cheese scones
  • Serve with a cheese platter
  • Use as a decorative and flavorful garnish for desserts and cocktails
  • Bake into this dried pear cake recipe for a delicious dessert
overhead view of a glass jar with dehydrated pear slices.

Tips for Dehydrating Pears

  • For extra flavor, feel free to prepare these pears like my dehydrated apple slices. You can brush them in a mixture of diluted maple syrup and a little cinnamon for extra sweetness and flavor. 
  • For another flavor variation, try adding vanilla beans. Instead of the cinnamon in the maple syrup mixture, use a small amount of vanilla bean seeds (and stir well to avoid clumping).
  • Use a mandolin slicer to slice the pears in rounds instead of strips. This will give your pears more of a chip look.
  • Experiment with the thickness of the slices. Thinner slices will turn out crispier and crunchier, while a thicker slice has a chewier texture. Whichever thickness you go for, to avoid having drier pieces than others, make sure your pears are cut into uniform slices.
  • Try out different kinds of pears to find the best variety for you. Whichever variety you choose, just make sure to get the best quality pears you can find.
  • Use an apple corer to remove the seeds if slicing into rounds. While you don’t have to remove the core, it may be a good idea if you want to clean your pears up a bit.
  • Dry thicker pieces. If you want larger pieces with a chewier texture, feel free to dry sections that are approximately 1/2 inch thick. Just be sure to dry them completely to avoid molding in storage.

FAQs

Do you need to peel pears for dehydrating?

Nope! You don’t need to, but it depends on your personal preference. While the peel adds a nice chewy taste, it can also come across as slightly tough and gritty for some people. It all comes down to the kind of texture you like. If you do decide to remove the peel, make sure to compost your pear peels, or you can even use the scraps to make pear vinegar or tea.

Can you dehydrate pears in an air fryer?

Yes. They work best with an air fryer oven. Many air fryers have a dehydrator feature, but even if it doesn’t, simply add your trays of pears to the shelves and air fry for 4 hours at 130 F, turning your sliced pears over after 2 hours.

Are dehydrated pears good for you?

Absolutely! This healthy treat is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium. They are also high in fiber, making them easy on the digestive system.

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Related Recipes

If you love dehydrating pears like this, be sure to try these other dehydrating recipes!

small glass jar with dried pear slices by a fresh pear.
small glass jar with dehydrated pears.

How to Dehydrate Pears (Oven or Dehydrator)

Enjoy the deliciously chewy and naturally sweet flavor of dehydrated pears. It's a nutritious snack that will quickly become a new family-favorite!
5 from 1 vote
Drying Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours
Course Food preservation, Snack
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife or mandolin
  • dehydrator or sheet pans lined with parchment paper
  • Mandolin slicer optional
  • glass jar
  • oxygen absorber optional

Ingredients
  

  • fresh, ripe pears, at least 2-3 pears

Instructions
 

How to Dehydrate Pears in the Dehydrator

  • Rinse and dry the pears. Slice them into thin rounds or slices using either a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. I prefer to slice around the core, then cut those into thin 1/4 inch pieces, but you can also cut them through the core for a large round slice.
  • Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees F. Arrange the pear slices on the dehydrator trays and dry for 6-8 hours or until completely dry.
  • Allow the pears to cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container, like a mason jar, for up to 1 year.

How to Dry Pears in the Oven

  • Prepare the pear slices following the instructions above.
  • Set the oven to the lowest temperature it can tolerate (usually 170 F). Arrange the pear slices on a sheet pan lined with a baking sheet or silicone mat. Place the tray in the oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon to help drop the temperature.
  • Dry the pears for 1-2 hours, then turn and continue drying for an additional 1-2 hours. Remove the pears from the oven when they are fully dried.
  • Let the pears cool to room temperature before storing the dried pear slices in a mason jar.

Notes

For best results, use pears that are ripe but still slightly firm or pears that are perfectly ripe. Avoid pears that are overripe (too juicy, gritty, soft spots, etc). 
Feel free to use any variety of pear you like!
Keyword dehydrated pears, dried pears, pear chips
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