Make Crispy Apple Chips Without A Dehydrator

Apple Chips Recipe: A Crispy Success Story!

Homemade Apple Chips Recipe

I was ecstatic when I first learned that you can make apple chips at home in the oven. Store bought apple chips were quite the treat. But their cost, and knowing they probably weren’t much better for you than regular chips, kept us from indulging often. Being able to make them at home, without any added unhealthy ingredients, meant we could enjoy apple chips more than just occasionally. They could be a go-to crunchy snack!

Have you tried an apple chips recipe before and failed?

The first time I made apple chips in the oven, I burnt those babies to a crisp. Oops!

The second time I was more careful, and they turned out great! We happily munched on them as they cooled from the oven, and left the remaining chips out on a plate for snacking. Imagine our surprise when we returned to the chips later that day, only to find them flimsy and rubbery. What???

Sad Truth About Store Bought Apple Chips

If you’ve ever dehydrated fruit, then you know that getting the “store-bought” texture on your dried fruit or chips can be tricky. It opens up the big question: “How do they keep it crispy like that?”

Most of the time I don’t like the answer.

How DO those store bought apple chips hold their crisp for SO LONG? Those little crisps that are supposedly a healthy snack are typically dried, fried, or popped with oil and added sweetener (corn syrup) to help them keep their crunch and addictive sweetness.

Tips For CRISPY Homemade Apple Chips

I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. After much trial and error, I came up with some guidelines that successfully give me crispy, healthful apple chips.

Pick your day

If you can, make your apple chips on a dry day with low humidity. Humidity is moisture in the air, and apple chips love to suck the moisture from the air just as you think you’ve gotten them dried to a crisp.

Low and slow

While you don’t need a dehydrator to dry your apples to a crisp, you do need to dry them slowly in the oven. 225°F is a good temperature that is low, but not so low that your apple chips take all day.

At this low temperature, it will take about 3 hours for chips to dry.

Practice those knife skills!

Your apple chips will dry out faster if apples are thinly sliced. Slices should be no more than ⅛ of an inch – thinner than this is even better.

Using a mandoline slicer is a great way to get even slices, but if you don’t have a mandoline or your mandoline won’t slice thin enough, you can easily slice the apples by hand.

When slicing the apples by hand, I like to cut the apple in half, vertically. Then I can place the cut side on the cutting board, and slice away. A half apple is much more stable and easy to slice.

If you have some slices that are thinner or thicker than others, be sure to watch the chips as they get close to the end of their baking time. Thinner slices will take less time to crisp up, while thicker slices will take longer.

Give chips their space

Air flow is important when making apple chips, so you want to place apples on a baking sheet in a single layer. They won’t try as quickly and evenly if overlapping.

Flipping the apples every hour or so releases them from the baking sheet and allows for better air flow on both sides. This helps apples dry out evenly, rather than from one direction.

Store them well

When apple chips are removed from the oven, they should feel dry and rubbery, but still be slightly bendy. They will crisp up as they cool.

Apple chips are great eaten right out of the oven once they’re cool. But leftovers should be placed into an airtight container right away. Particularly if you are making your apple chips on a humid day, chips should be exposed to as little humidity from the air as possible. Storing them in an air-tight container will ensure that you have crispy apple chips for days to come…. if they last that long!

Picking your apples

I have made apple chips out of many kinds of apples. Nearly any sweet, crisp apple works nicely. Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Gala, and Fuji are some of our favorites.

Apple Chips Recipe: Baked and Crispy

Cook Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
  2. Slice apples ⅛ of an inch or thinner using a sharp knife or mandoline slicer. (Find a safe mandoline slicer here.)
  3. Place apple slices in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a baking mat (like this). Sprinkle slices lightly with optional cinnamon.
  4. Bake apples for 3 hours, flipping the slices every hour.
  5. After 3 hours, the slices should look and feel dry. If not, continue baking, checking for dryness every half hour.
  6. Remove dry slices from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool and crisp.
  7. The apple chips can be eaten immediately. If storing, place cooled apple chips immediately into an airtight container to help them retain their crispness.

If apple chips lose their crispness: Place in a low oven, 150°-170°F for 10-15 minutes. Turn oven off and allow chips to cool in the oven.

Have you ever made apple chips that turned out well? If so, what tips can you share?

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Comments

  1. I love this and will try today but have a question:
    What is the reason apple slices are placed directly on baking sheet and not on wire rack which would allow circulation?

    • Good question, I was just thinking the same thing. I think I’m going to try them with a wire rack.

      • Hi Anette and Heather. A wire rack would work perfectly! The chips might even dry out and crisp up more quickly because of the increased circulation.

        We simply don’t have an oven-safe wire rack with grates that are close enough together to not worry about the apple slices sliding off. And, I’d rather not put the apple slices directly on our oven racks. It’s all personal preference.

        I hope you enjoy them!

    • I just did them on wire racks in the oven (my old traditional “cooling” racks) and it worked great… didn’t need to flip them… I did them longer in the oven at a lower temperature. Would definitely do this again. They’re delicious!

  2. I have the same question as Annette. My first thought when reading the recipe was, “If I put them on wire racks on the baking sheets, I wouldn’t have to turn them.”
    Please let us know why you chose not to do that.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Bethany. If you have a wire rack that you can put on a baking sheet, that would work quite well for increased circulation. They might even dry out a little faster! As I mentioned above, it’s all personal preference and what you have in your cupboard!

      I hope you enjoy the chips!

  3. I picked up a set of wood framed screen racks at a thrift store with no directions. I tried it out with several fruits, for a longer period of time. Too crisp- nobody could eat them! I’ll give this a try! Have you dried fruit other than apples with the oven method?

    • Hi Deb. You do have to watch the fruit carefully, particularly towards the end of drying time. It can dry quickly! We have dried mangoes and pineapples using this method as well. Enjoy!

  4. Overview of Weston Roll Of Nylon Mesh Netting Screen 13.5″ X 63″ , Model# 78-0201-W

    Manufacturer #: 78-0201-W

    You’re viewing our Weston roll of nylon mesh netting screen — 13.5″ x 63″. Our food dehydrator netting roll is 13.5″ wide and 63″ long, washable and reusable nylon mesh netting that can be easily custom sized into desired lengths. Cut to fit your dehydrator trays and see how much easier your dehydrating experience becomes! Weston’s dehydrator netting is ideal when drying vegetables and fruit, keeping smaller food items from falling through dehydrator racks. Can safely be used at temperatures up to 175° F.

    If you have questions about our products we are here to help you. Scroll down to view our Weston roll of nylon mesh netting screen — 13.5″ x 63″.

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    Can safely be used at temperatures up to 175° F.
    Compatible with most dehydrators with similar rack dimensions. Simply cut to fit your dehydrator tray size.
    Made out of Polypropylene. 1/4″ holes

    Specifications:
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    Weight: 1.0 lbs

    I am going to make some and try using my dehdrating mesh in the oven.

    • Hi Sheryl! I have tried drying bananas, but they haven’t turned out as well as I would like. Bananas are tricky! I’m still hoping to perfect the technique though, so hopefully I will have something to share down the road.

      If anyone has tips on drying bananas, I’d love to hear them!

  5. Interested in the source for “Weston Roll of Nylon Mesh Netting Screen” to use for Dehydrating Apple Chips submitted to Sarah Ozimek’s website by Rosie onSept13, 2016. Thank you.