How to dry your own fruit

What’s a South African road trip without some dried mango? Instead of shop-bought dried fruit that can come with a hefty price tag and a few preservatives, have you considered making your own? With the Mellerware Biltong King & Food Dehydrator drying your own fruit couldn’t be easier, ensuring chemical free good stuff in mere hours. Peachy keen? Here’s what you need to know.

Food Dehydrator by Mellerware


4-5 favourite fruits (or a handful of small fruits)
50ml lemon juice
200ml water

Here’s some inspiration:


Fresh fruit for dehydration

Added extras:

Sparkling wine


Mellerware Biltong King and Food Dehydrator
Potato peeler
Chopping board
Measuring cups


1. Cut your fruit into approximately 5-8mm thick slices. You can play around with shapes and sizes for a variety of textures and juiciness – thinner slices will dry more than thick chunks. Make sure to remove cores, peels and pips – these will taste hard and bitter once dried.

TIP: Apple slices work wonderfully when cut to approximately 2mm slices. Mangoes turn out champs when cut into 10mm slices. Strawberries work well simply sliced in half.

Optimum dehydrating thickness for dried fruit

2. Treat fruits like bananas and apples by soaking them in the lemon-water solution for a couple minutes as this will stop them going brown. Simply mix 1 part lemon juice to 4 parts water.

solution for drying fruit

3. If you are going all out – now is the time to sprinkle with cinnamon or other tasty spices.
4. Place fruit slices on the shelves and insert a 40 watt light bulb.

Mellerware Biltong King & Food Dehydrator

5. Leave your fruit to dry, depending on the fruit and the thickness, this could take between 6 hours to 3 days. When your fruit is done, you should be able to squeeze it and there should be no moisture.

Time estimates

We’ve been testing this machine and found mango takes between 24-36 hours; apples and pineapple pieces take roughly 24 hours and strawberry halves take 36 hours.

Dried fruit breakfast

It’s as simple as that, folks. In no time at all you’ll be going bananas for your new found dried fruit freedom.

Head this way for some more top tips on fruit drying.

Dried fruit in breakfast yoghurt

Check out the Mellerware Biltong King and Food Dehydrator on Yuppiechef.comIf you don’t have a dehydrator, dry roasting it in the oven is also an option although it might not be particularly energy efficient, depending on your oven.

Thanks to Robyn, one of our star interns, for all her research and input into this dried fruit adventure.

Written by Andrèa Fedder

Drea, as we fondly called her, was wordsmith and content manager here at Yuppiechef for several years. She thought in metaphors and was always hungry. When not dreaming up recipes, stories and food journeys, she writes, observes, explores and collects natural things and travel experiences. Can also happily eat capers and cheese for dinner. Follow her journey on @andreafedder. View more articles by .


  1. Janet Wilhelm says:

    Can you use this Food Dehydrator to make kale chips? Thanks

    • Yuppiechef says:

      Hi Janet

      Unfortunately not, as kale chips require baking or frying to get that tasty crispness.The dehydrated fruits are more chewy than crunchy.

  2. Fuad Abdoola says:

    Very impressed as my interest in perfecting the art of drying fruit is an absolute essential for my business.The knowledge you have passed on to me i am most grateful for.If you have the time to share more with me I would be much obliged.GOD BLESS.

  3. Colleen says:

    Could one dry tomatoes this way?

  4. Dinah says:

    I could like to have a fruit dehydrator. can you add more trays?

    • Yuppiechef says:

      Hi Dinah,

      The more ‘wet’ foods you have in the food dehydrator at a time the longer they will take to dry completely. This means they may rot before they are dried, depending of course on your environment.

      If you still want to get more shelves you could contact our customer service team who may be able to help you out. :)

  5. Dalene says:

    Can one dry rusks in the dehydrator?

  6. Amelia says:

    I’m interested in buying your food dehydrator, I’m based in South Africa, where can I get it

  7. Zerina says:

    Hi we cannot find a fitting globe in Norway. Does it make a difference and is it neccessary?

    • Jade Lenferna says:

      Hi Zerina, a fitting globe is essential in making sure that the dehydrator works properly. I might suggest ordering one online to be delivered to you in Norway. Good luck.

  8. Bridget says:

    Does it dehydrate thinly sliced sweet potatoe and beetroot crispy or would be chewy like the fruit too?

    • Andrèa Fedder says:

      Hi Bridget,

      It can dry them too but they will take much longer to become crispy. Those work better in an oven on a low heat. :)

  9. Michelle Strydom says:

    Good day

    I bought my own Biltong King and I love it. I am currently drying apples.

    However I do have one question on the light bulb. I bought a 40W energy saving globe and not a normal 40W candle globe.

    Will this affect the drying time? I left the apples over night and they are almost dry, but I still wonder if a normal globe won’t be faster?

    Will you please advice

    Thank you :-)

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