Learn to dehydrate grapefruit to store in your pantry all year. They are great for adding to water and teas, flavor tea blends, bake with, cook with, and so much more!
While grapefruit season is in the late winter and early spring in North America, you may be able to find varieties all year round in your local grocery store
Grapefruit can make a great first dehydrator project because it's a basic slice and dry application - and they are so beautiful after!
How to Dehydrate Grapefruit
Quick-drying FAQ: Dry at 125°F/52°C or lower for 18-36+ hours, until slices snap when cooled.
Wash grapefruit well. Even if using organic, you need to soak and wash grapefruit to remove any residue and wax that may be on the skins.
Soak in a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar for about 15 minutes. Scrub with baking soda if you feel it necessary.
Slice into ¼" slices (6-7 mm). I find that using a good serrated bread knife works wonders to cutting grapefruit by hand.
Tip: If using a mandoline or meat slicer, cut the end of the grapefruit fruit to give yourself a flat surface.
Place slices on trays. You can pack them fairly close together without overlapping. Some airflow is nice, but they don't need a ton of space, nor will they shrink much.
Dry at 125°F/52°C or lower for 18-36+ hours.
While the recommended temperature for fruit is 135°F/57°C, citrus often browns during the drying phase as the sugars brown from the heat. Dropping the temperature can help prevent that, though you do have to add a little more time to the drying process.
You can use a liner such as silicone mesh or parchment paper, but it's not generally necessary.
Tip: Flip your slices after the three to four hour mark, and every five hours to keep them from sticking to your trays.
Test. Allow a sample or two to come to room temperature. It is fully dry when you can snap it in two easily, and there is no moisture in the cells of the flesh.
Store in an airtight container for up to eighteen months, though you'll likely get a much longer time with proper storage techniques.
How to Use Dried Grapefruit Slices
Your dehydrated slices will look so pretty in your containers on their own, but they have so many more uses than simply throwing in a bowl of potpourri.
- Roast chicken: Place slices in the cavity or make a bed for the chicken to sit on.
- Slip into a glass of water or tea to bring a bright citrus flavor.
- Dip in chocolate to eat as treats or share as gifts
- As a garnish on cocktails
- Decorating (Remember to spray with a protective coating if displaying citrus on a wreath or other decoration for any period of time to seal it)
- Simmer in a saucepan of water with other citrus and mint to make a wonderful summery scent treat
- Potpourri - add it to a summery version of potpourri to help bring a bright summer scent to any living space
Dehydrating Citrus Varieties
You can get more specific information on drying your favorite type of citrus here:
How to Make Citrus Powder
Dry fruit thoroughly with the instructions above. It's important that your citrus slices be completely dry before powdering.
- Break slices up into the grinder of your choice. I happen to use a NutriNinja most often, but a coffee grinder or large blender work well, too.
- Pulse your grinder four or five times before commencing to a sustained grind.
- Strain out powder with a fine mesh strainer, then grind the leftover bits again.
- Condition: Place powder on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in a warmed (but off) oven OR back into your dehydrator in coffee filters, muffin papers, etc. to dry for 15-30 min
- Allow to come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container, preferably with a moisture absorber. Use these tips to help prevent clumping in grapefruit powder.
Unlike other citrus varieties, grapefruit powder will be fairly sour - mix with some sugar and let the fun begin!
LEARN MORE: 25+ Ways to Use Fruit Powder
Commonly asked questions
Typically, most dehydrated foods are best within a twelve to eighteen month window that you dry them, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. However, with proper airtight storage techniques, you're likely to get much longer time from them.
While grapefruit peels are edible, you need to weigh the organic vs. conventional citrus debate about clean fruit.
Rinds can also be very bitter depending on the pith within the fruit and how much there is. I personally find the citrus peels too bitter because of the pith, and I dry the slices, then peel the rind off and eat the flesh of the fruit.
Time is relative when dehydrating. It depends on your machine, your home's humidity, the moisture in your fruit, how thick you've cut the slices, etc. Use the time mentioned as a window of time, not an exact. Keep drying if they aren't fully dried, yet!
And if you want to see how to make and store citrus powder - watch now!
- Wash citrus well
- Slice into ¼ slices
- Dry at 125F°C / 52°C for 18-36 hours
- Dry when they snap when cooled and no moisture is evident
- Store in an airtight container