To dehydrate watermelon, remove the rind and slice the flesh into pieces, let them drain a bit (optional), then dry them in a dehydrator, microwave, oven, or under the sun.
Anyway, note that each recipe requires a different drying time, ranging from an hour to several days, to achieve the ideal drying state.
Dehydrating watermelon is a clever way to turn the excess product into a fun snack and enjoy it all year round instead of wasting or being fatigued from eating it. So, let’s go into detailed instructions on how to dehydrate watermelon with the four most popular ways.
Related: List of fruits from A to Z
Is Dehydrated Watermelon Good?
Dried watermelon is a healthy and fun snack to eat, providing you use fresh material and don’t add any sugar or preservative during the dehydrating process. As water makes up about 90 percent of the fruit, the rest becomes concentrated without losing the flavor and nutrition when water is mostly eliminated.
Also called Watermelon Jerky, made from fresh fruit, it is considered a vegan snack with natural sweetness and no gluten.
How To Dehydrate Watermelon?
Drying watermelon resembling most other fruits and veggies, which can be implemented with artificial or natural heat sources. Below are three effective ways to dehydrate watermelon at home.
- Choose fresh material: An excellent dried product starts with a good-tasting material. Pick a firm watermelon with no dents and bruises and feels heavy for its size.
- Cut the fruit into pieces: Use a clean, sharp knife to remove the rind and cut the flesh to size and shape you like, typically ¼ inch thick. Remember that the thinner the slices, the quicker they are going to dry.
- Let them drain a little bit: Place them on tea towels or holes tray to drain water left from the cut. (optional)
- A tasteless material will result in a flavorless dried product. Hence, consider tasting it at first to ensure you choose the good one.
- You should remove the black seeds but don’t worry about the white seeds since they will shrivel up during the process.
Dehydrating process (3 methods)
- Dehydrator drying (take 8 – 12 hours)
Once you already have a dehydrator, this is the safest and most effective way to dry watermelon at home.
- Place all the slices side to side on the dehydrator tray to one layer for each tray. Try to let space between individuals to let them dried equally.
- Set the dehydrator at 135°F and dry in 8 to 12 hours. The time will differ due to the size and thickness of the pieces.
Tips for the best dehydrator watermelon drying: Flip the pieces every 3 to 4 hours to heat the two sides equally and avoid sticking. The finished product should be thin and pliable.
- Microwave drying (take about an hour)
This is the quickest way to dehydrate watermelon at home. The most important note is to use the “defrost” mode, or you will burn your fruit.
- Clean the rotating plate of the microwave. This is where you are going to put the fruit on.
- Spread the pieces on the plate, leaving spaces between them for the air to circulate.
- Let the microwave function at the “defrost” mode and set the timer for about 30 minutes first.
- Flip the side after 30 minutes and keep dehydrating for 15 minutes more or until you find a good result.
- Sun-drying (take some days)
This is a natural and traditional way to dry watermelon. Still, this method is almost impossible during cloudy or humid weather and takes days to finish.
- Place all the slices on the platform already lined with parchment paper. This time, maintain at least 1-inch space for each.
- Cover them with a fine net or cheesecloth to avoid insects. Then place them in a dry spot with air circulating and solar lighting.
- Let them sundry for 2 to 4 days. Remember to check the dehydrating state and flip the side every day for the best result.
Can You Dehydrate Watermelon In The Oven?
You can dehydrate watermelon in the oven. The process is similar to microwave drying but takes more time to finish. Here are the steps.
- Place the cooling rack on the cookie sheet to allow airflow and keep the bottom parts from overdrying.
- Locate all the pieces on the rack side to side and don’t touch each other.
- Set the temperature at 135°F and dry for 16 hours or more. Don’t forget to flip the side in the middle of the process to avoid sticking.
What Does Dehydrated Watermelon Taste Like?
Dried watermelon tends to be pliable and bendy with a natural sweetness and concentrated watermelon flavor, resembling the candy but still a fruit. These make it a fun and healthy snack for parents to feed children of all ages.
Also, here are some recommendations for this dried fruit. Apart from eating alone, you can put it into smoothies, salads, and trail mix recipes.
How Long Will Dehydrated Watermelon Last?
The life of dehydrated watermelon depends on the preservation method, typically in the fridge and in a dry place. You can put it in sealed containers and store it in the refrigerator to keep it for 1 to 2 weeks.
Otherwise, lock it in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag and keep it for 2 to 3 months in a dry and dark place.
Can You Freeze Dry Watermelon?
You can freeze dried watermelon and keep it for up to 12 months with a proper method. It’s best to use vacuum packages to retain the taste for a long period. Or, if you don’t have them, use freezer bags or freezer containers instead.
What Temperature Do I Dehydrate Watermelon?
It would be best if you dried the watermelon from 130°F to 140°F. The range of 130 to 140°F is best for drying fruit, in which drying at 130°F will equalize the dryness of all parts while setting to 140°F will speed up the process.
Hence, be cautious when dehydrating it in the microwave. Once you set a higher temperature instead of the “defrost” mode, like the regular setting, your fruit may end up burnt black outside in just a few minutes.