How to Make Dried Cherries

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Making dried cherries at home is so simple to do, once you start you will never again purchase bags of store-bought dried cherries. Whether you use them in granola bars, as a cream cheese mix-in, or as a healthy ice cream topping, they are sweet, delicious, and last much longer than fresh cherries. Plus you can avoid all the sulfates put into store bought versions.

There is not much hands-on time involved in making dried cherries. The most time-consuming part of making dried cherries is actually pitting the cherries. While not difficult to do, it can take a while if you are doing it by hand. It  goes MUCH faster if you can get your hands on a cherry pitter. While it’s not difficult to clean and pit the cherries, if you are making a large quantity you’ll probably want to invest in a cherry pitter.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Rinse the cherries with clean water and let dry in a strainer or on a dry cloth.

2. When the cherries are dry, take off the stems and remove the pits. Without a pitter, the easiest way to do this is to slice them in half and remove the pit with your hands.


3. Lay them in a single layer in a food dehydrator or on a cookie sheet.

4. If you are using an oven, place the cookie sheet with cherries in the oven at 135 for 6 hours. If you are using a food dehydrator, the same setting and the same amount of time (or slightly less) will work.

The cherries are done when they look like large raisins. They’ll be tart and sweet and perfect for a no-sugar-added snack. They would also be great to add to a trail mix or a homemade granola cereal.

What’s your favorite fruit to dry?


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  1. I read your instructions for drying cherries in the oven, looks simple enough, but my oven temp will only begin at 170′, I cannot get a 135′ temp. please advise. Thank you

    1. If your oven will not go that low yo uwill need to watch the cherries very carefully as they will dry ans be done faster. They also may be a bit drier than cherries dried at a lower temp.

    1. You could use either depending on how long you think they will be around. I prefer to store mine in the freezer in a ziplock bag if we aren’t going to be able to eat them all within a week or two.

    1. For a short amount of time I store in a zippered bag in the fridge. For longer periods of time (a few months) I store in a freezer bag in the freezer. You could also vacuum pack them.

  2. The easiest and quickest way I found to pit cherries is to unbend a paperclip’s middle bend (leaving hooks on each end). Remove the stem, and while holding the cherry stem side up in your left hand, push the small hook of your paperclip into the cherry just to the side of where the stem was attached. The paperclip hook will slide down the side of the pit, and you can us the paperclip to lever the pit out. There is less mess and less juice wasted, and I can even sit and watch tv while pitting cherries!

  3. I use a Tervis straw to pit my cherries. It works perfectly and no annoying pitter needed. 🙂