Features of drying apples in the microwave
Drying apples is one of the most convenient ways of harvesting them, which allows not only to save the main part of the nutrients in the product, but also to preserve it for a long time, without worrying about strict temperature conditions or about the space in the volume that fresh fruits would require.
The only drawback of the method is the need to stand the fruits for a long time on well-ventilated flat surfaces of a sufficiently large area or to purchase special drying machines for these purposes, which is not always justified. Fortunately, almost every house has a microwave oven today, and this gadget can be used not only for cooking, heating or defrosting foods, but also for drying them.
Rules for choosing a variety for drying
All varieties of apples are suitable for drying, it is only important that the fruits are ripe, but not overripe. The ideal quality of the fruit in this process is not a requirement: damaged, wormy or rotten areas can always be cut. For the preparation of dried fruits, you can also use carrion.
If there is an alternative, it is better to dry apples of sour or sweet and sour varieties, drying from them turns out to be tastier than from fruits with a high sugar content. Increased juiciness is also not the best property of raw materials for drying: the more solids contain flesh, the greater the yield of the finished product will result.
Another important condition: it is preferable to eat early varieties of apples fresh, for harvests, if possible, use the fruits of medium ripening dates (winter apples, on the contrary, it is better to leave unprocessed, they will be perfectly preserved until next spring).
- White filling;
- Granny Smith;
- Memory of Isaev;
- Pink Lady;
- Glory to the Winners.
Is it possible to dry apples in the microwave?
The answer to this question is positive, although this method is used less often than drying in the open air, in special dryers or in the oven.
Did you know? Some craftsmen even use a slow cooker to dry vegetables, fruits and greens, although this device, due to its small area and other technological features, is much less suitable for the process than a microwave oven.
Advantages and disadvantages of drying in the microwave
- Drying fruits in the microwave has at least two advantages over the traditional method of processing this workpiece:
- accessibility (no need to purchase additional equipment or take up a large space for drying on a balcony or summer cottage).
- However, the method has obvious disadvantages, namely:
- the risk of spoiling the workpiece due to incorrect calculation of time and power (a certain skill is needed);
- energy consumption (a microwave oven consumes about two times more electricity than an electric dryer for fruits and vegetables, while drying in the open air is a completely free process);
- small “yield” of the finished product (at one time much less fruit can be placed in the oven than in an oven or dryer, where it is possible to arrange raw materials in several tiers).
The fact that such waves do not make the product harmful or dangerous to health, modern medicine is confident, however, too intense heating during processing can still adversely affect many valuable substances that make up the fruit. In general, evaluating the method, we have to admit that we are talking more about witty life hacking rather than technology that can be seriously considered as an alternative to traditional harvesting for a really large harvest for the winter.
How to dry apples in the microwave?
Before you start drying, the fruits must be properly prepared. To begin with, they should be washed, laid out in one layer on a dry towel and slightly dried at room temperature so that the remaining water drains and evaporates.
Important! Leaving water on the surface of the fruit prolongs the drying process, which when using a microwave oven increases the total energy consumption needed to complete the process. It is not necessary to remove the skin from the fruit, since it is the storehouse of vitamins and minerals that the apple is so valued for. In addition, the presence of the skin on the slices will provide the finished dried fruit with wholeness, prevent it from losing the desired shape and give a more beautiful appearance.
Some housewives soak already cut fruits before drying in a weak saline solution (10 g of table salt per 1 liter of water). The exposure time is 4 minutes It is believed that this precaution not only brightens the fruits and gives dried fruits a more beautiful appearance, but also increases their shelf life, since salt is a reliable repeller for moths and other insects, often affecting kitchen supplies. In this case, the soaked fruits must first be dried again and only then sent to the microwave.
How to chop apples for drying?
When the apples are washed and dried, you can start slicing. After the integrity of the fetus is violated, its flesh quickly darkens and winds, so you should cut as many fruits as you can fit into the microwave in one go.
Important! The thickness of slicing apples for drying should not be less than 2-3 mm, otherwise the fruits will turn into crackers, little suitable for consumption.
As for the shape and size of the slices, they depend on the personal preferences of the hostess and the initial size of the fetus. Small apples, which are supposed to be used exclusively for cooking compote, are cut into 4 parts, without even removing the seed chambers before drying . If dried fruits will be eaten, and not only serve as the basis for the pattern, the core should be cut off. The resulting slices can be considered as a ready-made fraction for drying, however, this method of cutting has two disadvantages:
- Too much thickness of the lobule implies a longer processing time necessary for the evaporation of the bulk of the moisture from the pulp.
- Dried apple slices look wrinkled, curled and not appetizing.
How long does it take to dry apples?
Correct determination of processing time is one of the most delicate moments in the technological process. The fact is that in perfect condition, a dried apple should not be completely dry: when you try to bend a slice in half, the fruit should not break, but bend. Important! It is not necessary to complete the drying process after the entire fruit volume in the oven has reached the required readiness stage. Separate, sufficiently dried, slices of fruit before the next microwave inclusion should be removed, this will not only prevent them from drying out, but also speed up the preparation of the largest slices.
The peculiarity of a microwave oven is that the cooking time of products in it directly depends on their volume, and thereby the effect of microwave waves on objects is fundamentally different from the heat coming from a conventional oven. For this reason, it is initially impossible to determine how much apples immersed in the microwave oven should dry, especially since in addition to their quantity, the drying time determines the grade (degree of juiciness) and the thickness of the slices.
At the first stage, it is recommended to set the timer for 3 minutes . This time is not enough for the fruits to dry out. When the oven turns off, you should check the degree of preparedness of the semi-finished product and, depending on how close it is to the final stage, choose the most suitable duration for the next stage (more than 3 minutes. The second time it is better not to turn on the furnace, and if after the initial stage apples already look a little dried, the subsequent phases are recommended to be made very short - no more than 30 seconds). Read about the effects of baked apples in the microwave on the human body.
At what temperature should I dry?
In the microwave oven, it is not possible to set the temperature, instead, regulation of such an indicator as power is provided. For the correct choice of mode, you need to understand well to what temperature the contents of the microwave oven can be heated, depending on the set power.
Conventionally, this correlation is presented in the table:
|Power level||Power, W||Approximate heating temperature of the product, ° C|
|Above the average||600-700||75|
|Below the average||200-300||25|
Thus, for drying, you need to use modes that are 1-2 steps higher than the minimum. Most housewives prefer to set the power to 200 W and adjust the cooking process by increasing the exposure time of microwave waves to the product.
How to store dried apples?
Storage of dried apples should be subject to several basic rules. The most important thing is the complete absence of moisture, that is, to make sure that the drying remains dry, otherwise it is likely to be affected by mold. To ensure this condition, next to the workpiece, you can put an open container with table salt, it will “pull” excess moisture onto itself.
Important! The ideal air humidity for storing dried fruits is 30%. It must be understood that according to sanitary standards in a residential building, this indicator should be 2–2.5 times higher. In addition to dryness, the place where the supplies will be kept should be dark and have good ventilation. The temperature regime does not matter much, but it is better that the room is cool, this will protect the workpiece from pest damage and extend its useful life. So, on a glazed loggia, where the temperature in winter varies between + 3 ... + 10 ° С, dried apples lie longer than in a kitchen cabinet located next to a gas stove. But the open balcony is not suitable for such purposes, because in the cold season it gets too wet there.
Another important condition is the absence of other products with a pronounced smell (for example, dried fish or meat) nearby the stock of dried fruits : the dehydrated pulp of the fruit absorbs extraneous aromas like a sponge.
There are several standard packaging options for dried apples:
- Hermetically sealed glass containers (containers made of plastic can be used, however, it is important that the polymer is intended for food storage). The method can be estimated as universal and worthy of attention, however, periodically dried fruits need to be poured into new containers so that they do not “suffocate”.
- Fabric bags. This option is traditionally considered ideal, because, on the one hand, it provides excellent ventilation of the contents, on the other hand, it protects it from the penetration of midges and other pests.
- Paper bags or cardboard boxes.
- Wooden boxes. They are used to store large stocks, but have a number of important drawbacks, especially the high risk of moisture penetration (and, therefore, the risk of mold) and pests.
An old method of storing dried fruits is hanging in the form of peculiar necklaces strung on a thread. Of course, such stocks look pretty “smart”, but still the method cannot be called successful. In addition, for apples dried in a microwave oven, it makes no sense, since it is usually used precisely as a drying method that smoothly “flows” into storage.
Thanks to the advent of the microwave oven, almost any resident of a city apartment can dry apples for the winter, regardless of whether he has a summer cottage or at least a medium-sized balcony for these purposes. Did you know? Microwave ovens are used not only for the preparation and defrosting of products, but also for firing ceramics, drying wood, melting plastics and other industrial needs. Moreover, a modern kitchen gadget allows you to reduce the process of preparing a healthy winter billet from a few days (in the open air) or several hours (in the oven of a conventional gas stove) to a few minutes. All that is needed for this is to choose high-quality raw materials and carry out several simple manipulations with them. As a result, the finished vitamin product can be sent for long-term storage.