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How to Dry Orange Slices in the Microwave

We love making our dried orange slices and dried whole oranges to decorate the home for Christmas. But, it does take hours to dry in the oven or overnight in the dehydrator. However, we’ve played around with using the microwave and have managed to cut the time down to around an hour with about 10 minutes in the microwave. So here we go a full step-by-step guide to instructions on how to dry orange slices (and other citrus fruit slices) in the microwave.

how to dry orange slices in the microwave

Drying Orange & Lemon Slices in the MIcrowave

This is just so easy. The first part is the same as if we were using the oven or dehydrator it’s only when we move to put them into the microwave that it changes.

dried orange lemon and lime slices
Dried Orange, lemon and lime slices – a budget friendly way of making your own Christmas Decorations

You’ll only need 1 extra material to do this as well, some kitchen paper towel that you can use to absorb all the juice that comes out as the oranges dry.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT Drying Citrus Fruit in the microwave

Full step-by-step instructions on how to dry your own whole oranges to create natural Christmas decorations for the home.
Click on the image to go to the tutorial on drying whole oranges at home for Christmas Decorations

Important note – we have not done this with Whole Oranges only dried those in the oven this how-to is for sliced oranges, lemons and limes only.

The kitchen towel is critical it needs to be folded up and placed underneath (you will change this halfway through the drying) and then another piece folded and placed on top.

orange slices ready to be covered and dried in the microwave
Don’t forget the kitchen towel this will help them dry quicker in the microwave.

It’s also important that you follow the instructions in the box below microwaves are different for everyone so you need to check and adjust the times as you see what is happening.

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How to Dry Orange Slices in the Microwave

Cerys Parker
Cut the drying time for orange slices from hours to around an hour by following this easy step by step guide for drying them in the microwave (also works for lemons and limes too!)
3.59 from 73 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Activity Time 16 minutes
Cooling and firming time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 6 minutes

Equipment Needed

  • Knife
  • Chopping Board
  • Microwave Plate
  • Microwave
  • Wire Cooling Rack
  • Tongs

Materials Needed

  • Oranges lemons and limes work as well
  • Kitchen Paper Towel around 15 sheets per drying sessions


  • Cut the ends off the orange and discard.
  • Now cut into 1/2cm slices.
  • With 5 sheets of paper kitchen towel lay on a microwavable plate.
    orange slices ready to be covered and dried in the microwave
  • Place your orange slices on the plate ensuring that none overlap.
  • Add 5 more sheets of paper towel to the top.
  • Place the plate in the microwave.
  • Set the microwave on defrost and 7 minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave when the time is up. Save the top paper towels.
  • Using the tongs remove from the plate and onto the wire rack. Discard the paper towel that was underneath them.
  • Lay 5 more sheets of paper towel on the plate and add the orange slices back.
  • Lay the top paper towel on top and return to the oven.
  • Repeat for a further 5 minutes on defrost.
  • Remove and check.
    You are looking for them to be jelly-like. If they are soft and jelly-like them remove from the microwave and place on the wire rack. If not turn over using the tongs and return on defrost for 2 minutes at a time until they are.
  • Once jelly-like lay the orange slices on a wire rack until they are firm and then use for Christmas Crafts and Decorations.
Keyword Christmas, Christmas Crafts, Christmas Decorations, Christmas Ornaments, Dried Orange Slices, How to Dry Orange Slices
Have you Made This?Let us know how it went!

homemade dried orange slices in just 1 hour
Homemade dried orange slices in just 1 hour

Christmas Crafting Using the Microwave

We find that using the microwave can really cut down our Christmas Crafting our Microwave Salt Dough Recipe means that you can have salt dough ornaments to decorate in just 3 minutes instead of the hour or more they take in the oven.

Crafting with Natural Materials for Christmas

10 Natural Ornaments for Kids and you to make this Christmas
Natural Materials use for Christmas Crafts with kids

Love these orange slices then how about trying some more Christmas Crafting with Natural Materials. We have a fantastic selection of Natural Ornaments and Decorations you can make with the kids on the site. Just click the blue link to take you to the ideas.

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If you can save a few oranges they are great to turn into some natural decor for Christmas why not try making these beautiful orange pomander tea light holders with the kids.

Christmas Craft Hack to dry orange slices in the microwave in just 1 hour
Make your own dried orange slices with this Christmas Craft Hack that cuts down the drying time to just 1 hour!


    1. Thank you – with the time taken and cost of energy drying in the microwave is an energy and money saving way to create these beautiful decorations.

  1. I haven’t done these yet but I do have two questions:
    1. Do the orange slices need to be half a cm thick or one to two cm thick?
    2. If the orange is in a ‘jelly like state’ won’t it fall through a wire rack?
    Can anyone answer these before I try?

    1. 1/2cm thick is best. When sliced they will feel jelly like but they are very solid.

  2. will I have to spray with acrylic spray to preserve the,?

    1. I haven’t. Although ones that are on the door wreath I replace yearly especially after a wet winter. The indoor ones are kept in an air tight container with our stair garland and come out year after year and are absolutely fine.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I hate wasting so much paper towel, can I use a regular dishtowel that might get stained.

    1. Yes of course – I use an old muslin but the orange doesn’t come out.

    1. Hi,

      I haven’t tried, but will investigate for you

    2. Hi,

      how long do these keep for? Will I be able to reuse them next year?

      Thanks, Helen

      1. Hi, we are still using ones that I made 3 years ago. I just either keep them out all year or store them in a box with some silica gel so that the moisture is absorbed further.

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