How Much Fruit Fills a Dehydrator?

sliced green grapes on Nesco dehydrator

Deciding how much fruit fills a dehydrator is not an exact science.

It obviously depends on what size dehydrator you have and how often you use it.

It also depends on what size family you're feeding!

But for now, we're going on the assumption that you're filling FOUR full trays.

We created this guide to help make that decision easier for you. It helps to have a rough idea of how much fruit to purchase at the store!

This is what you need to buy to fill Four full dehydrator trays

An Easy Guide for Fruit so You'll Know How Much Fruit Fills a Dehydrator!

This guide helps you figure out how much to buy if you cannot afford to buy in bulk, and can buy fruit on a weekly basis.

Maybe it's time to begin growing your own. But...

Most of us do not have tons of spare time to grow stuff or room in our fridges and freezers.

Before you go out and buy too much, a little farther down the page I'll show you roughly how much fruit will fit on four dehydrator trays.

Please remember this is just a guide. It's not an exact science...

4 Trays is THE Minimum to Use for Nesco Dehydrators

The reason why I picked how much fruit it takes to fill four full trays is this: FOUR trays are the Nesco Dehydrator brand's recommended minimum tray usage.

If you use any less than four full trays, for instance, only two trays, then you are not getting the proper air circulation necessary to dry your fruits properly.

About Dehydrator Non-Stick Sheets

Read more about Nesco dehydrators here. They have plenty of great accessories, such as spare trays (I purchased the four-tray starter Nesco); and they have non-stick solid sheets which are great for making fruit leathers.

The non-stick mesh sheets are great for stopping smaller pieces of food from dropping down into the tray below. When food dries, natural shrinkage occurs. Keeping the dried food on the trays means less stuff to clean up out of the bottom of the dehydrator, right? Right!

Excalibur dehydrators also have non-stick sheets for the same purposes I listed above as the Nesco dehydrator.

Guide to How Much Fruit Fills FOUR Trays

  • Apples: fresh, 3-4 medium
  • Apricots: fresh, 5 whole per tray (20 total); frozen, 2lb bag
  • Bananas: fresh, 6-8 medium to large
  • Berries: fresh or frozen, 2lb
  • Cherries: fresh or frozen, 2lb
  • Grapes: fresh, 1lb if cut in half; 2lb if left whole
  • Citrus: 4-5 medium oranges,
    7-8 lemons or limes
  • Melon: 2lbs diced
  • Peaches: fresh, 4 whole if slicing; 16 whole if halving—but please note: you may have to use an Excalibur machine which has the ability to remove alternate trays to allow for the height of the peach, so that would drop the quantity down to 8 and two trays; frozen, 2lb
  • Pears: fresh, 4-6 whole pears; frozen, 2lb
  • Plums: fresh, 24-28 whole, sliced in half—but please note: you may have to use an Excalibur machine which has the ability to remove alternate trays to allow for the height of the plums, so that would drop the quantity down to 12-14 and two trays; frozen, 2lb
  • Rhubarb: fresh, 2lbs sliced into 1" chunks
  • Strawberries: fresh, 1-1/2 to 2lbs; frozen, 2lbs

Nesco and Excalibur Brands are Super Dehydrators

As mentioned in the dehydrator section, I do have an Excalibur dehydrator and a Nesco dehydrator.
I use the Nesco on a daily/weekly basis, and the Excalibur is great for proofing bread!


If you wish to learn more, tune in to Susan's free Podcast: "What's the Difference Between Nesco and Excalibur Dehydrators" HERE.

More Good Stuff to Read!

Susan Gast, owner of Easy Food Dehydrating plus, and

Susan Gast began Easy Food Dehydrating in December 2010.

Read Susan's story of what sparked her interest in all things related to "food dehydrating."

She is featured on the Mother Earth News blog, and on Solo Build It! (SBI!) who hosts this site. Read her first SBI! interview and her second SBI! interview.

Since 1980, Susan's involvement in publishing - in one form or another - led her to create ePubTechReviews which reviews a variety of products related to the publishing industry - if you're at all interested in AI and self-publishing. The website is also hosted by Solo Build It!

Susan also runs her namesake site on Solo Build It! that showcases the books she has written since 2012.

Do you want to send Susan a quick message? Visit her contact page here. She'd love to hear from you!