How to Make Dried Orange or Lemon Peel at Home

Dried orange peels
Roger Dixon/Getty Images
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2-6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2-6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 1
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sometimes a recipe calls for dried orange or lemon peel, and this can throw people for a loop.

While dried citrus peels are sold in markets and, more often, in natural food stores in some countries, in other places they are difficult to find. Don't despair -- the good news is that it's quite easy to make your own at home.

Be sure to use organically grown citrus fruit, with untreated, pesticide-free peels. Once your peels are thoroughly dried, you can either crumble them between your fingers or whirl them in a blender or spice grinder to form a fine powder. 

You can also use them to make your own DIY cocktail bitters or homemade vermouth. Another idea: add them to a mulling spices mix for making aromatic hot mulled cider or mulled wine (vin brulé)! Homemade mulling spices would also make a great holiday gift.

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges or lemons (organic), or any other citrus fruit such as tangerines, limes, grapefruit, pomelo, blood orange, bitter orange, etc.

Steps to Make It

  1. Use a fine-bladed paring knife or vegetable peeler to trim away just the colored part of the skin, leaving the bitter white pith behind. Not only does the white part have a bitter flavor, but the peels will also take much longer to dry if the spongy white pith is still attached. 

  2. No-cook, hands-off method: Lay the strips on a plate (with the inside of the peels facing upwards) and let them dry at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, until they have shriveled and are no longer moist. 

  3. Speed method: If you are short on time, you can also dry them in a 200 F oven, spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, for about 25 to 30 minutes. The peels will curl up and turn stiff when they're dry. 

  4. Store the dried peel in a dark place, in a clean, airtight jar.