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How to Dry Figs

Two Methods:Sun Drying FigsOven Drying Figs

Did you know that figs are not fruits, but dried flowers? They are a high in iron, calcium and potassium, and have more fiber than most fruits and vegetables. Drying figs preserves their sweet taste and allows you to store them for months before using. See Step 1 to learn how to dry figs.

Method 1
Sun Drying Figs

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    Wash fully ripe figs. The best indication that a fig is fully ripe is when it falls to the ground. Rinse the figs to remove dirt and other debris. Trim off bruises and broken parts. Pat them dry with a dishcloth or paper towel before proceeding.
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    Cut the figs in half. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the figs in half from stem to tip. Cutting the figs in half will help them dry more quickly.
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    Lay them on a wire rack. You may use a drying rack intended for this purpose or purchase screening with plenty of ventilation holes. Line the rack with a layer of cheesecloth before setting the figs on top, cut side up.
    • Don't try to dry the figs on a solid sheet. In order to dry properly, they need airflow from below and above.
    • Use a double layer of cheesecloth if you have a rack with very large holes.
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    Cover the figs with cheesecloth. This will protect them from insects as they dry. Tuck the cheesecloth tightly around the drying rack, securing it with tape if necessary, to make sure it won't come loose.
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    Place the rack in full sunlight. This method works best when it is very dry and hot outside. Don't place the figs in the shade, or they won't dry as quickly and may spoil before they're properly preserved.
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    Let them dry for 2 to 3 days. Each evening, take them inside - unless the temperature where you live does not drop more than 20 degrees at night. In the mornings, turn the figs over, so they dry evenly on all sides. The figs are ready when when the outside feels leathery and no juice can be seen on the inside when squeezed.
    • If the figs remain a little sticky, you can finish them in the oven.
    • Store the dried figs in a cool, dry place or freeze them to make them last even longer.

Method 2
Oven Drying Figs

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    Preheat your oven to 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). It's necessary to dry the figs at a low, even temperature. Drying them at a higher temperature would result in cooked figs.
    • If your oven doesn't heat to such a low temperature, set it at the lowest possible temperature and keep the oven door partially open.
    • You may also use a food dehydrator to dry figs.
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    Wash your figs thoroughly with water. Carefully trim away any damaged parts and pat them dry with a paper towel or dishcloth.
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    Cut the figs in half. Use a sharp paring knife to slice them from stem to tip, lengthwise.
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    Lay them cut side up on a rack. Be sure to use a rack with ventilation holes, so that the figs dry from below and above. Using a regular baking pan will result in figs that don't dry evenly.
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    Place them in the oven. Prop the oven door open slightly to allow the moisture to escape and prevent the figs from getting too hot and cooking instead of drying.
    • Turn the figs occasionally during the drying process.
    • If you don't want to leave the oven on continuously, you can turn it off halfway through, then turn it back on if necessary.
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    Allow the figs to stay in the oven for up 8 to 24 hours. The figs are dry when the outsides are leathery and no juice can be seen on the inside when you split one open. Store your dried figs in air-tight containers or freezer bags and keep them in the refrigerator or the freezer. Dried figs will keep for approximately 18 to 24 months when properly stored.[1]


  • Keep in mind that 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of fresh figs equal approximately 1 pound (.453) of dried figs.
  • To add sweetness to your figs before drying, dissolve 1 cup (236 ml) of sugar into 3 cups (709 ml) of water and bring it to a boil. Add the figs to the water and sugar mixture and allow them simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the figs from the water and then follow the steps for sun or oven drying.
  • You can also use a food dehydrator to dry your figs. Just cut the figs in half, place them cut side up on the dehydrator rack and then follow the manufacturer's instructions for the proper drying time.

Things You'll Need

  • Figs
  • Knife
  • Drying rack
  • Cheesecloth
  • Storage containers or freezer bags

Article Info

Categories: Drying Food