Banana Chips – How to Dehydrate Bananas

There`s not a lot of mystery to making banana chips – although the homemade version just taste so much better than what one buys commercially. The best Christmas present I’ve ever received (and possibly the ugliest) was when Dana bought me the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
a few years ago. It’s changed our kitchen and the possibilities it opens up are endlessly creative. If you have one, make sure you check out our other dehydrating posts. If you don’t have one yet and have been ‘thinking about’ getting one…just do it. You wont regret it.

Back to Bananas!! There is one essential decision when it comes to drying bananas: to use lemon juice (or ascorbic acid) or not.  Adding an acid stop the fruit from browning.  This argument applies to most fruit and it`s purely about appearance.  I don`t mind the darker color (in fact I actually find it appeals to me – pun intended in the case of bananas).

Dry them at 130 degrees – the actual time will vary depending on the thickness (I tend to cut them around a fifth-of-an-inch in thickness).  Many dry them until slightly pliable but I like to take them a step further and make them crispy (which is why I also cut them slightly thinner than others).

I love them as a simple snack.

The step by step directions are probably just as easy in photos – so here you go!

  1. Amazing! I’ve loved banana chips for so long. What kind of a baking sheet are you using in the photos? It looks different somehow…

  2. I agree, the slight brown color doesn’t take away from how delicious they look! I thought they would discolor more. I’ve just put this on my to do list for the weekend!

    Have you ever tried dehydrating avocadoes? I make a lot of camp food, and have been trying to dehydrate guacamole, and no matter what I’ve tried, it turns brown a REALLY dark unappealing brown.
    Lemon juice, lime juice, ascorbic acid, fruit fresh… any suggestions?

    • Jess,

      I have never tried… I suspect your results are pretty much guaranteed given than an avacado will even turn brown in the fridge. Also the fat content may require them to be kept refrigerated even when dry.

      The key is you need exposure to air to evaporate water content but that same air will turn them brown.

      A few experimental ideas that I don’t think will help but boy I’d be curious (each is fairly labour intensive):

      1) Make gualcamole – dehydrate in the bowl. Perhaps only the top layer would discolor and could be shaved off.
      2) Cook the advocado in sheets and try to dehydrate. I expect this may speed up the browning.
      3) Cut the advocado in half – dehydrate with skin still on (again shave the browning)
      4) Poke holes in a hold avocado – dehydrate like that. It will take a long time – perhaps isolated browning near the holes.
      5) Research cultures which reply on advocado’s for sustenance – what did they do?

      Just a series of thoughts – anyone else with other ideas? This may become the question of the day tomorrow on the Facebook group.. 🙂

      • I used parchment to hold the guacamole, and even the parchment-down side of the guac turned brown, I didn’t think it would as it was not exposed to air…

        I got the original idea from a camp food website. She used a powdered guac mix that and it stayed a perfect guacamole green. I thought my lime/lemon juice or acids would do the trick, but no dice. I’m currently on the hunt for this guac mix packet.

        Ill let you know how that works and if I dig up any more info. thanks for the research tips.

        re: bananas
        I always like to sneak some out before they get crunchy. The chewy texture makes them one of my favourite snacks!

  3. I love home dehydrated bananas, they are so much better than store bought.


  4. Yum, can’t wait to try these! Some toaster ovens have a dehydrate function too. I love banana chips half-dipped in melted chocolate and cooled.

    • Emily, I’ve never seen that – but tat’s great! I love the idea of chocolate (and if you’ve never dipper parmasean into it… mmm)

  5. Found a banana slicer at “Bed Bath and Beyond” for about $9. Sure makes slicing fast and the slices are uniform, about 1/5 inch thick. (No adjustment of thickness is possible.) To accommodate the curved nature of bananas, the slicer does only a section at a time – it takes 3 or 4 clicks of the slicer per banana.

  6. I’m new at dehydrating foods — I’ve had bananas and apples in the dehydrator for 20 + hours and they are still not crisp — are these fruits suppose to stay flexible or do they crisp? Thanks

    • Jan,

      it largely depends on the food – but do note that they will crisp as they cool down. They key is removing most of the moisture – I tend to make my bananas crunchy while my apples feel like dry leather if that makes sense?

      • Thank you very much for getting back with me. So just to be clear..if my bananas and apples are flexible they can still be put into a jar and put in the cupboard — no fridge needed…..also pineapple – all have be in the dehydrator for 25 hours…

  7. Jan,

    You will know your food is dried when you touch it, and it is leathery with no pockets of moisture. When you are testing dried fruit, tear a piece in half. If you see moisture beads along the tear, it is not dry enough!

    Also when storing your dried food, keep in mind that no moisture should ever be allowed to enter the container…ever. Dried food absorbs moisture from the air, so the storage container must be airtight. Plus I always put a couple of saltine crackers in to absorb any moisture in the container! You can use storage containers like jars and plastic freezer bags. Always store your containers of dried food in a cool, dark, dry place. The storage temperature should always be kept at 60˚ Fahrenheit or below for best results.

    • Great point Jeanette. We tend to keep them in old canning jars with lids; they have lasted very well (including texture and flavour) in the jars…

      • If you have a Food Saver vacuum sealing machine, they sell an attachment that fits over the flat lid of Ball canning jars. You attach it to the machine and it vacuums out the air of the canning jar… it creates a vacuum in the jar. You literally have to (gently) pry off the flat lid (and don’t really even need the 2nd screw part of the lid although I still put it on). I LOVE it! It was only about $7.95 for the attachment. It comes in two sizes… regular or wide mouth. I bought the large 2 quart jars and I LOVE them, too! I store dehydrated snacks in the pantry… I also keep cleaned kale or broth in the vacuumed jars in the fridge. Love, love, love them!

  8. We just dehydrated some bananas and they are totally stuck the racks. They taste good…at least the pieces I could chisel off. Any thoughts on what I did wrong or any suggestions what I need to do differently. Thanks!

    • Hi Bill,

      Apologies for the delay, have been traveling for work. The easiest solution is to gently shake the racks to loosen the product a few times in the first few hours. They will stick at the start of the process but not once semi-dry (you can also flip them as the tops will dry first because they have the most air exposure).

      Hope that helps!


    • I use parchment paper on my racks. This eliminates sticking and they do not hurt the drying process. They come right off the parchment paper.

  9. Hi, I was wondering how much lemon juice to use and if I just mix them up in the lemon juice in a bowl or what ??…thank you

    • Hi Courtney – sorry I missed this message earlier – I just toss them with a bit in a bowl. Don’t worry about measuring – any excess lemon will drain when you move them to the trays (mine are mesh so any excess falls through).

  10. HI, I was wondering how much lemon juice to use and if I mix the bananas with the lemon juice in the bowl, or what ??…..thank you

    • Hi Courtney;

      Good question! I never measure – just toss in a big bowl with a small amount to help the color from changing. 🙂

      Let us know how it goes. 🙂


  11. Try glazing your banana slices in a honey water mix before dehydrating for a sweet taste and sprinkle coconut shavings on top as well. I personally don’t see any difference with/without the lemon juice. Plus I heard the store bought bananas are fried and not dried, that’s why they are so crispy. Mark

    • Great ideas Mark!

      You are also right about the friend bananas – a lot of commercially dehydrated food is also dried chemically to get the texture as well. I’ll take your honey mix long before a chemical cocktail! 🙂

  12. The best way to remove the banana slices from the dehydrator rack is to turn it upside down and use a chopstick to pop the slices off. Works really well!!