Freeze Drying Pineapple

We’ve been writing about preserving seasonal foods that grow locally, but if you live in the United States there are some tasty treats that have to come from somewhere else. Like pineapple.

pineapples on a freeze dryer tray

Pineapple is an amazing food. Pineapple isn’t just tasty, it contains Bromelain, a powerful digestive enzyme that helps break down protein. It’s a good accent or side dish to serve with any protein, including ham and fish. And, pineapple is one of the most popular items to freeze dry. It’s crunchy and delicious, but also healthy because there are no additives or preservatives to keep it tasting great for years to come.

To freeze dry pineapple, cut into pieces that are approximately 3/4″ thick. Then, lay out a single layer of pineapple on your trays. Because pineapple is high in sugar content and has lots of water, and can sometimes take longer to freeze. One thing you can do to help insure you get the best quality of freeze dried pineapple is to set your freeze dryer for 12 hours of freezing time and 12 hours of drying time. At the end of the process, check to make sure your pineapple is nice and crunchy and that there is no moisture or ice nugget in the largest pieces. If there is, simply add a little more dry time. When complete, store your pineapple in an airtight container until you’re ready to eat it.

Freeze dried pineapple has an addictive, intense flavor when eaten as freeze dried chunks. (Add it to trail mix for a new take on an old favorite.) It’s also a great topping for yogurt or oatmeal. You can add freeze dried pineapple to your favorite quick break and muffin recipes. To re-hydrate pineapple for side dishes such as salsa for fish tacos, or to top a baking ham, soak in a bowl of water until it returns to the original consistency. But, freeze dried pineapple is so delicious that you’ll end up eating it as a crunchy snack before you rehydrate it.

Winters don’t have to be wall-to-wall root vegetables and apples. If you’ve got a home freeze dryer, you can enjoy a taste of the tropics all year long.


For most of the United States pineapple is unavailable. I live in Florida, have 126 plants in my garden as we speak. I harvested fifty beautiful ripe fruits this year. There are currently four trays in the freeze dryer. So happy I bought one from your company a few years ago.

Our pineapple keeps sending up shriveled. It tastes good, but isn’t holding shape like yours. It gets totally dry. What should we do? Is it a temperature thing? We’ve even cut thinner slices and still it’s just not working…

Hi Clarissa, pineapple is one of the most difficult fruits to freeze dry due to is cellular structure and the high sugar content. If a pineapple is too ripe, it will almost always shrivel. Also, we like to pre-freeze our pineapple before putting it in the freeze dryer. This helps as well.

We have tried three rounds of pineapple, precut and prefrozen and it is not drying properly! We had one tray in with 3 trays of other foods and even after 30 hours it was still wet and tacky while everything else was beyond done.

Pineapple is one of the toughest foods to freeze dry. It often takes longer than 36 hours because of its cellular structure and sugar content.

I have tried freeze drying drained canned pineapple. I gave it extra drying time. I also made sweet and sour pork with pineapple also with extra dry time. I found the little pieces were slightly chewy and ended up putting the pork dish in a mylar bag in the freezer and splitting the dried pineapple into small mylar bags with oxygen inhibitors but I think I will end up having to use it quite soon. Any ideas?

I’ve tried all sorts of pineapple in our freeze dryer (fresh, frozen, canned, and pre-cut “fresh”) and found that the small cut, canned pineapple works the best. The canning process breaks down a lot of those enzymes to help the freeze dryer move a little faster. It still takes more time than any other fruit I’ve tried so I usually run a full batch.
For reference, Fresh has way too much moisture and can take 40+ hours just in dry time (I don’t know how they came up with 12 in the description). I’m running a batch of “fresh” pre-cut chunks right now and it’s been almost 60 hours and they’re still wet in the middle. I say “fresh” because they’ve all turned somewhat pink in the process so I’m guessing a preservative was added to keep them looking fresh and that was removed during sublimation.
TL;DR – stick to canned pineapple chunks.

I have a large pharmaceutical freeze dryer and I’m wondering what settings to use for pineapple. Heater on and off temp, etc. I’m in Hawaii and have access to lots of white pineapple right now

I had some pineapple that turned pink after a few days in a canning jar and threw it in the garbage thinking it went bad.
They I found out another person freeze dried some pineapple and it had some pink in it by the time it came out of the freeze dryer.
Did it go bad? What would cause the yellow pineapple to turn pink?

This can happen when a fresh pineapple is really ripe and then freeze dried. It tastes great, but can have a slightly pink color to it. It is not bad though.

I suggest the tray be lined with parchment paper. Run a batch of pineapple and then at the end remove the paper which flips & tosses the pineapple slices around. Break apart any slices that are stuck together. Run for another 2 hours just to get any hidden moisture out. I just finished my first batch of 5 trays and they turned out beautifully with 31 total hours in the machine. I pre-froze my fresh pineapple. I cut up 5 pineapples to fill the five trays. Any excess you can set in your fridge to eat sooner.

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