A sibling of mine harvested 12.5 gallons of apricots for us. We've got 2.5 gallons of them (sans waste and a few eaten ones) in the dehydrator right now, in halves (cut portion facing up), at 145° F. on the silicone mesh mats (except for the top tray which is just the chrome-plated stainless steel mesh). I'm very excited to have so many dried apricots. There's enough for four more loads.
So, we've got six trays full. The apricots are too thick for twelve trays to fit (if we had twelve). No, we didn't puncture the bottoms, nor press them up to flatten them. I'd like to have done that, but we didn't.
We're getting enough tomatoes to start dehydrating. So, we need to stay on top of these apricots until they're done.
In our first batch, we just cut them in halves, and dehydrated them on 145° F. for like 28 to 30 hours. Yeah, it took a long time. I didn't turn the trays around at all, and some at the front took a lot longer than others to dehydrate.
In our second batch, we cut them into quarters, and dehydrated them on 148° F. for 24 hours. This time, I turned the trays around at the 15 hour point.
Guess what? The dehydrator fit a lot more fruit when the apricots were cut into quarters! I mean, a lot more. It looks like twice as much when I'm comparing the dry results. The second batch isn't as dark, either; it's much more colorful.
I packed the fruit pretty closely together.
The top tray didn't have a silicone mesh sheet (we only have five of those, currently), but it was fine. The mesh sheets are nicer for the sloppier apricots and little bits and pieces, though.
Also, eating too many dried apricots might loosen your stools.
Here are the pictures, with the first batch first, and the second second (the white bowl is quite a bit bigger than the blue one):
Location: SW Idaho, USA
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet Profile post