The best sulphur smoking and drying tips

Help your stone fruits get new flavours and last longer with sulphur treatments. Here's how:

The best sulphur smoking and drying tips

Master the sulpher dip

Of the two ways to sulphur — dipping and smoking — dipping is probably the easiest. Just follow these instructions:

  1. To start, wash the fruit, cut in half and discard the stones.
  2. In a large plastic bucket, mix one cup sodium or potassium metabisulphite and six cups of sugar in 10 litres of water. This will treat 20 kilograms of fruit. It will need to be topped up with an extra 150 grams of metabisulphite.
  3. Submerge fruit in the solution. Make dipping easier by using cheesecloth or a pouch made up from non-metallic insect gauze or other mesh.
  4. Treat fruits for the right length of time according to the list below.
  5. After treatment, rinse fruit in clean water and spread, flesh side up, on drying racks.

Suphur dip for the right amount of time

Suggested dipping treatment times for common fruits are:

  • Apricots: 12 to 15 hours
  • Nectarines: 15 to 20 hours
  • Peaches: 20 to 24 hours
  • Pears: 24 to 30 hours
  • Plums: 12 to 15 hours

Try smoking

  1. Smoking involves burning sulphur and must be done outdoors. Make sure you have a cardboard box that can fit multiple drying trays and still have between 15 to 30 centimetres of space on all sides.
  2. Cut a flap at the bottom of one side of the box for air intake to keep the sulphur burning. For additional ventilation, poke a hole with a pencil near the top of the side opposite the flap.
  3. Cut fruit into uniform-sized pieces. Weigh it so you know how much sulphur to use.
  4. Spread the pieces out on non-metal trays in a single layer, cut side up. Make sure that the pieces do not touch.
  5. Stack the trays about five centimetres (two inches) apart. Place blocks of wood at each corner to keep the trays separate.
  6. Leave in the smoker for the recommended time, as listed below.

Smoke for the right amount of time

Suggested sulphuring times for some common fruits are:

  • Apples: 45 minutes
  • Apricots: 2 hours
  • Nectarines: 8 minutes
  • Peaches: 8 minutes
  • Pears: 5 hours
  • Plums: 1 hour

Sulphur treatments, whether it's smoking or dipping, can help stone fruits keep their colour and taste. Measure everything carefully and keep the area well-ventilated. This will help you get the most out of your favourite fruits.

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