How to Make Dehydrated Potatoes



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How to Make Dehydrated Potatoes

How to Make Dehydrated Potatoes And Use Them

Making dehydrated potatoes. We have had a couple of questions about dehydrating potatoes in response to my post about dehydrating. There is a unbelievably good web site, dehydrate2store.com that goes into detail so much better than I can about dehydrating. Tammy’s videos on drying potatoes are especially good. The whole site is free, so check it out. She answers almost any question you could have about dehydrating anything and the videos make it easy to understand. Even though this post is about potatoes, you might want to check our her website to see how to dehydrate everything from your garden, including peppers, tomatoes, herbs, onions, celery and fruits.

  • I make my  dehydrated potatoes the same way she does. I cook them whole and with the peel on. Make sure they are cooked all the way through, but not until they turn to mush. I test mine with a bamboo skewer. If it slides into the potato easily, it is done.

  • I let the dehydrated potatoes cool, usually overnight, because they need to be totally cold. This prevents them from turning dark.

  • I peel them and grate them into hash browns. I spread them over the dehydrator. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It is okay if they clump a little. They will dry fine anyway. Usually, they take about 10 hours here in Kansas, but it depends on the dehydrator and humidity. When they are translucent, they’re done.

  • When you are ready to use the dehydrated potatoes, soak them in water for about 15 minutes. Use enough hot water to just cover them. In a couple of minutes, if they look like they need more water, add a little more. If there is any water left before you cook them, just drain it off.

  • Cook as usual. I was so shocked the first time I tasted these because I could tell no difference from fresh ones.

Dehydrated potatoes are great to serve on those nights when you don’t feel like peeling and grating hash browns. They’re also great for taking on a camping trip for an easy breakfast. You can dehydrate frozen hash browns, too. Dehydrating them saves on freezer space and you don’t have to worry about losing them if your freezer conks out. Potatoes store longer dried than they do in the freezer, which is a plus, and there is no freezer burn or bad taste.

You can can also slice the potatoes (cooking first as I described above) instead of grating them and use them for things like scalloped potatoes. The web site I mentioned earlier about dehydrating has some good recipes that include some great options to use the sliced potatoes.

-Jill

Here is a question we received along with my answer:

What is the shelf life for dehydrated potatoes? Any hints on dehydrating veggies, fruit etc.?

Thank you! L.

Jill’s Reply:

Of course the temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions affect the storage life of dehydrated potatoes but typically, the shelf life is from 5-10 years. I vacuum seal my dehydrated potatoes, which increases the shelf life to 25-30 years. Those are conservative numbers. This web site dehydrate2store.com is one of the more practical and easy to understand sites I have found. You’ll find answers to lots of questions about dehydrating there.

Once you get started dehydrating foods, you will be surprised how easy it is. I like dehydrating better than freezing because, with freezing, you risk losing food when the power goes out. You don’t have to worry about that with dehydrating. Dehydrated food also takes up much less space. Even though there is a little prep work involved, I find it easier than canning. If you start dehydrating, I suggest starting with apples. Apples are the easiest food to dehydrate. I simply core and slice them and drop them in salted water until I am ready to lay them on the trays. That’s how I handle apples for eating. For baking, I use the same process except that I also peel them. Actually, I usually prepare all of the apples for baking and I place the few that don’t quite get the peels all the way off on a separate tray for eating. That way, I don’t have to worry about getting the peels off of every slice.

You can dry the peels, too. Then pop them in the blender to make into a powder to use for flavored tea or mix with water for baby food. This requires a little more work with the blender but it does taste good. Most raw vegetables need to be blanched slightly but you can also dehydrate frozen or canned vegetables, which you can just plop on the tray.

The thing that amazes me the most is that the foods look so small and ugly when dehydrated but you can’t usually tell any difference in flavor. Some things taste better dehydrated. I have given potatoes to friends and it sometimes takes them forever to get up enough nerve to try the dehydrated potatoes. Once they do, they are shocked at how much better the dried potatoes are than regular hash browns. Some have even asked if I would dehydrate potatoes for them if they bought the potatoes.

I tried dehydrating pumpkin last fall, using a bunch of leftover pumpkins that hadn’t been carved. Now I have jars of pumpkin powder to use to make pumpkin pies. I am going to buy canned pumpkin and canned sweet potatoes (which are really good) when they go on sale this fall and dehydrate them. Why not keep them in the cans? It extends the shelf life by about 10-20 years.

If you can spend some time at dehydrate2store.com , you’ll get a bunch of great information about dehydrating foods. If you have specific questions, ask and I’ll be happy to help if I can!



 

Comments

    • says

      Linda of course the temperature, humidity and things like that affect their storage life but general it is from 5-10 years. I vacuum seal mine and that jumps them up to 25-30 years. Those are conservative numbers too. This web site dehydrate2store.com is one of the more practical and easy to understand sites I have found and covers quite a bit and answers lots of questions on dehydrating.

      Once you get started you will be surprised how easy it is. I like it better then freezing because you risk losing food when the power goes out which you don’t have to worry about with dehydrating. It also takes up so much less space and even though their is a little prep work involved I find it easier then canning. If you start I would suggest you start with apples. They are the easiest. I simply core and slice them, drop them in salted water until I am ready to lay them on the trays and that is it. Those are for eating. For baking I do the same but peel them too. Actually I usually prepare them all for baking and the few that don’t quite get the peel all the way off go on a separate tray for eating. That way I don’t have to stew about the peel getting off of every slice.

      You can dry the peels too then pop them in the blender to make into a powder to use for flavored tea or mix with water for baby food. This takes a little more work with the blend but it does taste good. Most raw veggies need to be blanched slightly but you can dehydrate frozen or canned and those you just plop on the tray.

      I think the thing that amazes me the most is they look so small and ugly but when dehydrated you can’t tell any difference in flavor and some things are better. I have given potatoes to friends and it takes them forever to get up enough nerve to try them but when they do they are shocked at how much better they are then regular hash browns and ask if they buy the potatoes would I make them for them. Anyway if you can spend some time on this gals web site that I mentioned above and I think you will get a bunch of info.

      I did do pumpkin last fall with a bunch of left over pumpkins (that hadn’t been craved) and now I have jars of pumpkin powder to use to make pumpkin pies. I am going to buy canned pumpkin and canned sweet potatoes (these are really good)when they go on sell this fall and dehydrate them. Why not keep them in the cans? It extends the shelf life by about 10-20 years.
      If you have something specific holler and I will see if I can help.

      • says

        Jill you say drop them into salt water until ready to process them. (apples)
        how much salt to water ratio and you don’t say you spray them with lemon.
        I would love to not use lemon as that way I could eat them so would like your way.
        Don wants to try doing apples today so guess we will give a few a try.

        • says

          I don’t use lemon juice at all. The salt water does what you usually use the lemon juice for and that is to keep them from turning brown. All I do is add about 2-3 tsps. of salt to about 2 quarts of water. You don’t have to be exact. I just sprinkle a salt into a large mixing bowl and then fill it about 3/4 of the way full of water. I toss the apples into the salt water as I get them sliced and then when I get a bowl full or am at at stopping point I put them on the trays to dry. You can use the salt water even when you are doing something like slicing apples for an apple pie or salad to keep them from getting brown.

          • lois says

            I was wondering about using fruit fresh to keep the potatoes from turning brown while I was grating them by hand. Thanks for the info about salt water for the apples. It’s the only reason I haven’t made anything with fresh apples in years coz I work a little slow with the peeling and they always turned brown. I haven’t dried food in a dehydrator for years but I’m excited about all the info I see here and think I will ask for a new dehydrator from Santa this year.

  1. Amber Neff says

    Hi Jill,

    When you talked about cooling the potatoes overnight, do you refrigerate them overnight or just leave them say on the counter? Also you said something about using pumpkin “powder” for making pies. How does that work? And finally you said something about leaving the pumpkin in the can. Do you mean that you dehydrate them while they are still sealed in the cans???? If yes, how does that work??
    Love this newsletter and all the work you all do on it.
    Thanks so much
    Amber N.
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    • says

      Good questions Amber. I just drain the water off that I cooked the potatoes in, leave them in pan, put a lid on them and put them in the fridge.

      When I am ready to use the pumpkin powder I gradually add water to the powder until I have the consistency of canned pumpkin and then use as I would regular canned pumpkin. You can do this same thing with sweet potatoes. Tawra loves these because when she is not feeling good she just scoops out some dehydrated sweet potatoes, adds her hot water a little butter and she has something good and easy to eat.

      I worded the question wrong. What I meant about the canned pumpkin was why do I not leave them in the can and go through all the trouble of dehydrating them and that is because the shelf life of canned things are only 2-5 years where dehydrating things extends that shelf live to 10-20 years or more and takes up much less space. So no you don’t dehydrate in the can or anything.

      Hope that answers things for you let me know if you have more questions.

  2. nancie says

    I had kitchen moths and larva worms in my dehydrated bananas this year! Also in my dehydrated persimmons. The fruits were in plastic bags but no holes were found. One bag was also in a cookie tin. I have never read of that happening anywhere. My veggies seem ok. I also dehydrate the bags of frozen mixed veggies. Just pour them out frozen on the trays. No need to blanch them first.

    • Sandi P says

      I had the kitchen moths once and it seemed they got into everything. Since then when I get home from the store I put any pasta, rice, or dried foods into the freezer for 24 hours or so and then store them on the shelf. It’s made a big difference, but I saw a kitchen moth in the house yesterday, so I’m going to check everything and then run them through the freezer again. About the only thing you can’t freeze is dried peas and beans you want to sprout.

      • nancie says

        Steve at Dehydrate 2 Store e-mailed and said the bananas probably had eggs laid while on the counter ripening. I thought that might have been the problem too, but I did think the dehydrator would have killed the eggs. Maybe yours came in again in fruit.

  3. Amber Neff says

    Thank you Jill. So , when you dehydrate the sweet potatoes do you slice them too? And the pumpkin powder then works like instant potatoes you get from the store?? Ok one more question. Do you lose any of the nutritional value of food by dehydrating it?

    Now I can kick myself for giving away my dehydrator. I’ll have to get another one.

    Thanks again!
    Amber

    • says

      Yes the pumpkin powder is just like instant potatoes. Now it was a little more work then the other things I have done and I get canned pumpkin for almost nothing so unless I got them for free I probably wouldn’t cook and mess with fresh pumpkins because it was a bit of work.

      You loose little or none of the nutrients. Years ago this is at times all people had to eat all through the winter months and things. Some people do spray their fruits that turn brown (like apples) with a little lemon juice to give them extra vitamin C but it is a little sticky and messy. I figure for the little bit of vitamin C that would add I’m not sure it is worth it.

      I mash the sweet potatoes to dry them and was going to explain it to you but here is a 2 minute video link that is really good and clear how to do the sweet potatoes instead.

    • says

      I love my Excalabur brand but they can be quite pricey. If you are just starting or don’t have a lot to dehydrate I suggest getting one of the round type that you have probably see every where. They really work fine too. It is a little like the difference between a Cadillac and a VW bug. They both are cars and can get you where you want to go but the Cadillac has a few bells and whistles to make the ride easier.

      I found my 2 round ones at garage sales for $2. Like I said that is the direction I would go starting out although I must admit I have much more desire to dehydrate with my Excalibur because it makes is so much easier.

      ps I don’t get a commission or anything from Excalibur I have just done quite a bit of research and have used different ones.

  4. Veronica Tidd says

    Dear Jill,
    I read your article on drying potaoes yesterday and followed up on Dehydrate2Store site, and last night ordered an Excalibur dehydrator.
    I have previously used one of the round ones with some sucess.
    I also found some very educational information from the University of Missouri extension.
    For those who are serious about doing a lot of this kind of food preservation it is well worth a visit and printing off their instructions

  5. Bree Sorensen says

    Hey Jill,

    I was just curious when you say cook as usual do you mean boil them in water like you would normal fresh potatoes? After re-hydrating your potatoes how do you prepare them?

    • says

      What I mean is after they are re-hydrated you would cook or use them just as if you had grated a regular potato for hash browns. For example I fry my hash browns in a little bacon grease in a frying pan for breakfast with scrambled eggs or for dinner with ham or something like that. Use them in the same way you would that package of frozen hash browns that you keep in the freezer and pull out to use. I have used them in hamburger casseroles too. One thing nice about them is because they are already cooked they don’t take near as long to cook. You only need to cook them until they are heated through or browned.

  6. Amber says

    Hi Jill,

    I thought of another question. I went to the web site you mentioned and was kind of amazed at how much wrapping products and pouches and then rubber maid bins were used. Is dehydrating economical once you figure in all the packaging?

    Thanks
    Amber

    • says

      Amber that site like some aren’t really frugal sites but I mostly use it on how to actually do the dehydrating. I am so glad you questioned the fact of all the containers and things adding up. I am forever hollering to everyone to really follow through and see if “homemade” or doing it yourself is that much cheaper and more often then not it isn’t. So A plus for thinking it through.

      To answer your question though it really is to me the most economical way to preserve food. You don’t have to use any of that packing material at all. Any containers will do. For example I have several plastic containers that nuts came in that I use, I have containers with a lid that lunch meat comes in, mayo jars – anything that will keep it air tight. Then to store those containers I either place them on my shelves or I have cardboard boxes I got for nothing with a lid that comes off (like what printing paper comes in). You really can have zero expense for packaging.

      Since you don’t have to add sugar, vinegar or spices then it is way cheaper then canning. Since you don’t have to pay a nice chunk to run a freezer all the time it is cheaper then freezing and both of these methods you need special containers – canning jars and plastic bags, freezer wrap, plastic wrap to freeze things in. Now granted you could use the same containers for freezing that you do for dehydrating but most people don’t.

      You don’t need an expensive dehydrater like she used either. I bought a round one at a garage sale for $2. Why she was using so much packaging and all was she was storing her food for like 20-30 years and doing it the way she did would keep it that long but you don’t need to do that. Most foods put in a regular baggie or plastic container will last 2-3 years at least and some things more.

  7. nancie says

    One thing to be careful of for packaging is to keep it in rat-proof area or rat-proof containers. They can eat through plastic, both soft and brittle. glass and metal are great. So if you use plastic bags, then put them in glass or metal.

    I did have kitchen moths in my bananas so check your stock especially the first few weeks for bugs, mold etc.

  8. Amber Neff says

    Thanks Jill and Nancie for your replies. I am seriously considering this as a viable option this year but wanted to make sure I wasn’t spending an arm and a leg doing it. It think I’m just about ready to give it a try :)
    Amber

    • nancie says

      Do give it a try. You can even start with store-bought frozen mixed veggies or frozen hashbrown potatoes. Pour out onto the trays and dehydrate as your directions state. They are so ugllly….but when you hydrate them back up you can’t tell the difference, at least not in soups or stews.

      I’ve also poured out yogurt onto the solid sheets and made ‘leather’. Parchment paper might work.

      • says

        Nancie is right don’t be afraid of how ugly they look because that was my first thought was there is no way these things will be eatable. Don’t forget too for those of you who want homemade Christmas gifts to use your dehydrater to dry oranges or just orange peels, apples (I use the ones that aren’t eatable), flowers etc. to make up potpourri. We have several recipes in Dining for this and here is one we just recently posted of Simmering Christmas Potpourri which calls for real oranges and lemons but you could use dry if you want.

  9. jennifer says

    When doing the potatoes, do you have to peel them or will it still turn out ok with the peel on for dehydrating?

    Thanks

    • says

      Heather I haven’t tried it but you might try a few and see what happens. You could also cook the potatoes as you would for mashing, beat them up (don’t use milk or butter or anything) then spread them on the dehydrater. When dry break into chunks and store in an air tight container. When ready to use boil equal parts water and potatoes for about 5 mins. You might want to try this with just a few to start out with because sometimes you can have a problem with certain types of potatoes not having a good texture or being gummy.

      I do know sweet potatoes work great for dehydrating and mashing.

  10. Kim says

    I have 40# of potatoes sitting on my counter and I’m having a terrible time dehydrating them. No matter what I do they are turning grey when dehydrated. I’ve tried salt water, lemon juice, cooking whole before slicing, slicing then blanching, stainless steel knife, food slicer, cooking longer, shorter, etc. No matther what I do they are turning grey. Drying them at between 120-125 degrees. Any ideas what the problem might be, or anything else I can try? I’m at the end of my rope!

    • says

      Kim I’m not sure why you are having problems. I just got through dehydrating 50 lbs. myself this week with none of them turning grey. The main thing that causes them to turn grey is not being cooked all the way through. This is very important. I use a bamboo skewer to run through mine. If it goes through easily then they are done. Sometimes the center doesn’t get quite done and can mess up the whole thing that is why you can’t just test them with a fork but need to run something all the way through them.
      Don’t dehydrate them uncooked and I wouldn’t slice before cooking either to play it save. Lemon juice and salt water is for apples and fruits that turn dark not for potatoes. The only other thing I can think of is you have some kind of weird brand of potato but I have done many different kinds with no problem. Like I said the only time I had a problem was when the center didn’t get cooked.

  11. Amber says

    Hi Jill,
    I have another question about storing the food after it’s dehydrated. If indoor storage space is at a minimum can it be stored in the garage or will the heat of summer ruin the food. I’m sure if I look around my house I can find plenty of places to store but wanted to check first.
    thanks
    Amber

    • says

      Yes storing it in the garage is not too good because of the heat. Heat, light, and moisture are all things that can ruin stored food. If you can find some place in the house it would be best like under a bed, in boxes covered with a table cloth to make an end table, drawer of a file cabinet or extra draw in a chest. Sometimes things vacuum sealed in canning jars can even look cute arranged out in the open in a kitchen for decoration. My grandkids especially love this because I vacuum seal candy I get on clearance and they love to see the jars of candy all lined up. Doesn’t every emergency storage need a supply of candy? :)

  12. Cheryl says

    Is it possible to turn the hashbrowns into potato flakes for mashed potatoes? If so would you soak them the same amount of time as you do the hashbrowns?

    • says

      I’m not sure about turning hash browns to mashed potatoes. It might work if you grind the dried hashbrowns up in a blender or food processor before you rehydrate them because other wise you would have to let them soak much longer and by the time they get done soaking you have to reheat them. You could do wrap them in a tea cozy or with towels while rehydrating to try and keep them warmer. I would say try a small amount and see what happens.

      I do not dehydrate regular mashed potatoes because sometimes things start getting more complicated then they are worth plus I don’t like dried mashed potatoes just to eat but only for cooking once in a great while. I found this to be true with pumpkins too. I spent about 3 hours cooking pumpkins and messing to get about $3 worth of pumpkin. I would have been better off to buy canned pumpkin on sell and dehydrate it.

      Some may ask why dehydrate canned pumpkin and that is because it will last for eons in powdered form compared to just a couple of years in the can.

    • says

      Helen I’m not sure because I have never done them in the oven. What I would do is try one potato and do it the same as you do your apples and see what happens.

  13. Magdalen says

    Thank you for this.I haven’t tried spuds yet but last year I dried a load of thinly sliced carrots and was very pleased with them when I threw some in a beef stew months later. The mushrooms were good too. I did not realise that the process preserved the food for so many years.
    My experiment this Summer was with sliced strawberries. I put some of the dried fruit into vodka.It looks very pretty. We’ll wait for Christmas to try it.

  14. Ellie says

    Can you dehydrate diced potatoes to later use in a soup?

    Also, I wanted to put together mason jars with all the needed ingredients for a soup but some of my recipes call for beans.
    If everything cooks for the amount of time that it would take for the beans to be done, everything else would turn to mush.
    Can I cook beans and then dehydrate them?

    • says

      You can dehydrate the potatoes cut any way you want as long as they are cooked. Of course if will take the dice ones maybe a few hours longer to dry then hash browns is all. What you could do for the bean soup is place the things that don’t need to cook as long in a separate baggie or plastic wrap to add after the beans have cooked for so long. Just place the beans in the jar loose and then lay the packet of other ingredients on top.

  15. Brenda says

    Jill, I have been doing a lot of dehydrating since I read about the shelf life of of the dehydrated potatoes. I want to try the pumpkin. Do I need to seal (I have a food sealer with the port for jars) after I have blended the pumpkin to a powder. I didn’t know if just a tight lid would do it. Thanks,

    • says

      You know Brenda powdered pumpkin will last many years so you really don’t have to vacuum seal it. I do seal mine just because I have the vacuum sealer and usually store my things in the jars so for the minute extra it takes to seal it I feel I am even more covered in case I need to keep it for a super long time.

  16. Tristan says

    How long would dehydrated sweet potatoes last before they go bad?
    I’m sorry to be asking, I saw that you answered this question for normal potatoes. But I wasn’t sure if using sweet potatoes would make a difference.

  17. Denise says

    We have just started dehydrating eggs from our hens and they are working out great. Found instructions in a Food storage book by Susan Gregersen and David Armstrong. They have been tested in baking and work great. I love the Dehydrates2store website. The company she recommends for 3mil bags is great for vac sealing,

  18. Alice says

    THANK YOU! I recently failed at dehydrating basil and chives. I will stick to freezing my herbs from now on, but I will give the potatoes a shot — with one potato so I don’t lose a whole bag if it doesn’t work out. I don’t have the money, space, or weather for a dehydrator (I live in east central PA, also known as “underwater”), so I’ll use my oven.

    • says

      I have never dehydrated in the oven so I am not sure what the results will be like but keep on trying different things. I am like you and the first things I dehydrated I had no success but kept trying things (why? I don’t know)and finally found things that worked well for me.

      You can dry herbs the old fashioned way by tying them into loose bunches and hanging in a cool, dry dark place. Another method of drying herbs is in the microwave. You place on paper towels or a flour sack dish towel and then cover them with the same. Cook for 30 secs. and check to see if they are still soft. If they are keep doing them for 30 secs. more until they are dry. The towel will be moist. Also small leaved herbs burn easily to so watch them carefully.

  19. Dee says

    I’m sorry for waiting so long but I have just discovered your website. I dehydrated a bunch of potatoes last year and stored in vacuum sealed bags with oxygen packs. I looked the other day and the potatoes have turned a dark golden/brown color. The bag is still sealed but the color has changed. Are they bad? I do live in the south where dry and cooler areas are very hard to come by. These were stored in a bin in the bottom of the closet. Any help would be appreciated.

    • says

      They probably are bad I’m afraid. What may have happened is that you have to make sure that the potatoes are fully cooked all the way through the center. In the same way if you leave a raw potato out and it starts turning dark, dehydrated ones will do the same thing. The very center of them may not have gotten cooked. To make sure mine are cooked through the center I use a bamboo skewer or something like that that I can stick all the way through the potato. You don’t have to stick each one. I just run it through about 4 -5 of the biggest ones and it if slides easily through them then I know the rest are cooked too. A fork just doesn’t go in far enough to make sure the center is done.

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