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.
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.
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!