Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to DehydratePotatoes

This picture from left to right.... Dried Okra, Dried Diced Potato's, Dried Tomato's

I was asked if I could explain the drying and re-hydrating process.  This is my attempt to do so. The question was about potato's but most vegetables use the same process.  Blanching times will vary with different vegetables.         

When dehydrating potato's, there are several ways to do them.  You can slice them for uses like scalloped potato's.  You can dice them in small pieces and use them in many different things.  You can cut them into french fries as well. You can shred them and use them for hash browns. This part is up to you.  Peeling your potato's is optional- there are lots of vitamins and minerals in the skins . They look nicer peeled but, again, its up to you.
I will explain the sliced potato's here, but they are all done the same way.
Slice your potato's approximately 1/4" thick.  This is where a food processor or a slicer comes in handy.  I do mine by hand but that's because I don't have either of them!   While you are cutting your potato's, put on a big pot of lightly salted water and heat to boiling. 

Put your potato slices in a vegetable basket or a French fry basket and drop them in the boiling water. When they start to boil again, let them blanch for for 5-8 minutes.  Have a large bowl ready with ice water. Plunge them in the ice water and let them sit for 15 minutes or so. Then spread the potato slices out on paper towels and daub dry.
Another method you can use (I would suggest doing this with things like hash browns) is to steam blanch them.

Spray your racks with some vegetable spray and place the potato's as close as you can get them without having them touch.  They need air circulation around them.  Dry them until the potato's are translucent and brittle.  You should not be able to "bend" them.  Let the potato's cool down, remove them from the racks and store them in jars or baggies.  Try to keep as much air out as you can.  This is where my FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer comes in handy.  I like to put them in jars and vacuum out the air.  (NOTE- If you are drying for long term storage DO NOT use the spray.  Oil can make anything dehydrated go rancid.)

To rehydrate them,  place the dried potato's in a bowl or pan and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let them sit for about 20 minutes or until re-hydrated completely.  Drain excess water and they are ready to use.

 You can dry just about anything.  Carrots, peas, sweet corn, green beans, cabbage, spinach, swiss chard etc. I also dry tomato's for use in soups and stews.  I like drying  green peppers, hot peppers, and onions for use later in the year when these things are out of season.
I have had problems with re-hydrating green beans in the past and asked a true drying guru for some help.  She suggests blanching and then freezing the green beans before drying.  The freezing breaks down the cells so they will rehydrate better  otherwise, they will take a couple of hours to rehydrate.

Here are a few ideas for using some of your dehydrated vegetables. 

I like to do mixed veggies to use as soup starter.  Diced carrots and peas are good together. You can use dried sweet corn (ground up) and add it to flour when making cornbread.  
Scalloped potato's or au gratin ones. 
Dried diced potato's make a great hash when mixed with leftover beef and dried onions.  
Cabbage dices  and fried diced bacon and onions or leeks with bow tie noodles is good.Sometimes I add dried tomato's.
 How about cabbage soup with potato slices, carrots, and fried bacon? 
 Hmm, lets see.... pickled beet slices, gingered diced carrots, green pea and boiled egg salad.
Make white bread and roll it thin. Add re-hydrated hamburger, carrots, peas, onions and line the bread and make a pinwheel. Let the bread rise and bake. Slice and cover with gravy made from  the re-hydrating water.

The possibilities are endless.  So what are you waiting for? 


  1. I had a bag of frozen green beans that would not go in the freezer, so I dehydrated the frozen green beans. Well, I did thaw them first. At the same time, I had frozen carrots and frozen corn that would not fit in the freezer. Two pounds of frozen greens beans makes a half-pint, 8 ounces, of dehydrated green beans.

    If I were going to rehydrate potatoes for soup, I would throw them in the pot and let the liquid of the soup rehydrate them. Of course, the soup might need more water or other liquid.

    It sounds like you love your dehydrator as much as I.

  2. Shoot Girl, I love dehydrating. I feel kind of "weird" if I don't have something "on the trays" in the spring and summer time. I like finding frozen veggies on sale for $1 a lb or less. I'll bring them home and dump them on the dryer trays. Did you know there's no need to thaw frozen veggies? Cool, huh? If they are frozen stuck together just whack them on the counter to break them up.
    Mars likes making "Dehydrator Soup" He'll just go in the kitchen and start tossing a handful of this and that with some water and some seasonings and TA DAAA!!! Soups on!
    Have a Super Day!!

  3. Great post! 'Tis the season for dehydrating. You must be getting to guru status yourself!

    1. Shoot girl I'm a long way from guru status but thanks for the kind words.

  4. Thanks for the great post! Getting ready to make jerky myself. But now I am also thinking about adding potatoes to that list.

    1. Ohhhh Jerky! Love it. It just doesn't last long around here. Maybe you could ry your hand at drying a small batch of potatoes to see what you think. If you like them you could pick up potatoes when you can get a good deal on them.

    2. Yea Whenever I do something new, I do it on a small scale. But I know my family will like the potatoes.

      yes, sliced up a nice lean London broil tonight, and now its all soaking in marinade until at least Thursday... can't wait for Jerky, and no it does not last long in my house either.

  5. Sunday I bought a bag of Idaho potatoes. Monday I make Latkas and today, what was left in the bag are already GREEN. I'm throwing potatoes and money away every time I buy a bag! So, it's off to Walmart to buy a dehydrator. I have HAD IT with waste!

  6. I just hate it when stuff goes bad around here. Living on a small fixed income means I have to try and make every penny count. I suppose that's one reason I like dehydrating. I can toss most anything left over or going bad and dehydrate it. With my dehydrator and my FoodSaver I rarely toss anything out. When I do though it still doesn't go to waste. Between the chickens, rabbits, the dog and the compost pile about the only things around here are that don't get recycled is misc. trash. Shoot, I even save the butter tubs and things like sour cream containers to use for starting seed.

    1. I live by my FoodSaver. I've had several though the past 15 years, and the best ones are still the smaller ones. I'm waiting for a sale so I can buy the storage canisters, but for freezing, nothing beats the long rolls of 'cut to size' bags. I also have placed important papers in the bag, sucked out the air, and they are safe from dampness. I would LOVE to be able to place a lot of money in one, suck out the air, and bury it in the yard for safe keeping!

    2. You probably already know this but they make a lid attachment that fits canning jars. I store most all of my dehydrated foods in them. I did a post or three on different things I do with it.
      As for burying money in the yard.... maybe it would be better to bury a treasure chest with silver and gold. You never know when you might need buried treasure!

  7. Sci...have you ever tried baking the potatoes, letting them cool and then slicing or shredding for the dehydrator? I have been reading some on this and thought I would try it for hash browns. Would kind of be like those you get and add water to? May also work for potatoes for scalloped and au gratin?

    1. Mama Bear,
      You CAN bake them. What I had a problem with was baking them too long. If you do they are too soft to cut without them falling apart when you slice them. If you do them sort of al dente it should work just fine.