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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dehydrating Potatoes

Sometimes, you run across a deal that you just can't pass up:


We were grocery shopping one Sunday, and needed to pick up potatoes, which are normally around $2.50 for a 10 pound bag...but then I spied this 25 pound box of potatoes for $2.99, reduced for quick sale.  I'm not sure why they needed to sell them quickly, but we snatched them up!

And then we had 25 pounds of potatoes.  That's a lot of taters.

So, we've made lots of Homemade Potato Chips, Pizza Twice Baked Potatoes, mashed potatoes, pan fried potatoes, baked potatoes...but we still have a lot left!

If you have so many potatoes that you don't know what to do with them, dehydrate them before they start growing eyes.  I dehydrated a lot of ours, making potato slices (for scalloped potatoes) and potato granules (for instant mashed potatoes).


Dehydrated Potato Slices

1.  Peel and rinse the potatoes.
  • The amount of potatoes you use will depend on how many trays you have for your dehydrator or how many cookie sheets can fit in your oven.  I found that my Nesco dehydrator could fit approximately one potato per tray.
2.  Thinly slice the potatoes.
  • Potatoes should be cut into 1/8" slices.  A mandolin or food processor makes this task much easier.
3.  Blanch the potato slices for 5 minutes.
  •  Bring a pot of plain water to a boil.  Place your potato slices in a blanching basket (if you don't have a basket, you'll have to just drop the slices into the pot and remove with a slotted spoon).  Drop the basket of slices into the boiling water.  Wait for the reboil, and then begin timing the five minutes.


4.  Place blanched potatoes in ice water.
  • Once the five minutes is up, remove the basket of slices and immediately drop them into a sink-full of ice water.  Allow the slices to completely cool.
5.  Remove slices and drain.
  • Place the slices in a colander and allow to drain.
6.  Dehydrate the potato slices.
  • Once the slices are mostly dry, arrange them on your dehydrator tray (or cookie sheet if using the oven).  Set your dehydrator for 130 degrees F and let it rip!  My potatoes were in the dehydrator overnight, and by morning, they were done.  The slices will be stiff and slightly translucent.

  • If you are going to be using an oven, lightly grease cookie sheets, and arrange the slices onto the sheets.  Turn your oven to its lowest temperature, and place the cookie sheets inside.  Dehydration time will vary.  It is a wise idea to check the slices every half hour or so, and turn the slices several times during the drying time.  The slices are done when they are stiff and slightly translucent.
7.  Cool and store.
  • Allow the slices to cool, and store in an airtight container.  Jars work well for storage, but you can also use plastic containers or Ziploc bags.  Store the slices in a cool, dark place.


Dehydrated Potato Granules

1.  Peel and rinse the potatoes.
  • The amount of potatoes required will depend on how many trays you are going to be using.  If you are using a dehydrator, I found that about 4 potatoes per fruit leather tray worked well.  
2.  Quarter and boil the potatoes.
  • Cut each potato into 4 pieces and place the pieces in a pot.  Add water to just cover the potatoes, and bring to a boil.  Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and allow the potatoes to simmer until tender--approximately 20 minutes.
3.  Drain potatoes.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, drain in a colander and allow them to dry somewhat.
4.  Mash the potatoes.
  • Return the potatoes to the pot, and mash them well.  Do not add anything to them--we are mashing only plain potatoes.  Mash the potatoes until they are smooth and lump-free.


5.  Dehydrate the potatoes.
  • If you are using a food dehydrator, spread the mashed potatoes in a fruit leather tray.  Dehydrate at 130 degrees F until dry (I did mine overnight, and they were done by morning).
  • If you are drying in an oven, lightly grease a jellyroll pan, and spread the mashed potatoes in the pan.  Be careful you don't layer it in too thickly, or it will take forever to dry out--try not to go thicker than 1/4".  Put your oven on its lowest temperature, and leave the potatoes to dehydrate until they are dry all the way through.  They are dehydrated when you can bend the potatoes and a piece snaps off. 


6.  Grind the dried potatoes.
  • Remove the dried potatoes from the fruit leather tray or jellyroll pan and break the sheet of potatoes into chunks.  Place a few chunks at a time in your blender, and pulse, breaking up the chunks into small granules.  It is important that your potatoes are dried out all the way, because if they are not, they wont break apart like they should in the blender (and there is danger of spoilage during storage).
7.  Store the granules.
  • Once you have blended all your potato chunks into granules, you can store them.  Glass jars work well for this, but you can also use plastic containers or Ziploc bags.  Store the granules in a cool, dark place.
8.  To rehydrate the potatoes:
  •   For 4 Servings:

    Bring 1 cup water or milk (or a combination of the two), 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add 1/2 cup potato granules, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, or until the granules have softened. Whip the potatoes with a fork, whisk, or beaters, adding additional milk and butter if desired.

    For thicker potatoes, decrease liquids, for thinner, increase liquids.

    Of course, you can also just rehydrate the potatoes with boiling water and skip the salt, milk, and butter if you'd like them plain.

Dehydrated potatoes are great for camping and those who travel a lot.  They are also nice to have around as an "emergency" food, in the case of natural disaster or other emergency.  Dehydrated potatoes are also a handy "convenience" food to have around for when you need to throw together a quick, fuss-free dinner.

Keep an eye out for future posts including recipes to use your dehydrated potato stash:

Potato and Cheese Crusted Perch

21 comments:

  1. I'm the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It's sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I'd love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invite, I will check it out.

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  2. Thank you!~ thank you~ thank you~I dehydrate a lot of food and usually do the thin sliced method. I was looking for a method where I could mash, then dehydrate. I just recently acquired 40#'s of potatoes~~that's a lot of taters to process! I am a low scale prepper and now that I have this information..it is on!

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    Replies
    1. Glad I could help! :) If you feel so inclined, come back and let me know how it went.

      Delete
  3. How do you rehydrate the mashed potatoes? I've never bought instant, so I'm kind of at a loss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lampie! Well, I'm a dork. Why didn't I include instructions for this in the post?! :) I'll explain how to rehydrate here, and then edit the post to include the instructions as well.

      For 4 Servings:

      Bring 1 cup water or milk (or a combination of the two), 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add 1/2 cup potato granules, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, or until the granules have softened. Whip the potatoes with a fork, whisk, or beaters, adding additional milk and butter if desired.

      For thicker potatoes, decrease liquids, for thinner, increase liquids.

      Of course, you can also just rehydrate the potatoes with boiling water and skip the salt, milk, and butter if you'd like them plain.

      Delete
  4. I use this same method for sweet potatoes too. I add some cinnamon and nutmeg with a little bit of honey.

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  5. Ya Hooooo It worked, Thank You, I had been told that it could not be done. Next we'er going to dehydrate our winter squash. I'am a canner, from meat to taters and now we are dehydrating also. Again Thank You, I new that if you could do sweet potatoes then why not white? Have a good day.

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  6. How long can you store these. Am interested in long term storage for possible disaster relief supplies.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, if you vacuum seal with an oxygen eliminator up to 8 years if they are fully dehydrated.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I have a bag of those little red, purple and yellow potatoes. I think they are referred to as "potatoe medley". How do you dehydrate those? Help... :-).

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  9. I generally make my mashed potatoes with the skins still on (to get as much of the nutrients as possible) - do you think following all the instructions above, but not peeling the potatoes will have a negative impact on the dehydrating process?

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    Replies
    1. I have never tried this, but it sounds like a really great idea! The skins do have so many nutrients in them, it's a shame to waste them. I'd think that it would work okay, but I'd have to do some experimenting first to see. If you try it, please let me know how it works out for you! :)

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  10. Oh my, I think I'm going to have to try this. What an awesome Christmas gift! And, putting them into a quart jar, with the recipe printed and stuck on the jar, would be a great idea, as well. Wish I had a dehydrator. I'll be using that oven tomorrow

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  11. If i do the potato granules can i use that to make potato soup?

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  12. Having read this info I am going dehydrate all my potatoes from now on. About to go camping this will save me heaps. thank you so much for all this info on this subject. This will save money due to no more rotten potatoes from the bag. I had looked on potato granules and the person that was talking was having frozen potatoes from a bag and was saying she had got this bag from Costo but been on a limit income in Australia . But now checking out your site it has given me hope to save money on potatoes. Thank you so much.

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  13. Hi if you wanted to add flavor to them outside of just butter like say garlic and herb, or something like that, when would you add that stuff? and any recommendations on how much to use?

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  14. How long do these potatoes keep if they are stored in canning jars?? TIA!

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing this, I am having ploblems eating at the moment and potatoes are one of main foods. Can't wait to give this a go so I can have some preseritive free home made instant mash :)

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