by Texas Homesteader ~
You can often find a huge bag of potatoes for cheap. It’s hard not to just buy the bigger bag instead of a smaller bag for almost the same money, right?? But will you be able to eat them all before they go bad?
I decided to dehydrate excess potatoes. But there’s a trick to keeping them from turning black as they’re dehydrated.
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
What To Do With Too Many Potatoes?
Recently I acquired a large quantity of potatoes and went on a mission to figure out how to eat and/or preserve them all.
In the past I have preserved potatoes by cooking, mashing and freezing them.
When I’m ready for mashed potatoes I just bring them out to thaw, drain the excess water, add salt/pepper/butter and BOOM! Homemade mashed potatoes.
Dehydrated Potatoes Take Little Storage Room
But I also like to dehydrate them. Dehydrated food is stored in repurposed glass jars in my pantry.
So no additional energy is needed to store it this way. And I love the benefits of having dehydrated food in my pantry.
In the past I’ve dehydrated potatoes into Potato Cubes. Those cubes can be dropped still dehydrated right into our winter simmering soups to rehydrate as the soup cooks! Gotta love it!
But now that I have those cubed potatoes in the pantry, this time I think I’ll shred the potatoes before dehydrating.
That way I can use them for breakfast burritos or for making hash browns.
Keeping Dehydrated Potatoes From Turning Black
But just cutting the potatoes and drying them will cause the potatoes to turn black. Ewwwwww… not very appetizing.
So before dehydrating potatoes I need to first cook them.
Inwashed the potatoes and then pricked the skin in several places on each potato. Then I stacked them tightly in my black enameled covered pan.
Cooking Potatoes With FREE Solar Energy
You can cook the potatoes in a conventional oven of course. But I wanted to use FREE solar energy to cook my potatoes.
So I covered the pot with a lid and placed it into my *solar oven.
After closing & latching the oven door I pointed the reflectors at the sun, adjusting the oven about once an hour to help it track the sun and keep the interior temps consistent.
You want the potatoes to be cooked enough to not turn black but undercooked enough that they’re firm enough to grate, maybe about 3/4 of the way.
I removed the covered pan of potatoes from the solar oven when I began to see steam collecting on the inside glass of the oven.
We had intermittent high-level cloudiness on this day, so the oven temps only held to around 250 degrees. It was about 3 hours until I saw the steam collecting on the glass.
Don’t Grate Hot Potatoes
But I couldn’t continue on with preparing my potatoes for dehydrating right away. You see, it’s better to grate the potatoes when they’re cold.
So I spread the hot cooked whole potatoes on my counter to cool. After they were cool I stacked them in a bowl and refrigerated them overnight.
The next morning I pulled the cold potatoes out of the fridge and began to grate them. Ah yes, this really is so much easier!
Do You Need To Peel Potatoes Before Grating?
I didn’t peel the cold cooked potatoes before grating as some people do.
Not only does it save me time by skipping that step, but I don’t mind a few small flecks of potato skin mixed in with my grated potatoes.
So I simply started grating the chilled whole potatoes. For the most part the skins naturally pulled away from the potato as I grated.
Much of the time that left me holding only the skin when the potato was fully grated.
So I could still compost almost all of the potato skin that way without having to peel them first.
Dehydrating Potatoes Epic Fail – What NOT To Do!
Now I’m going to share with you what DIDN’T work in dehydrating my potatoes!
Since there was so much volume of grated potatoes I decided to dry them in my oven.
So I divided them onto two large baking trays lined with parchment paper. Then I tried to dehydrate them in my conventional oven, turned on low heat.
That would allow me to dehydrate both large trays at the same time. Sounds easy enough, right?
But the oven allowed the moisture to remain and the potatoes didn’t dry fast enough. So they all soured.
Ugh, epic fail! The whole mess had to go into the *tumbling composter. I had to start over from square one.
Maybe leaving the oven door ajar as it’s turned on low would allow moisture to escape? But it was still hot & humid outside. I just couldn’t stand to add that heat into our house.
Still, the lesson was learned. I needed to dry the potatoes more quickly and with more airflow.
Dehydrating Potatoes: Plan B
Hummmm… How else can I do this? Well there was quite a heat wave going on here in Texas so why not take advantage of mother nature’s
torture, I mean free heat?
So I repeated the whole process. But this time I covered the cooked, shredded potatoes with lightweight cheesecloth & placed the trays outside on the picnic table to dry.
That hot Texas sun removed the moisture quickly! I stirred the grated potatoes a couple of times and they dried beautifully.
Now that I have an *Excalibur Dehydrator I can complete this dehydrating process more easily in the future.
And if it’s still hot here in Texas I can put the dehydrator on our covered porch and still keep the heat outside. YEA!
All in all I cooked, grated and successfully dehydrated about 15 pounds of potatoes. But look how they dehydrate down into a very small volume!
Plus I think they look pretty stored in glass jars in my pantry!
I’ll use these dehydrated shredded potatoes as hash browns of course. Just rehydrate them for a few minutes, drain the water completely.
Then heat oil in the skillet, add a pile of rehydrated grated potatoes, press lightly to flatten & cook until crisp.
But we also like shredded potatoes in our breakfast burritos along with the eggs & sausage.
So I’ll use the same rehydrating procedure as with the hash browns, only after rehydrating & draining the potatoes I’ll add them directly to the eggs as I’m scrambling them.
Potatoes are fun to grow in your garden. Or oftentimes you can find super-large bags of potatoes dirt cheap.
Do you wonder what you’ll do with them all before they go bad? Question answered! Try dehydrating potatoes for longer storage.
Other Dehydrating Posts
- Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Fresh Carrots
- Dehydrating Tomato Sauce Into Leather For Pizza
- Cubed Tomatoes Dehydrated For Winter Cooking
- Preserving Produce: Dehydrating Celery
- Dehydrating Fresh Pumpkin For Easy Storage
- Dehydrating Spinach To Enjoy All Year Long
- Using A Dehydrator To Preserve Fresh Onions
- Dehydrating & Storing Cabbage
- A Solar Oven Dehydrates Jalapenos
- Bell Pepper Dehydration
- Using A Solar Oven To Dehydrate Garden Produce
- Using It ALL – Dehydrating & Powdering Tomato Skins
- How To Make Dehydrated Blueberry Powder
- Dehydrating Plums
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
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I never thought about dehydrating potatoes. Do you just re-hydrate with water?? Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up!
Yep, add a little boiling water and cover them up & let them rehydrate until they’re plump again. Then I like to either make them into hash browns or spoon them as-is into our breakfast burritos along with the egg & cheese. They take up so little space in my pantry this way too. ~TxH~
Taylor thanks for sharing this. We usually use all our potatoes, but every once in a great while I’ll have a bag or two that sits and this is a great way to use them before they go bad. It’s cooling off in SoCal, so I might have to try it during the hot summer months.
Thanks for this great post, very interesting. I have never dehydrated potatoes. We are growing a heap here at the moment and I was thinking of canning mine, but might try drying some as well. If you have time I would love it if you would link up at Good Morning Mondays at Darling Downs Diaries. Blessings
I am glad you also said what didn’t work. I have dehydrated fruits and a few vegetables but never thought about potatoes. I didn’t know a solar oven even existed, lol. So much to learn. Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday!
Yeah Rachel, sometimes I have more than my fair share of epic fails. LOL Certainly don’t mind helping others steer clear of the same mistakes I’ve made.
I love potatoes in my breakfast burritos. Hubs is a real meat and potatoes kind of guy so we eat a lot of them. Thanks for sharing on #yuckstopshere! Please come share again next week!
What a great idea, they should keep for ever unless water or pests get in. You could add some flavours and have home made instant soup!
I love the idea of dehydrating hash browns. I recently discovered that I can quickly make hash browns by putting chunks of potatoes and water in my Vitamix and giving it a couple of quick pulses, then draining them. I wonder if I then toss them in some boiling water for a couple of minutes that would cook them enough before I dehydrate them.
The cooking process keeps the potatoes from turning dark as they’re being dehydrated. Since I was going to shred the cooked potatoes I experimented & cooked several batches of potatoes to different levels – I did notice the more I cooked them the lighter they were in color when they were fully dehydrated. Give it a try & see!
I tried to dehydrate raw potatoes and they turned black. How do you keep them from turning black.
Cook them first?????
Yes, in my post I mentioned that potatoes will turn black if they’re dehydrated while raw. I cooked the potatoes first and they turned out great.
Yes, you must cook the whole potatoes or blanch cut but uncooked slices or cubes prior to dehydrating or the will go black. Dip the sliced or cubed pieces in boiling water or about 2-3 minutes remove, allow to drain and pat dry and then dehydrate.
I’m interested to hear how it taste reconstituted. This would provide a lot of food that you could preserve.
Ben, we’ve used them reconstituted and mixed in our scrambled eggs when making breakfast burritos and also made into hash browns – always delicious. I’m anxious for cold weather soups when I can try the cubed dehydrated potatoes in stew. So far though it’s been a screaming success!
That’s so awesome I did not know you could do potatoes how handy!
Wow I didn’t realize you could do this. Very good to know. Bummer that your first batch went bad, but genius idea using the hot sun! Great post.
I love this! I have been wondering if there was some way you could dehydrate your own potatoes. Not just my own homegrown, but I like to get mine in 50 pound bags, and sometimes I don’t get them all used up and wish I could dehydrate them. I will certainly have to try this. Thanks!
I too thought it was helpful that you described with didn’t work. Amazing to me that you can dry food out in the sun. It’s so humid here that you cannot do it unless there is an unusual stretch of dry weather. I do love the idea of drying in general, though. Dried foods take up so much less storage space. Haven’t done potatoes, but we use our dehydrator to dry a lot of tomatoes, and sometimes apples and blueberries. Thanks for sharing on Creative Home and Garden hop.
I appreciate you including a fail. I have never thought about dehydrating potatoes, but I think I will give it a try. Thanks for sharing on Rural Wisdom and Know How.
I never would have thought of doing this but if you have a large harvest of potatoes this would be an awesome way to save them! Thanks for joining TTF!
Excellent idea to dehydrate potatoes for later use !
How long will these keep in jars?
I’ve just started dehydrating some produce myself (I bought a dehydrator for $5 bucks @ yardsale)
I didn’t get a book with it. So I catching information as I can and researching too. Hadn’t thought about potatoes!
The Texas Heat sounds perfect for this sort of thing.
Pat, this is my first round with dehydrating potatoes but I’ve read that your storage times vary greatly based on: How dry they are when you put them in the jars, whether or not you vacuum out the air (I didn’t, I’m using regular glass jars), etc. ~TxH~
I may give this a try if I catch potatoes on sale through the holidays.
I dried some of our elephant garlic (grows HUGE and WILD) from our property. I dried it and then ground it up in the CHINOIS …pretty easily. I’ve used it in several dishes so far and it is stout each time I open the container.
I must say– it gives me great pleasure to use garlic grown on our property, dried and crushed by me… I think my dehydrator paid for itself that day! 🙂
Interesting, I didn’t know that about them turning black or that they could sour. I really need to get my dehydrator out and try using it more often. 😉