Potatoes are one of my favorite things to store in my prepper pantry. While I also pressure can potatoes, I love to have dehydrated potatoes on hand.
Dehydrated potatoes when rehydrated maintain a much closer taste and texture to fresh potatoes than canned potatoes. They do take some time to rehydrate, so in that way they are less convenient than canned potatoes. As is the case with many things, it’s worth having potatoes in your pantry in multiple forms.
In this article, I show you how to dehydrate sliced potatoes, but you’ll follow the same basic steps when dehydrating potato shreds and dices.
Without further ado, let’s get into how to dehydrate potatoes.
How to Dehydrate Potatoes
To dehydrate potatoes, first, peel the potatoes and cut off any bad spots. Slice, dice, or shred potatoes. Blanch the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and rinse the potatoes. Finally, dehydrate the potatoes at 125 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit until they are firm, and break apart easily.
Keep reading for detailed, step-by-step instructions for dehydrating potatoes.
Step 1: Select the Best Type of Potatoes for Dehydrating
According to Tammy Gangloff, author of the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook, you should not even try to dehydrate baking potatoes such as russets and Idaho potatoes. Instead, she recommends that you select waxy potatoes such as red potatoes or Yukon Gold.
Having said that, the potatoes that I show you in this article are russet potatoes, and they dehydrated really well. I have honestly always dehydrated russet potatoes, so I can’t compare how russet potatoes turn out when dehydrated compared to how waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold dehydrate.
I’ve also known many other people who have dehydrated russet potatoes, with good results.
Having said that, if you have an opportunity to purchase Yukon Gold or Red potatoes for dehydrating, or if you have an abundance of them, then by all means, dehydrate those.
But since russet potatoes are inexpensive and often available in bulk, by all means give them a try!
The bottom line is that the best potatoes to dehydrate are the ones that you have in your pantry, particularly if they will likely go bad before you have a chance to use all of them.
Step 2: Peel the Potatoes Before Dehydrating (Optional)
It’s not 100% necessary to peel potatoes before dehydrating them. If you decide to leave the peels on, scrub the potatoes thoroughly.
I’ve dehydrated both peeled and unpeeled potatoes. In my experience, in spite of how much I scrub potatoes before dehydrating them, when I dehydrate unpeeled potatoes, after dehydrating, they are a dingy brown color.
When I peel potatoes before dehydrating, the dehydrated potatoes look nice and white. This is mostly an aesthetic thing. The good news is, when I rehydrate and cook potatoes that weren’t peeled before dehydrating, they look fine.
Another reason to first peel the potatoes before dehydrating them is unless the potatoes are organic, there may be pesticides in the peels. Peeling potatoes before dehydrating them helps to ensure that there aren’t any pesticides on the potatoes.
However, the advantage to keeping the peels on is that potato peels have a lot of nutrition. Also, it’s less work to leave the peels on.
Because of this, whether you peel potatoes before dehydrating is a matter of personal preference. The main thing is that if you’re not going to peel the potatoes before dehydrating them, be sure to scrub them thoroughly.
Step 3: Cut Any Bad Spots off the Potatoes Before Dehydrating
One of the reasons I like peeling potatoes before dehydrating is that it’s much easier to notice bad spots on potatoes that you’ve peeled.
You’ll want to cut off any bad spots before dehydrating the potatoes.
If you don’t peel your potatoes first, look at the potatoes closely for any lines or spots that just don’t look good, and cut them out.
Step 4: Soak the Potatoes in Water
There are a couple of reasons to soak the potatoes in water before dehydrating them. The first reason is so that they don’t turn black while you’re preparing the potatoes.
The second reason is because soaking the potatoes removes some of the starch. This matters more if, like me, you dehydrate Russet or other starchy potatoes.
Step 5: Slice, Dice, or Shred the Potatoes
The next step in the dehydrating potato process is to slice, dice, or shred them.
Pro Tip: A mandolin is a great tool to use in your dehydrating projects. Many mandolins have different attachments that will enable you to slice, shred, dice, and more, your fruit and vegetables. I sliced the potatoes that you see in this article by hand. Since then, I’ve bought a mandolin, and I can now prep my fruit and vegetables much faster. Using a mandolin also helps you cut things much more evenly. Also, with a mandolin, I’m able to slice things super thin. That worked well when I wanted to dehydrate potatoes for potato chips. You can find mandolins at all different price points here on Amazon.
I’ve had good results with dehydrating potato cubes, slices, and shreds. I recommend dehydrating potatoes that you’ve prepared in various ways, because then you have more options for using your dehydrated potatoes.
For instance, sliced potatoes are great for frying, or for making scalloped potatoes. I’ve even sliced potatoes very thinly, and then made potato chips from my dehydrated potatoes! Making chips from dehydrated potatoes is a treat, and we all need treats in our prepper pantry.
Diced potatoes are great for hash, or for putting in a soup or stew. If you want to dehydrate diced potatoes, the important thing is to keep your dices fairly small, no more than 1/3” thick.
The reason that you need to avoid dehydrating potatoes that are more than 1/3” thick is because potatoes are prone to case hardening. Case hardening is when the outside of something hardens during the dehydrating process before the inside is completely dry.
When the outside hardens first, it keeps the inside from dehydrating, regardless of how long you keep the dehydrator going.
This is one of the mistakes I made when I first dehydrated potatoes. I wanted “cubes” of dehydrated potatoes that I could put into stews. I made the chunks too big, and they never dehydrated completely. I had to throw out the entire batch.
Dehydrated shredded potatoes are great for hashbrowns. I love dehydrating shredded potatoes because since they are so thin, they dehydrate very fast.
Dehydrated Potato Storage Space
One thing to consider before deciding whether to slice, dice, or shred your potatoes before dehydrating is the amount of storage space you have available.
While it’s great to have a wide variety of dehydrated potatoes on hand, if you have very limited storage space, I recommend either dicing or shredding potatoes.
You can pack a lot of diced and shredded potatoes into a jar. In contrast, dehydrated sliced potatoes take up a lot more space, because you can’t pack them in tightly. If you attempt to pack them into your jars tightly, you’ll crush them.
Unfortunately, if you just put your dehydrated potato slices into a jar without packing them in, as you can see in the photo, there tends to be a lot of space between the potato slices.
So, unless you have a ton of storage space, what I recommend is storing sliced potatoes, especially very thinly sliced potatoes as a treat. It will be wonderful to be able to have fresh homemade potato chips any time, especially when times are hard. But if you don’t have a lot of storage space for your prepper pantry, and yet you’re hoping to store up a year’s worth of food, diced or shredded potatoes are a better option.
Step 6: Cook the Potatoes Before Dehydrating Them
I personally choose to blanch potatoes before dehydrating them, but you can cook them in other ways if desired. The reason you must cook them first is because if you don’t, they’ll turn black when you dehydrate them.
While black potatoes won’t hurt you, they’ll be incredibly unappetizing. You may even find that they are so unappetizing that even if you’re in challenging times, it may be hard to get your family to eat them.
Blanching Potatoes Before Dehydrating Them
Since I personally blanch potatoes before dehydrating them, I’m going to start off by explaining that process. I’ll then provide instructions for cooking them other ways before dehydrating them.
To blanch potatoes, bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil. Then drain and rinse the potatoes that you’ve already prepared and soaked.
Add the potatoes into the boiling water.
You’ll notice that as you add the potatoes into the boiling water, the water will stop boiling. Bring the water back up to a boil before starting to time them.
Also, after you put the potatoes into the boiling water, stir them to separate any pieces that have stuck together.
How Long to Blanch Potatoes Before Dehydrating
It should take just one to two minutes to blanch thinly sliced potatoes. Small cubes may take five minutes.
There isn’t a precise time, so do the fork test to determine if they’ve been blanched long enough. They should pierce easily with a fork, but not be mushy.
When I checked the potatoes after one minute, they weren’t quite ready, so I let them continue boiling for another 15 seconds.
Baking Potatoes Before Dehydrating Them
If you prefer, you can bake potatoes instead of blanching them before dehydrating them.
To bake potatoes, wrap whole potatoes in foil, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they are fork tender. Allow them to cool to room temperature, with the foil still on them.
Once they are cool, refrigerate them overnight before cutting them. This extra step matters because refrigeration helps firm up the potatoes so they don’t just crumble or turn into mush when you cut them up.
Step 7: Drain and Rinse the Potatoes
Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain them, and run cold water over them. The cold water will stop them from continuing to cook. The water also helps cool down the potatoes enough so that you can handle them. This matters, since you’ll use your hands to put them on the dehydrator trays.
Step 8: Put the Potatoes on Dehydrator Trays
Once you’ve blanched, drained, and rinsed the potatoes, you’ll spread them out onto your dehydrator trays. Do your best not to overlap any of the potatoes. If possible, you’ll even want to leave a bit of space between them. This helps them dry faster and more evenly.
You’ll likely have a few gaps in between potatoes where you can place smaller potato slices.
If by chance you have some potatoes that won’t fit onto the trays, you can place them in a bowl of water and refrigerate until you finish dehydrating the first batch of potatoes.
In my case, I ended up with such a small amount that didn’t fit, I decided to go ahead and squeeze them onto the trays, even though that meant very slightly overlapping a few of the potatoes.
Dehydrate Potatoes at 125-135 Degrees Fahrenheit
The optimal temperature for dehydrating potatoes is between 125 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. I referred to my dehydrator manual that said to dehydrate them at 135 degrees, but since then, I’ve dehydrated potatoes at 125 degrees.
Obviously, with a slightly higher temperature, they dehydrate faster, but you never want to dehydrate fruit and vegetables at a temperature higher than 135 degrees. Dehydrating at too high a temperature results in “case hardening,” which means that the outside dehydrates, but the inside doesn’t, and this can result in the potatoes going bad.
How Long Does it Take to Dehydrate Potatoes?
When it comes to how long it takes to dehydrate potatoes, there are a lot of variables that make this question hard to answer. Having said that, as a general rule of thumb, it takes between four and five hours to completely dehydrate thinly sliced potatoes and seven to eight hours for potatoes that are more thickly sliced. Shredded potatoes may take just a few hours, since they are so thin.
In my case, after three hours in the dehydrator, the potatoes had slightly changed color, but were still a very nice mostly white color. At this point, the thinner ones had dried substantially, but weren’t completely dry.
The good news is, like most things, potatoes shrink as they dehydrate, so if you needed to slightly overlap them, as they shrink, you can space them out a bit better. At three hours in, I was able to spread out the few potatoes that I had overlapped.
After about seven to eight hours in, all of the potatoes were dehydrated. I removed some of the potatoes (which were more thinly sliced and because of that dehydrated faster) throughout the process. The bottom line is that the thinly sliced potatoes were completely dehydrated in four to five hours, and the ones that were more thickly sliced took closer to seven or eight hours.
When potatoes are completely dehydrated, they’ll be very firm, and break apart with a “snap.” If they’re still flexible, they aren’t ready.
The Color of Dehydrated Potatoes
The dehydrated potatoes were a very nice, almost white color.
In the photo, the dehydrated potatoes in the jar look yellow but in reality, they were quite white. The photo below shows the difference between how they look in the jar, vs. the actual color
How to Use Dehydrated Potatoes
These thinly sliced dehydrated potatoes may look like potato chips, but they are not! Trust me, they don’t taste good if you eat them in their dehydrated state. You can indeed make delicious potato chips from dehydrated potatoes (especially if you have a mandolin and slice them really thin), but first you’ll want to completely rehydrate them, pat them dry, and then fry them in oil.
You can also toss these dehydrated potatoes into soup, and they make excellent scalloped potatoes.
Check out the video below for an example of how I made scalloped potatoes using nothing but shelf-stable foods, including my dehydrated potatoes.
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Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above. If you can’t get the one I linked to on Amazon, check out this selection of options available on Walmart.