In this article, you’ll learn how to dehydrate potatoes and use your dehydrated potatoes to make everyone’s favorite: potatoes au gratin!
Although I’m not a big fan of box mixes, I have to admit that they are convenient. One of my favorite ones is the box that has the dried potatoes with the sauce packets. Now that I know how easy it is to make dehydrated potatoes, I can make the base for my own mixes!
Best Potatoes to Dehydrate
Personally, I love red potatoes. They are much more creamy than russets. But the russet potatoes are so much easier to dehydrate. Purple and gold potatoes are fun, but they tend to turn gray after a while. The trick here is to use them within 6 months. Whatever potatoes you use, be sure they have no bad spots and are cleaned really well. Crunching into a bit of sand is no fun!
How to Make Dehydrated Potatoes
Once you have your potatoes clean and picked through, it’s time to cook them.
Cooking the Potatoes
Place in a pot, cover with cool water and set on the stove to simmer. Once your pot begins to boil, turn the heat down to simmer. You can cover it or not, that is your choice. At this point, you can add salt if you wish. Just remember to mark your container as to whether your potatoes are salted or not. Cook the potatoes just to the point of being done. Overcooking will make them mushy and hard to process and dehydrate.
Cool the Potatoes
Next, you’ll need to cool the potatoes. I cool mine overnight to be sure there are no hot spots in the center. This makes them easier to work with and they won’t burn your fingers. You can do this on the counter, but cooling them on the refrigerator makes sure the job is done.
Process the Potatoes
The next day, you can start to cut up your potatoes. Grate them for hash brown potatoes or cut them into slices. You can also dice them or cut them into chunks.
Dehydrating the Potatoes
Be sure to use the dehydrator on a low setting. Drying the potatoes low and slow will ensure that they are dried through instead of just the outside. 12 hours is usually good, unless you have big chunks, they are crowded close together, or the humidity is higher. All of these factors can determine actual drying time.
Storing the Dehydrated Potatoes
When your potatoes are thoroughly dry, let them cool completely. My dehydrator can get quite warm and it takes a while for things to cool off. Once the potato pieces are cool, then you can set them in containers for storage. I use quart jars when possible because the lids seal really well. Stored this way, your potatoes can keep for years!
Store your potatoes in a cool, dry place. Next up-how to use your dried potatoes!
Rehydrating the Potatoes
Rehydration is easy. Simply place your dehydrated potatoes in a glass or stainless steel bowl and cover them with hot water. Leave to sit for 20 minutes or so. When you’re ready to use them, drain and cook. It’s that easy! They will taste fresh, as you had never dried them.
Once your potatoes are cooked, you can use them the way you would normally use fresh potatoes. One of my favorite recipes is au gratin potatoes and they are so easy to make.
Au Gratin Potato Recipe
- two cups rehydrated potatoes
- 1 cup cheese sauce (below)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- To make the cheese sauce for the dehydrated potatoes, saute 1/4 cup shallots in a saucepan.
- When the shallots are translucent, add 1/4 cup butter and melt.
- Add 3-4 Tablespoons of flour and stir well. This will form a roux. Add a bit more flour if it is too thin. Cook the roux until it browns to your liking.
- Add 1 cup cold milk in small amounts at a time. This will start to bubble and make a sauce. You may need a bit more milk depending on how thick you like your sauce.
- Add 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and melt. Some people like a pinch of nutmeg to bring the flavor out. Add salt and pepper if you wish.
- Grease a baking pan and layer the sauce alternately with the dehydrated potatoes.
- Add some cheese to the top, cover, and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
- Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Serve hot.
Benefits of Dehydrating Potatoes
Dehydrating potatoes allows you to
- take advantage of sales
- store potatoes you grow in your garden
- and using up potatoes that could go bad before you can use them.
Of course, this is a great way to store food for the zombie apocalypse, but that’s for another day!
I’m going to make some dehydrated potatoes today. How about you?