How To Dehydrate Potatoes – Plus a Secret Revealed!

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Dehydrating potatoes is fun and easy! If you let the dehydrator run all night you wake up to the smell of potatoes in the morning. My husband says it reminds him of hash-browns cooking… I still prefer waking up to the smell of bread baking but the smell of dehydrating potatoes comes in a close second. The practical side of dehydrating potatoes is that you can almost make a meal out of potatoes so to have them on hand to cook up at a moments notice is super convenient. Dehydrated potatoes also make a great addition to your food storage as they will last for years if stored properly. We usually buy the huge bag of potatoes from our local big box store, eat half and dehydrate the other half.

How to Dehydrate Potatoes Step by Step:

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Wash your potatoes. A lot of people think that if you’re going to peel the potatoes then you don’t need to wash them. However, if you don’t wash your potatoes dirt and germs can transfer from the peeler to the peeled potatoes.

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 Peel your potatoes.

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 Cut the potatoes into quarters.

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 They should look similar to this.

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Boil your potatoes for about 5-8 minutes depending on how many potatoes you have and the size of your pot. The more potatoes the longer you should cook them. You want them “al dente”.  That’s just soft enough for a fork or a skewer to go through. Let the potatoes cool in the fridge. I usually leave mine overnight.

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Use your food processor to cut the potatoes into shreds. You use the same blade you would use to shred cheese. This will made the potatoes looked like uncooked hash-browns. At this point you can cut the potatoes with a food slicer or mandoline into slices if you like. They would be good dehydrated this way for potatoes au gratin. Since this is not a dish I feed my family often I usually choose to use fresh potatoes when making it. You can fit a lot more shredded potatoes in the dehydrator than you can sliced potatoes and shredded potatoes can be used for hash-browns, soups, casseroles, stews and much more.

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 Here’s a shot of the potatoes still in the food processor.

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 You can see how they’re cut better in this photo.

Load up your trays. Here I have my non-stick dehydrator sheets on my trays. These sheets come in handy for small pieces that might fall through the trays. You can find them here on Amazon. I especially like to use them with potatoes since they are non-stick. It keeps the starch from getting onto the plastic mesh part of the trays, much easier to clean!

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 Load up your dehydrator. Here you can see I’m using my Excalibur.

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 Set the temperature and you’re ready to let them dehydrate overnight.

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 Here is a close-up of what the potatoes look like dehydrated.

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OK, so you might have guessed the secret to getting the onion smell out of your dehydrator after you’ve dehydrated a load of onions. That’s right! Just dehydrate a load of potatoes. The first time I dehydrated onions I was really worried because I washed all the trays, sprayed them with vinegar and even tried to air out the dehydrator for a bit. It still smelled like onions. I’m sure the smell would dissipate over time, but I use my dehydrator weekly if not daily. Drying fruit in a dehydrator that reeked of onions was something I didn’t wanted to try. Fruit is just too expensive for an experiment like that. I discovered that if I just plan to dehydrate potatoes right after onions the smell is completely gone! It’s like magic. I’m not worried at all if my potatoes pick up a hint of onions (they never have but if they did I’m fine with that). I’d much rather have a hint of onion in my potatoes than my fruit! There you have it! I told you it was worth waiting for!

Step by step directions on how to dehydrate potatoes, plus the secret to using them to neutralize dehydrator odors.
  • Bama Girl says:

    Hi Jennifer! That’s what I LOVE about your blog! You have THE MOST informative posts! Your tutorial makes dehydrating potatoes look so easy! I have the round dehydrator and only one solid sheet. Will the potatoes still dehydrate well? Blessings from Bama!

  • Sheri says:

    I love this tutorial, great job! I don’t have a dehydrator…can I dehydrate potatoes in the oven on a low temp?

  • Judi says:

    Do you HAVE to peel your potatoes? I like potato peels on fresh potatoes like baked or fried and am wondering if they would dehydrate ok?

    • Jennifer says:

      I’ve never tried it with the potato skins still on but I’m sure it would work fine. You don’t have to remove apple or pear skins. If you try it let me know how it turns out.

  • Linda says:

    Yes – potatoes with skins on dry very well – not much difference in ‘skinless’.

    I dehydrated a boatload of onions recently – but moved the dehydrator to the garage to keep the smell out of the house. (Been there – done that – took days to air out.) BUT – now the garage SMELLS LIKE ONIONS – A MONTH LATER! The moisture that dripped from the onions, and out of the dehydrator, formed a little onion-smell puddle on the garage floor….and it stayed – and stayed…. ;D

    Now, I guess I will have to drag the darned dehydrator out to the garage to see if doing potatoes out there will remove the onion smell….. wait a minute !!! (light bulb flickering weakly) – maybe all I need to do is just make some potato shreds, like those pictured, spread them on the onion spot on the garage floor….. and let ‘em dry. Ya think it might work??? ;D Several weeks of ‘airing’ during non-snowy too freezing cold weather hasn’t helped much. Just might try it! ;D

    • Jennifer says:

      Linda, let me know if it works! Oh yeah, and stay tuned for some “getting the smell” out of other things in up coming blog posts!

    • Gramma Jan says:

      Two thoughts:
      1- oil dry or kitty litter takes odors out (It helped remove smokey smell from a neighbor’s closet after a small fire in the house.)
      2) cedar chips like used in a dogs’ bed has been used under cushions of a couch where a dog had been sleeping. It might help to cover the area with cardboard after covering it with either of these.
      Let us know if either one works?

      • Jennifer Osuch says:

        Hi Gramma Jan,

        I’m not sure I’d put kitty litter in my dehydrator. The Cedar chips might work, though…..:)

  • Marian says:

    I’ve found that leaving the skins on when doing hashbrowns doesn’t work well. The skins clog up the shredding blade & turn the potatoes into mashed potatoes. I take the skins off when doing sliced also but leave them on when I do diced since I cut those by hand..

  • Yolanda says:

    How do you store your dehydrated taters after they are done? Do you soak them in water before using? Also, how do you use the dried onions? When I’ve purchased dried onions and used the in soups, they gave us “digestive issues” and so I’m wondering how to avoid that. With fresh onions, I always saute them before adding them to anything cooked. I love this idea of yours here! I have a little old school desk on my front porch where I put the dehydrator in the summertime to keep the house cool. That would be a great place to dehydrate the onions! And since onions don’t always keep too well… Thanks for the good ideas!

    • Jennifer says:

      To store the potatoes I put them in the freezer for two weeks to pasteurizer them. Then I store them in a Mylar bag in a food storage bucket. Yes, to re-hydrate I just soak them in water (use enough just to cover the potatoes). I do the same with the onions. I soak them in water for a few minutes then saute as normal.

      • Marian says:

        We also use mylar bags. And Mason jars & Food Saver bags. All with oxygen absorbers. With the Food Saver bags, we’ve made up meals in a bag. Poatoes (or rice) veggies & a couple bouillon cubes or powdered cheese. We can add canned meat when we cook it.

      • Cathy says:

        I have been dehydrating potatoes for quite a while and I have never heard of putting them in the freezer to pasteurizer them. Can you explain what this means?
        Thanks

        • Jennifer says:

          When you dehydrate food you don’t heat the food to a high enough temperature to kill insect eggs or bacteria. Freezing the food in a deep freezer for several weeks takes care of the majority of problems that might arise from bugs and bacteria. It’s not 100% full proof some bacteria freezes just fine and will thaw out and still be active. Obviously the ancient Egyptians did not have freezers but they did live in a very dry climate which is helpful in dehydrating. Since I do not live in a dry climate and I have the freezer option available to me it’s just an extra precaution that I take. In addition I find the freezer continues to dry the food out just a bit and as a result I get food that is very similar to freeze dried.

    • Marian says:

      We have a small thermos we use for rehydrating the potatoes. Cover them with boiling water, seal it up for a few mins., drain & cook them up. With soups I just through them right in & add a little extra liquid to the soup.
      If we’re using the onions in a fried dish we rehydrate but most times we just toss them in the dish dry.

  • Betty says:

    What is this best way to package these dehydrated potatoes for long term storage?

    • Jennifer says:

      I plan to place the potatoes in Mylar bags and then place the Mylar bags in 5 gallon food grade buckets. I also plan to make potato flour from some of the potatoes. As long as you keep them in a cool, dry place they should be last a long time.

  • Ann Marie Jones says:

    My dehydrator does not have a thermostatic control, just vents. Will that still work? If so , how often would I need to alternate shelves and how many hours/days will the process take? Thank you for any responses. Ann

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, any dehydrator will work. You’ll just have to keep a closer eye on the potatoes. I’m not sure how often you’d have to rotate your shelves, it all depends on the dehydrator you have. If I were you I’d take notes on times and rotation the first couple of time I dehydrated potatoes that way you’ll have a record of when to rotate and the time it takes your dehydrator to dehydrate.

  • Lisa says:

    How dry should the potatoes get when they’re done being dehydrated? Should they be crunchy? Or should they have a little water in them? Thanks in advance.

  • Sam and Joeys Grama says:

    You said to cool them overnight in the fridge after boiling. I’m guessing you drain them to cool them, is that correct? Seems they would be pretty water logged otherwise. Thanks for the info.

  • Lynn Lawson says:

    I live in MX and do not have access to Mylar bags. How can I store my dried potatoes?

  • If you have boiled them, there should be no eggs or bacteria.

    • Jennifer says:

      Well, eggs and bacteria could still be a problem during the dehydration process since it takes several hours and the temperatures are not high enough to kill either. That’s why I recommend the potatoes send a small amount of time in the freezer.

  • Jo Rellime says:

    How do you keep them from turning black? Mine seem to turn black regardless of the process I use.

  • Cheryl says:

    I love your website. I came across it when looking for how to dehydrate potatoes. I have dehydrated red potatoes, both sliced and shredded. They turned out great! Now I’m dehydrating Yukon potatoes and after blanching them they are still turning black. Not all of them, but a major of them. Do you have any ideas on what I should do? Also, is it better to can Yukon’s?

    Thank you!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for you kind words, Cheryl! I’m not sure why your potatoes are turning black after you blanch them. My guess would be that they might not be cooked quite enough. The do need to be a cooked a bit more than just blanching; they need to be cooked through but not mushy. Dehydrating or canning would both work for Yukons; it just depends on how you want to store then and use them as to whether you dehydrate them or can them.

    • Tres B says:

      I always put my peeled potatoes in water with lemon juice until I have them all peeled, no matter how I am fixing them (canned, dried or fresh). The lemon juice keeps them from turning black, and will even “crisp up” ones that might be a tad old and wrinkled.

  • Cheryl says:

    I did cook them a little longer and that seemed to work. Thank you for your help!

  • Deb says:

    Your website was just what I was looking for – very informative and complete. Loved the step by step with pictures!
    I wanted to share something it took me years to figure out through trial and error.
    If potatoes are turning black when dehydrating they aren’t cooled enough – leaving them in the refrigerator overnight (as your article suggests) should alleviate that. Yukons, because of the denseness and waxy texture, take longer to cool…. so you will notice this more so with them if they aren’t cooled thoroughly.
    Thank You again for sharing your wonderful site!!

  • OmaK says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas han helpful hints, they are just what I was looking for.
    Now to get the dehydrator I am looking for.
    🙂

  • George says:

    I have been vacuum sealing my veggies in glass jars, I also put in oxy-sorb packets is this a good way to get a longer shelf life. I’m trying to get at least 10yrs. Any hints you might have would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jennifer says:

      George,
      Vacuum sealing is a great way to preserve food. I think the oxygen absorbor is overkill if you are already vacuum packing. Ten years is a long time! I’m a big believer in food rotation. I would not eat anything over three years unless there was no other food available, even in a pretty bad collapse three years is long enough to get crops going.

  • George says:

    Thank you.

  • Delta says:

    Look forward to future postings!

  • Diamond says:

    I love your blog and want you to know I have bookmarked more ideas from you than I have any other. Thank you for such awesome and practical ideas!

  • Judy says:

    Hi guys,
    The potatoes turn black because they are immature. Not ready for cooking or eating. That’s the pick and get to the store and let it ripen on the shelf concept of producers. Really home grown potatoes aren’t generally eaten when they are still green because the grower knows a green potatoe from a mature one.

    • Jennifer says:

      Interesting, Judy, I have not heard that before.

      • Sava says:

        green potatoes are those that have been exposed to the sun while growing. It should not eaten. If you grow fresh potatoes you can eat them any time. if you “cured” potatoes then you have to wait until the plant freezes or dries off the top. We normally pick them and let them sit on the basement floor for several weeks beforing storing as an alternate way to cure.

  • Stephanie says:

    How do you rehydrate & cook them once dehydrated? Thanks!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Stephanie,
      I place the potatoes in water, just enough to cover them and wait about five to ten minutes for them to re-hydrate. Then I use them as normal.

  • Phyllis says:

    Can you dry chunks of potato? If so, how big do you cut your chunks. Also can the chunks then be rehydrated and use as mashed potatoes?

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Phyllis,

      Yes, you could dehydrate the potatoes in chunks and re-hydrated them to make mashed potatoes or you could just grind up the dehydrated potatoes and make your own instant potatoes.

  • michelle says:

    Thanks a lot. Great info.

  • Tammy says:

    Very helpful, thanks for your information on dehydrated potatoes. We have Food grade buckets and Mylar bags. Can this process make potato flakes as well ? What do you know about making insant rice Thanks

    • Lisa Rearick says:

      Instant rice: Cook the rice as usual, no oil in the water. Let cool. Spread on dehydrator sheets and process as for fruits. Once dry (crispy) rub between your hands to separate grains. Not quite instant, but will cook in about 3 minutes. Store air/water tight. Backpackers have been using this process for years. The same procedure can be used to process beans, pastas, lentils, and many other ancient type grains.

  • Yolanda says:

    I was so glad to get an update email on this today, because someone gave us a lot of potatoes and some of them are going bad, so now I remembered I can dehydrate them!

  • Ramona says:

    Hi. Could I do the same thing – shred, dehydrate – with leftover baked potatoes?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Yes, but you would need to make sure your mashed potatoes were spread really thin on the trays, otherwise it might take forever.

      • Lisa Rearick says:

        Thin out your potatoes with a little water or fat free bouillon before dehydrating. They should have the consistency of thick-ish pancake batter. This makes great instant potatoes and also a great thickener for soups or stews.

  • Pat Charvonia says:

    I haven’t used Mylar bags, do you need a device to seal these?

  • Don says:

    Hello!
    Just read your post on potatoes and onions, I to dry a lot of my vegetables, but on my onions I just slice them thin and the potatoes I do the same, but I made the mistake and did the potatoes first and then the onions!! so it was a job to get the onion smell out, but keep up the good work!! Don

  • Patricia Budde says:

    I am wanting to buy a dehydrator, can you suggest what type to get? I cannot go to expensive.

    Thanks, Patricia

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      I recommend the 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator

      • Lisa Rearick says:

        The ultimate dehydrator! Don’t waste your money on anything else! I went through 4 dehydrators before I finally got smart and purchased my Excalibur 9 tray, which is the last one I’ll ever buy. Check out their website–many times they have refurbished units and sales which make them affordable. Be sure to check out the many options they have: with or without timers, number of trays, parallax sheets, etc.

        As an aside, enlist the help of your family and friends to give you prepaid visa cards instead of gifts so you can purchase your dream dehydrator. Worked for me!

  • Jean says:

    Hi Jennifer

    Love your posts, I was wondering about sliced potatoes for au gratin or scallops, how thin would they need to be cut to make them dehydrate and still be good for making au grating when rehydrated?

  • Cindy says:

    Has a anyone tried cooking the potatoes with the onions (maybe alternating each tray) to see if it cuts down on the odor?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Cindy,
      I have not tried that, but since you mention it I am curious…..:) Let me know if you try and what the results are.

      • Cindy says:

        It worked great! Did 6 trays of potatoes and 3 of onions. Very strong smell first few hours but by the time they were done no odor. I took the onions out a couple hours prior to the potatoes as they were done sooner.

  • Cindy says:

    I do have another question. New to this. :). I did potato slices. 1/4″. 10 hours. All brittle. I put them in the freezer (as additional preventative for bacteria) in a regular zip lock bag until I had the time to seal a meal them a couple hours later. When I checked them after an hour of putting them in the freezer there was a little condensation on the inside of the bag?? How do you know when things are done enough?

    • Cindy says:

      Also I am in Arizona. Virtually no humidity.

    • Gramma Jan says:

      We often place a small paper towel in with dehydrated items. It will absorb any moisture and prevent moisture from causing problems. When using items to grate, etc, after washing and drying, turn oven to lowest temp (Ours is 170*) turn oven OFF, place items like grater blades, sieves, and more on large cookie sheets and place in oven. Let set overnight. We also do this with dehydrated things to insure that they are TOTALLY dry!
      When checking after freezing, if the paper towel is damp just replace it…

  • karen says:

    TIP for Y’all…go to walmart or any fabric store. Buy a yard or two of fine mesh netting, such as wedding veil netting, plain white, no sparkles or colors. cut to size of your trays, round or rectangle, doesn’t matter. Put on your trays and your food will not fall thru. When you take it off just roll up or fold up the netting, transfer the netting to a bowl and dump it, if anything sticks just rub the netting together on itself and it will come right off. These wash easily in hot soapy water, and you can even put them in the dishwasher. They are cheap, reusable, and replaceable. Try it! You’ll like it!

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Karen,

      The problem with doing that is that often the material is not food grade so I know that would be a problem for a lot of people. It would be for me. I do not recommend doing that.

    • Brooke says:

      I think that’s a fabulous idea! I would wash the fabric first to get out any “finish” that they put on in the manufacturing process and I think it would be fine to use with food. Thanks!

  • carol says:

    I have purchased those oxygen packs and store my dried goods in glass jars with 2 or 3 of them per jar….no mold yes didn’t freeze either should i?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Carol,

      If you don’t see any mold and everything looks good, you’re probably fine. Freezing is just an extra precaution.

  • Margie says:

    Could you shredd the potatoes before you blanched them? I have a Salad Master with a coarse cylinder like for making coleslaw . and then don’t blanch as long. Thanks.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Margie,

      You could give it a try. You might end up with something more like mashed potatoes though. I feel safer doing it after the potatoes have been cooked.

  • Roberta Oswalt says:

    Hi Jennifer, I would like to know after you freeze the hash browns after dehydrating them for a couple of weeks and take them out will there be moisture in them when I vacuum seal them in my mason jars?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Roberta,

      I have not had this problem. I usually place my Mason jar in the freezer and watch them after I take them out for a couple of days before I put them away. There will be condensation on the outside of the jar but not on the inside, especially if it is already vacuum sealed, but even if they are not I have not had any moisture in the jars. This might be different if you live in a tropical environment.

  • Sandile says:

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for this informative blog. I do not own the electric dehydrator and intend on drying potatoes using solar-tunnel heat. Will they dry right. I am in KwaZulu-Natal-South Africa where sunheat can go as high as 37 degrees Celsius.

    Regards
    Sandile

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Sandile,

      There are a ton of different designs of solar-tunnels so without knowing exactly what your set-up is I’m not sure. 37 Celsius is enough to dehydrate food sometimes in some climates. It depends on humidity. So I really recommend you get a set-up that has a higher temperature.

  • Samantha says:

    Can you not dehydrate raw potatoes? I don’t care if they turn black, I am just looking for the easiest way to put some potatoes up. Boiling them adds more wate to then remove, and I don’t have a food processor. It is easier to grate raw potatoes.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Samantha,

      You can dehydrate raw potatoes but like you mentioned they will turn black and they might take a lot longer to re-hydrate. So I highly recommend that you cook them first.

  • Martin says:

    Hello jenny!

    Excellent website, its so helpful!

    I want to make potato ´powder´, i tried looking online and all ive seen is Potato starch and Flour.

    My idea is to just grind the dehydrated potato that you showed during the process explained in your blog so they can last a loooong time, isnt that the same as flour? or they use another method and the potato composition is different..

    Also, can you use an oven to replace the dehydrator? I couldnt find the process in the last link you posted in a comment.

    Thanks.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Martin,

      Yes, you can grind potatoes into a flour. You can use your oven if it can be set to under 200 degrees. Most modern ovens cannot be set this low. There are some that have a dehydrate setting, but you cannot regulate what temperature you are dehydrating at. So ovens are not the best appliances for dehydrating food.

  • chelsea says:

    Do you think sweet potatoes would work? I can’t eat regular potatoes unfortunately

  • Max says:

    Since the potatoes are cut to small pieces can they be dropped into boiling water to cook them? Also, what temp is the dehydrator set to?
    Thanks.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Max,

      Yes, if they are cubed or cut into bigger pieces, but shredded potatoes will turn to mush is you boil them after you shred them.

  • Teresa Kimmel says:

    Can you make french fries out of your potatoes and dehydrate them?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Teresa,

      If you mean cut them into french fry shapes, yes you can. I wouldn’t, however, fry up some potato wedges and then dehydrate them. That would not work very well…..:)

  • harold says:

    So many comments on onion smells. The old standby is after handling onions to wipe some lemon juice on your hands to remove the smell. I would guess it would work equally well on anything that accidentally gets an onion smell.

  • Faith says:

    I was anxious to try to dehydrate potatoes for hash browns. They are wonderful for camping. I thought I followed the instructions but when I drained the potatoes to cool them in the fridge overnight, they turned black. What did I do wrong? Should I have left them in the boiling water to cool?

  • Bec says:

    I was wondering why you cook them. I am drying for the first time and I am shredding and placing them in hot water for a few hours to remove some of the starch and make them crispy as I do when I cook them without drying. Also have you ever done it without cooking first? Thank you in advance for helping me understand

  • Debbie Smith says:

    is it possible to dehydrate raw potatoes?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Debbie, yes, it’s possible but they will turn black and might be harder to reconstitute. I do not recommend dehydrating raw potatoes.

  • Michael Schneider says:

    Maybe I missed it, but I don’t see the temperature the dehydrator is to be set at.

  • Lyn says:

    Can I use a mandolin to spread or slice the potatoes, then blanch them for less time? I would think it would be easier.

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