by Tammy Taylor
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I’ve been on a dehydrating kick this year & I love it. Recently I acquired a large quantity of potatoes and went on a mission to figure out how to preserve them all. In the past I have preserved potatoes by cooking, mashing and freezing them so this time I think I’ll try dehydrating them. I know that potatoes will turn black if they are not cooked before they’re dehydrated so I washed the potatoes and then pricked the skin in several places on each potato, then stacked them tightly in my black enameled covered pan.
I covered the pot with the lid and placed it into my *solar oven. After closing & latching the oven door I pointed the reflectors at the sun, readjusting the oven about once an hour to help it track the sun and keep the interior temps consistent. We had intermittent high-level cloudiness on this day so the temps only held to around 250. I didn’t want the potatoes to be too soft so I brought them in when I began to see steam collecting on the inside glass of the oven (about 3 hours.)
It’s easier to process the potatoes for dehydration when they’re cold. So I spread out 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. I don’t mind a few skins on my potatoes so I didn’t try to peel them first as many people do. I simply started grating and the skins pulled away from the potatoes as I grated, leaving me holding only the skin when the potato was fully grated.
Since there were so many potatoes I placed them on two large sided baking trays lined with parchment paper and tried to dehydrate them in the oven. But the oven allowed the moisture to remain and the potatoes didn’t dry fast enough and they soured. Epic fail – the whole mess went to the *tumbling composter.
Hummmm… How else can I do this? Well there was still quite a heat wave going on here in Texas so why not take advantage of mother nature’s
torture free heat? I repeated the whole process but this time I covered the potatoes with cheesecloth & placed the trays 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. YEA!
All in all I cooked, grated and dehydrated about 15 pounds of potatoes. I love how they dehydrate down to a very small volume. They’re pretty stored in glass jars in my pantry!
I’ll use these potatoes as hash browns of course but we also like shredded potatoes in our breakfast burritos along with the eggs. Next I’m going to repeat the procedure but cut the cooked potatoes into small cubes. Those cubes can be dropped still dehydrated right into our winter simmering soups to rehydrate as the soup cooks!
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!
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