Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hash Browns? WOW!

Hash Browns – Sooo Easy!

My dehydrated hash browns are stored in a food saver vacuum jar.  Personally, I think these things are overpriced, but I buy them for a few bucks a piece at the thrift store when I find them. For some reason, they don’t always hold a seal, so I don’t use them for the vacuum feature.  

Potatoes will have very sharp edges when dehydrated. If you put them in vacuum pack bags, they will eventually puncture the bags and you lose the seal.  When I am putting up my one-meal servings, I double bag them to prevent the puncturing. I do this for my long-term storage plans. 

Since we frequently enjoy hash browns, these will store in the cabinet in the kitchen and I can scoop out what I need for each meal. This is much more practical economical than using the vacuum pack bags.

You might want to refer back to my post, Taters ‘n Taters ‘n Taters… Oh My! For some basic instructions on dealing with potatoes. 

You must blanch potatoes before dehydrating. Otherwise they will turn a nasty, blackish grey from the starch.  Do not confuse blanching with cooking. There is a difference.  If you’re not sure how to do it, check my post on Potatoes & Blanching.   

Get ‘em Grated

I have a grater blade on my mandolin slicer, so that is how I shred my spuds. You can use any type of grater you like for this purpose.  

  • If you have a mandolin slicer like mine, you can simply place it over a pot of cold water and slice them directly into the water.
Ready to Blanch

This is a six-quart pot filled with shredded potatoes. 
  • You will want to rinse them to get the extra starch off before blanching.

I used to try and slice my potatoes all the way down to the very end, but too many times I got cut on the blade.  Took me a long time to make the quantum leap and realize that I don’t have to go all the way down.  I now stop an inch or two short of the end and set the pieces aside to cook fresh for supper.  Duhhh! <she rolls her eyes>

Blanching & Cooling 

After blanching the potatoes in small batches, they are placed directly into the salad spinner insert and plunged into cold water to stop the cooking. 
Spin Them Dry 

Next they go into the salad spinner to get rid of most of the moisture.  They are placed on the dehydrating racks and dried. Sorry I didn’t have the wit to take pics at this stage.

  • Make sure you spread them out and don’t leave them clumped thickly together.
  • I put either a fruit leather tray or a mesh tray on the bottom rack to catch any pieces that fall through the racks when they dry.
  • Dry them at 115º
  • Here in Wyoming, I dry them overnight or about a day and a half.  If you live in a humid area, it will take longer to dry.
Now You Get to Eat ‘Em! 

Rehydrate 10 Minutes 

One of the really nice things about shredded potatoes is how quickly they rehydrate.  Simply cover them with water and let them soak for about ten minutes.
  • This is one cup of dehydrated potatoes
  • I added one tablespoon of dehydrated onions to the rehydrating water


  • Place in a heavy skillet and simmer until the water evaporates. It took mine about ten minutes cooking time.

Oil to Brown 

  • When the potatoes are tender and the water’s gone, add a little oil in the bottom of the pan and cook until browned.




  1. Could you do enough to fill a 5 gal bucket and scoop out as you need them ? Or do they need to remained sealed ?

    1. As long as you have a food-safe bucket and it's kept in a cool dry place, there shouldn't be a problem.

      Years ago, when I first started dehydrating in Alabama, I stored my foods in one-gallon pickle jars and scooped out as I needed them. That was long before the days of home vacuum pack machines.

      It's simply a personal preference for me to package my foods in one-meal portion bags. I am always thinking in terms of emergency evacuation situations and possibly being in difficult places.

      I also think in terms of situations in which there is no refrigeration (e.g. major power failure)By having one-meal portions, there is no problem with leftovers needing refrigeration.

      It's also pretty handy to have foods sealed and ready for backpacking, camping, or traveling.

  2. How long do you blanch them when they're shredded like that?

    1. I blanched mine for about three minutes. But I live at 7,000 feet above sea level, so water boils at a lower temperature. If you live at sea level, probably not more than one or two minutes at most. (This is just a guess)

  3. Thank you! I've dried frozen hashbrowns, now I'll try making them myself!

    1. Yes Tammy, Isn't it exciting? With time, you will begin to dehydrate all sorts of things. I've got several more posts on dehydrating potatoes coming up soon. Keep an eye out!