Sunday, March 31, 2013

Potato Chips? Of Course!

Dehydrated Potato Chips 

Here is the third installment on my fifty-pound box of bargain potatoes.  If you missed the other two posts, you will want to be sure and look them over. Taters ‘n Taters ‘n Taters, Oh My! and Hash Browns…WOW! 

I’m trying to find as many ways as possible to use dehydrated potatoes. While I was playing around with the potatoes, I remembered that once or twice as a child, my mom fixed home-made potato chips.  She deemed them too much trouble. But I decided to give it a try. 

Prep for the Mandolin Slicer

The easiest way to get consistent sized chips is to cut the narrow end off the potato before you start slicing.  Then, about an inch or two from the other end, stop before you slice your fingers. Take those ends and toss them into a pan of cold water to use later for cooking fresh. 

Consistent Slices 

I put my mandolin directly over a pot of cold water and slice the potatoes directly into it.

  • My slicer has an adjustable cutting edge, so I set it on the most narrow setting. It goes to about 1/8 inch, but if you can get them paper thin, it’s even better. Sometimes my slices end up thinner and I found that those make the best chips.
  • The 1/8 inch slices turn out more like kettle chips, which are still great. 
Rinse and Blanch 

Rinse your slices in fresh water to eliminate starch. Then blanch. See my post on Potatoes & Blanching for details. 


Use your salad spinner to get as much water off them as possible. Rack them and dehydrate.

  • I dehydrated them at 115º for about a day. Here in arid Wyoming, I put them in the machine in the morning, and take them out the following morning. If you live in a humid climate or if it’s raining, it will take longer. 
Ready to Store 

  • When they are dried, they will shatter when bent.
  • Potatoes usually have sharp edges, which will puncture a vacuum pack bag.  If you use vacuum pack bags, double bag them.
  • Store these in a sturdy container. Quart mason jars are too small. If you have a gallon pickle jar, that will work really well. I recommend a sturdy container for potato chips because they are fragile and can easily shatter if bagged.

Cover and Soak 

I used one cup of dehydrated potato chips for my test batch. That was just about right for the two of us.   

Potatoes are kind of funny. They take a long time to rehydrate.  Depending on the size, shape, and thickness of the potatoes, they could take anywhere from ten minutes to three hours or more. 

I finally gave up timing the rehydrating time.  Simply cover them with water and refrigerate in the morning. Plan to use them for supper.  Or, if you want them for breakfast, put them on to soak in the afternoon or evening and they will be rehydrated by the next morning. 

Dry Thoroughly 

  • When you are ready to cook them, be sure to blot them dry with a towel.  Any water on the chips will cause the hot grease to spatter.
Hot Oil 

Wait until your oil is very hot. I don’t know the temp, but the potatoes should sizzle the instant you drop them in the oil.

  • Gently place the chips in the oil, do not dump them in
  • Be ready with tongs to turn them when the edges get brown
Browned & Ready 

  • When the chips are light brown, pull them out of the oil and drain on a paper towel. Thicker slices may take a minute or two longer.
  • Lightly salt them if desired. Seasoning should be done while they are still hot, so it will stick to the oil on the chips.
Kettle Chips 

My first batch of chips tasted like kettle chips. I especially prefer them, but Mike likes them thinner.

Two Large Potatoes 

Those chips were so delicious, we decided we wanted more… NOW!  We weren’t willing to wait another day for them to rehydrate. So I took two fresh potatoes, sliced, and fried them. 

I couldn’t believe how many chips came from two potatoes.  I didn’t have a good scale to weigh them, so we can only guess about the quantity. These chips are in a wide, 8-cup casserole. 

Well actually, this isn’t the whole batch. We couldn’t resist sampling them just as soon as they came out of the pan! 

Linda’s Note: I did not blanch the fresh batch of potato chips. Mike deemed them a bit more flavorful than the blanched, dehydrated ones. I could not see a significant difference in the taste. In spite of that, he said they definitely were worth dehydrating.  Looks like we are going to do quite a few potato chips. 

Making your own potato chips might be considered a bit of a bother, but we don’t see it that way.
  • First, there are no chemicals or additives in fresh home-made potato chips.
  • Second, it takes very few thinly sliced potatoes to make a batch of chips, so they are very economical.



  1. I just purchased a dehydrator last week, so I am just learning. So far, I have only done bananas, but really would like to do potatoes. When you dehydrate the chips, they aren't edible as chips? They have to be rehydrated and fried? So, the dehydration is simply for preserving, not for eating? Thanks.

    1. These chips are raw. They do need to be fried. I do recommend rehydrating them before cooking.

      Dehydrating is the first and best possible form of food preservation. Only a small percentage of nutrients are lost through dehydrating whereas freezing and canning destroys a significant percent of nutrients. See my post on Dehydrating if for no other reason.

      That being said, there are many wonderful ways of using dehydrated foods just as they are or in "raw" recipes. Most fruits make an excellent snack just as they are.

      If you would like to know about making cookies and crackers and other foods, look over some of my other posts.

      "Raw Repasts" has links for quite a few recipes in which the dishes are prepared in the dehydrator.

      Take a look at the "Evolution of the One Banana Bookie" to learn how to make cookies in your dehydrator.

      BTW, I am thrilled that you have a dehydrator now. It can really change your outlook on life, the economy, and food in general. Happy Dehydrating! :)

  2. Hey Linda,
    Can I dehydrate loaded mashed potatoes??

    1. Hi Liz,
      You can dehydrate mashed potatoes, but it is one of the few things I don't bother with.

      First, you need to make sure there is no butter or fat in the potatoes. Oil in any form can cause them to go rancid.

      Also, these days you can buy plain, 100% instant potatoes very reasonably, I found them to be just as tasty as fresh potatoes when they are properly seasoned. They are so cheap, I personally don't think it's worth the effort to mash your own and dehydrate them,

      So what do you load them with? Veggies, etc.? If so, take your dehydrated veggies and mix them with meal-sized portions of instant potatoes and vacuum seal them.

      The one problem I might see with that would be veggies that take longer to rehydrate than the potatoes. Onions and mushrooms... no problem, but others might take longer.

      You might consider cutting the veggies into smaller pieces before dehydrating.

      Try it on a few and let me know how it works out., :)

      Again, no fats or oils.

      Thanks for posting! :)