Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And Then There’s Shoestring Taters


Do you like think and crispy French fries?  Here is a way to make them.


Thinner Blade 

When I first decided to try French fries, I chose the smaller julienne blade on my potato slicer. I figured the smaller thickness would dehydrate more evenly and faster. 

Cut to Fit

  • First, I cut the end off the very large potatoes to make them fit the machine. I would have preferred longer pieces, but I knew I couldn’t hand-cut them to a consistent size. 
Ready to Blanch 

  • I got a batch of potatoes cut and ready, then rinsed them in cold water before blanching. This helped remove excess starch.
Blanching Begins

  • If you aren’t sure how to blanch potatoes, refer back to my post on Potatoes and Blanching. 
  • If you think you can take a short-cut and avoid the blanching step, you will find that your potatoes will end up grayish-black because of the starch. They are not ruined, but sure have an unappetizing look about them.

  • I found if I dump the blanched potatoes directly into the salad spinner basket, it saves a lot of aggravation. 
Cooling the Potatoes 

  • Take the salad spinner rack and plunge it directly into a large bowl of cold water.  Once they’ve cooled, use the salad spinner to get as much excess moisture off the potatoes as possible.

  • Place them on the dehydrator racks. Make sure there is space between the pieces for good air circulation.
  • Dehydrate at 115º. I let mine dry for about two days.  Depending on the ambient humidity where you live and how well you dried them before racking them will determine how long it takes to get them thoroughly dehydrated.
Linda’s Note:
  • Many dehydrating books recommend a higher temperature for dehydrating fruits and veggies. I prefer to use a lower temperature in order to eliminate the risk of Case Hardening, which can lead to moldy food. If you aren’t sure about this, look up my post on Case Hardening.

  • They will shrink quite a bit. The brown on the end of the dehydrated potato is simply the skin. There is nothing wrong with it.
Cool Thoroughly 

  • Before you bag those potatoes, be sure to cool them thoroughly. Otherwise moisture can condense on the inside of the bag, causing moldy foods.


1 Cup

  • I took about a cup of dehydrated potatoes and soaked them all day. This turned out to be just about right for a reasonable sized serving for two people.  But sadly, Mike and I do not always eat reasonable sized portions. L
It Takes a While 

  • Potatoes seem to take a long time to rehydrate. I experimented with different times, 30 minutes, then up to several hours.  What I found works best is to let them soak all day. 
  • If I’m planning on potatoes for supper, I put them on to soak first thing in the morning. I covered them with water, then refrigerated them until it was time to cook supper. 


  • They should be very flexible when they are rehydrated and ready to cook. 
Dry Before You Fry! 

  • Be sure to completely blot your potatoes dry before you fry them.  Any water will cause the oil to spatter and might cause someone to get burned.
Deep Fried 

  • Fry them as usual. Because of their thinner size, these fried up very crispy and crunchy.  I liked them quite a bit. They reminded me almost of those canned shoestring potatoes we use for toppings on casseroles and such, but they were a bit thicker.  Mike didn’t care for them because he prefers thick and tender steak fries.
  • If you want to make them more tender, don’t fry them quite as long.  Play around until you are satisfied with the finished product.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Linda,

    I know this is an older post, but I have about 15 potato plants that I know I am going to have to deal with sooner rather than later with this early summer heat. Have you had any success with baking any of your rehydrated potato products (shoestrings, chips, or fries?) we arent huge fans of deep frying and generally do the baked method instead. I look forward to hearing back!