How to Can Potatoes, Sweet or White

Can you can potatoes? Of course you can! Learn how with this excerpt from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.
From the United States Department of Agriculture
July 28, 2011
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Canning potatoes is a great way to preserve fresh, ready-to-eat potatoes, especially if you're short on cellar space. Learn how save all your spuds, sweet and white alike, with the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.
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When homesteaders first learn how to can vegetables, they often overlook one of the most popular varieties — potatoes. After all, why learn how to can potatoes when you can store potatoes in a cool dark space, such as a root cellar or even a hole in the ground? But what if you don’t have such a space? Or what if you want to store potatoes, but don’t want to worry about peeling them and chopping them each time you use them? Canning potatoes is a great alternative for storing potatoes for those short on cellar or garden space, as well as short on time when dinner rolls around. (Plus, it gives you an excuse to buy that pressure canner you’ve had your eye on.) With this excerpt from the United States Department of Agriculture's Complete Guide to Home Canning, you'll learn the hot and raw pack process for canning carrots. Use this and our other canning resources to stock up after harvest.

The following is an excerpt from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning on how to can sweet and white potatoes.   

Potatoes, Sweet — Pieces Or Whole

 It is not recommended to dry pack sweet potatoes.

Quantity: An average of 17-1/2 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 50 pounds and yields 17 to 25 quarts—an average of 2-1/2 pounds per quart.

Quality: Choose small to medium-sized potatoes. They should be mature and not too fibrous. Can within 1 to 2 months after harvest.

Procedure: Wash potatoes and boil or steam until partially soft (15 to 20 minutes). Remove skins. Cut medium potatoes, if needed, so that pieces are uniform in size.

Caution: Do not mash or puree pieces. Fill hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Cover with your choice of fresh boiling water or syrup, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process using the times listed in the Image Gallery.

Potatoes, White — Cubed or Whole

Quantity: An average of 20 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bag weighs 50 pounds and yields 18 to 22 quarts—an average of 2-1/2 to 3 pounds per quart.

Quality: Select small to medium-size mature potatoes of ideal quality for cooking. Tubers stored below 45°F may discolor when canned. Choose potatoes 1 to 2 inches in diameter if they are to be packed whole.

Procedure: Wash and peel potatoes. Place in ascorbic acid solution to prevent darkening. If desired, cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Drain. Cook 2 minutes in boiling water and drain again. For whole potatoes, boil 10 minutes and drain. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill hot jars with hot potatoes and fresh hot water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process using the times listed in the Image Gallery. 

Have a smartphone or tablet? Download the free MOTHER EARTH NEWS library app for access to our How to Can resource (also free!). Find it in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. It’s the power of canning know-how in the palm of your hands!


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