Home Canned White Potatoes

I have only been canning potatoes a few years; we like them and I can quickly make any dish that calls for cooked potatoes.   I can them in wide mouth jars…it keeps them from breaking up when they are removed from the jar.  I like to can them in larger chunks, about the same size.   I can slice them when I open the jar if I wish, and they stay nice and firm.  I often save the liquid and use it in my bread baking instead of plain water.  It adds moisture retention to your bread and feeds the yeast – our mother always used potato water for bread baking.    This recipe is from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.              
                       Home Canned White Potatoes
  5            pounds  White Potatoes -- quartered 
     3/8     cup  White Vinegar 
  2 1/4     quarts  Water -- for soaking
  2 1/4     quarts  Water -- for heating potatoes
  2 1/4     quarts  Hot Water -- for filling jars
              Salt for jars
Quantity: An average of 5 pounds is needed per canner load of 7-8 pints if quartered and potatoes are of a good size – you will need more if the potatoes are small or you make a smaller dice or slice. 
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.  I often use medium Russets from the grocery when they are on sale and they can successfully.
Procedure: Wash and peel potatoes. Place in vinegar solution to prevent darkening. If desired, cut into cubes. Drain. Cook 2 minutes in boiling water and drain again. For whole potatoes, boil 10 minutes and drain. Add ½ teaspoon per pint or 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Using a slotted spoon, fill washed, hot jars with hot potatoes and fresh hot water, leaving 1-inch headspace. DO NOT OVERPACK WITH POTATOES. Remove air bubbles.  Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process in a pressure canner ONLY.
White Potatoes:  Pints 35 minutes and quarts 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure up to 1000’ above sea level.  Process at 15# pressure over 1000'.
  • (Do not over pack with potatoes, they will swell up some and be out of the water when cooled).  Having them above the water level darkens the top potatoes; it doesn't hurt their taste.
  •  Potatoes can be soaked in 1/3 cup vinegar to 2 quarts of water for up to 4 hours - keeps them white and cuts the starch.  Salt water works, not quite as well.
  • Using fresh hot water for the final pack helps reduce starchiness in the jars.
  • Wide mouth jars help keep the potatoes from breaking up when removed from the jar.
  • Winter 2011:  Cost with sale priced 89¢ per 5# potatoes:  13¢ per jar.  Store brand canned potatoes cost 68¢ each at the same time.  Each pint makes 2 servings.
Some ways I use home canned potatoes:
1.  Heat, drain, add a little heavy cream or sour cream, heat just until thickened and serve.  Garnish with a little snipped chives or parsley.
2.  Drain, slice, brown in skillet in a little butter - you can brown onion and peppers first, then add potatoes and have home fries.
3.  Use in potato soup or chowder.
4.  Heat, drain, mash, adding back some of drained liquid and some powdered milk and butter.
5.  Use in any soup, add 10 minutes before done - like vegetable soup, bean soup, stew, corn chowder, etc.

23 comments:

  1. Thank you, Sue.

    This is very helpful - particularly to the novice (me). I happen to have about 30lbs of white potatoes and your step-by-step is just what was called for. I really like how you itemize the cost savings too.

    Thanks again and have a great Sunday.
    Lisa

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  2. Sue,

    We've just finished canning white potatoes. Thanks for the info you provided on that. Turned out great! I have a question about sweet potatoes. Can the sugar in the syrup be substituted with dark brown sugar? That way the yams would be table ready with the exception of heating/cooking to finish.
    By the way, this is my wife's first year canning (she's 60) and she's having a blast! I was primary kitchen help growing up but never canned sweet potatoes.

    Thanks again,
    Joseph and Joan

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    1. I don’t have a single canning book that recommends this. They all caution against mashing the sweet potatoes, the mixture is too thick to process safely, but they all recommend canning in regular sugar syrup or simply water.
      That said, I do have this recipe in my files…I have not tried it and I can’t recommend it or not.
      I guess if I tried it, I would make a smaller amount to see how the brown sugar works tastewise.

      Sweet Potatoes in Brown Sugar Syrup
      18 lbs peeled sweet potatoes steamed until just cooked through.
      6 cups brown sugar
      10 cups water
      2 teaspoons cinnamon
      1/2 tsp salt
      Cook the potatoes and cube them up into 1 or 2 inch cubes. Don't mash them up too much, or the results will be mushy.
      Add the water, sugar, cinnamon and salt to a pot and bring the syrup to a rolling boil. Reserve hot.
      Fill quart jars with the sweet potatoes and cover with the hot syrup, leaving 1 inch of "head space" between the top of the potatoes and the top of the jar.
      Put sterile lids on the jars and seal.
      Process for 60 minutes in a pressure canner, following the manufacturers instructions.
      18 lbs of sweet potatoes will yield 7 or 8 quarts, canned.

      We're always glad to see new canners enjoying the project. It can be a profitable and tasty hobby.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I appreciate the tip about not over over packing.

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  4. I have been canning/drying/freezing for years and I have never seen a recipe to can hot dogs or any type of polish sausage...is there one? We would like to cut out using our freezer and go straight to canning and drying and if we can hot dogs we could still enjoy them at times. I make my own hot dog sauce and its wonderful...I always say if you eat it can it and we have saved a lot of money this way. Thanks for the help Brenda

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    1. " Polish sausage, like hot dogs, is better frozen than canned, but it can sure be canned too. I’d just pre-heat it so that it is simmering-hot through the center, then cut into jar-sized pieces, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Make a broth from the pre-cooking liquid and ladle it over the hot sausage, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for directions on adjusting your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary." — Jackie Clay.
      I agree with Jackie - I would guess you could pressure can them in your hot dog sauce if it is thin enough too. I would try a jar or two if you have a small canner to see if the texture is what you want. Slices in canned beans in tomato sauce might also work, if pressure canned the same as meat. I think the reason you don't see a recipe for them is that they may expand or get mushy when home canned. I have not tried them as they are not a favorite around our house.

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  5. I have used your method and they look great. But they have been out of the pressure canner for over a hour and they are sealed but still bubbling. It looks like my water in the jar is going below the 1 inch headspace that I started with. Can you help me out with this? this is the second time I have tried canning potatoes. The first time they turned to mush ( did not drain hot boiling water) this time they look fantastic,but I would like to have the water covering the top few potatoes so they won't discolor. Thanks for the info and help.

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    1. I have had this happen...the only thing I have found to help is to not overpack the potatoes themselves...they still expand and can soak up all the liquid.
      They still taste good, however.

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  6. Hi there- I just tried canning potatoes for the first time and they appear to be falling apart in the jars, so quite mushy. How can I avoid this next time? Is it the temperature of the water they are packed in, or the size of the chunks?
    Thank you!

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    1. I keep my chunks pretty large, as you can see from the photo. Don't cook more than two minutes before packing...don't overpack...use fresh hot water when you pack. I also think the vinegar helps with mushiness...just my opinion; I don't have any scientific basis for this.

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  7. This is the first year I have canned potatoes. Followed your directions. Last night, made that first recipe with the sour cream, served with meat loaf, green salad.....SO GOOD! ( i did Yukon golds) Thank you....love your website.

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    1. We're really glad you are enjoying your potatoes and the website. We love to try new recipes that are successful, and glad to see others have success too.

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  8. I do not have a pressure canner, just a regular one. is it possible to can potatoes in a regular canner. I sure don't want to have to go out and buy a pressure canner just for potatoes and we love canned potatoes. help please.

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    1. Sorry to say, you really need a pressure CANNER to can meat and plain vegetables like potatoes. The USDA says " Small pressure saucepans are not recommended for home canning."
      I have a Presto 16 quart pressure canner I purchased very reasonably at Walmart, and like it a just as well as my expensive All American. It's a good investment for canning a lot of things. A regular pressure cooker does not take long enough to gain and lose pressure, so canning times given in canning books are not accurate or long enough. It's just not worth trying to can in one, as your wouldn't be sure of the safety or quality of your end product.

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  9. I cubed some and followed the canning book. It told me to boil for 2 minites the ones on the bottom are mushy. What did i do wrong

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    1. You can see the size of cubes I use...maybe yours were smaller? I follow the canning book too. Did you let them sit in the boiling water while filling the jars?
      One other thing I can think of is that you let some of the filled jars set in the jar in the canner awhile when you continued to fill jars? They may have continued to cook.
      I usually have help (my husband) while filling jars so we get the show on the road quickly. That's one reason I don't double-stack; it takes too long to fill all the jars.
      I often fill a all of batch of jars with potatoes, then pour the hot water into the jars and seal them so they don't cook too long while waiting.
      There is a reason for boiling the starchy potatoes first, instead of "cold or raw" packing them. In the hot pack process the potatoes are precooked in water that is then discarded (some of the starch is drawn out into the water) and replaced by fresh boiling water when filling jars. If a raw pack process was chosen for the same product, the starch that now cooks out in the jar may later gelatinize and/or cause excessive cloudiness in the finished “raw pack”. This amount of starch in the jar also causes safety concerns during the canning processing, and makes it hard to detect any post-processing spoilage in the stored jar.
      They do mash nicely - you may have to use this batch that way.

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    2. Thank you, I cut mine too small. I will try the cold pack. How long is the shelf life of canned potatoes

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    3. I wouldn't use cold pack...they get too starchy. Try it with bigger chunks instead, and drain them right away after your 2 minutes.
      I don't like to keep mine more than a year...they do seem to break down some if I keep them longer.
      They are certainly safe, just not as good as quality as I like.

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  10. I canned potatoes last year and they all solidified with starch. They were still edible, I just had to run hot water through them to get them out of the canning jar. What can I do to keep them from happening again?
    Thank you
    Laurie

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    Replies
    1. I think soaking them in vinegar and water awhile keeps them white and cuts the starch. Salt water works, not quite as well.
      Using fresh hot water for the final hot pack helps reduce starchiness in the jars too. Don't let them set too long before getting them in the canner, a helper is useful here.
      I also think cold packing make them too starchy. If a raw pack process is used, the starch that cooks out in the jar may later gelatinize and/or cause excessive cloudiness in the finished “raw pack”.
      That's about the extent of my "expertise" on potatoes...as you have found out, they can be rinsed and used anyway. Good luck!


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  11. Okay, this year I have put up 14 qts,(first ones) I soaked them after cubing them in vinegar and salt for 24 hours... Used fresh hot water in the jars. They are pretty but....I can see the starch starting to solidify... I don't pack them but am wondering maybe too many potatoes? I bought 100 lbs. for 12 bucks and I am canning and freezing them and have a lot to go.....I don't cold pack I hot pack. Help. Laurie

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    1. I don't know about soaking for 24 hours, but I don't think it would make any difference either way. I think your are doing all you can to reduce the starch...it may be the type of potatoes you are using...or not! If you want to can the rest, you may have to resign yourself to rinsing them before using them.

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  12. stumbled on your blog when doing a search on how to can potatoes. The advice not to overstuff the jars makes sense, but was a good reminder! The potatoes look much prettier than the last time I did them. Thanks for a great resource. ~Shannon

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