Canning Potatoes

by Merissa on August 9, 2012

in Canning and Preserving, Featured

canning-potatoes

Canning Potatoes

I've been wanting to can up some potatoes this year so we have super easy to grab, ready-made side dishes and meals this winter. When I spotted a deal on a 50 pound bag of organic potatoes I grabbed it. For canning potatoes you will need a pressure canner not a hot water bath canner. Potatoes fall in the low acid category so they need to be pressure canned. I realize the thought of a pressure canner is scary to some and I'm pretty sure we've all heard a story about someone's mom/aunt/grandma that had the lid blow off but if they are used properly you should have any issues. Please make sure to read the manual on your canner before you attempt pressure canner and I also highly recommend the Ball Blue Book of Canning.

canning potatoes

Start by washing up your potatoes. Yes, I know we are going to peel them but wash them anyways. You never know where those things have been!

canning potatoes

Then peel them all up. I rinse them again in case I got any dirt on them. Don't really want that in my bowl of mashed potatoes....

canning potatoes

Have clean jars ready to go. I used quarts but you could do either of course. I generally wash all my jars in the dishwasher before use to make sure they are free of any bacteria.

canning potatoes

Add a teaspoon of salt to each to each jar.

canning potatoes

Like so.

canning potatoes

Cut up the potatoes. They don't really need to be any special size, just need to fit in the jar!

canning potatoes

Put the diced potatoes in the jars. Pack them tight.

canning potatoes

Add water. Leave about 3/4 inch headspace.

canning potatoes

Clean off the tops of the jars! Do not leave water or anything else on them or they won't properly seal.

canning potatoes

Place lids on top.

canning potatoes

Screw rims on tightly.

canning potatoes

Place your jars in the pressure canner. Add exactly 3 quarts of water. Do not put the lid on. Turn your burner on high and watch until the water reaches the boiling point or just before. Then put on the lid. Make sure the lid is sealed into place. Please see your canners manual for exactly how this is on your specific canner.

canning potatoes

Me and my mom use a Presto Canner. It's inexpensive and works well. It's large enough to do the double rack when you make pints. When you put the lid on you don't have the pressure weight on. Let the canner begin building pressure for about 5 minutes before you put this on. When you see white steam come out of this area, then put the weight on.

canning potatoes

Now the pressure will start to build. In the front of your canner is a little thing that looks like the picture above except when you first start building pressure it won't be popped out yet. The pressure gauge won't start to move until this little thing pops out.

canning potatoes

Once all that happens, it's time to start watching your pressure gauge. We want it to get to 10 pounds of pressure and stay there. You can go between 9 and 12 pounds but don't stray from there. Once you get to 10 pounds of pressure, set your timer for 40 minutes. You will have to stay in the kitchen with it to make sure it stays at 10 pounds. You may have to turn the burner between low and high (or maybe even off occasionally) to be able to keep it at the correct pressure.

Once you've kept it at 10 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes, turn off the burner and leave the canner sit. It's good to do this in the evening so you can let it sit all night. Do not touch or open the canner until the little pop up gauge in the front goes down and the pressure gauge goes all the way back down.

canning potatoes

These are awesome because they are already cooked so all you have to do to eat is warm them up!

Please check with your local extension office for any changes on times/temps/high altitude.

Make sure you check out all the free Canning and Preserving Recipes we have on Little House Living! I recommend a Presto Pressure Canner and the book Putting Food By for all your canning projects!

Have you ever tried canning potatoes?

merissabio

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Debbie August 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

How do these work for being used as mashed potatoes later on?

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2 Merissa August 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

They will work the same as any cooked potatoes. Just mash as usual! :)

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3 Debbie August 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

Awesome! Do you need to boil these when you open the jars to mash them? I’ll be digging up my potaotes in another week or two. Think I may try this with some!

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4 Merissa August 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

Nope, they are already cooked! You will just need to heat them up to eat. :)

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5 Debbie August 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

Perfect! Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try this!

6 Julie August 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I always add a splash of white vinegar to the water in my canner. Keeps the jars from getting that cloudy film on them and really shiny.

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7 Janet May 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Do not add vinegar if you have any aluminum parts, the rack for example, in your canner.

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8 KimH August 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I believe most canners recommend you vent steam for a minimum of 10 minutes before you place the weight on it.

Also, you are going to lose a lot of heat when you start heating the water with the lid off. I’ve been canning on my own for 30 years and I always put my lid on before my water is very hot. It works for me & I guess your way works for you. ;)

Also, the amount of pounds of pressure and canning time will change depending upon your altitude. The best rule of thumb is to consult your local County Extension agency and/or the USDA if you dont have a good guide like the Ball Blue Book.

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9 Jason October 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm

My All American says 7 mins. I have no idea what ball calls for if they even say anything contrary…

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10 Pat August 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

You make this sound so easy! I have a pressure canner but it was missing some pieces…I found them online. But haven’t had anyone explain it so well.
Thanks I may give this a try!
Pat

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11 Mindy @ Too Many Jars in My Kitchen! August 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I’ve never seen canned potatoes before. What a great idea! I found your blog from the RFM network forum. Glad I stopped by. : )

I just launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I’d love to have you come stop by and share this on it: http://toomanyjarsinmykitchen.com/2012/08/10/fill-those-jars-friday-august-10-2012/

See you there!
Mindy

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12 Merissa August 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Will do!

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13 Debi Bolocofsky August 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I had no idea that you could can potatoes. What a great idea. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this post. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party.
http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/08/pink-honey-beeswax-lip-balm-and.html
I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
Debi Bolocofsky
Adorned From Above
http://www.adornedfromabove.com

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14 The Swede August 17, 2012 at 12:08 am

Hmmm…ok, I can understand that it’s handy sometimes to have ready-cooked potatoes. But, potatoes and other root-fruits (is that what’s it called in english? Carrots, turnips etc) can be preserved in a bucket with light sand. Or preferrably a barrel. There they can be stored several years provided they lay without contact with each other and it’s dark and only slightly humid (think cellar).
Can’t help it but I find canning potatoes are a bit like canning porridge/oatmeal or rice…
Nice to know though how you did it.

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15 Jen January 13, 2013 at 9:55 am

1. Jars take less space than barrels and buckets.
2. Canning potatoes several pounds at once = less prep time when cooking a meal.

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16 Kim July 20, 2014 at 7:11 am

I want to try this. Like most people my husband and I both work 12 hour shifts. We keep canned (from the grocery store) in the cabinet for fast meals. A jar of canned beef and a jar of veg and a jar of potatoes with in 10 minutes dinner is on the table .

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17 Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures August 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

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18 Becky August 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I never would have thought of canning potatoes, but look forward to doing this to put some up. I am stopping by from the Morris Tribe hop.

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19 Deanna Kenney October 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I canned potatoes once before and they tasted terrible. What type of potato did you use?

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20 Merissa October 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I used Yukon Gold.

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21 foghorn July 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

Deanna, I also have canned potatoes before with bad results.
During the canning process the potatoes smelled wonderful.
However, we taste tested a jar after about a month and found the potatoes to have a texture to them that would not allow you to mash them. You would think that after pressure canning them that they would be mushy, NO. They was not mushy, instead they was firm and brittle.
So, the only thing we can think of, maybe we used wrong type of potatoes. We used white potatoes purchased at a store.
Maybe using red potatoes, or fresh grown potatoes would have different results,,,, don’t yet know. We was so disappointed that we never tried again.

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22 Merissa July 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

I’ve either used Russets or Yellow Potatoes and I believe my mom uses Reds. That definitely could make a difference.

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23 Michelle November 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I can a bunch every year also since they are so handy to have in the pantry. I always leave the skin on though. One less step and I don’t think anyone in my family even notices they are there, even in mashed potatoes!

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24 shirley March 23, 2013 at 9:46 am

Can I also slice these instead of doing chunks? Would that change the cooking time?

Thanks,
Shirely

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25 Merissa March 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

No, the cooking time would be the same and that should work just fine, although remember when you take them out of the jar they will be cooked so they may not stay in slices.

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26 shirley March 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

thanks for the reply

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27 Debbie McLellan March 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I canned potatoes using your directions, and am excited about it. I used red potatoes and hope thats ok. The water level in the jars was low in some jars after canning. Is that ok? They did seal. Please let me know through email if you can. Thank you!

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28 Merissa March 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Yes, mine did that too, it’s ok! The potatoes just soaked up some of the water. And any kind of potatoes should can up fine :)

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29 cookinmom June 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Do you add boiling water or just water? Can’t wait to try some new potatoes from the garden…thanks

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30 Merissa June 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Just water :)

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31 deborah July 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Just canned Red potatoes and boiled for 10 minutes first and then put into jars with boiling water and salt. Turned out great. Two 10 gallon buckets made 21 guarts.

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32 Donna B July 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Is it OK to mix jar sizes (pints & quarts) in the canner at the same time? I know you have to process for the length of time required for the larger size but was not sure if this means the potatoes in the smaller jars will be over cooked. I only have about 11-12 lbs of potatoes so I will only be doing one batch. It is for just my husband & I so the pint size is what we will probably need most of the time but our daughters and their families do come to visit and we might need the larger size.

Also to The Swede we live in Florida and cellars are not an option … too close to sea level and too hot and humid!

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33 Merissa July 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

It’s not safe to mix jar sizes. All that are done at the same time should be the same size.

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34 Donna B July 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Thanx! I wound up with more potatoes than I thought so I went ahead and did two batches. I thought it would be safer that way.

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35 Rita June 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm

NO…do not mix jar sizes.

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36 SandiH. October 14, 2013 at 10:46 am

In Minnesota. I’ve been canning since 1970′s. I had my husband build a large cabinet where once stood a build-in fridge in my old farm kitchen, not in the basement. The 100′s of jars it stored, kept good! Also, when we moved to a Northern border town, where it’s called the Ice Box of the Nation. We couldn’t move into a home for a couple of years where I could bring my canning jars indoors. They stayed in a large truck with other things we couldn’t bring inside. My jars indured 55′ below temps and even 95′ above temps. When I did get to use them…they were just fine except the sugar in the jellies..crystalized, but still usable. You see each time I can..I ask the Lord to seal, that the jars don’t crack, chip, or break, and He took care of them, I still pray over all my canning. Thank You Jesus! SandiH.

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37 Cindy Larose August 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I have 2 questions.
First, is it regular table salt you use or is it coarse pickling salt??
Second, the water added to the jars before they go into the canner, is it boiling water or room temp water??

Thank you

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38 Merissa August 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Either room temp or boiling water will work, it won’t make a difference. And I just use table salt, it does make it a little more cloudy but does not make a different in taste or safety.

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39 Cindy Larose August 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

thank you :)

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40 nelsonjane October 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

The only difference between pickling salt and regular table salt is that there is no Iodine in the pickling salt. It is the iodine that turns the canned food a slightly brown unpleasant color. So if you want a nice prize winning color use pickling salt :)

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41 Kathryn Stevens August 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Hi there,
I just did this tonight and my potatoes turned out pretty soft… like some of them were falling apart in the jar. I did them in quarts and I used boiling water to pack them in the jars. Could that have been the problem?

Thanks!
~ Kathryn

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42 Merissa August 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm

It could have been. I would just use lukewarm water next time and it should work!

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43 Vickie Vandell September 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

The next day after canning my potatoes had a starchy look to them. Followed directions to a tee. Wondered why this happened?

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44 Merissa September 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

It could just be the kind of potatoes to use. It won’t change anything with flavor or texture :)

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45 Tracy September 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Can I add garlic , and not peel the red potatoes ?

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46 Merissa September 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Sure! Although the peels may come off on their own in the pressure canning process.

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47 Tracy September 5, 2013 at 4:17 pm

So if I add garlic , do I still add the salt ?

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48 Merissa September 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Yes.

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49 Stacy September 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I’m new at canning this year…and to stretch a buck I bought a 20lb. Bag of red potaotes..I to don’t have a cellar so canning would be my go to…although I don’t have a pressure cooker will a water bath method would? If so can you guide me through the process? I appreciate your help

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50 Merissa September 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Unfortunately these need to be pressure canned because they are a low acid vegetable so they can’t be safely water bath canned.

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51 Tina Bradley September 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I have canned potatoes for years. You can cube or slice like American fries. I have always boiled them for ten minutes(after I peel them)..this helps take some of the starch out of them before you can them..I add fresh hot water when I place in canning jars. I have even added bacon to them to add flavor to those I know I will fry up. I put some up in qrts an some in pints. I use the American cut for scallops an ham even. If you want to add spices you can..I only put in 1/2 tsp salt per pint and 3/4 for qrt.

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52 Tina Bradley September 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

U DO not have to add salt…only place the same size jars per batch in cooker.if using salt the best to use is canning salt not table salt it can make the water cloudy when canning.

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53 Tina Bradley September 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

If u try to use a water bath AN NOT a pressure cooker your jars may act sealed but will start to Fremont AN bubble out of the jars an smell like major poo..no I did not do it but I know someone on first hand basis that did. SO ONLY A PRESSURE COOKER

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54 Jennifer September 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I am looking forward to doing this next year. We go through a TON of potatoes at our house, so I will be trying out potato towers as we are short on yard space. I hadn’t really thought about canning them since when we go through 10-15lbs of potatoes at a time when I get them. My daughter makes a fab potato soup…lol, but I hope to have enough to actually can them next year.

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55 nelsonjane October 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Thank You Merissa for having this written up this wonderful instruction on canning potatoes! This was my very first time using a pressure canner and with some of the horror stories that I’ve heard about the the lid blowing off and hitting the ceiling I was a bit intimidated to say the least. I had found another site on doing the potatoes that got me started on this but it was the way you wrote and set this whole page up with all the photos that really got me into a calm mantra bout doing this whole process. Thank You again so much I had fun doing this. Well not so much peeling the potatoes, but everything else lol! Also I cut up one onion and minced a bulb of garlic and added them to the potatoes and cooked them ten minutes prior to canning. I’m thinking also that maybe I should have cut the salt back to 3/4 tsp. per jar due to the drs. carrying on bout sodium all the time lol. Since this was my first time, the one part that had me bit nervous was wondering how difficult it was going to be to keep the pressure at a steady ten pounds but it wasn’t bad at all. I only had to adjust the gas flame like two or three times at first and than one more time near the end of the 40 minutes. Hope mine taste good later on when we go to open them. I used red potatoes that were freshly dug from the garden. oh, the other thing that I did that helped me was that I measured my cut up potatoes into a 4 cup/1quart measuring glass just to see how many potatoes it took to fill one canning quart. It took me 6 medium potatoes for one jar. That way I knew I only needed to peel about 42 potatoes for my 7 quarts. It worked out great with only a small cereal bowl sized left-over that I enjoyed eating while the canner was processing.

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56 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Congrats on conquering the pressure canner, that’s such a good feeling isn’t it?

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57 Julianne McKinney November 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I have canned for many years. I have canned deer, elk, green beans made jelly and jams, canned peaches, pickles but never potatoes…until today! I bought 50 pounds of red potatoes. A friend of mine has always canned potatoes and he uses them for potato salad. The best potato salad I have ever eaten! So far I have 14 quarts canned. Ready to start peeling again and can more potatoes. Thanks for the site for canning potatoes.

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58 Lorie N January 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just started canning this past summer, and got a pressure canner for Christmas. Hubby brought home 50lb of potatoes that he got for $10, so I decided to get going with the pressure canner! I did my 1st batch last night with 7 quarts (I have the 23 qt Presto). This morning I noted that I had lost some fluid from the jars. I thought maybe I hadn’t tightened them enough, my manual said it was ok as long as they sealed (which they did). Later in the day I’m noticing the liquid has turned kind of cloudy. Did yours do this? Just wondering. Thanks again!

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59 Merissa January 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Yes, it’s just from the starch in the water :)

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60 Angie February 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

Can you use a regular pressure cooker to do a small amount?

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61 Merissa February 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

No, canning low acid foods must be done in a pressure canner. Pressure cookers are not safe for preserving foods.

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62 Kimberly March 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Hello! Do you have a link for canning pinto beans? If so, would you be kind and email it to me? Thank you Bunches!!!

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63 Merissa March 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I will email this to you also Kimberly but in case anyone else is wondering… http://www.littlehouseliving.com/canning-dried-soaked-beans.html

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64 Emilie May 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm

I just got my first pressure canner this weekend and this is definitely one of the things I would like to try. I love potatoes but they take too long to cook! I inevitably think about it right about the time the rest of dinner is finishing cooking!!

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65 Dale Shihinski May 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I have made these potatoes last fall and we sure enjoyed them this past winter. I’m saving the rest for the camping season.

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66 Angel B. June 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

The pressure canner I have does not have the visual dial gauage. I’ve used it once to cook beans and they were a bit mushy. How do I know when it reaches 10lbs of pressure? I have 2 weights to make it go up to 15 lbs. Do I add the extra weight right after I put the lid on? When do I begin timing?

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67 Merissa June 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm

I have not used a canner without a pressure gauge before so I’m not sure. Do you still have the instruction manual? If not you might be able to look it up online. We begin timing once it has reached the correct pressure.

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68 Kaycie July 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I have a weighted pressure canner. Your weight should be in three pieces, the main piece that sits over the hole, then two pieces that look a bit like fat washers. The middle piece alone is 5 pounds, one ring plus the middle piece is 10 pounds, two rings plus the middle piece is 15 pounds.

I really recommend going by the instruction manual that came with your pressure canner. If you got it second hand and it didn’t have the manual, check online. A lot of retailers are making their instruction manuals available online in pdf format.

For mine, you put the jars in, crank up the heat and wait. When the steam starts to come out of the spout on top, set a timer for 10 minutes, maintaining a steady flow of steam. Once that 10 minutes has passed, place the weight on the spout and wait. When the weight begins to rock, you’ve reached 10 pounds of pressure. Only once the weight has begun to rock do you start your “canning timer.” The weight must continue to rock for the duration. If at anytime if stops moving, you have to turn the heat back up to get it rocking again and start the time over again from the beginning.

Hope this helps!

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69 Merissa July 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Thank you for sharing these tips Kaycie!

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70 Steve July 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

My wife and I find the best way to enjoy canned potatoes is to cut them up and fry them with a little butter and salt and pepper. Tastes great in the middle of winter.

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71 Laurie Chaplin August 20, 2014 at 9:51 am

Is it better to store your canned jars upside down or right side up, I have seen it both ways. Thank you

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72 Merissa August 20, 2014 at 10:27 am

Right side up, never store upside down.

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73 Paulette September 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm

I have been doing this years. We like to drain water off and put in skillet and fry, With butter or bacon grease , SUPER GOOD

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74 Belenda September 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

What is the shelf life on these?

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75 Merissa September 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I try and keep canned goods no longer than 3 years.

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76 Tanya Davis October 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I am just wondering what quantity of quart jars I need to can 50lbs of potatoes? I’ve never tried canning them before, but I have a giant bag that I don’t want to go bad. I’ll need to buy jars tomorrow, but I have no idea how many I might need. Any ideas? Thanks!

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