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.
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!
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....
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.
Add a teaspoon of salt to each to each jar.
Cut up the potatoes. They don't really need to be any special size, just need to fit in the jar!
Put the diced potatoes in the jars. Pack them tight.
Add water. Leave about 3/4 inch headspace.
Clean off the tops of the jars! Do not leave water or anything else on them or they won't properly seal.
Place lids on top.
Screw rims on tightly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever tried canning potatoes?
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