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Have more potatoes than you can use before they go bad, or just want to have some ready-made potatoes for soups and meals? Canning Potatoes is the way to go!
I’ve been wanting to can up some potatoes this year, so we have some super easy-to-grab, ready-made side dishes and meals this winter. It’s so nice to have shelf-stable food! When I spotted a deal on a 50-pound bag of organic potatoes, I grabbed it!
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 who had the lid blow off. But if they are used properly, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Please make sure to read the manual on your canner before you attempt pressure canning, and I also highly recommend the Ball Blue Book of Canning.
Supplies Needed for Canning Potatoes
You will need about 3 pounds of potatoes per quart so if you wish to fill up a pressure canner with a full load, you will need about 21 pounds of potatoes. We’ve found that Yukon gold potatoes seem to can up the best potatoes to can. Red potatoes or red-skinned potatoes are also good. Do not use russet potatoes. (The texture is poor.)
You will also need all your canning supplies: lids, rims, canning funnel, air bubble popper, pressure canner, large pots, fresh boiling water, and quart canning jars.
How to Use Home Canned Potatoes
You can add potatoes into stews or soups, mash them, and top them with chives, butter, and sour cream, or anywhere else you might need soft, cooked potatoes!
Here’s a whole blog post on How To Use Home Canned Potatoes.
How to Can Potatoes
Start by washing your potatoes. Yes, I know we are going to peel them, but wash them anyways to remove any excess dirt. You never know where those things have been and what they may have on them.
Then peel them all. I then rinse them again in case I got anything on them. (No one likes dirt in their mashed potatoes.)
Always peel potatoes before canning to remove any dirt and bacteria that might be on the skin.
Tip: See more of my favorite products.
Have clean jars ready to go. I used quarts, but you can do pints if you want smaller serving sizes.
I generally wash all my jars in the dishwasher before use to ensure they are bacteria-free.
Add a teaspoon of salt to each to each jar. Some people also choose to add in some ascorbic acid to help protect the color.
Cut up the potatoes. They don’t really need to be any special size, as long as nothing is larger than 2 inches in diameter and they fit in the jar. Around 1 inch cubes is a good size to aim for.
You can also can them up for future french fries! Just cut them into a french fry shape before packing them in the jar.
Remember what you plan to use them for once you finish pressure-canning potatoes. If you plan on mashing them, size won’t matter as much; if you plan to use them for soups, you may want to dice them smaller.
After you finish cutting the potatoes, boil them in boiling water for 2 minutes.
After you’ve cut them up and boiled them, pat them dry with a paper towel or a clean cloth. This will help to remove some of the starch from potatoes, which have a naturally high starch content, which will overall make a better canned product.
Instructions for Canning Potatoes
Put the diced, hot potatoes in the jars and pack them tightly. Potatoes tend to gather at the top of the jars, so pack them as tightly as possible.
Add water to the jars. Leave a 1-inch headspace at the top of each jar. Make sure that the water completely covers the potatoes.
Use a small spatula or some tool around the outside of the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Add more water if necessary.
Clean off the tops of the jars. Do not leave any water or anything else on them, or they may not properly seal.
Place new lids on top of the jars.
Screw the rims on to fingertip tightness and place the canning rack in the bottom of the canner if you haven’t already.
Place the jars of potatoes in the pressure canner. Add exactly 3 quarts of water if you use a Presto 23 Quart Canner as I do; otherwise, follow the directions for pressure canning for your specific canner. Do not put the lid on.
Turn the burner on high and watch until the water reaches the boiling point or just before. Then, put on the lid and ensure it is properly sealed. (Please see your canner’s manual for specifics on how your canner is sealed properly.)
My mom and I use a Presto Canner Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner. It’s inexpensive and works well. It’s also large enough to do the double rack when you make pints. With this canner, when you put the lid on, you don’t have the pressure weight on.
Read your Canner Manual to ensure you follow your canner’s specific directions.
Let the canner begin building pressure for about 5 minutes before putting the weight 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 called an Air Vent or Cover Lock (it looks like the picture above). When you first start building pressure, it won’t be popped out yet. The pressure gauge won’t start to move until the air vent/cover lock pops out.
Once all that happens, it’s time to start watching your pressure gauge. (If you have a dial gauge canner.) Process according to the chart below for your jar size and altitude.
I want to get to 15 pounds of pressure and stay there for the size of the jars I’m using and my altitude. Once you get up to pressure, set your timer for 40 minutes for process time.
You will have to stay in the kitchen with the canner to ensure it stays at the correct amount of 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. Use caution around your canner and do not bump it or open it at any time until the pressure is gone.
Please check with your local extension office, the USDA, or the National Center for Home Food Preservation for any changes on times/temps/high altitude.
Once you’ve kept the canner at the recommended pressure for the recommended time, turn off the burner and leave the canner to sit. It’s a good idea 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 air vent/cover lock in the front goes down, and the pressure gauge goes all the way back down.
After removing the jars from the canner, make sure all jars are properly sealed. Potatoes might siphon a little bit (meaning some of the water might come out). They are fine unless more than half of the water comes out.
Tip: For more information on how to see if your jars have properly sealed and what to do if they haven’t, check out this post on Testing Jar Seals And Reprocessing Jars (Safe Home Canning)
Wash and peel your potatoes.
Add a teaspoon of salt to each clean, prepared jar.
Cut up the potatoes. Any size, as long as they are smaller than 2 inches in diameter. Just keep in mind what you'd like to use them for
Boil the cut potatoes in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Pack the diced potatoes in the jars tightly.
Add water to the jars. Leave about 3/4 inch headspace at the top of each jar. Make sure that the potatoes are packed tight and covered by the water.
Use a small spatula or some kind of tool around the outside of the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Add more water if necessary.
Clean off the tops of the jars. Place lids on top of the jars and screw the rims on tightly.
Place the jars in the pressure canner. Add exactly 3 quarts of water (if you are using a Presto 23 Quart Canner as I do, otherwise follow the directions for pressure canning for your specific canner). Do not put the lid on. Turn the burner on high and watch until the water reaches the boiling point or just before. Then put on the lid and make sure it is properly sealed in place. (Please see your canner's manual for specifics on how your canner is sealed properly.)
Let the canner begin building pressure for about 5 minutes before you put the weight on. When you see steam come out of this area, then put the weight on. Now the pressure will start to build.
Once the airvent/cover lock In the front of your canner pops out, it's time to start watching your pressure gauge. Process according to the chart for your jar size and altitude.
Once your pressure comes to the pressure, process according to the recommended time. You will have to stay in the kitchen with it to make sure it stays at the required pressure. 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 processed your jars at the recommended pressure for the recommended time, turn off the burner and leave the canner to sit. Do not touch or open the canner until the air vent/cover lock goes down and the pressure gauge goes all the way back down.
After removing the jars from the canner, make sure all jars have properly sealed.
These home-canned potatoes are awesome because they are already cooked, all you have to do to eat them is warm them up!
Tip: Looking for some meal inspiration? Here are Meal Ideas Using Home Canned Potatoes.
Tip: Want to continue to build up your long-term food storage? Here are ideas.
More Canning Recipes
- My Go-To Salsa Recipe (For Canning)
- Canning Tomato Soup
- Canning Sweet Potatoes
- Canning Apple Pie Filling
- Canning Chicken
- How to Can Tomato Juice
- Homemade Bruschetta for Canning
- Canning Mushrooms
- Corn Relish: How to Make and Can It
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Have you ever tried canning potatoes? What do you use canned potatoes for?
Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to freedom on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This post on Canning Potatoes was originally published on Little House Living in August 2014. It has been updated as of September 2023.