Monday, September 19, 2011

Canning Potatoes

Even though they need to be pressure canned, and not hot water bath canned, potatoes are one of the easiest things to can.  Recently I canned a couple batches to add to my pantry/storage items.  Below are the basic directions for canning potatoes, per the Ball Blue Book.

Peel the potatoes.
Cut them up into pieces (put them into cold water w/ a little salt to keep from turning brown).
Add to jars with 1/2 tsp. salt per pint or 1 tsp. per quart.
Add boiling hot water.
Remove air bubbles.
Wipe rim.
Adjust 2 piece caps.
Put in pressure canner.
Can for 40 minutes at 10# pressure for quarts or 35 minutes for pints. (adjust pressure for your altitude)

So then you ask, "What do I do with these?"
Well here are a couple ideas.
  • Add them to any soup including Emily's recipe for potato soup.  Since they are already cooked, it will reduce your cooking time.  Heat and serve.
  • Mash them up for mashed potatoes and heat.  You may find that you like a certain variety of potatoes better than another as mashed.
  • Our cousin Tiffany uses her canned potatoes in any recipe requiring hash browns.  She'll just cut them up a little smaller if need be.
  • Also, you can drain the water and then fry them up in a pan with a couple Tbs. butter as country style hash brown potatoes, adding a little onion, green bell pepper, scrambled egg, bacon or whatever you like and have it for breakfast.
  • Make a little poor man's dinner, as Tiffany calls it, with drained potatoes, cut up pieces of hotdog (or sausage), onion, bell pepper, etc. to make a little stir fry type meal.
  • Tiffany also has a yummy breakfast quiche that she uses her potatoes for all the time too.  (She is anti-cold cereal at her house.  Which I wish I could accomplish at mine.)
I know that some people are a bit hesitant about pressure canning.  I have to say that I almost exclusively use the pressure canner because #1: I have 2 of them, and #2: it is quicker than a hot water bath.  Anything that can be hot water bathed can be pressure canned. 

During my last batch of potatoes I had a jar break in the process.  I can't say that I've seen this happen while using a hot water bath, but this is what happens to a jar when it breaks.  And this is the worst thing that I've had happen to me while pressure canning.

The bottom of the jar just pops off.  It is designed this way per my engineer Hubby. 
The only way you find out a jar has broken is when you start to remove all your jars from the canner,
lift it out, and the contents plop out into your canner.


Don't be scared.  If you can read and tell time, you can pressure can.

The Ball Blue Book indicates that you need 2-3# of potatoes per quart.  I have no idea how this would even be possible unless you are dicing the potatoes into teeny tiny pieces.  I was trying to envision a 5# bag of potatoes fitting into 2 quart jars.  I can NOT see how it would work, so I am assuming that it is a misprint in the book.

I bought 20# of potatoes and ended up with 17 qts.   Last year our cousin Tiffany canned an entire 50# bag of potatoes and got 29 quarts worth.  So I would plan on about 1 1/2 pounds per quart depending the size of your cubed potatoes.

Cost Analysis:
I paid $1.49 per 5# bag.  (When it gets closer to Thanksgiving many times in this area you can get 5# bags for under $1)
20# for $5.98.
With 17 qts. that translates into 35 cents per quart! 
I checked on canned potatoes at my grocery store and a 15 oz. can (1 pint) was on sale for 89 cents. 
A quart would cost then $1.79....vs. 35 cents if you can them yourself...definitely much cheaper.

Step by step instructions on Pressure Canning from the Ball website.


  1. We did apple pie filling last fall and had two jars break in a water bath.....we were doing it with a large cooking group and found out that her jars were pretty old....could it have been an older jar?

    Our same group is doing chicken and pinto beans next week...and I am excited. I have never pressure canned before.

  2. I have canned lots of potatoes. I like to buy them when they are on sale-summer- but fresh potatoes won't keep well here when we are so hot, so I can them.

  3. Elizabeth--definitely the older the jar gets and the more times it has been used there will be more stress on it. However, I have used some old jars and pressure canned them w/ no problems. Or mostly brand new jars that have cracked. So really I think it is just luck of the draw sometimes w/ your jars.

    Good luck w/ the beans and chicken. I love having jars of those on hand too when you need to whip something up quick for dinners. I think you'll be pleased too.

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I had no idea you could can potatoes!!!! I will have to try this!



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