I love canning potatoes, not just because it is a smart way to preserve them and save food for an emergency, but also because the process is so easy. Don’t worry, you will see the benefits the second you start, as you will be saving money and end up with a delicious product to use whenever you want.
Here Are The 8 Things You Need to Know About Canning Potatoes
Fact #1: You can have potatoes year-round, no matter the season
You may have noticed the availability of potatoes isn’t always great depending on the time of year. I have certainly noticed that my potatoes tend to go bad sooner in the hot summer months. So, why not keep them longer?
When you can potatoes, you are storing your favorite types of potatoes for a later time without any trouble. These will be shelf-stable for months to come, even when the grocery store doesn’t have any.
Fact #2: Make sure you peel the skin
This is the most burdensome step of the process, but is strictly necessary. While you may think that cleaning the skin is enough, the truth is, that you should completely remove the skin to prevent microorganism spoilage.
To be more exact, what you want to avoid is botulism, which is a common bacteria that grows in canned foods.
Fact #3: You have to pre-cook your potatoes
Another step that many don’t know about, but for safety reasons, canning raw potatoes isn’t recommended. I suggest you start by cubing your potatoes into smaller pieces and then boiling them for about 2 minutes.
However, if you are boiling bigger or whole potatoes, the minimum amount of time to boil them is 10 minutes. Once they are hot, you can pack them into your hot jars with new water. Never reuse the boiling water, as it is not clean, nor safe.
Fact #4: Canned potatoes last over a year
Commercially canned potatoes can last up to 3 years, but I suggest you consume your home-canned potatoes within a year to a year and a half. If you have the right type of canning jars, lids, and seals, then your potatoes will keep without a problem.
As with other canned goods, I recommend that you check the seal every few months. Any dents or signs of air means your product has spoiled and you should throw it out.
Fact #5: You need a pressure canner and other essential tools
Because potatoes have a lot of moisture, but are also in contact with microorganisms, the only way to ensure safe canning is to use a pressure canner. This means that you will need to use a canner that has either a dial gauge, or a weighted gauge.
You will also need a jar grabber; otherwise, you can burn yourself or drop the jars, which will be extremely hot. Consider also using a large slotted spoon, as you will need it to remove the potatoes from the boiling water, and then for moving them into the jars.
Keep in mind that you will also need a potato peeler, a knife, and a cutting board.
Fact #6: Consider using salt
Not a necessary step by any means, but when have potatoes ever tasted good without salt? Even if you only use a pinch, I think using salt will make your potatoes keep and taste better.
As a general rule, I use about 1 teaspoon for every quart jar, but you can adjust to your liking. Make sure to use thin regular salt and not coarse, sea salt, or the product can taste weird after a few months.
Fact #7: Make sure you have the correct pressure
I am by no means an expert on what pressure to use when I can, but I do know how important it is to have a set pressure. If you are canning potatoes below 1000 feet of elevation, set the pressure to 10 pounds of pressure and process them for 30 minutes for pints and over 40 minutes for quarts.
When you can at higher elevations, check the recommended pressure and process times before you start.
Fact #8: You can use your canned potatoes as they are, or cook them again
The beauty of canned potatoes is that they are ready to be used or eaten. Still, if you want, you can also cook them the way you like. Canned potatoes go well in soups, stews, grilled, sautéed, or as they are.
Now you are ready to start canning your favorite potatoes and enjoy them any time of the year. Remember to check that you have all the adequate equipment, as you don’t want to be left stranded in the middle of the canning process.
As with anything else you can, you should check that there is no air and that the seal isn’t dented.
Enjoy your canned potatoes any day and at any time, without the hassle of going to a grocery store.