Canning Potatoes

Start canning potatoes for quick meals, soups or stews. Or simply boil for 10 minutes and add butter and salt. Sour cream and chives would dress it up nicely.

You will need to know how to use a pressure canner. This pressure canning page has more detailed information and step by step instructions on how to use a pressure canner.  


Gather your canning supplies


Potatoes - about 20 pounds will do 7 quarts

Canning Salt - optional

Canning Procedure

But Why??

I've been asked, do you really need to peel your potatoes to can them safely?  All official directions I find say to peel potatoes. None of them mention just scrubbing without peeling. (official meaning from state extension services)

Many of you would like to keep the peels and the nutrients there.  Remember safety, when you are canning food, might be different than when you are cooking them for supper. 

Since I could find no specific reasons stated I called my local extension to get more details. It was explained to me peeling when canning potatoes is necessary because it is a root crop. The bacteria that can cause botulism can be found in the soil so it may be a higher risk of botulism. The same goes with canning carrots and canning beets.

I will be peeling mine.  

Wash and peel your potatoes. 

Cut into pieces between 1-2 inches. Or you can leave them whole, if you are like us and got TONS of teeny tiny potatoes (my kids call them tater tots) Your potato pieces should not be bigger than the 1-2 inches.

You can cut them as small as 1/2 inch... I would think they might get over cooked this way. I am at high altitude and required pressure is high for me. If you live at low altitude it might not be as much of a problem.

As you cut your potatoes place in a pot of water to avoid discoloring.

Cook small 1/2 inch pieces 2 minutes in boiling water and drain. If you have larger pieces or whole potatoes, boil up to 10 minutes and drain. You want the potatoes to be hot through, but not over cooked. Remember no larger than 2 inches. 

Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. This is optional though I do recommend it unless you have a health reason to leave the salt out.  Salt helps preserve the texture and taste of the potatoes. 

Fill jars with hot prepared potatoes, leaving no more than 1-inch head space.

Cover hot potatoes with FRESH boiling water, don't use the water you used to boil the potatoes. It will be starchy and cloudy. Leave 1-inch head space and cover all pieces of potato.

Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids.

For more details on using a pressure canner follow pressure canning instructions.

Processing times canning potatoes

Process pints - process for 35 minutes
quarts - process for 40 minutes

Be sure to use the processing pressure according to your altitude. For more information see this altitude adjustments page.

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Source -

What potato is best for canning?

You can use any potato for canning but look for a less starchy potato. Red skinned works best. (with that said... I would can russets if that is what I had!)

Growing Potatoes

If you are growing a garden you really should try growing potatoes!  They are so crispy and delicious when grown in your back yard.  

There are few things in life that are tastier than fresh dug potatoes, mashed, fried or baked for you evening dinner. And in the dead of winter potatoes are one of the few garden crops that you can still eat fresh!

This Growing Potatoes gardening course will take you step by step through the growing process and give you the knowledge you need to grow hundreds of pounds of potatoes from your garden this summer!   

Rick Stones Growing Potatoes Guide

Related Pages

Question from my inbox....

Karen in Arizona asks.

I pressure canned white potatoes. I packed them raw and left the skins on. I have been told that leaving the skin will cause them to be toxic.

I am trying to find out if this is true before I eat the potatoes I have canned. Do you have any info regarding this?


They must be peeled. The reason is that the spores that can cause botulism are found in the soil. Since the potato grows directly in the soil there is a higher chance that botulism may be a risk. 

Since we both live in the southwest USA we need to be aware of botulism risks. I was told my my local extension service that these spores are more evident in dirt in the western US.

I'm like you in that I'd much prefer to can with the skins on, and I know that I have seen many blogs where people are canning with the skin. However you will be taking a risk.  Always use a pressure canner whether you peel the potatoes or not.  

Personally I'll go ahead and skin the potato. Then we'll have fried potato skins for supper the night after I can potatoes. 

As far as boiling the potatoes before canning. The times that are recommended for canning potatoes are assuming the potato is already hot when it is jarred. I'd be sure and boil them first. It is not really that much more work and worth the peace of mind.


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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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