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.
Canning Potatoes: Step by step explanation
Gather your canning supplies
- pressure canner
- canning jars
- canning seals and rings
- jar lifter and canning funnel
- large pot or blancher
- potato peeler
- large spoons
- sharp knife
- towels and dish cloths
Potatoes – about 20 pounds will do 7 quarts
Canning Salt – optional
Preparing the potatoes
Wash and peel your potatoes. (yes you really must peel them, Check out the tips section below for more on this.) 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 in the garden. (My kids call them tater tots. Yes you need to peel the tater tots.) Your potato pieces should not be bigger than 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 cold water to avoid discoloring. This will also rinse away some of the starch. When you are done peeling and cutting drain.
Bring a pot of fresh water to a boil and boil your cut up potatoes. Cook small 1/2 inch pieces for 2 minutes. 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 overcooked. 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. More rinsing means less starchy potatoes. 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 pressure according to your altitude see the chart below. For more information see this altitude adjustments page.
Sharon’s Canning Potatoes Tips
Must I really peel the potatoes?
Yes, you really must peel your potatoes. Even the tiny ones. The reason is that the spores that can cause issues with 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. This is the same with all root crops.
I cook potatoes with the skins on for dinner. But for canning, I’ll go ahead and skin the potato. Then we’ll have fried potato skins for supper the night after I can potatoes.
What about raw packing potatoes to get a better texture?
If you do a search on youtube or many canning groups, you may find instructions for canning potatoes raw pack. I do not endorse that method. I am all for getting a nice texture in your product. BUT you must know that there are no official sources that will recommend raw packing potatoes for canning.
Potatoes have never been tested for canning from raw. The way they were tested is from a cooked state. If you pack the potatoes raw, you would have to test from raw. The texture, temperature among other things is different therefore the testing would not apply. I totally understand wanting a better texture but you are better off working with different types of potatoes to see what will hold up better to the canning process.
What potato is best for canning?
You can use any potato for canning but look for a less starchy potato. Red skinned works best. Large, white, baking potatoes are not the best for canning purposes. They tend to be more on the starchy side. Red or gold potatoes do much better.
How to reduce starchiness in home canned potatoes.
Rinse, rinse, and rinse again will reduce starchy, cloudy potato water. You’ll get the first rinse as you cut up your potatoes, drain then bring to a boil to partially cook, then drain that water and finally add fresh water to your jars, do not use the cooking water. Add clean, fresh water will reduce the amount of starch in the jars.
- potatoes approx 20 pounds = 7 quart jars
- canning salt optional
- Start by preparing your jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed. If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. This includes more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.
Hot pack only
- Wash and peel potatoes.
- Cut potatoes into 1–2” pieces, placing potatoes in water. Drain.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Cook small pieces 2 minutes or large pieces/whole potatoes up to 10 minutes, to heat through. (See clarification below.)
- Fill jar with hot potatoes. Add canning salt (1/2 tsp. per pint or 1 tsp. per quart).
- Cover hot potatoes with fresh boiling water, leaving 1” headspace.
- Remove bubbles. Wipe the rim clean and place on seal and ring. Place jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process in a pressure canner according to the instructions below.
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Colorado State Extension
Last Updated: 1/6/2021
If you are growing a garden you really should try growing potatoes! They are so crispy and delicious when grown in your back yard. This Growing Potatoes gardening course will take you step by step through the growing process. Start growing potatoes from your garden this summer.