How to Can Potatoes

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Start canning potatoes for quick meals, soups, or stews and french fries!

This article will teach you how to can potatoes with beginner friendly step by step instruction A complete guide. You’ll wash and peel first, then blanch, and fill jars and process. Learn about canning for french fries, mashed, fried and more.

Close up of multiple quart jars of home canned french fry cut potatoes.

How to Can Potatoes Extended Directions and tips

Yield

You can use this recipe to can any amount of potatoes you have. I just start filling jars and doing a batch at a time until I’ve used them all up.

For 7 quart jars you’ll need about 20 pounds.. That is an average of 2.5 to 3 pounds per quart. This will vary according to the size of your potato and how much peeling you do.

Know Your Canner

You will need to know how to use your pressure canner. If you are not familiar with your canner, this pressure canning page has more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on using a pressure canner.

Supplies and Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 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 inch cubes.

You can leave them whole if you are like us and got TONS of teeny tiny spuds in the garden. (my kids call them tater tots). But remember you DO still need to peel them. For this reason I’ve only canned small whole potatoes once. It was too tedious for my patience. Your pieces should not be bigger than 2″ diameter.

One thing I tried and really loved for both the diverse uses later and the speed of prep work. Try canning french fries! Cutting into this shape worked well for me. My food processor cut a large amount of potatoes quickly.

Collage with Bosch food processor cutting french fries and large pot of french fries soaking in water.

I’ll admit… they are softer than a chunkier style cut. But they fried and baked up nicely as french fries. They also mash really nicely. Drain add a bit of butter and salt to taste, mash with a fork for mashed potatoes. I like chunky, If you like smoother mashed potatoes, you might want to use a whisk or mixer.

As you cut your potatoes, place the pieces 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, and I like to rinse again. The more you rinse the less starchy your jars will be.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil add potatoes and boil. Do this in batches if needed. Cook small, 1/2-inch pieces for just 2 minutes. If you have larger pieces or whole potatoes, boil up to 10 minutes and drain. You want the pieces to be hot through, but not overcooked.

Pressure Canning

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.

Fill jars with hot potatoes, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Image of filling jar of french fry cut potatoes with boiling water from a tea kettle.

Cover with 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 jars. Leave 1-inch headspace and cover all pieces of food.

Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles. Check your headspace again and if needed top off with water. Wipe the rims clean and add your lids.

Collage of three images showing filling quart jars, removing bubbles with an orange peeler, and wiping the rim of jars of home canned potatoes.
Fill jars with potatoes, remove air bubbles, wipe the rims clean before adding the lids.

Processing Times

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.

Canning Potatoes

Canning potatoes is a great way to have homemade convenience food. Handy for making soups or stews. Or simply boil the potatoes for 10 minutes and add sour cream and chives.
Print Recipe
Close up of multiple quart jars of home canned french fry cut potatoes.
Prep Time:1 hour
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):40 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Potatoes approx 20 pounds = 7 quart jars
  • Canning Salt optional

Instructions

  • 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 up to 10 minutes, to heat through. Your potato pieces should not be bigger than 1-2 inches.
  • 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.  

Notes

Processing with a Pressure Canner
Place the jars in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below) This is when pressure will start to build.  
When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below) that is when you’ll start your time.  Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
Processing Instructions (Hot Pack) 
Process pints for 35 minutes or quarts for 40 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  
Altitude Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
Altitude – Weighted Gauge   
0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds
1,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds
Altitude – Dial Gauge – Weighted Gauge   
0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds
2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds 
4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds 
6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds 
8,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds
Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Colorado State Extension
Servings: 7 quart jars

Tips & FAQs

Must You Really Peel for Canning?

Canning potatoes with skins on is not recommended Potatoes need to be peeled for canning. It is a safety issue, not just a quality issue. Peels will naturally carry more bacteria that is found in the dirt. Scrub as you like. You’ll still get a cleaner product if you peel.

Yes, you really must peel. 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 scrub the well then peel. Then we’ll have fried potato skins for supper.

Can you can small Potatoes with Skin on?

I know small potatoes with the peels looks really nice in the jar especially if you’ve got multi colored skins. But it is simply not a good way to go. You want to be able to eat your pretty jars with confidence.

Peeling small potatoes is tedious and time-consuming! Save the small ones for roasting. I know small potatoes with the peels looks really nice in the jar especially if you’ve got multi colored skins. But it is simply not a good way to go. You want to be able to eat your pretty jars with confidence.

I answered a readers question about this in one of my canning chat series. Check out my answer there too. How to can small multi colored potatoes. (opens in youtube)

Dry Canning Potatoes

Dry canning is definitely not a good idea. I recently noticed this trend of pressure canning food without liquid. This totally changes the process. To keep things safe, it’s better to stick to the tested canning routine with all the proper steps, including adding liquid to your jars. I learned some things about the differences in dry heat vs moist heat that I never knew before. I’ve outlined what I learned in this video. What is Dry Canning?

What About Raw Packing to Get a Better Texture?

If you do a search on YouTube or many canning groups, you may find a canning recipe for canning potatoes raw pack. I do not endorse it. I am all for getting a nice texture in your product but, potatoes have never been tested for canning with the raw pack method.

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. 

Collage of three images showing the process of filling pint size canning jar with chunky potatoes, filling with water and removing bubbles.
Canning a more chunky style potatoes.

Pro and con of canning french fries.

Also note: My french fry potatoes did turn out softer than a chunkier cut. It still worked for me and made good french fries, also was easy to mash for potatoes. But a more square form might suit you better. Just don’t cut them overly big. 2 inch cubes is recommended.

What Potato is Best for Canning?

You can use any potato, but the best potatoes will be lower starch content. Red skinned potatoes works best. (peeled of course) Large, white, baking potatoes are not the best for canning purposes. They tend to be more on the starchy side. Red or Yukon gold potatoes do much better.

How to Reduce Starchiness in Home Canned Potatoes

Rinse, rinse, and rinse again to reduce starchy, cloudy water. You’ll get the first rinse as you cut up your potatoes, drain then bring to a boil to partially cook, and then drain that water and finally add fresh water to your jars; do not use the cooking water. Adding clean, fresh water will reduce the amount of starch in the jars. That high starch content is unappealing but not dangerous.

One thing I noticed with my last batch of potatoes. As the jars set on your shelf… the water gets more starchy with time. This is normal and doesn’t hurt a thing. So don’t be surprised.

Pin This for Later:

Canning Potatoes pin

Resources: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Colorado State Extension

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