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How to Can Potatoes


Whether you’re looking for ways to put of produce from your garden, store farmer’s market bounty, or save potatoes that aren’t looking so well in your root cellar, knowing how to can potatoes is an essential homestead skill. 

One of the biggest challenges with growing food for your family is storing it all. With potatoes, ideally we would be able to keep them in the root cellar from one season to the next, but depending on where you live, it might not be that easy. 

how to can potatoes

In the southern United states, you may be dealing with anything from too much moisture coming through your basement, to the fact that in some areas, we don’t have basements at all. 

While the ins and outs of root cellaring is a topic for another day, the fact is that when you find your potatoes bad down there, you have to act quick, so this canned potatoes recipe might just save your hide. 

I hate to say it, but I’ve experienced this problem more than once. When I was a tween and teen, my dad (with the help of us kids) grew over a thousand pounds of potatoes in the spring to help feed the ten of us. unfortunately, our root cellar situation wasn’t the greatest. 

We picked the potatoes over routinely to keep the eyes picked off, and use up anything suspicious looking before it spoiled the lot. 

But more often than not, we ended up needing to can a substantial amount of them. 

Fortunately for all of us, canning potatoes is pretty simple, and if you’ve ever canned anything with a pressure canner, you won’t have any trouble with these. 

Canned Potatoes Recipes

So what do you do with canned potatoes? 

  • A simple one is to add them to soups. I like to can vegetable soup, but if I do make a pot from scratch, canned potatoes sure do speed the process up!
  • Other soups to add them to are corn chowder, potato soup, and easy clam chowder.
  • Canned potatoes are also great for home fries! Just drain them, and pat them dry before toasting them in hot oil.
  • Make mashed potatoes. Heat your canned potatoes to boiling, then drain and mash like any other potato. These spinach mashed potatoes are my favorite.  
  • Add to casseroles. Au gratin potatoes and scalloped potatoes are my favorite!

I’d say the most annoying part is taking the time to peel them. And even that isn’t as time consuming as husking corn or even peeling tomatoes to make home canned diced tomatoes.

But it doesn’t hurt to go over a few tips before we get to the recipe:

  • There’s nothing more important than cleanliness. The whole idea behind canning is to kill bacteria so your food won’t spoil. So give it the best chance you can buy keeping extra bacteria to a minimum. From food, to jars and lids. 
  • Jars should be arranged in a canner so that they do not touch. They can be very close, but they shouldn’t touch. Jars that touch have a much higher chance of breaking. 
  • Use your kitchen tools. If you have an apple peeler, try using it to peel your potatoes! Especially if you have nice, oval, uniform potatoes, that can really speed things up. 
  • Canning potatoes does require a pressure canner. Technically you could waterbath can – goodness knows plenty of Amish folks still waterbath can everything – but unlike when we talked about how to can applesauce, potatoes are a lower acid food, similar to home canned baked beans, and harbors more potentially harmful bacteria. The higher temperature of the pressure canner makes it much safer to consume. 
  • Most stores like Walmart carry general canning supplies like jars and lids, but you may need to order a pressure canner if you don’t already have one. Pressure canners can be pricey, but I have this inexpensive one, and it works very well. (long term, a higher end model is still a great investment though! 

How to can potatoes

Start by peeling your potatoes, and then dicing them into uniform chunks. 

raw potatoes being sliced on a cutting board

If you have small potatoes, such as new potatoes or fingerlings, you may want to leave them whole. Size is really just a personal preference. 

As you peel and dice, add your prepared potatoes to a pot of water. This helps keep them from oxidizing while they wait their turn for the canner. 

died potatoes in a pot of water

Once you have a pot full, heat them to boiling, and boil for about 2 minutes, and then drain them. 

you’re not trying to get them cooked through here, you’re just draining out some of the starch. 

Pack the potatoes in canning jars, add salt to the jar, fill with hot water, and secure your lids and rings. 

potatoes packed into canning jars

After that, place in a prepared, hot pressure canner, and process for 35 minutes (pints) to 40 minutes (quarts). 

When they’re done processing, remove your canner from the heat, and let it cool down to release pressure naturally. At this point, I like to leave the jars in the canner for as long as I can to avoid handling hot jars and the risk of breakage that comes with it, but if I have to get them out (i.e. if I have another batch that needs to be canned), I cover the hot jars with a bath towel to keep drafts away while they finish cooling. 

canned potatoes in pint canning jars

Scroll down below to see a quick video tutorial, and the full printable recipe. 


How to Can Potatoes

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a tutorial for canning potatoes at home in a pressure canner

  • Author: Elise New


  • Potatoes 
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Canning jars
  • Pressure Canner


  1. Peel potatoes, cut to desired size – they need to be small enough to fit through the jar neck, dropping into a bowl or pot of water as you go
  2. When pot is full, drain, and refill
  3. Heat potatoes to boiling, and boil for 2 minutes
  4. Remove from heat, and drain again
  5. While potatoes are coming to a boil, heat a second pot of water, as well as preparing your pressure canner by filling with the required amount of water (usually 2 quarts for a standard 32 quart canner), place rack in bottom of canner, and heat that as well. 
  6. After potatoes have boiled for the 2 minutes, drain again
  7. Fill sterilized jars with potatoes, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pint jars, and 1 teaspoon to quart jars
  9. Cover potatoes with hot water, and fit with lids
  10. Place jars in prepared hot canner, making sure they do not touch
  11. Heat until valve is releasing a steady stream of steam
  12. Let steam vent for 10 minutes
  13. Place weigh on steam valve, set to 10lbs of pressure
  14. Process pint jars for 35 minutes, and quarts for 40 minutes at 10lbs of pressure
  15. When canner is done processing, remove from heat, and let release pressure naturally as it cools. 
  16. At this point, you can leave jars in the canner with the lid on until they are completely cool, or remove if necessary while hot, being careful to protect them from drafts that could crack jars. Cover hot jars with a towel to finish cooling
  17. Note: Jars may not seal until they cool, so don’t panic if you pull a few unsealed jars out!
  18. After 24 hours, you may remove the rings from sealed jars for storage

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One Comment

  1. Have small canner about 4pint maybe 5 at the most how much water do I put in canner to start do you cover the jars???

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