Friday, July 1, 2022

Canning potatoes

If you remember, early in May I put up a blog post asking for reader input on canning potatoes. You all came through beautifully in sharing your wisdom.

Well I just tried canning them myself, and what do you know ... they came out very well.

Ironically, the day I canned potatoes was a day I had absolutely no interest in canning. Our weather has done a great big celestial 180 degrees this week, and we went from cool and rainy to hot and dry. Who wants to can anything in hot weather?

But I needed photos on canning potatoes to provide to Backwoods Home Magazine for an article I just submitted, so despite the heat, I canned potatoes.

I started with 15 lbs. of red potatoes, which are often the preferred variety to can because they're less starchy.

Cutting into chunks. It's hard to tell, but the cut-up potatoes are in a bowl of water to prevent discoloration until they got blanched.

Getting ready to blanche the potatoes by adding citric acid to the blanche water (1 teaspoon per quart of water).

Blanching (about 10 minutes).


Filling the jars.

Adding salt.

Into the canner. Because this project was more for the photos than for food storage, I used disposable lids.

Bringing the canner up to pressure. I processed the quarts for 40 minutes.

VoilĂ : Seven quarts of canned potatoes. Now that I know how easy it is. I'll probably can more potatoes in the future.

Interestingly, I had a little over two quarts of potatoes left that wouldn't fit in the canner (my canner only holds seven quarts at a time.

I was griping to Older Daughter how pointless it was to go through another round in the canner just for two and a quarter quarts of potatoes, when by happy coincidence she mentioned she needed potatoes to make some potato salad for a recipe she was trying. What luck!

Here's her potato salad:

So thank you to everyone who contributed their experience when it came to canning potatoes. Despite choosing one of the hottest days of summer to try it out, I'm pleased to add something new to my canning repertoire.


  1. with red potatoes you can always make up a batch of creamed peas and potatoes. it's better if you can get both fresh from the garden, but one or the other fresh is still good. and both canned in the middle of januarary is always good eating.

  2. As we all know Idaho is the potato state, apparently the ones that grow the very best at my little homestead, largest and fastest are the red ones, fingerlings are next, then russets and yukon gold. Thank you for this article I didn't know that the reds were best for canning, yet another project to be added to my canning schedule.

  3. I've never blanched the potatoes first. Just chunk and put in the jars with a bit of canning salt. Sometimes I don't peel them either. Those I heat and mash for "smashed potato" meals. So great with a stew over the top, or canned roasted pot roast and gravy. So many possibilities!

    Mama J

  4. Great article. Just canned 20 qts of my home grown red potatoes. Didn't know reds were the best for canning.

  5. You don't need to blanch before pressure canning. DO soak and rinse several times to get rid of the excess starch, if you wish.

    Blanch if you are dehydrating them, otherwise the potatoes will turn black.

    Your canned potatoes look beautiful!

  6. Does the blanching with citric acid help with texture, or color? Just curious. I've never used it on potatoes. I usually just cut them up and can them, no citric acid, no blanching.

    1. Citric acid isn't a necessary ingredient when blanching, but it does aid in adjusting pH and slowing oxidation (which helps preserve the color of the potatoes).

      - Patrice

  7. Recently a friend asked my opinion about removing the skin before canning his red potatoes. His concern was that the skin can be harmful to eat if left on and could induce the growth of bacteria in the jar. I told him if he was concerned to eat sooner rather than later. He almost threw out his entire efforts.

    Was my advice incorrect?

    1. Ah, the great skin debate. All my canning references recommend removing the skins, even from the tiny potatoes, but no one explained why. I finally found an answer (such as it is) from the PennState Extension website ( which says: "Process times have not been determined for unpeeled potatoes."

      No official source can recommend a procedure if it hasn't been scientifically tested. Interpret this as you will.

      - Patrice