October 26, 2011

Canning Potatoes



This year has included a huge canning and preserving learning curve for me, but invaluable experience makes it so much easier each time I need to can something and also when I want to tackle a new recipe or type of food to preserve.

We have a full basement in which to keep produce over the winter and I have tried for several winters to keep different things and this year I decided to can the produce instead of being disappointed again.  I have found that it is too humid in our basement to keep things, but I have learned several different tips that I may try in the future.  One tip is to make up a weak bleach/water solution and dip all winter squash including pumpkins in it to kill off any outer bacteria that will begin to cause them to decay.  Another tip is to build a small box that is filled with sand and bury the produce in the sand.  Any barrel would work for this too.  Even with these great ideas, I decided to play it safe this year and simply can everything.  

Besides.....how hard is it to can potatoes?  Seriously?  Not that hard, but of course my first try didn't turn out that good, but the potatoes aren't wasted and they will be delicious used for mashed potatoes.  Sadly though, they won't work for hearty stew potatoes like I wanted them to.

After peeling and cubing the potatoes, I consulted my Ball canning book.  The recipe stated that the cubed potatoes should be boiled for 10 minutes before packing into jars and then process in a pressure canner for 40 minutes (for quarts).  I knew something wasn't quite right when the potatoes were already soft after boiling them, but I proceeded on, following the directions.  A dear friend of mine later confirmed that I shouldn't have boiled the potatoes first, which of course makes the entire process that much simpler......thank you Kathy!  

Anyway... I put the soft, hot potatoes in the jars and covered them with boiling chicken broth and processed them as directed.  I really like the idea of covering the potatoes with chicken broth instead of just water so they will be delicious in soups and stews and the whole jar can be poured into the pot without draining the potatoes.  Most recipes call for adding salt to each jar when canning potatoes, but I didn't add the salt because the chicken broth has plenty of salt in it.  



The potatoes need a simple 40 minutes in the pressure canner and they're done!  I'm so excited about having potatoes already ready to use all winter long!  I absolutely LOVE canning!  

Oh, I almost forgot....as you can see in the first picture, I hadn't removed all of the air bubbles yet.....be sure to try to get all of them out.  I've read that the air bubbles are really ok to have in there, that air bubbles get treated too, but they just look undone to me with large air bubbles in them.  Creature of habit I guess....

I've got another 50 pounds of Yukon Golds to do so off I go!  Have fun canning your potatoes!!



15 comments:

  1. I canned our home grown taters for the first time this year, easy peasy. Last year I dehydrated a bunch and kept the rest in the basement as I used them up through winter. I only canned the small ones so far, so I have more to do once it starts getting really cold out and the outside chores are all done.

    I also grew sweet taters and can hardly wait to can those and use them for my pies and candied yams for the holidays.

    Thank you for your post, always good to see what other folks are doing and how they go about it. Learning all the time ;)

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  2. Thank Sassy, I've got a bunch of butternut to can, but have yet to can sweet potatoes....

    I agree, I've learned so much from reading others blogs and learning from their mistakes so I feel its best to post my mistakes for others so they know what gave me trouble! Plus, I've learned so much more than what is in my canning book!

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  3. Nice info on the Canning potato. If you don't mind can you put a worded or picture link to Hearth and soul blog hop. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop

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  4. I would process them @ 90 mins since they have chicken broth, just to make sure the bacteria is killed. Check with your extension office. I do mine with water at these times.

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  5. Salt is added not just for flavor, but it affects the canning time (shortens it). That's why commercial canning has so much salt in it; using more salt is cheaper than power needed to run machines longer. As for pre-boiling, some potato varieties hold their shape better. Also anyone reading from different states (or countries), remember your altitude will make your canning times different. I would check with the local extension office, those universities do a lot of testing and it's better to use their recipes exactly. Botulism kills.

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  6. Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

    The most recent edition - http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnival-of-home-preserving-13-come.html - open until Thursday 6/7.

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  7. Thank you for linking up at the Carnival!

    Question... What is that gorgeous photo in your header of the red item in the canning jar? I thought it was tomatoes at first but now I'm not so sure.

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  8. Hi Laura, thank you for leading me to your link up! The photo in the header is Raspberry Preserves. YUM!!!

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  9. Sharon, I am wondering about putting the little cubes of chicken bouillon in there versus the chicken stock. Stock is pretty expensive and I don't buy a lot of chicken for me to make my own stock. This is my first year of canning anything and I am so excited about it. Have already gotten my water canner and ordered my pressure canner yesterday. Now I just have to buy hundreds of jars. LOL Have been reading everything I can find on canning different foods and I like yours the best for canning potatoes. Just wondering about the bouillon? Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. Debbie~ I'm not sure about the bouillon cubes. Personally I wouldn't use them due to what they are made of. We grow our own food so that we know exactly what it is we are eating. Manufactured bouillon cubes are a big no no in our home. Besides all that....I'm not sure how they would cook up during the canning process. You might end up with mostly water and potatoes with a cube in the bottom. On the other hand, you may have come up with a good idea too. I am just not familiar enough with how the cubes cook down to be able to direct you either way. If I were thinking about doing that, I'd use the cubes to cook up the stock first, then use that stock over the potatoes. One great site for all kinds of canning information is pickyourown.org just in case you haven't found it yet. Happy Canning!

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  10. If you're not supposed to pre-boil the potatoes how long should they be processed for since they will be raw?

    ~Alysia

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    Replies
    1. The potatoes should be processed in a pressure canner for 40 minutes.

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  11. This sounds delicious, but I don't have a pressure canner. Can this be done in a water bath instead?
    Gail

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    Replies
    1. Potatoes and other low acid foods should not be canned in a water bath canner, especially when adding animal broth to it. Please consult a canning book or a canner's manufacturer for guidelines before "adapting" any recipe. I would also advise to always consult your canner's manufacturer for guidelines before canning anything at all.

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  12. I have canned pumpkin with this method in large pieces and kept for several years very well.

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