How to Can New Potatoes

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Tender, new potatoes aren't difficult to can, and you can use the new potatoes in a variety of dishes, soups and stews. If your new potatoes have been stored in a cool dry place, you should can them within four to eight weeks after harvest. Select smooth, blemish-free new potatoes measuring less than 2 inches in diameter. Use a pressure canner, because a boiling water canner won't be hot enough to kill bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Canning jars, lids and bands
  • Soft vegetable brush
  • Potato peeler
  • Large heatproof container
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Large saucepan or stockpot
  • Salt (optional)
  • Rubber spatula
  • Damp cloth
  • Pressure canner with jar rack
  • Jar tongs
  • Newspapers or towels
  • Wash your canning jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water and then rinse well. Check the jars carefully and discard any jars with chips or cracks. Use only canning jars; jars such as pickle jars and mayonnaise jars aren't made to withstand high temperatures and may break. Leave the jars in hot water until you're ready to fill the jars with potatoes. Most pressure canners will hold 7 quarts or 9 pints.

  • Wash your new potatoes with a soft vegetable brush and then rinse thoroughly. Peel the potatoes; the skins will increase the possibility of bacteria growth on the canned potatoes.

  • Place the new potatoes in a large container filled with a mixture of 1 tsp. ascorbic acid for every gallon of cold water. The ascorbic acid mixture will prevent the potatoes from darkening while you prepare the jars.

  • Fill a large saucepan or stock pot with water and then bring the water to a boil. Boil the new potatoes for 10 minutes.

  • Drain the water from the potatoes and then place the boiled potatoes in the hot jars. Pour boiling water into the jars, filling the jars to within an inch from the top. Avoid using the potato cooking water, which will be too starchy. If desired, add about 1 tsp. of salt to every jar.

  • Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Add more boiling water to bring the water level to within an inch from the top of the jar, if necessary.

  • Wipe the rims of the jars carefully with a clean, damp cloth. Even minuscule amounts of food on the rim may prevent the jars from sealing.

  • Pour 2 to 3 inches of boiling water into the bottom of your pressure canner. Place the jar rack in the canner and put the filled jars on the rack.

  • Fasten the canner lid securely, according to the directions for your specific canner. Open the petcock and then, with the canner on high heat, allow stem to exhaust for 10 minutes. Close the petcock. Start your timer when the canner reaches the recommended level of pressure. Refer to your canner manual, as pressure will vary from 10 to 15 lbs. of pressure, depending on your altitude and the type of canner.

  • Remove the pressure canner from the heat when the potatoes have processed for the correct amount of time. Allow the canner to cool completely until the pressure is zero. Wait for two minutes and then open the petcock slowly. Open the canner cover with the cover tilted so the steam will escape away from you.

  • Remove the canned new potatoes from the hot water, using jar tongs. Place the hot jars on thick newspapers or dry towels. Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 24 hours.

  • Test the jar seals after 24 hours. The jar lids should not move when you press your finger into the center. A sealed lid will also be slightly concave. If you find unsealed jars, refrigerate the potatoes or use them immediately. You can also start over and reprocess the unsealed potatoes.

  • Label sealed jars with the date the potatoes were processed and any other helpful information. Store the canned potatoes in a dark, cool, dry place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact your local cooperative extension office if you have questions about canning new potatoes or about using a pressure canner.

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