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How to Pressure Can Potatoes

Preserving the bounty of the harvest is a time-honored tradition, allowing us to enjoy the flavors of summer throughout the year. Potatoes, with their versatility and nutritional value, are a staple in many households.

Last summer Marie had a prolific potato crop and now she's ready to preserve those potatoes so they last, and last, and last.

While potatoes can be stored in various ways, pressure canning offers a convenient method to ensure their long-term preservation while retaining their flavor and texture. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to pressure can potatoes safely and effectively, so you can enjoy their goodness whenever you desire.

Why Pressure Canning?

Pressure canning is the preferred method for preserving low-acid foods like potatoes. Unlike water bath canning, which relies on high acidity to prevent bacterial growth, pressure canning uses high temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria, ensuring the safety of your preserved foods. Potatoes, being low in acidity, require this method to prevent the risk of botulism and other foodborne illnesses.

Getting Started:

Before you begin pressure canning, gather all the necessary equipment:

1. Pressure canner: Ensure it is in good condition and has a functioning pressure gauge.

2. Mason jars, lids, and rings: Choose jars appropriate for canning, ensuring they are free from chips or cracks.

3. Potatoes: Select fresh, firm potatoes, free from any signs of decay.

4. Asorbic Acid: Asorbic Acid is an excellent food preserving agent because it helps maintain the natural color of potatoes and other fruits and vegetables (even meat).

5. Salt (optional): Adding salt enhances the flavor, but it's not absolutely necessary for preservation.

6 Jar lifter, canning funnel, and other canning tools.

7. Clean towels, a potato peeler, and a cutting board.

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Prepare the potatoes: Wash the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.

Fill a large bowl with 1 gallon of soaking water and add a teaspoon of asorbic acid to the water.

Peel the potatoes. Cut them into approximately one-inch cubes, ensuring they are of a size that will fit comfortably in the jars but be large enough for water to move around them.

Place the peeled potatoes into the soaking water.

2. Heat the Potatoes: Strain the potatoes out of the asorbic acid soaking water and place them into a boiling pot of water. Boil them for 2 minutes.

3. Pack the jars: Using a canning funnel, pack the prepared potatoes into the preheated jars, straining off the boiling water. Leave one-inch of headspace at the top. Add 1 teaspoon of salt if desired, following recommended guidelines for taste preference. Then, fill the jar with fresh water.

4. Remove air bubbles: Insert a clean utensil, such as a chopstick or plastic spatula, into the jar to release any trapped air bubbles. Ensure there are no air pockets, as they can affect the quality of the canned potatoes.

5. Wipe the jar rims: Using a clean, damp towel, wipe the rims of the jars to remove any residue or food particles. A clean seal is essential for proper preservation.

6. Apply lids and rings: Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until they are fingertip tight. Do not overtighten, as air needs to escape during the canning process.

7. Prepare the pressure canner: Add the recommended amount of water to the pressure canner, as specified in the manufacturer's instructions. Place the filled jars onto the canning rack.

8. Process the jars: Secure the lid of the pressure canner and follow the instructions for bringing it up to the appropriate pressure. Process the jars for the recommended time based on your altitude and the size of the jars. This information can be found in reputable canning guides or from your local extension office.

For Sea Level process at 11 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes. Make sure to adjust your pressure depending on your altitude/elevation.

9. Allow the canner to depressurize: Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the pressure canner to depressurize naturally. Do not attempt to open the canner until the pressure gauge indicates that it is safe to do so.

10. Remove the jars: Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the pressure canner and place them on a clean towel or cooling rack. Allow the jars to cool completely before checking the seals. We let them sit overnight.

11. Check the seals: After the jars have cooled, check whether they have sealed by checking the center of each lid. If the lid is firm and does not flex, and the center is concaved the seal is good. Any jars with unsealed lids should be refrigerated and consumed promptly.

12. Label and store: Once you've confirmed that all the jars are properly sealed, label them with the contents and the date of canning. Store the jars in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

Pressure canning potatoes is a simple and rewarding way to preserve this versatile vegetable for year-round enjoyment. By following these steps and safety guidelines, you can ensure that your home-canned potatoes are safe, flavorful, and ready to enhance your favorite dishes whenever you need them. So go ahead, stock your pantry with the goodness of freshly canned potatoes and savor the taste of the harvest all year long!

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