Canning Potatoes with Skins On for Maximum Flavor and Nutrition

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canning potatoesYukon gold, new potatoes, white potatoes, red-skinned potatoes, and blue potatoes… there is just so much variety available for use in home-canned potatoes, and while many out there have an opinion on the “best potatoes,” the truth is that all of them will serve you well in the home canning process. Canning is an excellent home food preservation technique to preserve the flavor and nutrition of potatoes. And, if you are canning potatoes with skins on, you can rest assured that you are getting even more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that make potatoes so nutritious. But canning potatoes with skins on is a bit of a different process than canning peeled potatoes. Let’s take a look at why it is beneficial to keep the skins and how to do it safely. 

Benefits of Keeping the Skins On 

Leaving the skin on your potatoes when canning them helps protect their nutrients and flavor from being lost during the cooking process. The skin acts as a barrier against heat, preventing some of the potato’s essential vitamins and minerals from escaping into the boiling water or steam during cooking. So, if you’re looking for maximum nutritional value in your canned potatoes, leaving the skins on in the canning process is definitely recommended!  

Faster Canning Time 

Not only do canned potatoes with skins retain more nutrients, but they also require lower preparation times since you don’t have to bother peeling them! That means you’ll save time prepping your potatoes while benefiting from their maximum nutrient content. Plus, if you’re using a pressure cooker instead of a boiling water bath canner to preserve your food, having skins on your potatoes will help reduce cook times even further. Potatoes have slightly acidic, so you can use either method, but rest assured that you don’t need a pressure cooker, unlike for low-acid foods.

Saving Space While Storing 

When it comes to preserving food for long-term storage, space is always at a premium. With peeled potatoes, there’s no telling how much room each one will take up in a jar unless all of them are roughly the same size—which isn’t always easy! However, with unpeeled potatoes, each one will fit neatly into its own little spot within the jar—which means more efficient use of space and less worry about running out of room in your jars!  

The Process of Canning Potatoes with Skins On 

It is important to note that potato varieties differ in their ability to hold up during the canning process. Generally speaking, though, any potato should work just fine as long as they have been washed thoroughly beforehand. You may want to avoid using red potatoes or yellow-fleshed potatoes—not because they won’t taste good but because their color will bleed into other foods during processing and could affect the flavor of your finished product, but there are no safety concerns.

When it comes time to actually process your potatoes, you should use one of two methods. If you use a hot water bath method, blanch your whole washed potatoes in water for 5 minutes before packing them into jars with salt brine solution (1 teaspoon per pint jar). You can use cut potatoes and pounds of potatoes bought from grocery stores or your own potatoes from the garden. Once packed into jars with brine solution, use a large pot to process in a hot, fresh water bath for 35 minutes for pint jars or 45 minutes for quarts.  

If using a pressure canner method instead, use the raw pack method. Pack whole potatoes (washed, of course, and with the potato skins on) into jars with salt brine solution (1 teaspoon per pint jar), then process them in a pressure cooker at 10-15 pounds pressure for 25 minutes for pints or 40 minutes for quarts. Obviously, you won’t want to handle hot jars right away, so let them cool before transferring. Be sure to follow safety guidelines when using either method! 

Canning Potatoes Step-by-Step 

Before you start canning your potatoes, it’s important to make sure you have the right supplies. You will need a pressure canner and jars, lids, and bands. If you plan on storing your canned potatoes for an extended period of time, make sure to use jars that are designed for long-term storage. 

Next, you will want to prepare your potatoes by washing them in cold water and scrubbing off any dirt or debris. After they are clean, cut them into cubes (or any other shape you prefer) and place them in a pot of boiling water for approximately 10 minutes until they are slightly tender. Once they are done cooking, drain the water from the pot and let the potatoes cool before transferring them into sterilized jars.  

Once your jars are filled with potato cubes and all air bubbles have been removed as much as possible, add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart jar (if desired). Then fill the jar with boiling hot liquid (water or stock works best), leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Now place the lid and ring onto the jar tightly before placing it in the pressure canner according to manufacturer instructions. The process is at 11 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes for quarts and 25 minutes for pints. Once finished processing, remove from heat and let cool before storing in a cool dark place until ready to use! 

When ready to serve, open the jar and drain off any liquid before adding your favorite seasonings or butter/oil if desired – then enjoy!  

When it comes time to eat your potatoes from the canning jars, you don’t need to worry about them being mushy or falling apart. If properly canned and cooked, they will still have a nice texture when served. And because they come pre-cooked, all you need to do is heat them up or add them to your favorite dish for a quick meal! They also make great additions to stews, soups, casseroles, and even potato salad. 

If you are going to be using large potatoes for canning, it is recommended that you cut them into smaller pieces before putting them in jars so that they won’t take too long to cook all the way through during the canning process. It’s also important that all of your jars are sterilized before adding your ingredients so that nothing contaminates them while they are being processed in boiling water baths or pressure canners. This also helps ensure safe consumption later on down the line!  

Canning is Worth It!

Canning your own mason jars full of delicious homemade potato goodness has never been easier! Not only is it simple enough to do from home with minimal equipment needed, but it also ensures you get all the nutrition and flavor from keeping the skins intact throughout the process. With these tips in mind, there’s no reason not to start stocking up on those mason jars now.