Canning potatoes

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larry_stewart

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I'm now in the ' whatever happens, happens ' mode. Jars in, pressure maintained above 11 lbs, timer set, 7 minutes to go. So far the process has been straight forward and easy. Im just hoping I dont wind up with 7 jars oof mashed potatoes. If all works out, ill probably do another batch next weekend, with the remaining varieties of potatoes I have before they go to sprout. I will open up one of this weeks jars just to test consistency and all that before I do the others.
 

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larry_stewart

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A lot of washing, peeling and cutting. Also a lot of read and rereading instructions, then I took he plunge. Removed jars, heard all the pings, everything looks good. Now just the waiting game. Im really hoping everything was a success , cause I can really make use of all pressure canning has to offer. Thanks to everyone for the tips , guidance and words of encouragement ( in both this thread, and the water Bach canning thread from a few years back).
 

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larry_stewart

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Larry, now I am eagerly waiting for your report on what they are like taste and texture wise.
Me too lol. Ill give them a few days, then dig in. I dont want to wait too long, cause if I messed anything up, or need to make any changes, I want to know while things are still fresh in my mind ( even though I took notes and documented everything). Its not second nature to me yet, but I cant wait until it is. I'm definitely over thinking it, but better safe than sorry . Ill keep you posted.
 

larry_stewart

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I want to especially thank Bliss for starting this thread. Thats what kinda gave me that final Kick in the pants to get started. ( I feel like im making an acceptance speech at an awards show :D.
 

larry_stewart

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The only place I may have had an issue was the pre cooking/ blanching. I had a huge pot of boiling water and there were a heck of a lot of potatoes to boil. With that many potatoes, it took longer than expected to get back to a boil. I was getting concerned they may over cook. I used my pre boiling French fry experience to kinda judge when enough was enough. None of the potatoes fell apart after canning , so I think thats a good sign.
 

blissful

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I think that is a good sign too--that they didn't fall apart. The water in the jars looked pretty clear too. What kind of potato was canned?
By the way, I love having all these canned/dehydrated/frozen things on hand and don't mind sharing this kind of information if it helps people save money or make food preparation easier/faster. I'm glad you took it up.
Potatoes at Kwik Trip in MN and WI, are selling potatoes for 99 cents for 5lb, with is $0.20/lb. That's about the best price last year and this year. Price is good through the end of November.
 

larry_stewart

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Yukon gold was my first attempt, cause I had many to spare. I also have Red Norland, Russet and Honeysuckle Gold ( which is a lower carb potato) which I will can next week, as long as these turn out ok. I buy the seed potatoes in bags which contain anywhere from 8 to 23 potatoes per bag. The bags are not clear so you dont know what you're getting til you open it up. Plus the fact that you can cut up the seed potatoes to multiple sections with eyes. As not to get too few, I assume each bag only has the minimum 8 potatoes in it, just to wind up with way more than I need . I have 3 main potato beds ( one for each main variety the Yukon, red and russet). Since I always have way more than I need, I then grow what ever I have left in like 10 gallon planters. I started with 8 planters , then 15 , last year 25 planters ( plus the 3 beds which are 4 X 8, and all I really need ). This year , I had way more extra seed potatoes than I needed , so cleared some land on the side of my house and had an additional 3 etc foot rows of potatoes. The 3 initial beds are all we need. Everything else is extra. They only store so long before they sprouts, so we do everything in our power to preserve them ( frozen fries, pierogis...). Even after all that , having potatoes for dinner in one way or another a few times a week, we still have more than we need. Thats where the canning comes in. Wanted to preserve them before they sprout. Really dont have anything to lose, as they would ultimately wind up being tossed anyway.
As long as these work out, Ill do a few jars of the other varieties next week. My guess is Ill be able to use the fresh potatoes through December, but after that they will have sprouted too much. I haven't bought a potato since mid June, pickles since July ( and have enough to last me until I start making them next year), string beans and tomato products ( puree, whole, diced, salsa and paste). Im not self sufficient, but the canning , pickling, freezing and dehydrating has definitely left me with quite a bounty of food on hand.

***Sorry for the long winded, run on sentenced post. Basically I grow too many potatoes. Much more than I need so I need ways to store/ preserve them***
 

blissful

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@larry_stewart that's a fabulous amount of potatoes! Lots of room and lots of effort went into them. If the fresh and canned potatoes frees up some $$ in the food budget, then you can afford something you might otherwise have to overlook. So it kind of frees you up there.

If you have room in a cool place or a spare refrigerator you can set to 40 deg F......you can keep some of your potatoes until next year and use them for seeds. (My basement is about 55-58 deg F.) That's what we do with kennebec potatoes. Sometimes they get long long sprouts (more than a foot long) before planting, but they do just fine once in the ground. I leave the long sprouts on them when I plant.
 

dragnlaw

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Your "ramblings" are extremely informative Larry - so wish I was back on the farm. Well, don't know if my body would allow it but wishful thinking. The few beds my son has do not by any stretch of the imagination supply for the year. It is just good to know that we can do it should the need and space ever happen.
Bliss, you and Larry, make me wish I had bought that pressure canner back when I first thought of it. Which also reminds me, it was thanks to GG, who brought to my attention that a cooker and canner were different.
 

larry_stewart

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So I unsealed jar of potatoes to give them the taste/ consistency test. I was pleasantly surprised. Although the liquid was initially clear, after 2 days they clouded a bit. Nothing unsealed. They tasted like, you guessed it, potatoes. I added 1/2 the instructions called for ( as salt was optional). The consistency was that of a cooked potato. Firm, yet not undercooked. Not flakey but more of a' smoothness' to it, if you know what I mean. Already being cooked, if I were making stew or soup , I would add them in at the. end. They seem to be a good consistency for potato salad. Now having passed the taste consistency test, Ill move forward with another round, as I want to get them canned before they are unusable. I have a decent amount of small ones, so Ill probably try canning them whole this time.
 

taxlady

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Larry, do you have mechanical potato peeler? That will be a lot of potatoes to peel. When I was a teen, one summer I worked in the kitchen of the summer camp I went to every summer. The "kitchen aids" had to eye the potatoes that came out of the potato peeling machine. We would do that over the garbage disposal. We discovered, that if a potato fell into the garbage disposal, it would get peeled perfectly. Of course, the disposal had to be stopped very quickly. There was a big red emergency button to turn it off. Just a possibility, if you have a garbage disposal and get tired of peeling all those potatoes. ;)
 

blissful

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@larry_stewart I'm glad you liked them.
If it was me, I'd use the apple/corer/slicer--but just the peeler part, and I'd just do the bigger potatoes, because peeling little potatoes is a drag. I'd eat the little ones with skin on, because it is easier and I'm all about convenience and speed. After harvest, when we grow them, our first potatoes we eat are the little ones. I'd suggest canning the biggest ones, because they are more likely to have hollows and then rot easier and work down to the medium potatoes.

Unfortunately, root veggies always need to be peeled to can them because the peels are touching dirt, and this peeling reduces the bacterial load.
 

larry_stewart

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I loved when we had a garbage disposal in our first place. I dont mind peeling them. I actually find it relaxing. Especially when Imp in the middle of the night with nothing to do.

I had one of those apple peeling/ corers. I went to look for it, and I think I donated it cause I didnt use it much.

I usually use the bigger. potatoes for baked potatoes, the mediums for fries, potatoes for borscht, and the smaller ones for potatoes salad, home fries.

The one I canned recently were Yukon gold. Now that things turned out well, Ill try the other varieties.

Ill probably get some string beans from the store this week and give them a go too. Just to see how goes before I use my own.
 
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