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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Vegetables and Herbs > Avoid Botulism: Do Not Can Potatoes in a Hot Boiling Water Bath Canner

Vegetables and Herbs

Avoid Botulism: Do Not Can Potatoes in a Hot Boiling Water Bath Canner

Suzanne Driessen, Extension Educator — Food Safety

Reviewed 2014 by Suzanne Driessen, Extension Educator — Food Safety

Potatoes are a popular low-acid vegetable grown in Minnesota gardens. Canning potatoes for later use is popular, but so are outdated and risky recipes. Be sure to use current recommended tested recipes to insure a safe product.

Do not can potatoes in a hot boiling water bath canner. Pressure canning is the only safe method of canning low-acid foods like vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. Clostridium botulinum bacteria are the main reason why these low-acid foods must be pressure canned to be safe. The spores of Clostridium botulinium can only be killed at temperatures of 240 degrees F. This temperature can only be reached in a pressure canner.

How to Can Potatoes:

  1. Wash and peel potatoes. Place in ascorbic acid solution to prevent darkening. Drain.
  2. Place potatoes in a pan of hot water, bring to a boil and boil whole potatoes for 10 minutes; ½- inch cubes for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar.
  4. Fill jars with hot potatoes.
  5. Cover hot potatoes with FRESH boiling water, leave one-inch headspace. Caution: Do not use the water you cooked the potatoes in; it contains too much starch.
  6. Process in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner at 11 pounds pressure or in a weighted gauge pressure canner at 15 pounds pressure. Process pints for 35 minutes and quarts for 40 minutes.

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