Rebel Canning: Is Dry Canning Potatoes Safe?

fingerling potatoes
Dry canning potatoes is a food preservation method that involves canning potatoes without using liquid. The potatoes are peeled, sliced, and packed into canning jars before processing in a pressure canner. Dry canning potatoes is not a safe or tested canning practice.

What Is Dry Canning?

Dry canning refers to preserving vegetables without adding liquid in a pressure canner, similar to raw packing meat. When dry canning vegetables, the vegetables are prepared and packed directly into jars without liquid or brine. The pots are then sealed and processed in a pressure canner to create a vacuum seal, effectively preserving the vegetables for long-term storage.

When it comes to dry canning, different potato varieties can be used, including russets, red potatoes, new potatoes, or even sweet potatoes. Each type features a unique flavor and texture, expanding the possibilities for your canning recipes.

Empty canning jars
Canning jars

Is Dry Canning Potatoes Safe?

Dry-canning potatoes are not considered safe due to the risk of botulism. As potatoes are a low-acid vegetable, they are particularly susceptible to botulism if not processed correctly.

Dry canning creates an anaerobic environment inside the jar, allowing the botulinum bacteria to grow and produce toxins without any visible signs of spoilage. The absence of liquid or brine in the canning process does not provide sufficient protection against botulism.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation, an authoritative source on food preservation, provides guidelines on safe canning practices, emphasizing the importance of using tested recipes and proper canning techniques to prevent botulism and other foodborne illnesses.

What are the Benefits of Dry Canning Potatoes?

While some individuals engage in dry canning potatoes despite the associated risks, authoritative sources do not support the benefits of dry canning, which do not outweigh the potential dangers. Rebel canners, who advocate for this method, argue that dry canning preserves the natural texture and flavor of potatoes better than traditional canning methods with liquid or brine.

Strainer filled with canned potato slices
Canned potatoes

How Do You Dry Can Potatoes in a Pressure Canner?

This method for dry canning potatoes in a pressure canner is the most widely used procedure by rebel canners and has not been tested by authoritative sources, including the USDA.

  1. Start by thoroughly washing, peeling, and slicing the potatoes into uniform pieces.
  2. Blanch the potatoes briefly in boiling water for 3 minutes.
  3. Place the blanched potato slices into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1-inch headspace at the top of the jar. Do not add any liquid or brine to the jars, as this is a key characteristic of dry canning.
  4. Apply sterilized canning lids and screw bands to the jars, ensuring they are tightly secured.
  5. Prepare the pressure canner per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Place the jars of potatoes into the prepared pressure canner using a jar lifter, being sure to set them on a canning rack inside the canner.
  7. It is suggested to use pressure between 10 and 15 pounds of pressure for processing the jars for a duration that varies depending on jar size and elevation.
  8. The general consensus for processing time is 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts.
  9. Once the processing time is done, allow the pressure canner pressure gauge to drop to zero. Wait 5 minutes before opening the lid.
  10. Transfer the jars from the pressure canner to a cushioned surface using a jar lifter.
  11. Allow the jars to cool for 12-24 hours.
  12. Remove the screw bands from the jars and inspect the seals, ensuring they don’t pop up when you press on the center of each lid.
  13. Label and store all properly sealed jars in a cool, dry place.
Pressure canner weight
Pressure canner

Canning Potatoes Safely: Recommended Method

If you wish to preserve potatoes safely, use this tested and approved step-by-step method for pressure canning potatoes:

  1. Clean the canning jars, lids, and rings by cleaning them in hot, soapy water and rinsing well. Sanitize the canning jars by boiling them for 10 minutes.
  2. Wash, peel, and cut the potatoes into cubes or slices. Whether you’re aiming for uniform cubes for soups or stews, customize the cutting method to suit your culinary needs.
  3. Place them in a large bowl of cool water with a little lemon juice or citric acid to prevent browning.
  4. Boil a large pot of water. You may also use vegetable or chicken broth if desired. Make enough liquid to cover the potatoes in the jars.
  5. Drain the potatoes from the citric acid water and transfer them to the fresh pot of blanching liquid. Blanch for 2-3 minutes. Then, immediately transfer the blanched potatoes into a bowl of ice water to cool.
  6. Drain the cooled potatoes. Pack them tightly into sterilized jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top. Add the hot canning liquid, covering the potatoes while maintaining the headspace.
  7. Gently run a non-metallic spatula or bubble-removing utensil around the inside edges of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.
  8. Use a damp cloth to remove any food particles from the jar rims. Put the lids on the jars and screw on the bands until fingertip tight.
  9. Prepare the pressure canner for canning per the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring you place a canning rack inside and vent steam for 10 minutes before allowing the pressure to build to the recommended level based on canner type and elevation:

Processing time and pressure for potatoes in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

Altitude (ft) 0 – 20002,001 – 4,0004,001 – 6,0006,001 +
Pints (35 mins)11 lbs12 lbs13 lbs14 lbs
Quarts (40 mins)11 lbs12 lbs13 lbs14 lbs

Processing time and pressure for potatoes in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Altitude (ft)0 – 1,0001,001 +
Pints (35 mins)10 lbs15 lbs
Quarts (40 mins)10 lbs15 lbs
  1. Process pints for 35 minutes and quarts for 40 minutes.
  2. Once processed, carefully take the jars out of the canner using canning tongs or a jar lifter.
  3. Place them on a towel or cooling rack and let them cool down undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  4. Remove the screw bands to check the seals, label the jars, and store them in a cool, dark place.

Can Potatoes Be Canned In A Boiling Water Bath?

Potatoes cannot be safely canned in a boiling water bath. This is also true for canning sweet potatoes. This is because boiling water bath canning is only suitable for high-acid foods like fruits and pickles.

Canned sweet potatoes
Canned sweet potatoes

Is Dry Packing Potatoes the Same as Canning?

Dry-packing potatoes is different from canning. Dry-packed potatoes are not sterilized or processed in the same way as canned potatoes, so they have a shorter shelf life and require rehydration before use.

How To Store Canned Potatoes

When home-canning potatoes, it is important to consider how the jars will be stored to maintain their quality and safety. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Canned potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place with a relatively stable room temperature between 50°F and 70°F.
  2. Avoid storing canned goods in areas with temperature fluctuations, such as near ovens or windows.
  3. Ensure the storage area is dry, as excess humidity can promote mold growth or rust on the cans.
  4. Avoid overcrowding the storage area to allow for good ventilation around the jars.
  5. Label the canned potatoes with the date of canning to keep track of the expiration date.
  6. Store older cans in the front and newer ones at the back to use them in a first-in, first-out order.

How Long Do Canned Potatoes Last?

Canned potatoes are good to keep for long-term food storage and have a shelf life of 1 – 2 years. The USDA suggests most canned goods should be eaten within 12 months for the best quality.


Adam was fascinated from an early age by his father's car and his mum's kitchen. His love of home food preparation stems from her. From baking to roasting and freezing to canning, he has always followed the lessons she taught him all those years ago.

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