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POTATOES – HOME CANNING

My local grocery store has had a 10 pound bag of russet potatoes on sale for $1.29 for the last two weeks. How a 10 pound bag of potatoes can be grown, harvested, packaged, shipped to a produce distributor, shipped to a retail grocery store and sell for only $1.29 is a mind-boggling question. I’ll put aside any discussion on underpaid farmers, politics and subsidies and just start with the fact that I can buy potatoes at $.13 a pound right now.

 

Potatoes have about the same nutritional value as rice. Rice is easier to store but potatoes have a real fondness in the hearts of Americans as the starch of choice. If you have a root cellar or some kind of cold storage, potatoes can be stored for months. But for the average person without cold storage, how do you take advantage when potatoes are on sale for half the price of rice?
Potatoes can be easily home canned. A small 15oz. can of potatoes sells for $.69 -$.79 at the grocery store. I canned 20 lbs of potatoes in only 3 hours (including processing time) for only $4.00. One-third the cost of commercially canned potatoes. Here’s how.

 

First I already had 14 empty quart canning jars. If you have to buy some jars, a dozen will run about $12 but the jars can be used over and over again. If you have the jars, a new set of lids will be about $1.50 (Stock up during canning season when they are on sale).

 

Preparation – Peel and cut potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Put in quart jars, add 1 tsp salt, then add water to 3/4 inch from the top. Wipe off the lip of the jar and place a lid and band on the jar. Just barely finger tighten the band.

 

Processing – Place in a pressure cooker (Follow manufacturer’s instructions) and process for 35 minutes at 15 lbs of pressure.

 

I believe a pressure canner/cooker is an essential piece of equipment for the home storage. It can be used to store vegetables, fish, meat and seafood (http://kissurvival.com/home-canned-meat/). A 23 quart Presto pressure canner runs $70 shipped. The top of the line All-American 21 quart pressure canner is $200. The Presto canner uses a gasket seal that needs to be replace ($15) at regular intervals depending how much you use the canner. The All-American doesn’t use a gasket and has a 50 year warranty. If you plan on doing much pressure canning and if you can afford it, go with the All-American. Both canners are available at Amazon with free shipping. Here are some links.

 

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

All American 921 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner

 

The bottom of both pressure canners and be use for a water-bath canner for canning fruits.

 

Ed Rogers
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