9/12/21

From my Instagram Photos: Try Canning Potatoes! It's really not hard, I promise! (And top 3 pressure canner picks)


We eat sugarfree and low carb so potatoes are something I pretty much never keep on hand.  But we do  love them!  We just don't regularly eat them due to the starch/sugar/carbs.  Once in a while I'll incorporate them into some of the food we serve when we have non-lowcarb guests over.  I always have to plan ahead for those meals, to allow time to run to the grocery store to get the food items that we don't usually have in the house.  (Think; morning hash browns, potato salad, potatoes with roast, mashed potatoes, cheesy potato casserole, baked potatoes. Yum!  We love potatoes, so sometimes having guests over and serving them is a treat for us too!)

Having canned potatoes on hand in various forms is awesome because I don't have to plan ahead.  I don't have to run to the store.  I simply grab a can of potatoes, open it, and use them.  They are already cooked, often are sometimes canned already seasoned, and cut to size.  So easy to simply pop open a can, and serve with with the roast beef, or quickly throw together a potato salad, etc.

But now let's go one step further.  Your pantry and longer term food storage.  Potatoes are such a comfort food!  For our 'longer' term storage pantry having canned potatoes on hand is a blessing because if the power is out or there are other natural disasters, I have foods (not just potatoes) on hand, already cooked - which means I don't need access to tons of fresh water to cook or make them.  Also, in the event of a time where money is tight, a job loss or any number of other things that happen in life (especially now under our current President) having some emergency food in your pantry is just something you should have.

If you haven't tried pressure canning or have been scared of trying it... do it!  I promise it's not hard and not intimidating at all once you have just a couple canning sessions under your belt. 

 


If you've never canned anything before and don't know where to start, truly the only thing you really need to can something are canning jars and lids.  If you have a simple canning jar and a lid/ring, you can can things like jam, jelly, salsa, tomatoes, peaches, pickles, etc. because you don't need any special pressure canner.  You can your jar of tomatoes, peaches, etc. by boiling that jar in any pot large enough to cover it with water and boil it in.

Canning low-acid foods requires special care. This includes red meats, fish, poultry and all vegetables (except for tomatoes).  A pressure canner heats food to high temperatures (240-250 degrees F or higher) and destroys the spores that produce the botulism toxin. A boiling water bath canner, heats food to boiling temperature (212 F), which is not high enough to ensure safety for canning vegetables and other low-acid foods.

Potatoes are one of the many food items that must be pressure canned.  Yes, this involves a pressure canner purchase, however your pressure canner can also be used as a water-bath canner so it's a good investment that has you covered no matter what you want to home can.

 

 

 

This is the pressure canner I personally own and use.  For years I was too intimidated by them to buy one, but wanting to can more than just salsa and tomatoes, I put a pressure canner on my wish list based on reviews I read and watched online (not this one).  When it came time to invest in one, I saw the one I had had on my wish list was not good to use on glass top stoves due to the weight with water in it.  When I looked up other options, THIS ONE was highly recommended, loved by many AND best yet?  It was about half the price of the other one.  It also was less intimidating looking (ha ha). 

This is the one I ended up buying and LOVE it.  I can do two layers of canning jars too - which I love! 



Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker  

 

 

This is the All American Pressure Canner I had on my original wish list.  I know many love it but it's heavy - and a lot of people review it saying it's not safe to use on a glass top stove (others say they have) but when it came time for me to purchase my canner, I didn't want to guess or hope.  Also, once I found the Presto brand (above) I realized the Presto was half the price of the All American and since I couldn't afford the All American yet, I went with the Presto.  I love my pressure canner, but many, many canners love this one and will only use All American.


All American 921 Canner Pressure Cooker, 21.5 qt, Silver


Now let's make it MORE easy... a newer option is the Smart Pressure Canner from Nesco.  I wasn't looking for a new pressure canner because I love mine, but one of the online sites I was watching doing some canning was using this one.  She has been canning for about 40 years but moved to a smaller home and wanted to downsize.  She decided to try a small electric canner since she wasn't doing large batch canning anymore and regularly only canned a couple jars at a time. 

This one looked so easy to use, is highly recommend and reviewed by thousands of happy people and although its small in size, if you aren't doing a lot of canning, or are intimidated by the larger pressure cookers, this looks to be a great option!

NESCO NPC-9 Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker, 9.5 quart, Stainless Steel
 

 

No matter which canner or style canning you want to do, you will need one item.  Jars.  Canning jars and lids are really the first purchase you need to start canning and if you are only doing tomatoes or salsa, peaches, pickles or jelly - you only need a jar to start!  Any pot you have at home that is tall/deep enough to cover your jar with water to boil will work.   

Ball Glass Mason Jar with Lid & Band, Regular Mouth, 32 Ounces, 12 Pack 

 

 

These are awesome to have... especially the jar lifter and funnel but are not absolutely necessary.  However they are pretty cheap and if I had to tell you to spend a couple bucks to get one item, it would be jar lifter!  (The tall item in the photo below.)  It easily and safely lifts your burning hot jars from the canner or water in it's rubberized grip.  It's not absolutely neccessary but I wouldn't want to can without it.  I even have a back-up in storage just in case mine is ever lost or ruined in some way!

 
Norpro Canning Essentials Boxed Set, 6 Piece Set  

   
Lids.  Up until a few years ago, the canning jar companies made lids reuseable.  Of course that didn't make big enough sales for them so they switched how they were made and now the rubberized portion is very, very thin and the lids are made for one time use.  (You can still usually reuse them another time or two but you can't be positive of a good seal and might have to re-can those that don't seal). 

There is a better option!  Yes, it involves an investment but back in the 1970's this company started to make reusable lids. Now that lids and rings are HARD TO FIND (thanks Covid shortages) these babies are worth their weight in gold to canners.  Ha ha.  They are two part pieces that can be used over and over again.

A lot of canners started to try them recently due to Covid shortages in finding lids and rings for sale.  But they neglected to read the instructions and tried to use them like they had been using the metal lids for years.  They complained they weren't all sealing correctly.  USER ERROR.

Read instructions.  The amount of tightening and the tightening step immediately after removing them from the canner makes all the difference.  I've never had one NOT seal.  I love them.

Authentic Tattler E-Z Seal Reusable Canning Lids - Wide Mouth - 1 Dozen (12)


Ok!  I've chit-chatted long enough on this post and need to hit "PUBLISH" and be done with it.  Ha ha.
Basically... canning doesn't have to be scary.  Try it!



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