Monday, October 22, 2012

Canning Sweet Potatoes

Left, Sweet Potatoes in brown sugar syrup. Right, in water.
Sweet potatoes are in season... we didn't grow any this year and I've been meaning to take a trip to the farmers market to get some for weeks now... but life gets in the way... and I get lazy... and it's 45 minutes on the other side of town to the market in an area we just don't frequent unless we specifically plan to go... and I get lazy...

This weekend, Mr. G and I were out running errands... Lowe's, grocery shopping, JoAnn's... he received a call from a fellow he'd been talking to about buying some new toy he wanted... the guy wanted to meet in Dixianna... AHA!!!! same road as the farmers market... sure, let's go to Dixianna! And we can swing by the market and see if they still have sweet potatoes... and we did... and they did... and I bought 80 pounds of sweet potatoes! Yay!

Back home to can them...

Here's what I did...


First, I filled my ginormous stockpot with whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes and covered them with water... brought them to a boil and boiled for 10-15 minutes, just to make them easier to peel (raw sweet potatoes are a BEAR to peel!)... I drained them and let them cool until they were easy to handle without burning myself... then I peeled... and peeled... and peeled...


And cut them into chunks (they were still quite firm in the middle)...



I packed them into my hot, sterilized quart jars, leaving a generous half inch headspace.


In some of the jars I filled with boiling water, leaving a half inch headspace... I checked for air bubbles, released the ones I found using a plastic chopstick and adjusting the water as necessary.


And in some of the jars I decided to fill them with a simple brown sugar syrup... 2 parts water to 1 part brown sugar, brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar (example 6 cups water to 3 cups brown sugar).


I wiped the jar rims with a damp cloth, removing any potato bits and residue. Then I tightened on the hot, sterilized lids to fingertip tightness.

I processed the jars in my pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes (pints would be processed for 65 minutes).

After processing, I let the pressure in the canner drop on its own, no hurrying it... didn't want any liquid loss (siphoning)... although a few jars DID lose a little liquid (and that's OK as long as I didn't lose more than half the liquid!)

I removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING! of each successfully sealed jar. LOVE the PING!

34 beautiful quarts of sweet potatoes! 14 with brown sugar
syrup, 20 in just water... LONG day of canning, but such a
feeling of success when they're done and they all seal!
So satisfying!

45 comments:

  1. What do you make with the jars that have the brown sugar liquid? :)

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  2. Interested to hear how you will use these. We love sweet potatoes, but I have never used canned ones.

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    1. When my kids were little my son SWORE he hated sweet potatoes. I would still serve them, but he complained every time. When Thanksgiving rolled around, I was out of pumpkin, so I made pies with my canned sweet potatoes. He gobbled them up and never knew the difference!

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  3. This looks like my chicken counter now - but with chicken. Didn't even think of canning sweet potatoes - yummy!!! Is your brown sugar syrup just brown sugar melted in water or do you add anything else to it?
    Thank you so much for mentioning boiling the sweet potatoes for a little bit before peeling them - what a fantastic tip! :)

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    1. Yes, just 2 parts water, 1 part brown sugar, heated to boiling to dissolve the sugar. ~~Granny

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    2. I'm thinking that might be a nice base for canning candied baby carrots too possibly. Bet throwing in a bit of ginger to the brown sugar syrup would give them a nice little extra "oomph", too. Thanks again, Pamela. You're a fantastic wealth of information!

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  4. There really is something so satisfying about a cupboard filled with healthy foods you made yourself, and know exactly what's in them! I love the ideas and info I get from you. After tons of successful batches of jams and pickled veggies, we got a pressure canner to do other things!

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    1. you can also can regular potatoes fresh from the garden too.We can almost everything except corn and we freeze it

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  5. I noticed you have several jars on the counter at a time for filling. I am afraid to do this thinking they will cool off to quickly, how many do you fill at a time like that?
    Thanks for any tips..

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    1. I fill 7 at a time, Brenda... a canner load... they do cool off a bit, but it doesn't hurt anything. ~~Granny

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  6. I don't have a pressure cooker, is a water bath acceptable to use?

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    1. No, sorry, sweet potatoes are low acid and must be pressure canned. ~~Granny

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  7. Wondering what region you are in thats a lot of sweet potatoes, wondering if I could to yams the same way they are on sale this week:)

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    1. I'm in South Carolina, Midlands... sure you could do yams the same way. ~~Granny

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    2. Thanks I love to can and you are an inspiration :)

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  8. Granny, I would like to know which method is better for canning the sweet potatoes using either the brown sugar syrup or just plain water? Are there any special recipes that you use for either canning method?

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    1. Either one is fine Janice... I just did some with the brown sugar syrup to save a step later when I make candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole. ~~Granny

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  9. I canned 21 quarts weekend before last, 14 in syrup & 7 in water. I figured I could use the ones in water for stews & pies. I’m guessing all the ones in syrup will be gone after the holidays do to all the cooking for home & church.

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  10. Do you put salt in with them like you do other veggies? I've got lots of sweet potatoes this year & know that we can't eat the all fresh before they start to go bad.

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    1. I don't add salt, but I guess you could. ~~Granny

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  11. I am wondering why the jars need to be hot?? And what if you do loose more than half of the water? Can you still use the potatoes? Another question do you can pumpkin? Or do you just use the potatoes?

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    1. I always boil my jars to sterilize them, I was taught to by my mother and grandmothers... I feel it safer to do so. If you lose more than half the liquid, I would use them as soon as possible. I do can pumpkin, there's another post here on the blog explaining pumpkin. ~~Granny

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  12. Bleck! They look good but taste awful to me. lol Hubby likes them though so may try this.

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  13. I am going to have to try this if I get good deal on sweet potatoes!
    I love canning and just posted a great recipe for jam today
    http://sistersplayinghouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/homemade-pantry-day-25-honey-strawberry.html

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  14. Try canning them in apple juice. This will impart a sweetness that EVERYONE will love when it's time to make your pies, casseroles, etc. AND, if you don't need the liquid for cooking, DRINK IT! It is excellent! This is a prep, y'all: food and drink in one jar!

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  15. Wow! How did you know I need that recipe? I make 10-12 sweet potato pies every Thanksgiving. Doing a happy dance.

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  16. Just wondering...I read in the potato tutorial comment section how one woman sanitizes her washing machine and tosses her potatoes in for cleaning; and another woman who cleans the potatoes in the dishwasher.
    My dishwasher has a special setting for "sanitize" and uses super hot water; maybe it would clean and cook the sweet potatoes enough to get the peels off easily.
    Do the sweet potatoes have to be partially cooked (like you do)before canning?
    Just trying to think outside the box.

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    1. Dishwasher might work nicely... the potatoes do not have to be partially cooked, it just makes them easier to peel. ~~Granny

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  17. Every one of my quart jars that I did lost at least half of there liquid. Where did I go wrong here? Now I have to figure out how to eat 7 quarts of sweet potatoes with brown sugar syrup.

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  18. I am so excited to try this recipe! I am a beginner canner and I am looking for great recipes to use for my future food storage!! This one is gonna be on my list for sure. Great Blog :)

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  20. RRatliff, you either filled your jars too full or hurried the canner and opened it before all the pressure was off. Those are the only reasons I have had jars siphon out.

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  21. Oh my the Dec 5th post needs to be removed. Not canning related at all!!!! LOL!!!!!

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  22. Beginner canner... and I love it so far. I have 1 pressure canner, so how do I do multiple loads? Prep and can 1 load at a time? Or can I prep all the potatoes at once. Then do I need to heat them back up before I put them in the hot jars?

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    1. Either way is fine... you can fill all your jars, put the lids on and let them sit until you pressure them, won't hurt them a bit. ~~Granny

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  23. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I'm a beginner canner. So far I love being in the kitchen doing this. So far everything I've done has been in a water bath. Is using a pressure canner harder?

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    1. It's a little more complicated and you're dealing with pressure instead of just boiling water so you have to be more careful, but it's not hard. ~~Granny

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  24. First time canning sweet potatoes. I water bathed them and took them out after reading your blog. Don't have a pressure cooker deep enough. Made 4 quarts. What do I do? Can I store them in the frig and how long will they keep? Thanks, Midlands SC also.

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  25. I did this last night and My jars came out of my canner with only half the liquid still in the jars :( the water in the canner is now brown (from the liquid inside the jars coming out). Anyone know why?

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  26. Could you leave the peel on? I like leaving the peel on for SP fries. Could they be cut for fries and canned?

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    1. You could leave the peel on, they might be a bit soft for fried though. You can always give it a try. ~~Granny

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    2. Fries... not fried (pardon my typo!) ~~Granny

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