Are Canned Potatoes Cooked (And How To Cook Them)

Potatoes are a versatile staple food in many households. They are ideal for adding to stews, mash, roasts, or making French fries. Unless you have a root cellar, keeping a supply of potatoes can be challenging. Canned potatoes are the perfect way to have fresh, ready-to-use potatoes on hand throughout the year.

Canned potatoes are parboiled before canning. They need to be cooked further to be ready to eat. Partially cooking canned potatoes gives them greater versatility in their uses. They can be canned in chunks, cubes, or slices. Potatoes must be pressure canned to be shelf stable and safe to eat.

Canned potatoes may not be standard in most pantries, but once you have tried them, it is easy to get hooked on their convenience. Let’s learn more about how canned potatoes are made and how to use them.

Are Canned Potatoes Cooked?

Canned potatoes are only partially cooked. They are not as raw as fresh potatoes, but they do need to be cooked further.

Potatoes are canned using a hot pack process, which slightly cooks the raw vegetable before being added to jars. Pressure canning further heats and cooks the potatoes, but they will remain firm and require additional cooking to make them palatable.

When canning potatoes at home, remember that the variety of potatoes used makes a difference to the quality of the canned product. Starchy potatoes like russets or blue potatoes are less suitable for canning than waxy varieties, including new potatoes.

Bowl of canned potatoes

How To Cook Canned Potatoes

Canned potatoes can be prepared in the same ways as raw potatoes. The only difference is that cooking times may be slightly less since they are already parboiled.

Some tips when cooking canned potatoes:

  • Rinse the potatoes to remove excess salt.
  • Canned potatoes do not contain any flavorings, so you must add herbs or spices to create the desired taste.
  • When making double-fried French fries, you will only need to cook them once. The parboiling process counted as the first round.
  • To get canned potatoes to bake up crispy as roast potatoes, dry them well using a paper towel. Remove as much moisture as possible, and cover them in oil before roasting.
  • Canned potatoes can be baked in the oven without being precooked since they are softer than fresh, raw potatoes.

What Is The Point Of Canned Potatoes?

Anyone with a busy lifestyle may appreciate the convenience of having a few jars of ready-peeled, parboiled potatoes in the pantry to toss into stews or quickly throw into a roasting pan at a moment’s notice. Canned potatoes are already peeled, sliced, and slightly cooked, so both prep and cooking time is less.

Besides the convenience factor, canning potatoes is an excellent way to store potatoes safely for long periods. Unless you have a root cellar, even the best-kept fresh potatoes finally begin to sprout or start rotting. Canned potatoes can remain safe to eat for years, so it is an excellent method for preppers to preserve this valuable food.

Homesteaders who grow potatoes may harvest inconsistently sized spuds, and small potatoes often readily sprout when stored. Canning homegrown potatoes is a great way to use everything and utilize even the most miniature potatoes from your garden.

How To Can Potatoes

Canning potatoes is an effective way to preserve them for long-term storage. Like all low-acid vegetables and meat, you will need a pressure canner to reach temperatures high enough to safely can potatoes.

To safely can potatoes, you will need the following:

  • Pressure canner
  • Canning jars with new lids
  • Peeled potatoes – keep freshly peeled potatoes in a pot of cold water to prevent them from turning brown while the rest are being peeled.
  • A large stock pot to parboil the potatoes.
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)


  1. Cut the raw, peeled potatoes into the shape you prefer. They can be sliced, diced, halved, or even left whole if they are small spuds.
  2. Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan, and add the potatoes. Boil diced potatoes for 2 minutes and larger pieces or whole potatoes for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and fill the prepared jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Fill each jar with clean, boiled water. You can add a dash of salt to each if you like.
  4. Remove air bubbles from around the potatoes. A chopstick works well for this. Then add a new lid and metal band.
  5. Process jars at 11psi for 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts. Always refer to the instructions manual that came with your pressure canner and adjust for altitude.
  6. Switch off the stove plate and let the pressure equalize. When the jars are cool enough, carefully place them on a thick towel and leave them undisturbed until completely cool.
  7. After about 12 hours, check that the flat top lids have sealed. Remove the metal bands and label the jars with the date they were processed.
  8. Store the canned potatoes in a cool, dark place.

Can Potatoes Be Canned Raw?

Potatoes should never be raw packed. It is easy to imagine that the heat from the pressure canner is sufficient to parboil the vegetables, but that should only be the second of the required heat treatments.

For potatoes to be safely canned, they must be hot-packed. That means they must first be boiled and added to jars while hot before being pressure canned.  

Do Canned Potatoes Need To Be Peeled?

There are no tested recipes for canned potatoes with the skins on, so it is advisable to peel them. Since the thin skins are also likely to peel off during the canning process, the resulting product may not look appetizing if the potatoes appear to be floating amidst a mass of brown skins.

Peeling potatoes before canning them not only saves time when you use them, but it is also safer. Since potatoes are root vegetables, harmful soil microbes may be present on the skins.

How Long Will Canned Potatoes Last?

Home-canned potatoes should be used within 12 -18 months of processing. Although the potatoes will likely remain perfectly safe to eat even a lot longer, there may be a slight change in texture or taste if stored for extended periods.

Commercially packed canned potatoes are usually good for between 3 and 5 years. Always check the expiry dates on the cans, and store unopened canned potatoes in a cool area.

Leftover canned potatoes from opened jars should be refrigerated in an airtight container. Once opened, they are only safe to use for another 3 – 4 days.


Canned potatoes are slightly cooked but not completely. They need to be cooked further and can be used in the same applications as raw potatoes. The cooking time when using canned potatoes may need to be reduced to account for the parboiling process. Having ready-peeled, parboiled spuds on hand that are guaranteed not to turn green or sprout is a bonus in any kitchen.

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