Canned Sweet Potatoes

By Charlotte King

Canning Sweet Potatoes is one of the easiest things you can do if you want to save some money and always have a fantastic side dish ready in your pantry. Making canned sweet potatoes will ensure that your family eats fresh veggies all year round. This canning process is not hard, but it does require a bit of patience and time.

There are several options available for you when you are making canned sweet potatoes. You can make canned sweet potato in plain water, simple syrup, or even use maple syrup or honey for canning.  Below, we have a very detailed article that will help you understand the canning process and also shares some tips to make it even more simple. Let’s get canning!

Choosing the Right Produce

Canned Sweet Potatoes

There are two varieties of sweet potatoes that you usually find in the market. The white sweet potatoes and the orange. When canning, you can choose either variety as per your preference. However, it may be a point to note that white sweet potatoes are slightly more crumbly and slightly less sweet than orange ones. When buying either variety of sweet potatoes, look for those that fit the criteria below:

  1. Look for sweet potatoes that are small to medium in size. The larger potatoes tend to be more starchy.
  2. Look for sweet potatoes that have firm and smooth skin without any bruises and discolorations.

If you have the sweet potatoes already bought and are not planning on using them, immediately store them in a cool and well-ventilated area away from sunlight and moisture.

Supplies Needed for Canning

Getting Ready for the Canning Process

Sweet Potatoes
  1. Wash all your sweet potatoes with plenty of water to clean them. Use a vegetable scrubber to scrub them and get rid of the dirt stuck in the crevices.
  2. Once your potatoes are all clean, you are now ready to steam or boil them for 15 minutes. Start the timer for your steaming process only after seeing steady steam rising from the steamer after adding your potatoes. Because of the large quantity, you may have to do this step in batches.
  3. When the timer is up, carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the steamer and onto a tray where they can cool down to room temperature.
  4. With the help of your peeler, peel all the sweet potatoes once they are cool enough to handle. You can save the potato skins for your compost pile.
  5. Next, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut all the sweet potatoes into even-sized cubes. The ideal thickness we are looking for is 1 ½ inches.
  6. You can get your canning jars ready by washing them with soap and hot water. Leave them in the dishwasher or the oven so that they remain hot until you are ready to fill them. Sterilize your canning lids with hot water as well.

Canning Liquid

Sweet Potato

When canning potatoes, you have a choice of either canning them in plain water or canning them in a simple syrup for added sweetness.

Plain Canning Liquid

Place a kettle of water on the stove and let it come to a boil for the plain canning liquid.

Sweet Canning Liquid,

You can experiment with different variations for a sweet canning liquid. However, here we have a very light syrup that you can use to add just a touch of sweetness to your canned sweet potatoes.

  • In a saucepan, add 10 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil on the stove, stirring it to help the sugar dissolve.
  • Once all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has just come to a boil, your canning liquid is ready.

Pressure Canning Sweet Potatoes

  1. Place the funnel on top of the jar you are filling and add in your cut sweet potatoes. Make sure that you pack in the cubes tightly. Add your canning liquid to the jars leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Use a debubbler or a clean table knife to remove any air bubbles inside your jars. If, at this point, you feel like you need to add a few more cubes of sweet potatoes or some more canning liquid, you can do that.
  2. Wipe off the rims of your canning jars with a damp paper towel. Using a lid lifter, place the canning lids on the jar and screw on the lids until they are just “finger-tip” tight. The rings must be just the correct amount of tight to allow the steam to escape from the jar during the canning process. If they are too tight, it may cause the jar to explode in the canner.
  3. Add 2 – 3 inches of water to your pressure canner and place a rack at the bottom so that your sweet potato cans don’t come in direct contact with the pressure canner. Turn on the heat and let the water come up to a simmer.
  4. Once all your jars are filled and closed, you can carefully add them to the pressure canner and close the canner’s lid. Place the weight on the canner only after you see steady steam rising from the vent.
  5. Once the weight is placed, you will notice the pressure reading increase. Adjust the heat to get the pressure 11 (Pounds per Square Inch) and let the sweet potatoes process for 90 minutes. Remember that the processing time varies according to your elevation. So be sure to adjust it accordingly.
  6. When the processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the pressure inside the canner drop naturally. This may take another 30 – 45 minutes. Only when the pressure has dropped completely, open the canner carefully.
  7. You can now remove the jars from the pressure canner using a jar-lifter and place them on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. As the cans cool, you will hear them “pop” as they seal shut.
  8. Leave your canned sweet potatoes undisturbed for at least 12 -18 hours, giving them plenty of time to cool down naturally. At the end of 18 hours, you can remove their rings and test the lids to check whether they have all sealed correctly or not.
  9. Wipe off the jars with a damp cloth and label and date them before storing them in your pantry.

Tips For Canning

  • Allow your pressure canner to depressurize on its own before you try to open the lid.
  • For best results, always follow the processing time to the letter.
  • Choose heavy-duty glass jars for canning that can stand the pressure canning process.

The following tables shows you the canning time as recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation

How to Store Canned Sweet Potatoes

Once your canned sweet potatoes have cooled down, and they are ready for storage. Label and date your jars with the canning date. You can store these cans in your pantry in a dark and dry area. When picking a jar of canned sweet potatoes to use, always inspect them beforehand to make sure they are still properly sealed.

In case the seal has broken, discard the jar. Also, check for any mold growth in the jars. Once a can of sweet potatoes has been opened, refrigerate it to maximize its shelf life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cut Sweet Potato

Can I process my sweet potatoes for canning using the hot water bath method?

No! All low acid food must be canned in a pressure canner and never in a water canner. This is because a water bath canner simply does not have the ability to reach the temperature that a pressure canner does. It is the acidity present in the food and the temperature reached during the canning process that helps preserve the food. In the case of low acid food such as sweet potatoes, this is simply not possible. Canning using a water bath method can cause botulism which is why it is best to avoid it.

How long does canned sweet potato last?

Unopened cans of sweet potato can last in your pantry for three and maybe even five years. Just store them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Once you open a can, make sure to use it completely or else store it in the refrigerator. Opened cans of sweet potato will last in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days.

How to tell if my canned sweet potatoes have gone bad?

Canned produce lasts really well in storage if stored properly. If you have followed the canning instructions and stored the canning jars properly, you will ideally not face any issues. However, canned sweet potatoes that have gone bad can be recognized very easily based on their appearance and smell. If the potatoes give a sour smell or look like they have developed mold, they have gone bad, and it is time to discard them. It is always important to label and date your produce so that you can consume them while they are still safe to do so.

How can I tell if my jars have sealed properly?

A jar that has been sealed properly will not spring up when you press it. With your finger, gently press the lid in the center when it has cooled completely. If there is no give, you are good to go. However, if the lid springs up, you need to process the jar again because it has not been sealed correctly.


So there you have it, a detailed guide that explains everything you need to know about canned sweet potatoes! You can use these canned sweet potatoes in soups, stews, casseroles, and many other dishes! They will help you cut down your recipe time since they are already cooked and come in handy, especially during holiday meals! Be sure to give this canning recipe a try, and you will not be disappointed! You can also check our complete guide on canning food here.

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