Learn How to Make Canned Yams (or sweet potatoes)

Canned yams are just about as nice as canning potatoes. They're easy, convenient, and so delicious!

I love yams, especially around the holidays...but they're good any time of the year. Unfortunately most people only cook them during the holidays...but if you can them, you can enjoy yams all year round.

One of our favorite ways to have yams are mashed - with brown sugar, butter, and plenty of marshmallows on top. Another great way to have them is mashed with cinnamon butter on top - a real treat!

canned yams

Now that I know how to make canned yams, I'll definitely be doing it more often. My Dad loves yams, but doesn't get them very often. Perhaps this is a way to remedy that problem. :-)

Make Canned Yams

1. Picking the yams you are going to can is a small task but still important. You will need medium to large potatoes that have a deep orange color. If you are canning them fresh from your garden, make sure you get them canned within 1 - 2 months of harvesting them, to ensure the best quality.

Refrigerating yams will result in a hard core and a bad taste, so don't chill them. Also 2 1/2 pounds of fresh yams will make 1 quart of canned yams, so plan accordingly!

canned yams

2. Peel your yams. Yes, this takes a while, but you don't want all that yucky tough skin in your jars. Once you have them peeled, rinse them well to remove any dirt.

3. Place the yams in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Boil them for about 15 - 20 minutes, just enough to partially cook them and get them soft.


4. When the 15 - 20 minutes is up, take your yams and chop them in 1 - 2 inch cubes. Do not mash them. Just like squash, it is unsafe to can mashed yams....but the cubed version is fine. This is recommended by the USDA.

5. Before you fill your jars with yams, make sure they are clean and sterilized. This can be done several ways. You can boil them, wash them by hand, or run them through the dishwasher. However you do it, just make sure they're clean.

canned yams

6. Fill your jars with yams! Don't pack them in; but just place them in the jars loosely and shake the jar a few times to help them settle.

Now it's time to decide what liquid you want to use. A light syrup solution can be made by boiling 9 cups water and 2 1/4 cups sugar. Just boil it long enough to dissolve the sugar; it won't take long. This solution will fill 7 - quart jars. Remember that yams aren't naturally sweet....so you do need the sugar to sweeten them up a bit. Later, when you use the canned yams, you may want to add some additional sugar.

Pour the syrup solution into each filled jar, leaving a 1 inch headspace.

7. Wipe the rims of your jars. They may look clean, but whenever you can any kind of food, you are going to inevitably get some food particles or sticky juices on the rims. If this is not wiped off, your lids may not seal later on. Believe me, I've had experience with this, and it's not worth it. Avoid lid failure and just wipe the rims. Use a clean, damp paper towel, and then dry with a dry paper towel.

8. Place lids and rims on jars. Rims (also called rings or bands) should be finger-tight.

9. Since yams are a vegetable, you are going to pressure can them. Your canner needs to be about 1/2 full of water, but check your canner's user manual for specific instructions about this.

10. Place filled jars in the water, and attach lid. At this point, there will be different steps for different canners, so again, check your user's manual.

11. For canned yams, process your jars for 65 minutes for pints, or 90 minutes for quarts, at 11 pounds, or 10 pounds for a weighted gauge.

canned yams


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You might also be interested in:

Canning Corn

Canning Carrots

Canning Potatoes

Canning Squash

Canning Pumpkin

Canning Pickles