I have, not so much a wealth of knowledge about gardening and canning, as a mite.
I’ll share what little I know of sweet potatoes. Mind you, this is strictly limited to my personal experience.
Our sweet potatoes are huge. Like enormous. Like lift them with two hands, bigger than my baby huge. I kid you not.
This makes baking them with dinner a bit impractical.
Also, we had 43 keepers. That is 43 medium to gargantuan potatoes. So, while potatoes will keep in a cool, dry place for 3 to 4 months, it would be impossible to eat them all in that time. This is dividing them between my folks and my family.
By canning some of them (we only canned 12 of the largest) we have pre-cooked, pre-sweetened potatoes to use in pies, breads, cakes, souffles, etc.
I also took some raw that I will cook up over the next few weeks to have with dinners as well as to pre-bake goods to freeze.
Here’s how to can sweet potatoes. Or rather, here’s how we did it:
Begin by washing your jars and lids. Take a potato, roughly the size of a three-month old child and chop it into two or three chunks that will fit in a pot (if you have normal sized potatoes, you can put those in whole). Boil those big chunks for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare a pot of boiling water to pour over the lids, prepare a pot of boiling water to pour over the jars, mix up a pot of boiling sugar syrup (1 cup sugar, 2 cups water) and grab a snorkel on the off-chance your pots boil over. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the water and immediately skin and chop them. Stuff them in your warmed jars and pour in the syrup. Run a butter knife ’round the inside of the jar to squeeze out air and seal by pouring boiling water over your lids, fishing them out and capping your jars. Put your now filled, sealed jars in a huge stock pot with a rack or upside down colander. Fill to just cover jars and boil them for about 30 minutes. Remove your jars and allow to cool room temperature for 12 hours. The lids should seal in and become unpoppable. If they do not, refrigerate and use within 4 weeks.
I would submit that you should consult someone who has a record canned produce with out any bouts of botulism. Or, you could run to your local corner market and fill your buggy with 36 cans of sweet potatoes, but where’s the fun in that?
Good luck and happy canning.