Pressure Canner Buying Guide: How to choose a Pressure Canner
Pressure Canner Buying Guide
This straightforward guide to choosing a pressure canner will
help if you want to can low-acid foods such as red meats, sea food,
poultry, milk, and all fresh vegetables with the exception of most tomatoes,
since you will need a pressure canner. These foods fit into the low acid
group since they have an acidity, or pH level, of 4.6 or greater. The
temperature which must be reached and maintained (for a specified amount of
time) to kill the bacteria is 240 F. Pressure canning is the only canning method
recommended safe by the U.S.D.A. for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats,
and fish. Ordinary water bath canners can only reach 212 F and cannot to kill
the types of bacteria that will grow in low acid foods. This temperature can be
reached only by creating steam under pressure as achieved in quality pressure
Whether you are canning low acid foods like green beans, corn
and other vegetables for your first time or in your 50th year of canning; all
the supplies you need are here, and at the best prices you'll find anywhere!
Scroll down this page for photos, descriptions, prices and ordering information.
Just scroll down this page to see the selection of pressure canners.
There are several manufacturers of pressure canners. The two
leading ones are Presto and All American (Wisconsin Aluminum). They are more
expensive than water bath canners, but they are extremely well built - I
bought mine in 1988 and it still looks and works like new!
Obviously your budget may determine which canners you can consider.
Keep in mind, a pressure canner should last several generations, and
can also be used as a water bath canner, so the inital cost is
spread out over many decades of use. The prices range from
about $80 to $500. Presto pressure canners are overal much
less expensive than other brands.
16- to 23-quart capacity (volume of the kettle) are the
most common size and hold seven quart jars for canning. Larger
canners can hold 14 quart jars. Yopu can stack jars in a
pressure canner, which is why they hold more jars than a water bath
canner per batch. This is also a good reason to go bigger.
Since the time per batch is much greater than a water bath canner,
between venting, heating the process time and cool down, a larger
canner will allow you to can twice as many jars in the same time as
the samller sizes. You do not need to fill the canner each time -
you can can with one jar in it, or a full load.
smallest canner that can be used safely is one that will hold at
least four quart jars. Use of pressure cookers or saucepans with smaller
capacities is not recommended. Pressure cookers that are not rated
as pressure canners should not be used for canning, their walls are
thinner and actually could rupture, catestrophically.
Type (dial gauge or pressure weight regulator)
This is probably the biggest consideration after capacity. There
are two types of pressure canners:
Dial-Presure Gauge (Presto makes these)
Weighted Gauge Regulator ("All American Pressure Canner"
The difference is in how they regulate pressure. The
weighted regulator type uses a weight that automatically lifts up
and releases excess pressure above the set pressure. You can
exchange different weights for different pressures. The other type,
a dial pressure gauge pressure canner requires you to adjust the
source of heat to maintain the desired pressure.
The weighted gauge is a small round weight or
disk that is placed on the vent port to control internal pressure.
Weighted-gauge pressure canners exhaust tiny amounts of air and
steam each time the gauge rocks or jiggles during processing. They
control pressure precisely and need neither constant watching nor
checking for accuracy during processing. The sound of the weight
rocking or jiggling indicates that the canner is maintaining the
recommended pressure. The only disadvantage of weighted-gauge
canners is that they cannot correct precisely for higher altitudes.
At altitudes above 1,000 feet, they must be operated at canner
pressures of 10 pounds per square inch instead of 5, or 15 pounds
per square inch instead of 10.
The dial gauge is attached to the cover and has
a needle to point to the amount of pressure inside the canner.
Remember to have your new dial gauge tested before you use it. Dial
gauges also should be checked for accuracy before use each year. If
your dial gauge reads high or low by more than 2 pounds when tested
at 11 pounds of pressure, it should be replaced. If the reading is
off by less than 2 pounds, follow the recommendation of the person
testing your canner (see “Dial Gauge Inspection and Accuracy,” page
13). Low readings cause overprocessing. If a gauge is reading lower
than it should, you can make adjustments to avoid overprocessing,
but they are not essential to safety. Gauges that read high cause
underprocessing and may result in unsafe food. Every pound of
pressure is necessary to reach the canner temperature needed for
producing safe food. Accurate gauges and adjustments
Pros and cons:
The weighted gauge canners are better in every regard and have no
disadvantage other than they are generally much more expensive.
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
This is usually about $79 PLUS SHIPPING. (which is a GREAT
price for a pressure canner). There is also a 16 quart version for about
$72. Click on the links at left or above for more info and current
pricing. It is also available from Amazon .com (click on the box link at
left). I've used this canner since 1988, it's worked reliably.
17 by 15-1/2 inches; 12-year warranty
Heavy-duty 23-quart aluminum pressure canner and
Comfortably ergonomic, stay-cool black plastic
Strong-lock lid with pressure regulator, dial
gauge, and overpressure plug
Comes with canning rack to protect jars during
This is usually about $72 PLUS SHIPPING. (which is also a GREAT
price for a pressure canner, although, I think the 23 qt above for $7
more is a better value.). Click on the links at left or above for more info and current
pricing. It is available from Amazon .com (click on the box link
The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback - May 31, 2016
This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I
was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost
anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning
vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells
you how! Click on the link at left for more information and / or to buy
(no obligation to buy). (about $6.99)
Complete Guide to Home
Canning and Preserving
by United States Dept. of
guide contains virtually everything consumers need to know about home
canning: how to select, prepare, and can fruits, vegetables, poultry, red
meats and seafoods; how to preserve fruit spreads, fermented foods and
pickled vegetables; how to prepare foods for special diets, and much more.
Also includes scores of simply written recipes that even beginners can
handle (smoked fish, turkey-tamale pie, chicken croquettes, more. It's the
second book to get, after the Ball Guide.
Click on the link at left for more information and / or
to buy (no obligation to buy)
Food Preparation Equipment
Make the job faster and easier with these great tools!
In the UK, use this link:
It is tiring and laborious to prepare green beans for canning; there are
so many of them and you do them all by hand. But wait there's a new
device that makes it easy. Hmmm, actually, these devices have been
around since our great-grandfather's day! Here are several different
types and makes, some hand fed, some cranked: choose the one that meets your
need and budget!
Miscellaneous Parts and Supplies - jar lifters, funnels, jar tongs,
replacement parts for canners, canning racks, strawberry hullers, cherry
pitters and more? Great prices, wide selection, fast delivery, reliable