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Pressure Canner Buying Guide: How to choose a Pressure Canner

Pressure Canner Buying Guidepressure canner parts and use explained

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 canners.

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.

If you are looking for a plain water bath canner, see this page. Also see Canners for glass top stoves?

Choosing a Pressure canner!

If you're new to pressure canning, see this page for a complete description of how pressure canners work, why they're better, and step-by-step directions on how to use one!

And if you lost the instruction manual  for your canner, click here for free downloads of many canner's instruction manuals!

This page lists spare and replacement parts for pressure canners

Key Consideration to selecting a pressure canner

Manufacturers

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!

Cost

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.

Capacity

 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.

The 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" makes these)

 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.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

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.

Features:

  • 17 by 15-1/2 inches; 12-year warranty
  • Heavy-duty 23-quart aluminum pressure canner and cooker
  • Comfortably ergonomic, stay-cool black plastic handles
  • Strong-lock lid with pressure regulator, dial gauge, and overpressure plug
  • Comes with canning rack to protect jars during canning
  • Click here for replacement Presto Pressure Canner Gaskets
Presto 16 quart pressure canner / cooker

Presto 01755 16-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner

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 at left)

Features:

  • 16-quart pressure cooker/canner holds 10 pint jars or 7 quart jars
  • Constructed of extra-strong, warp-resistant aluminum; suitable for use on regular and smooth-top ranges
  • Air vent/cover lock allows pressure to build up only when the cover is closed properly
  • Easy-to-read gauge automatically registers a complete range of processing pressures
  • Includes cooking/canning rack and complete instruction and recipe book
  • Click here for replacement Presto Pressure Canner Gaskets

 

All American Pressure Canner and Cookers - In 3 Sizes

Click on the box at left to order from Amazon.com

Features:

  • Exclusive "metal-to-metal" sealing system
  • Automatic overpressure release and easy-to-read geared steam guage
  • Professional quality, extra heavy duty cast aluminum
  • The smallest size holds 19 pint jars and 7 quart jars; the largest holds 32 pint jars or 19 quart jars
  • One-year warranty
  • Available in many sizes, from 10.5 quarts, 15.5, 21.5, 25, 30 and 41 quarts; which hold up to an unbelievable 32 pint jars!

Prices range from about $189 to $399; but these are the Rolls Royce's of the home canning world, last a lifetime and can crank out serious volumes!

All-American 41-1/2-Quart Pressure Canner

All-American 41-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner

Features

  • 41-1/2-quart pressure cooker/canner holds 32 pint jars or 19 quart jars
  • Made of durable, hand-cast aluminum with attractive satin finish
  • Exclusive "metal-to-metal" sealing system for a steam-tight seal; no gaskets
  • Geared steam gauge, automatic overpressure release; settings of 5 psi, 10 psi, and 15 psi
  • 19 inches high with 15-1/4-inch inside diameter; made in USA


 
Fagor steel pressure canners for induction cooktops

Pressure canners for Induction Cooktops!

Features

  • Extremely versatile, pressure canning is the only safe method of preserving low-acid foods with a ph level of more than 4.6.
  • Can and store your favorite preservative-free recipes at once. Perfect for soups, vegetables, baby food and so much more!
  • Reduces cooking time by up to 70%! Save time in the kitchen while preparing healthful recipes with all-natural ingredients.
  • Pressure cooker can be used independently to prepare ready to serve meals. Fast cooking translates to less energy consumption.
  • Save time in the kitchen while preparing healthful recipes with all- natural ingredients.
  • Reviewers report excellent results on induction cooktops


Fagor home canning accessories kit

5-Piece Canning Accessories Kit

  • Five-piece set: funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, jar wrench, and tongs
  • Vinyl coating improves grip and prevents heat transfer
  • Extra-wide funnel mouth
  • Ideal for home canning
  • Hand washable only

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours   

Canning Jars

Canning jars delivered to your doorstep and guaranteed! Any size you need.  Click on the links below

Canning jars: quart (32 oz) jars

Canning jars: pint (16 oz) jars

Canning jars: 8 oz jars

Quilted Canning jars: 4 oz glass jars

 

 

 

 

 

8 oz canning jars shown below:

Quilted 4 oz jars below:

     

 

 

Canning Hand Tools

Buy quality canning helpers. These provide the home canner with the essential tools needed for safe and efficient home canning.

Anything you could need is here, at discount prices

Some examples:

  • Home Canning Kits
  • Canning Jar Lifters
  • Canning Lid Lifters
  • Canning Jar Wrenches
  • Kitchen Tongs
  • Crinkle Cutters
  • Canning Lid Sanitizers
  • Canning Funnels
  • Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Funnels
  • Big Mouth Canning Funnel w/ Sieves
  • Deluxe Stainless Steel Funnel w/ Strainers
  • Ball Bubble FREER Spatulas
  • Korona Stainless Steel, 6 Qt. Deep Colanders
  • Stainless Steel Colanders
  • 9 inch Granite Wear Colander
  • Vegetable Brushes
  • Cook's Tools
  • Jelly Strainer Stand with Jelly Bag
  • Jelly Strainer Bags
  • Grip EZ Chopper/Scrapers
  • Racsk for Water Bath Canners
  • Strawberry Hullers
  • Tomato Slicers

Books

Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 24 hours

click here for more information, reviews, prices on Amazon.com for Canning and Preserving For Dummies




The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving

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 Agriculture

Practical, easy-to-follow 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:
 

Bean "frenchers"

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!

For photos and features of the bean frenchers, click here!

 

 

For other supplies:

You can read a discussion about why foods should be processed in a canner on this page" "Why do I need a canner?"

For more information, and NO obligation to buy, just click on the links in the Amazon boxes on the left!

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]