Readers, you have officially sent me over the edge! As Vince would say, it was a short trip but really . . canning is something I love to do for so many reasons. I love being able to save the produce that we’ve grown. I love buying bargain meats, adding a bit of seasoning and canning them to preserve them without refrigeration. I love fixing a big batch of gumbo, or beef tips and gravy and then canning it in small portions so all I have to do is open a jar and heat it up for a delicious homemade meal.
I’ve been asked about once a day since I started singing the praises of the Cuisinart Pressure Cooker: Can I use it for canning? NO! You cannot can in this. There’s a big difference in a pressure cooker and a pressure canner. Here’s a great article about the differences.
A reader did tell me that her electric pressure cooker included instructions for canning. In my opinion . . don’t risk it!
Botulism is one of the risks associated with improperly canned foods. It is tasteless, odorless, colorless and it’s dangerous. If you think you want to can foods, start by educating yourself and purchasing or borrowing the right equipment.
The All American canners are, in my opinion, the top of the line canners. I did not get these until I moved here and finally got a gas stove, though now I do all my canning outside using the Camp Chef stove.
We got the Camp Chef stove in June and I did all the garden canning, and all the other canning since then using it outside on the porch. I think I’m on my 4th propane bottle but we refill them here at the house from the big tank and we don’t always let them get completely empty before refilling them.
The All American canners are expensive and I wouldn’t recommend buying this as your first canner unless you know you’re going to like canning or unless money is no object. Also, even though I know some people do it, I wouldn’t use these on a glass top stove. They’re heavy when they’re empty and with water and full jars, they’re extremely heavy. They have no gaskets that have to be replaced. The gauge can be replaced and probably should be replaced every so often, depending on the circumstances. If the lid gets dropped or banged around often, you probably should change your gauge more often. The All American canners have the pressure regulator valve and the pressure gauge so you have two ways to be sure you’re getting and maintaining the right pressure.
I have the 30 quart model, which is heavy enough that with no jars but just a few inches of water, I can barely lift it. In fact, most of the time, I get Vince to lift it. I have the 15.5 quart and the 10.5 quart models.
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in an All American canner, the Presto models are fine. I canned with them for 20 years. We lived in three or four different houses with glass top stoves and I never ruined a stove top using them. I’m not saying it’s ok to do it . . just saying it worked out for me.
If you have an older model Presto canner, I would recommend purchasing a three part pressure regulator. This is a replacement to the one piece unit that came with older canners. It has a body, and two 5 pound rings. The body itself is 5 psi; add one ring and you have 10 psi; add both rings and you have 15 psi. I’m pretty sure the new models come with this regulator.
Please be safe! If you’re going to get started canning, it’s nice of you to read my posts but please, please, please .. do a whole lot of research and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions/warnings and follow time tested and approved recipes.
A pressure canner can be used for cooking, though I don’t know why anyone would want to mess with cleaning food out of a pot this size but a pressure cooker should not be used as a pressure canner.