Which pressure canner is best?
Canning as a hobby or as a way of preserving foods at home like vegetables and fruits have far from disappeared despite the heavy prevalence of mass-marketed canned goods. Homemade and small business canning goods, like jams and preserves, can even introduce fascinating combinations that the mass market would never dream of.
No matter your needs for pressure canning, the best option is the All American 15.5-Quart Canner Pressure Cooker. This pressure canner has been built to maintain high-quality canning over decades worth of use, making it perfect for the experienced canner in spite of admittedly being a large investment.
What to know before you buy a pressure canner
Types of pressure canners
There are two types of pressure canners: weighted gauge and dial gauge.
- Weighted gauge: Weighted gauges are built to alert the user when a specified pressure has been reached. They’re best for those who don’t like to babysit their pressure canner.
- Dial gauge: Dial gauges use a dial to display the level of pressure inside. They must be regularly inspected to ensure they function properly, as an inaccurate dial can lead to dangerous accidents.
Pressure canners are typically made of either aluminum or stainless steel.
- Aluminum: Aluminum pressure canners tend to be lighter and heat faster at the cost of being less durable. They’re excellent options for infrequent or small-scale canning jobs.
- Stainless steel: Stainless steel, on the other hand, will last far longer, but they also cost more and take longer to reach your desired pressure.
Pressure canners relate their size by the quarts they can maximally contain, with larger quarts allowing for stacking jars. Keep in mind that pressure canners tend to be quite large no matter what, taking up plenty of kitchen space regardless of quart size.
What to look for in a quality pressure canner
Pressure canners use one of two lid types: clamp and twist.
- Clamp: As the name itself indicates, clamp lids use clamps to lock the lid down. They require lubrication with each use of your canner.
- Twist: Twist lid pressure canners utilize gaskets to ensure their seal when the lid is twisted down into place. The gasket does need to be replaced fairly often, but you don’t need any extra preparation with each use the way clamp lids do.
As mentioned above, pressure canners are large pieces of gear. Therefore, ensuring your prospective canner has appropriate handles can drastically decrease the difficulty of moving your canner around as needed.
How much you can expect to spend on a pressure canner
Pressure canners can vary quite widely in price, depending on variables like construction material, size and capacity. Most entry-level pressure canners will cost between $50-$100 though this level of canner is meant more for those unsure if they’ll be canning regularly. Those who regularly can goods should spend somewhere between $200-$300 for the midrange to top tier options, with the biggest batches being achievable in canners reaching costs of over $400.
Pressure canner FAQ
If hot water baths are able to can foods, why should I buy a pressure canner?
A. While boiling water is the traditional method of canning at home, the temperatures reachable in such a method are incapable of killing off the bacteria that cause botulism. These pests are dangerously common in non-mass marketed canned goods and even more common in low-acid canned foods. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
What are low-acid foods?
A. Some examples of low-acid foods are potatoes, meats and vegetables like green beans. Even high-acid foods, like tomatoes, can become unsafe to eat when canned with a hot water bath or if the recipe isn’t followed, so don’t think you can be lax about proper canning with high-acid foods.
Can a pressure canner explode?
A. Not when used properly. Follow the instructions for proper use, such as keeping vents open to prevent pressure buildup and leaving headspace for the contents of your jars to expand to prevent the possibility of your pressure canner from exploding.
What are the best pressure canners to buy?
Top pressure canner
What you need to know: This pressure canner is of the absolute highest quality, made for heavy use that nonetheless lasts for decades when cared for.
What you’ll love: A threaded bolt seal means there are no gaskets that can break, plus it can serve as a pressure cooker too.
What you should consider: This pressure canner is quite pricey and isn’t really suited to those who are new to canning.
Where to buy: Amazon
Top pressure canner for the money
What you need to know: A simple and easy-to-use pressure canner suited to those who are learning their way around the process.
What you’ll love: Two pressure options, locking handles and safety for use on glass and ceramic stoves round out this model’s features.
What you should consider: The handles are a bit loose and can leak steam; tightening them with a screwdriver is possible and can alleviate the issue.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A multi-use pressure canner that also functions ably as a pressure cooker and steamer.
What you’ll love: Folding handles make storing this model away very easy, and several safety features are a big plus.
What you should consider: Jars are unable to be stacked, and the canner shouldn’t be used on induction or glass stovetops.
Where to buy: Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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