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Pressure Canning Equipment


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Hello,

I am going to be undertaking my first foray into pressure canning. I have made jam and pickles and the like for years, but need to start processing non-acidic things. I would like to process tall bottles of syrup I make, so I obviously need a pressure canner. I've never done it before, so I'd like something relatively easy to use but big enough to process many bottles at once.

Does anyone have preferred brands of canners? Why? What are the differences? Is it worth it to drop the big bucks on the expensive brands?

Thanks for your help!

Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

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  • 5 years later...

Not sure if this is the right place, but . . . I use a large induction cooktop and have been looking for a stainless steel pressure canner (not cooker, I have one of those). I've searched some of the obvious sites but every time i am routed to an aluminum canner - theses do not work on an induction hob. In the past i have tried a SS "trivet" upon which an aluminum pot is placed but have been disappointed in the results. Does anyone know of a source for SS canners? Thanks in advance for any pointers.

Thanks in advance,

-cfmiles.

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I like the All-American pressure canners by WACFO.  I have a 921, which can process 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars.  I bought in that size because I wanted a 5 gallon pressure cooker for making stock.  If I were to do it again, I'd probably buy the 7.5 gallon 930, which can process 14 quart jars.  On Amazon the 921 goes for $210 and the 930 goes for $280.

 

 

On edit:  I didn't realize the first post was from years ago.  I am not aware of any stainless pressure canners.  

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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There aren't any serious stainless steel pressure canners, what's available in stainless won't hold many jars which makes them next to useless for serious canning.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-Piece-Stainless-Pressure-Canning/dp/B0027VT92K

 

I have a couple All American canners (a 915 and a 930) and a couple older Mirros.

The All Americans are well built, but in that lies a few disadvantages, however they are the best of what's available today.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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DiggingDogFarm,

 

Thank you for the link. The Fagor is certainly the largest SS pot I've seen. In some earlier reading, I was led to believe that to pressure can you MUST have a pressure gauge (presumably to ensure the proper pressure). The Fagor does not appear to have this. IF you don't need a gauge, why aren't smaller pressure cookers suitable for canning; e.g., an 8 liter Kuhn Rikon (other than the obvious reduced volume to can in)? is the quality of modern pressure cookers sufficient that a "visible double line" (used byKuhn Rikon to signify 15 psi) is good enough to permit canning?

Thanks in advance,

-cfmiles.

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I use a large induction cooktop  ...

 

An alternate solution would be to get a stand alone electric hot plate, e.g., this Waring unit.  (You can find better ones, for more money, at restaurant supply stores.)  Be sure to get one with a solid plate, not just a coil.  Also handy, by the way, for deep frying outside, etc.

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DiggingDogFarm,

 

Thank you for the link. The Fagor is certainly the largest SS pot I've seen. In some earlier reading, I was led to believe that to pressure can you MUST have a pressure gauge (presumably to ensure the proper pressure). The Fagor does not appear to have this. IF you don't need a gauge, why aren't smaller pressure cookers suitable for canning; e.g., an 8 liter Kuhn Rikon (other than the obvious reduced volume to can in)? is the quality of modern pressure cookers sufficient that a "visible double line" (used byKuhn Rikon to signify 15 psi) is good enough to permit canning?

 

Not all pressure canners have a gauge, in general, there are two types of canners, weighted gauge and dial gauge.....weighted gauge canners use a precision machined weight to maintain proper pressure. Some weighted gauge canners (like the All American) have a dial gauge in addition to the weighted gauge.

 

There are many reasons why pressure cookers aren't recommended for pressure canning...the main reason is that not all pressure cookers operate at the same psi, or over a psi range which is a requirement to safely compensate for the pressure changes at different altitudes. Many pressure cookers that are thought to be 15 psi are not....the Kuhn-Rikon is one of them.

 

A bit more on canning in a pressure cooker.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Use one of the induction interface disks and you can use the aluminium canner. Edited to add, I'm not sure why this would be problematic as you only need to get the pan to a specific heat to get the canner to pressure according to the gauge. 

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Our 22 qt Mirro has served us well for many many years. Because we tend to do large batches of pressure-canned stuff, it does the trick for us. We usually take it outdoors and use the giant propane burner that my husband uses when he homebrews, which makes very short work of bringing the filled canner up to temperature.

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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 I do like the older Mirro canners, the ones made back in the 80s were great, but it's getting difficult to find the correct gaskets so I moved to the All-Americans.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Thank you all. I am still a bit uncertain whether a larger pressure cooker (e.g. Fagor 10 qt or Kuhn Rikon 12 qt) can be used for pressure canning, Some of the literature I've read from university and government web sites say NOT to do this - that a canner having a gauge is required. It also seems like modern pressure cookers are reliable enough to maintain a true 15psi. I would hate to kill someone by giving poisoned asparagus or something! I do so love my induction, but this sort of thing is a pain. 

 

If I convince myself modern pressure cookers are not appropriate, Martins suggestion of a single burner unit is great (along with an All-American canner). If I convince myself modern pressure cookers are appropriate, I will use a Fagor or Kuhn Rikon. (btw, I am at sea level; well 33' actually.)

Thanks in advance,

-cfmiles.

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Pressure canners hold at least 4 quart jars, and they have the capability of  functioning at 5, 10 and 15 pounds pressure.  Just giving you the USDA rules!

 

Recipes calculate the time it takes to bring the canner up to pressure as part of the process.  A little cooker heats up too fast. It might not be unsafe, but USDA has not tested little cookers with their canning recipes.  Approved recipes call for 5 or 10 pounds pressure, which you must increase if you are at higher altitudes, thus the need for a 15 pound setting.

 

For a good primer on canning, try the official USDA website.   http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

 

Follow the rules, and you will not have to worry about killing someone!  (Though I personally think canned asparagus is deadly!)

sparrowgrass
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You don't need a pressure canner for syrup. They are like jams. That is if they are sugar-based (any sugar, honey, malt, etc., just not artificial sweetener)  You don't even need a canner at all usually (but that's my opinion, not officialdom), just hot pack it (but with syrup you do have to be a little more sanitary than with pickles and have all the jars and lids in boiling water).  But you could water-bath can them.

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Oh, and as for pressure canning.  Here, County Extension is all over that.  They will test the canner for you.  We are at elevation so it's even more important to make sure you get to the right temps.  The only canners they recommend are actual canners with gauges on them - and then test them every year. Other pressure cookers are not accurate enough. I don't pressure can myself. Pretty much everything you do that way tastes horrible in my opinion (well veges that is).  The exception is perhaps spinach, which is not recommended to home can at all. I pickle, dry, and freeze.

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All - I went through the USDA Primer and if they are as conservative there as they are when giving standard cooking times, I feel certain anything close will be safe. All that aside, if the USDA specified pressure is 10psi (boiling point at 193F), wouldn't taking the canned goods to 15psi (boiling point at roughly 213F) - as indicated by the home pressure cooker - for the same amount of time be a safe approach? My thought is this: even if the pressure cooker is off a bit (11, 12, 13 or 14 psi when it indicates 15 psi), is it likely to be off 5psi (a full 33% of its indicated pressure)? Aren't good quality pressure cookers better than that? NOT trying to start an argument here, just typing out loud.

Thanks in advance,

-cfmiles.

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All that aside, if the USDA specified pressure is 10psi (boiling point at 193F), wouldn't taking the canned goods to 15psi (boiling point at roughly 213F) - as indicated by the home pressure cooker - for the same amount of time be a safe approach?

 

The psi rating of a pressure cooker/canner is ABOVE atmospheric pressure...those temperatures are not correct.

 

http://missvickie.com/workshop/table.html

 

In answer to your question, it may be safe but the quality of the food will suffer.

 

I recommend getting a real pressure canner rather than gambling. It's not worth the risk.

 

Dangers Of Canning: Home Canning Hobby Leads to Near-Fatal Medical Emergency...

http://www.kplu.org/post/home-canning-hobby-leads-near-fatal-medical-emergency

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 1 year later...

Shelby the pressure canner is totally worth it. We had been water bath canning lots of stuff but the ability to can low acid foods (think stew, chili con carne, pinto beans etc.) was a need worth addressing. I guess one could safely water bath can Hatch Chiles w/added acid but who wants that taste?

 

I will say the quality of our home canned stuff far exceeds what you can purchase commercially & @ $1.50 a can for store bought beans alone you can quickly amortize the cost of the canner. Pint jars of stew, soup whatever make ideal lunches!

 

We bought an all american weighted canner (this one) it holds up to 21 pints depending on the jars - IIRC Kerr load better than Ball (both owned by the same company now.

 

The pic below is the other day with the weight off as it has to vent a while before one adds the weight to bring it up to pressure. The libation in question was ThrillSeeker IPA (APA) really from our local award winning brewery as it was by then after all the prep work "Miller Time"

 

hatch 3.jpeg

Edited by Jon Savage (log)
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Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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  • 1 year later...

Taking the plunge (thanks Mom) and ordering a pressure canner.  Excited to do things like Hatch chiles....venison....  I think I'm going to go with an All American.  Do I really need the biggest one that does 19 quarts at once?  I don't think so......  Excited to dive into this.  

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All-American canners are definitely the way to go, IMHO.

I have the Model 915 (7 quart jars or 10 pint jars) and the Model 930 (14 quart jars and 19 pint jars)

 

IMO, The smaller canner is generally best unless you're canning large batches on a regular basis because it takes quite some time for the larger canners to come up to temperature on a conventional kitchen stove.

  • Like 1

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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