Before anything else, let’s all agree that having a great pressure canner rocks. When those garden vegetables are producing in high quantity and you can’t consume them all at a fast enough pace, step aside and let your pressure canner help out and save the day. Don’t have one yet? Well, just keep reading.
Pressure canners are a must if you’re growing a garden and want to save some of the bounty for later. I gathered a list of the best pressure canners for home canning every beginner needs.
You can use a pressure canner to can tomatoes, green beans, beets, carrots, and many other veggies and fruits. In fact, you might be surprised once you see how much you can actually do with your pressure canner. And there are many models that are combo appliances that do pressure cooking and pressure canning in one device.
Buying and owning a pressure canner is the perfect way to not waste ANY of those garden fresh veggies! Plus, you can use it for meats and fruits as well!
However, when you make the decision to buy a pressure canner, it might feel overwhelming to see all the choices on the market today. You might be feeling confused about which one is best for your needs. That’s why I’ve compiled this post full of information to help you choose the best pressure canners for home canning. But first, let’s look into some reasons why you might want a pressure canner in the first place.
Why Should You Buy A Pressure Canner?
Could this be just another kitchen tool fad? Will you end up with another piece of junk filling up valuable counter or storage space in your kitchen? Are you asking why you should buy a pressure canner?
Plain and simple, to help you out! For one, it’s the only way to can low-acid foods that cannot be canned using the traditional methods. It also just makes it much easier and much faster for you to can all your favorite foods.
Pressure canning is a great way to preserve food for later months and also use up everything that is growing in your garden. It’s a great investment that will pay off again and again, especially in reduced waste. These devices are often made of stainless steel and they work at very high temperatures to get the job done right and quickly. If you feel intimidated by the idea of using a pressure canner, don’t worry. It’s a very short learning curve.
Here are my favorite reasons to buy a pressure canner:
- it’s easy to use
- reduces cooking time
- saves energy
- if you don’t have a lot of freezer space, canning is a great alternative
- you can do dinners in a jar: how awesome is that?
- a pressure canner can be used as a waterbath canner too, eliminating the need for one more thing in your kitchen
While water bath canning and boiling-water processing still work well for high-acidic foods like tomatoes, pickles, jams, and most fruits, it doesn’t work as well for low-acidic foods. When you want to can beets, green beans, potatoes, and meats, you definitely need a pressure cooker.
How to Use a Pressure Canner
Pressure canning is a simple process once you get used to the appliance. One reason is that the appliance does a lot of the hard work for you. You don’t even have to sterilize the jars as you do with a standard water bath canner. The high heat of the pressure canner will sterilize for you.
At-home pressure canners often strike fear in people using them for the first time. It’s not all unwarranted, either, because if a pressure cooker is used incorrectly, it can malfunction and even be dangerous. Horror stories of malfunctioning pressure cookers exploding may have crossed your social media feeds or gotten passed around in homesteading circles. But the truth of the matter is: these accidents rarely happen and they won’t happen when you learn to use your pressure cooker properly.
Modern pressure canners have two and sometimes three safety valves on them. These built-in safety precautions are to help in case the main vent ever got plugged while the steamer was in action. Because of these extra safety valves, there will be other ways for the pressure to escape, so nothing explodes. This is a great feature because it regulates the pressure inside and keeps it safe while it does the work for you.
Some models also come with a pressure gauge so that you can view the pressure levels on a particular food you are canning. Safety features include automatic venting features, tight seals, a pressure regulator, an overpressure plug, and more, depending on the model and brand of pressure canner you choose.
What else will you need besides the canner itself?
Pressure Canning Equipment List
What kinds of things besides your pressure canner will you need to get this done properly? Here is a list to help you.
- your choice of canner
- canning rack
- liquid measuring cups
- potholders, towels, etc.
- jars and lids (7-quart jars are popular)
- jar lifter
- wide-mouth jar funnel
- sieve, food mill, or fruit press
- food thermometer
- space for storage of cans
This is not an exhaustive list and you may find that you need or want additional items or that you swap one or more of these items out with something else that serves the same function for you.
Pressure Canner vs Pressure Cooker
Before we get into the list of pressure canners for home canning, let’s answer another common question. What is the difference between a pressure canner and a pressure cooker? These popular modern kitchen appliances are not one and the same, although sometimes combo machines are marketed, which can be confusing if you’re new to the concept of them. Let’s take a look at how they each work.
Pressure cookers are typically used for cooking large cuts of meat like roasts in a shorter amount of time. They come in many different sizes and styles but the most common is four quarts or less and they often look like large saucepans. Some of them come in a pot style that looks similar to a pressure canner, and sometimes you might see an appliance marketed to do both.
Pressure canners are tools designed to can low-acidic foods like vegetables, meat, and fish, etc. for canning in jars. This is a way of preserving the food, rather than cooking the food. They are usually larger and average the ability to hold seven-quart jars up to 24 half-pint jars.
One of the biggest reasons you can’t do canning in your pressure cooker is that it’s just too small. One of the important steps in the canning process is the warm-up and then the cool-down part of it. Pressure cookers work by speeding up this warm-up and the cool-down process by a significant amount. If this process is not done correctly and timed accordingly, it can allow botulism spores to survive in the foods you are canning.
Another issue with canning in your pressure cooker is that they don’t have the safety valves needed in case the pressure climbs too high during the canning process and this can be very dangerous.
If you want to purchase a pressure canning/cooker combo machine, just be sure it was made for this dual use, and that you use it properly each time. Use the right equipment, follow the directions properly, and always remember to clean and store your pressure canner or cooker properly after use as well.
Now that you know the difference between pressure canners and pressure cookers, how can you know which one to buy for your needs? Let’s take a look at some of my favorites on the market today.
Best Pressure Canners For Home Canning
How do you know which is the best pressure canner for you? In simple terms, the best canner is going to be one that you use regularly and easily. All of these pressure canners below are designed for home use. Some have a large capacity and some have a smaller or average capacity. Think about your specific needs when choosing the right one for you.
1. Granite Ware Pressure Canner/Cooker/Steamer
If you’ve been looking for a beginner pressure cooker that can also function in other capacities as well, this is the one for you!
The Granite Ware Pressure Canner/Cooker/Steamer comes equipped with:
- Racks for Canner and Steamer
- 20-quart capacity
- Heavy-gauge aluminum for extra added strength
Customers can’t stop singing their praises for the durability and variety of uses.
Some customers complain about the lack of instructions, but Amazon has a way to ask questions and learn anything from previous customers. There are already 94 questions and answers about this pressure canner: from “can you use it instead of a canner bath” to “will half-gallon jars fit in this pressure canner” and more.
Need to use it to believe it: don’t delay in ordering yours today!
2. Carey smart pressure canner & cooker
The use of the Carey Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker is certain to give you peace of mind when it comes to any and all worries that you may have previously had.
Designed with function and ease in mind, you’ll love knowing that you can pressure can or cook with confidence and trust in this appliance.
Each Carey Smart Pressure Canner & Cooker comes equipped with:
- Digital Display and Timer
- Many Built-In Safety Features
- Temperature Sensor
Rave reviews are pouring in for this multi-use appliance and don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.
Customers love the fact that you can use this to can small-batch items with ease while also having the option for larger as well. Plus, don’t forget all the many functions that it can help you within the kitchen!
3. All American pressure cooker canner
Offered in a variety of different sizes, this All American Pressure Cooker Canner may be the answer to your canning prayers.
Built to hold pint or quart jars, you’ll have the option to can in whatever size you need at the time. Every All American Pressure Cooker Canner comes equipped with:
- Sturdy top handles to help with ease
- Steam gauge
- Easy to clean outer covering
With 5/5 star reviews on Amazon from over 2,800 customers, it’s easy to see that this is a winning choice!
Customers love how quickly it works and are saddened by the fact that they waited so long before deciding to purchase.
Don’t make the same mistake that they did, and hurry and order now!
4. Presto pressure canner and cooker
Not only can this Presto Pressure Canner and Cooker pressure cook, but it also can be used as a boiling-water canner as well!
Talk about an amazing appliance with a dual purpose and use!
Every Presto Pressure Canner and Cooker comes equipped with:
- Instruction and recipe book
- The ability to be used on regular or flat ranges
- Extended 12 years limited warranty
If you’ve been searching for a pressure canner that does all the hard work for you, look no further than this beauty.
Over 3,000 customer reviews agree that this appliance is a must-have due to the ability to cut canning time in half and the reliability that it provides.
5. Mirro pressure cooker/canner cookware
This pressure cooker, canner, and cookware all-in-one will get the job done perfectly each and every time. From start to finish, it makes the canning process an absolute breeze. I love multi-function appliances when they do the job well because it gives you more space in the kitchen and you don’t have to drag out multiple appliances or tools and then clean them all up after.
Every Mirro Pressure Cooker/Canner Cookware comes equipped with:
- 3 varying pressure cooker options
- Side gasket pressure release
- Cooking rack and user guide
Based on customer feedback, this pressure cooker is made of high quality and gets the job done! It’s simple, but sometimes simple is best. When you want a nice quality stainless steel pressure canner that will hold up to all your canning needs, this is a good choice.
Don’t expect a ton of frills with this pressure cooker, but it excels at the basics of pressure cooking and canning!
Best Pressure Canners For Home Canning – Conclusion
Have you been hesitant about purchasing your first pressure cooker, because you didn’t know if it would work for you? Now you should have enough information to assist you in making this decision. I know that it’s a big choice to change the way you’ve been doing your canning and I hope this info helps you.
Or perhaps, you’re just getting into canning and you want a pressure canner to help make the job easier for you. In fact, home food preservation has likely never looked so easy. It won’t take you a long time to can your favorite foods so that you can enjoy them later.
And another great part about the pressure canners on this list is that you can use them for low-acid foods and high-acid foods, they come with built-in safety features, they make the entire process easier and faster for you, and you can order replacement parts for your pressure canner if anything happens to go wrong with it. This is a solid investment for anyone who does canning or spends a lot of time in the kitchen.
I hope the information here provided you with enough guidance and the knowledge that you need to take that first step in pressure canning. Whether you are brand new to canning, or just new to this type of canning, I know that it will make it much easier and more enjoyable for you. You’ll become a pressure cooker pro in no time 😉