Can You Use A Pressure Cooker For Canning?

Have you heard that you can use a pressure cooker for canning, but you want to be sure before trying? Well, you've come to the right place. We've done the research to provide you with the answers you need to start canning your own food.

Some pressure cookers can be used for canning, but not all. 

You're probably wondering what the difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners is and how they work? Keep reading to learn about canning your own goods safely and correctly.

Depressurising a pressure cooker, with steam going to the extractor. Can You Use A Pressure Cooker For Canning

When Can You Use A Pressure Cooker For Canning?

Only use a pressure cooker for canning if the product clearly states that it is designed for this purpose. There are a variety of cooker and canner combinations on the market that can safely complete both processes.

Not all cookers are made for canning, which is why the USDA does not approve of using any type of pressure cooker when canning. They must meet specific requirements for safety.

T-Fal Pressure Cooker And Canner

This pressure cooker and canner combo is ideal for someone looking for a product to perform both tasks. It holds 22-quarts for large projects, and it comes with a pressure gauge and pressure control.

Click here to see this pressure cooker on Amazon.

Various jars with Home Canning Fruits and Vegetables jam on glass shelves

Is There A Difference Between A Pressure Cooker And A Pressure Canner?

The most significant difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners is their size. Pressure cookers are intended to cook meat quickly, so they're made relatively small. Pressure canners are made much larger to accommodate multiple cans and allow for the appropriate cooldown rate.

Locally grown pears and peaches - fresh and canned in mason jars

Which Is Better Pressure Canning Or Water Bath?

The best method will depend on what it is you are canning. Food with high acidity will be better preserved with the water bath method. Foods with low acidity need to be canned with a pressure canner to meet the high temperatures required to preserve the food safely.  Pressure canners are capable of canning food with high acidity, but it takes longer this way.

What Is The Water Bath Method?

The water bath method uses a regular saucepan or pot with a metal rack placed in the bottom for the cans to sit on. The cans are placed into the pot, submerged beneath at least an inch of water, then the water is boiled. This creates a seal by forming a vacuum inside the jar and forcing the rubberized seal to connect with the lid.

Ball Jar Lifter

These jar tongs are an extremely valuable item to have on hand if you plan to start canning. This jar lifter will let you remove the jars from the canner safely and efficiently. It has a no-slip grip to avoid accidents and keep you safe.

Click here to see this jar lifter on Amazon.

How Does A Pressure Canner Work?

Pressure canners work by forming pressure around the cans to create a tight seal. It has a lid that is securely clamped down to form the maximum amount of pressure within the vessel. The pressure is created by heat and steam building up inside the canner, which pressurizes the cans.

Zavor DUO Pressure Canning Kit

This canning kit comes with ten pieces to provide you with all the tools to make canning hassle-free. The pot is 10-quarts, which is a great size for beginners to experiment with. It even comes with two canning recipe books to give you a starting point and help you get started.

Click here to see this set on Amazon.

Do You Need Special Jars For Pressure Canning?

The National Center For Food Preservation recommends Mason jars for safe pressure canning. Most people find that wide-mouth jars are the easiest to work with, but it's not a necessary feature. Ball and Kerr brand mason jars have been officially tested and deemed safe for use in pressure canners.

Ball 32-Ounce Mason Jars

These mason jars are ideal for canning, and they come in a 12-pack with the lids included. The large 32-ounce size is great for large vegetables or big servings.

Click here to check out these jars on Amazon.

Preservation of fresh home cucumbers in glass jars

Do You Need Special Jars For The Water Bath Method?

No, you can use any canning jar for a water bath. However, you will want to make sure you have the appropriate lids. One-piece lids aren't recommended for a water bath canning method since they haven't been thoroughly tested for home use.

Ball 16-Ounce Mason Jars

These mason jars and lids are approved for the water bath canning method. They come in a pack of six jars, and they're stackable for easy storage. They're also great for dry food storage or crafting.

Click here to see these jars on Amazon.

How Do You Can With A Stovetop Pressure Cooker/Canner?

Using a stovetop pressure cooker and canner is fairly simple. However, you will ultimately want to follow the directions that come with the canner to ensure that you are operating your device safely. Here's a quick, step-by-step guide to using a pressure canner:

  1. Wash and warm your canning jars.
  2. Place the canner on the stove and fill it with 2-3 inches of water.
  3. Insert the rack that goes inside the canner.
  4. Fill the jars with food and close the lids.
  5. Insert the jars into the canner.
  6. Close and lock the canner's lid.
  7. Turn the burner on high.
  8. Wait for the pressure vent to release steam, then set a ten-minute timer.
  9. Follow the canning recipe for your specific food to determine the pressure setting and time required to seal the food properly.

Here's a video to help you through the process:

Barton Pressure Canner

This pressure canner has a 22-quart capacity, and it includes the racks to go in the bottom. It's large enough to fit multiple cans at a time to make your job quicker and easier. This canner is approved for various cooking surfaces and boasts a rustproof finish.

Click here to see this canner on Amazon.

How Do You Can Using The Water Bath Method?

The water bath method only requires a deep saucepan with a lid, a rack to hold the jars, and the jars and lids. It's a simpler process than using a pressure canner and requires a much smaller investment to get started. Use this step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Fill the saucepan halfway with water.
  2. Wash and dry your jars and lids.
  3. Warm your jars in hot water.
  4. Fill the jars with food, wipe away any spills or drips, and then hand tighten the lids.
  5. Place jar onto the rack inside the canner and turn the burner on high, allowing the water to reach a boil.
  6. Allow the water to boil according to the canning recipe you are using, then turn the burner off and let the canner and jars rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the cans from the pot and allow them to rest for at least 24 hours before touching them.

Here's a video to help you along:

DUILEO Canning Rack

Use this canning rack for water bath canning or as a replacement for a pressure canner rack. It's 11.8-inches in diameter and has built-in handles to make can removal a breeze.

Click here to check out this rack on Amazon.

Are Electric Pressure Canners Better?

Electric canners are simpler to use than manual pressure canners, but they take much longer to complete the process of preservation. They take the guesswork out of canning by automating the process for you. So, if you're in a rush, a manual canner may be the better option, but if you want to set it and forget it go with an electric model.

Presto Digital Pressure Canner

This canner is fully electric with a digital temperature gauge and an automatic timer. Altogether, it makes canning easy and fun by removing the extra steps to simplify the process. It has a large 12-quart capacity to fit multiple jars at once.

Click here to see this canner on Amazon.

A Can-Do Attitude

Now that you know the different canning methods and how to complete the process, you're ready to start preserving your own food. Make sure to use extreme caution when working with pressure canners and boiling water. Have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Canning jars in stainless steel pressure cooker water bath. Can You Use A Pressure Cooker For Canning

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