In an age where trying to be economical with food purchasing and even growing is taking precedence, it’s no surprise to see a surge in popularity in pressure canning: The process by which food is stored safely and properly in jars (or quarts) so that it lasts longer and can be consumed at a much later date. For anyone new to the process, trying to understand this can be quite daunting, as can choosing the correct equipment. This is where our guide to the best pressure canners steps in…
We’re going to get right into breaking down our three favorite pressure canners.
Top 3 Best Pressure Canners
All American 21.5 Quart Pressure Canner
Kicking off our list is this heavy-weight unit from All American. Available in a range of sizes, from 10.5 quarts all the way up to 41.5, this almost industrial-like canner is the strongest and most reliable model out there.
Unlike other canners, the All American doesn’t require the use of a gasket. Its weighted pressure gauge and slide clips and secure and reliable enough to ensure an airtight fastening, Searching for a good gasket, let alone a canner, is stressful and time-consuming enough, so being able to skip this step helps make this one of our most strongly-recommended pressure canners.
Another feature that really works in the All American’s favor is its weighted gauge. Other models, as you’ll see below, tend to feature a dial gauge. An explanation of the difference between the two can be found here, but in short, a weighted gauge tends to be a) more accurate, and b) more self-regulating, meaning that you don’t need to be constantly checking on your canner’s progress. The beauty in this model is that you can take your mind off it and let it do its thing.
This is definitely the most heavyweight canner that we’ve come across. This is both a pro and a con, and it’s up to you to decide whether this could work for or against you. On the plus side, it means that it’s a very durable and reliable model, and also maintains a steady pressure within its shelf for effective canning. However, when it’s empty this model still weighs 20 pounds.
Price-wise this might seem a little bit steep, but its durability ensures that it is far more reliable than any other model we know of. It’ll see you through years of canning, and if you are serious about preserving a lot of your food this way then this is probably the wisest investment you could make.
Presto 23 Quart Pressure Canner
The Presto is really easy to use, with really easy-to-follow instructions supplied in a book with the product. It can be used for both water bath and pressure canning. This canner is sage, reliable and versatile, and can be used across a whole variety of stove types.
The canner features a useful pressure gauge, and the pressure regulator will sound when the pressure gets too high. Also, it even comes with a handy guide on different ways to can a variety of food.
Like most canners, the Presto is heavy! Also taking into consideration that often this will be full of jars, you’re going to want to plan your journey from tabletop to storage or oven in advance!
So why do we rank it below the All American? Well, unlike the All American canner, it requires a gasket. Not only this, but it needs replacing periodically. So, even though this may be cheaper than our number one choice, it doesn’t feel like such a good deal when you realize that you need to be buying and replacing parts every now and then.
Presto 16 Quart Pressure Canner
Third on our list is another Presto model, this time a smaller 16-Quart model. Is there much more we can say about this model in comparison to the two canners above, other than the difference in size?
Where this falls short a bit is, when compared to the All American, is in its shape. The All American features a domed lid, which goes a long way to allow you to fit just that little bit more in.
Both Presto models feature a dial gauge which, as explained above, tends to be less accurate than the All American’s weighted gauge. It also may require more of your attention, requiring you to adjust it from time to time to ensure the pressure is neither too high nor too low.
All of the above beings said, when it comes to performance we would say that they are more or less the same. Obviously, due to its smaller capacity, it is lighter than the two models above. It is easy to close and the gauge is easy to read. Also, just like its slightly larger brother above, each jar is firmly supported inside, so there’s a risk of anything breaking or being unstable inside.
What Exactly do Pressure Canners do?
In short, pressure canners help keep and preserve food for future use. Food items like vegetables, fruit, milk and even meat can be stored away and if stored correctly can still be consumed months later without compromising on the quality of the food.
What are the Benefits of Using an Electric Pressure Canner?
A conflict for many buyers is the balance between trying to buy in bulk to save money vs ensuring that you’re eating fresh. Many people might buy piles of food in a bid to be smart with their money, yet this plan can start to fall apart as Best By dates creep in.
With a pressure canner, this is no longer an issue.
You can continue to buy in bulk, saving yourself a lot of hard-earned money while ensuring that you have a steady food supply at all times.
They encourage sustainable living
Going green has been a concern for a lot of modern families for much of the past ten years or so, and this can be seen in the growing interest in home farming. Much like with bulk buying goods, growing it is often fraught with difficulty in that product can only stay fresh and good for a finite amount of time. The use of pressure canners can help eliminate that concern.
Keeps produce fresh all year
Besides the inferior chemical-soaked versions found in a lot of supermarkets, many vegetables are only found at specific times of the year (hello eggplant, avocado, and zucchini). Similarly, if you are the type to grow your own vegetables, then you’ll know-how in the autumn and winter months, your dining options might well be somewhat restricted.
With their ability to keep produce fresh year-round, you can afford to be a bit more liberal with your meal plans during the calendar. Heck, if you want eggplant in November then with a pressure canner you just well can!
Additionally, using this unit will help food preserve their nutrients. Food will be prepared much faster and utilize less liquid. Eating foods that are pressure canned yields much more nutritional value compared to those cooked for longer periods with standard cookware.
How do Pressure Canners Work?
The setup of a pressure canner is essentially a food container placed inside an aluminum-shelled can and also filled with water. Using a dial gauge, you adjust the temperature of the water, which turns to vapor and starts to escape through the vents at the roof of the canner, which in turn means that there is no air present inside either the food container or the shell. In short, no air = no bacteria, meaning your food can continue to be stored for a long time without any sort of health risk.
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Choosing Your Pressure Canner
When coming to select the right pressure canner, there are certain tips you must take into account as below:
• Materials: You know pressure canners can be produced of two materials: Aluminum and stainless steel. It is advisable to stay away from any specific pressure canners, which are manufactured from aluminum because they are less protected than those manufactured from stainless steel. Additionally, weighty insecure can lead to deformation as well as stains. Aluminum pressure canners are not as overpriced as a stainless steel pressure canner. If you are planning to utilize this model for years, I strongly recommend you to get the one that is manufactured from stainless steel.
• Wide Or even Tall? Let us go for the broad units. An underside that is wide provides a larger cooking surface. It is very efficient, and you will need to spend less time before shutting the cooker on browning meat. Well, a wide canner’s inside is less complicated as you cook to reach; the food is more convenient to see. The helpful models are the ones around 7 .5 to 9 inches and the recommended ones are 9 inches wide.
• The overall size: The most widely used pressure canners are six-quart models. If you have a large kitchen, I highly recommend you to get a much bigger one. There are two reasons for these; first, it is inconceivable to fill up an electric pressure canner more than up to 2/3 of the way. All the juices from the ingredients will also remain in the canner that will require space. 2nd, certain recipes may need bigger models, It is best to get an 8-quart model. It will enable you to cook larger meats such as turkey legs, ribs, chicken.