Pressure Canning

Pressure Canning

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The Best Canners for Pressure Canning

 

  • You’ve spent your time growing and harvesting your garden; now it’s time to preserve your hard work by pressure canning.
  • When it comes to pressure canning, there are several canners to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. This post will help you decide which one to choose. I only recommend products that I love and use.

What is Pressure Canning?

 

  • Pressure canning is the use of a pressure canner to preserve low acid foods such as vegetables and meat. Higher acid vegetables do not require pressure canning
  • Using a pressure canner to preserve food is NOT the same thing as using a pressure cooker to cook food quickly. Therefore, pressure canners are made with the capacity to heat at the right temperature and pressure for whatever food you are preserving.

Why Mess with Canning?

 

  • Canning is the best way to preserve your produce to enjoy over the winter.
  • Pressure canning does take some time but is so worth it! If you have the right tools, it goes fairly smoothly. I started canning honestly to save money. Being on a tight budget, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had time to invest. Growing things allowed us to save a lot on our grocery bills. Also, we kept the canning costs down because family members who didn’t garden and preserve anymore but had in the past, had all these canning jars just laying around. They gave them to me as well as an ancient, I mean ancient, pressure canner. I should try to find the owner’s manual, but I have no idea where it is now. Pretty sure it was from the 1950s.
  • I am so thankful for them blessing me with these supplies because, to be honest buying all new jars along with a canner can get expensive to begin with (but well worth the investment). If you have family members that used to preserve but don’t anymore, see if they have any supplies you might be able to use to get started.

Pressure Canners Review

 

Now for the big item…the pressure canner! I will show you two options.

The one my family used for 60 years thereabouts is very similar to the one I will show you. This one is newer, so it has the more modern safety feature of venting without having to do it manually like my old one. The advantage of this particular canner is that it holds a lot of pint jars on two levels. It is heavy duty and the nice thing is it doesn’t have a rubber gasket that needs to be replaced.

All pressure canners need supervision for safety.

This is the priciest option but like I said it lasted in my family for 60 years. It’s a very heavy-duty canner which is probably why it lasted so long! The All American 21-1/2 quart pressure canner.

 

The next two that I use are pretty similar. They both have a rubber gasket that after a few years of use will need to be replaced. This brand is less expensive and is ok on smooth stovetops. The reason these are ok for smooth stovetops is that they are thinner and lighter. Therefore, they will need to be replaced sooner. The Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner.

The next one is a little smaller but also the same brand. Also says it’s ok for smooth stovetops. The Presto 16-Quart Pressure Canner.

The next one is a little smaller but also the same brand. Also says it’s ok for smooth stovetops. The Presto 16-Quart Pressure Canner.

Common Questions/FAQ About Pressure Canning

    What is the difference between pressure canning and pressure cooking?

    • Pressure canning is the process of canning food in jars. These are heavy duty and able to handle the amount of heat and pressure required to safely preserve food.

    • Pressure cooking is the process of cooking food quickly under pressure. While some pressure canners can also be pressure cookers, a pressure cooker can never be a pressure canner.

    Is pressure canning safe?

    • Pressure canners nowadays are pretty safe with safety pressure relief valves. However, since you are building up the pressure, they should always be supervised. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type thing.

    What foods need pressure canned?

    • Any meat or low acid vegetables need to be pressure canned.

    The Last Thing You Need to Know about Pressure Canners

      • Pressure canners are great, just make sure whichever one you purchase works with your particular stove. Always supervise your canner.
      • Want to know more about canning in general? See this post.
      • What do you think of these canners? Is there something else you use? Leave a comment below and share if you enjoyed.

       

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      Canning 101: The Ultimate Guide

      Canning 101: The Ultimate Guide

      This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

      Here is the ultimate guide to canning 101!

      What is Canning?

      Canning is the process used to preserve food. There are two main types of canning. Pressure canning and water bath canning. Pressure canning is necessary for canning low acid vegetables and any meat. Water bath canning is for high acid vegetables and most fruits.

      Common Misconceptions with Canning

      • Canning is very hard
      • I will blow up my house and myself
      • Canning isn’t worth it

      While canning does involve work and is a process, it really isn’t all that hard to do. I’ve done this for years and am happy to share what I’ve learned through trial and error. Pressure canners do need supervision, but the newer canners have more safety features to release steam than the older canners. Canning is totally worth it when it is in the middle of winter and you open a jar of fresh tomato juice to make chili or soup or just to drink! It is so much better than store bought.

      How to Get Started

       

      The first thing to get started is to have something to can. This can be your own produce or food you’ve purchased from either a farmer’s market or store.

       

      Next, you need a good stove to can on. If you have a smooth top stove, you need a pressure canner specifically made for that type of stove. See this post about pressure canners.

       

      Then you need jars. If you have a family member or friend that used to can and no longer does, see if they have any jars laying around they don’t want anymore. This is a great way to get started. Just make sure there are no chips or cracks.

       

      Don’t have any? No problem, later I’ll let you know exactly which jars I use.

       

      Also, you will need lids and bands. The lids are never reusable, but the bands can be reused from year to year.

       

      Before canning, I always run my jars and bands through the dishwasher. Mine has a sanitize cycle that I use, but it isn’t necessary. Just as long as they’re clean.

       

      Supplies Needed

      • Large pot for boiling jars
      • Small saucepan to boil lids and bands
      • Potholders
      • Pressure canner or boiling water bath canner
      • Canning salt
      • Vegetables
      • Ladle
      • The following items

      Best Products to Begin Canning

      • Before products, I highly recommend this book for beginners. This is the place you will get all the info you need as far as how long and at what pressures certain foods need to process.
      • The first product I definitely recommend is this basic canning set. I didn’t have this for the first few years of canning and could’ve kicked myself for not getting it sooner! So inexpensive and totally worth the small investment. 
      • Now if you don’t have access to any jars, here are the jars I use. you can use wide mouth or regular mouth jars. If you are canning a lot of green beans or something, start with quart jars. If you can’t eat a whole quart when it is opened use pint jars. The main thing is to can in quantities you can use quickly after opening.

      • Also, you need a canner. Here is the post I did about pressure canners that you can read about here. For high acid vegetables (such as tomatoes) and fruit, you will need a boiling water bath canner.

      • If you plan on juicing tomatoes or berries, I like an electric juicer for this job. Beware! It can be a bit messy. This is the one I use.
      • I have also used this juicer for a less expensive option. Basically, anything is better than the wooden handle with cheesecloth and a colander the way I remember my mom doing it!
      • This is the canning salt I use.

       Getting Started Canning

      To get started, gather all of your supplies. In your large pot and a small saucepan, fill with water and get that to boiling. Boil your jars in the large pan and your bands and lids in the small pan. Boil the lids for at least one minute and the jars for several minutes to sterilize. Use the tongs in the canning set to remove from the hot water. After sterilizing your jars, place on a clean old towel.

      Empty the pot you sterilized your jars in and get a clean pot of boiling water ready. Use the funnel from the canning set to fill your jars with produce and add the appropriate amount of canning salt. Some items such as green beans require filling the jars with boiling water. Use the headspace measure in the canning set. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean towel and using lid remover from the canning set remove from boiling water and apply to jars. Then apply the band and tighten finger tight only.

      Apply to canner according to instructions for either pressure canning or boiling water bath canner. Remove using gripper from canning set and as they cool you will hear a “pop” then check to see if the jar has sealed. The lid shouldn’t give on top if it is properly sealed.

       

      Common Questions About Canning 101

       

      How long do you boil a jar to seal it?

      • It depends on what it is you’re canning. Most high acid vegetables and fruits the general time in a boiling water bath canner is 10 minutes. Again this can vary depending on what you are canning.
      • Pressure canning requires different pounds of pressure for different amounts of time depending on what you’re canning. The book recommended above gives you all the info you need for times.

      What foods can be canned?

      • Pretty much any fruits, vegetables, and meat can be canned. I also can leftover soup sometimes and homemade chicken broth.

      How do you can using a water bath?

      • Using a water bath canner is the easiest way because the jars fit better and it comes with a rack to lift jars out when they’re done. But it can be done with just a large pot of boiling water enough to cover the jars when standing upright in the pot.

      The Last Thing You Need to Know about Canning

       

      • It does take some time and effort but so worth the work! It’s not difficult work but needs to be done when you have time to pay attention to it. It usually takes me an afternoon to do this unless I have a lot ready at one time. Then a full day is in order.
      • Let me know what you think of this list for Canning 101. Is there anything else you would recommend?

       

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