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Pressure Canner


Yarome

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I've been doing a little research, but have to admit I'm a bit confused. What I'm looking for is about a 6-8 quart pressure canner. I notice that some products are listed as a "pressure cooker", but can also be used as a pressure canner while other products are only listed as a "pressure canner". I also see some products where they say it can be used as a slow cooker/pressure cooker/pressure canner/steamer.

 

What's the 'low down' on these? Is it just how they are listed and any pressure cooker can be used as a multi function device? If not, what determines if it can be used as a pressure canner?

 

I've seen some of the electrical/programmable units. I can see where that might help maintain a constant pressure without having to adjust the stove, but is it really all that difficult to maintain pressure on a stove or is it 'heads and shoulders' simpler to go electric?

 

I've noticed some labeled as a canner don't have a temperature gauge... even some really expensive ones. Is a temp gauge a necessity? Kind of seems like it would be.

 

On the practical side.. once you put the pressure doohicky on and begin the canning process do they continuously vent steam? (concerned about humidity levels)

 

I've read that the units using a weight vs. a slide are more accurate. Is there any truth to that?

 

Are there any particular brands that should be avoided or sought? I know you generally get what you pay for and am not adverse to investing a bit, but I really don't know the difference between a $30 one vs. a $200 one.

 

For the size I'm looking for I know my choices are limited, but any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm looking to can pints and 1/2 pints of low acid foods.. mainly meat, fish, sea fruits, vegetables.

 

 

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We stopped canning and are now freeze drying everything. Check our the Harvestright system.

 

Very cool! That would be great in a stick'n'bricks, but my RV battery bank/solar could never support that kind of electrical load. 10-17 amps AC for 20-40 consecutive hours per cycle would be getting into the many multiple thousands of amp hours of 12v.

 

Great info though. I never knew they had freeze dryers for the home.

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We have used the Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker for years, for both canning and cooking. I had an occasion to use the 36 month warranty about 30 months into the 3 year plan....they shipped me a new one. And no, once the unit is properly sealed and reaches pressure, steam is no longer released...unless the pressure limit valve is intentionally moved to release steam/pressure.

 

Regards

Gemstone

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I have a 6-quart Instant Pot electric pressure cooker which I love. I don't do any canning, so haven't used it for that, but it's great...just set the time and pressure and walk away. No baby sitting it making sure the stove is at the right temperature to maintain the correct pressure throughout the cooking process. I would never go back to a stove-top pressure cooker, which always scared me, anyway, because I was always afraid of it getting over-pressure and exploding.

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Appreciate all the info and suggestions so far. Looking at the two that have been mentioned.. it looks like both can be used for boiling water canning, but specifically state not to be used for pressure canning. It looks like they are not able to achieve a high enough temperature or pressure level required for pressure canning.

 

I love the idea of a set and forget.. and all of the features are pretty nifty, but I'm really just looking for a pressure canner.

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I do a lot of canning and a couple years ago I bought a pressure canner. It's coming on the road with me, I may be nuts. I looked at a lot of the electrics and came to the conclusion back at that point that they wouldn't hold enough jars, particularly quarts, that I wanted in prime canning season. I bought this one

 

http://www.amazon.com/All-American-921-2-Quart-Pressure/dp/B00004S88Z?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

 

It's great. If I knew when I bought it that we were going to fulltime, I'd have gone smaller. As for steam, once it comes to pressure, there is a weight that wobbles and releases a small amount of air. Other than that, it's just what's released at the end of cooking. It will release some steam, but not enough for me to worry about damage in the trailer.

 

It takes a bit to figure out the right level for the weight to wobble at the right rate. But since I'm not leaving it unattended anyway, I just hang out nearby and check every once in awhile. And you get a sense both for where your burner should be set and what the wobbling rate should sound like. It's not as hard as it sounds.

 

Even as I write this, I'm cooking up a batch of a new recipe for rhubarb ginger jam. I have so missed this while prepping the house for sale over the last year or so.

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That is a nice pressure cooker, it is really nice to have multiple pressures and that one has three, settings of 5 psi, 10 psi, and 15 psi. No pressure at sea level gives you a boiling point of the usual 212 degrees, 5 psi gives 226, 10 psi gives 240 and 15 gives 250 degrees.

 

Depending on your food you can pick the right temp and cooking time, beans not soaked are going to do best at 5 psi and several hours while well soaked (overnight) beans do well at 15 psi and far less time. A roast can be cooked at any level but the tougher it is the lower the pressure/temp and longer time are going to help you to chew it. Something that needs to have the sauce cooked into it (like coffee-can BBQ chicken) does well at 5 psi while cubed pork butt, for shredded pork is happy at 15 psi.

 

 

I think the main thing that makes something a pressure canner versus just a pressure cooker is the size, it is built to hold as many glass canning jars as possible for a given size while a pressure cooker might turn out to be a bit small to let that last jar fit in.

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I bought this one

 

If I knew when I bought it that we were going to fulltime, I'd have gone smaller.

 

Now that looks like about what I had in mind and hadn't run across before. They have a 10.5 qt that looks like it would fit the bill. Holds 7 pints. I also like the idea of a no gasket seal.

 

Thank YOU!!

 

That is a nice pressure cooker

 

Ain't it though! And made in USA. Thanks as well for the tips, Stan.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The weather has calmed enough I should be able to stick around long enough in one place to receive a package so pulled the trigger on the #910 10.5 qt. canner. I'm not sure if it was the best deal, but all told came out to $185.

 

Sure appreciate everyone's input.

 

Stan.. thanks too for the temperature guide. That's very helpful.

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We use a Power Cooker electric pressure cooker from Walmart which cost about $80. It does slow cooking, pressure cooking, and canning all in one. Today, I am cooking bean/ham soup and set it to stew pressure cook for 50 minutes. It does take a half hour to warm up and I usually let it cool and release it's pressure for an hour after it's done. What used to take 12-14 hours to slow cook beans now takes less than 3 hours. It can stew a chicken in 15 min, which really means 1 hour total for warm up and cool down. We have had the pressure cooker for a over a year now and use it for about 1 meal a week.

Greg

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Hey Yarome! What is a "sea fruit"?

 

You've never heard of a sea cucumber?? :blink:

 

Anything edibles from the sea not considered "fish". ie., crab, lobster, clams, abalone, seaweed, etc. I should'a said "seafood". :P

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