If you want to try making canned foods, consider investing in a high-quality pressure canner! A pressure canner works by creating a tight seal to trap steam, create pressure, and heat water over its boiling point. The high temperature together with the pressure kills harmful bacteria like botulinum in low-acid foods, making them safe to consume. Choosing a pressure canner is not an easy task, however, since there are many products available online.
In order to help you with your search, we've created a list of the 10 best pressure canners available online. Presto's 23-Quart Pressure Canner was our favorite as it's made of durable aluminum and has a large capacity to hold multiple jars at once. There are nine more options on our list, so do check them out! Take a look at our buying guide as well for some tips in choosing the best pressure canner that fits your needs.
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
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Table of Contents
As you go through the pressure canner options available, look into its material, mason jar capacity, liquid capacity, and pressure settings. Many products come with useful accessories to help make home canning easier, too! Keep reading this buying guide to learn more about the factors to look for when purchasing a pressure canner.
Pressure canners can be made from either aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is lightweight and easy to handle. It's also a good conductor of heat and, compared to stainless steel, heats up and cools down more quickly. However, aluminum isn't as sturdy as stainless steel and can bend and scratch easily.
For more durability, go for a pressure canner made of anodized aluminum. The anodizing process helps create a layer of aluminum oxide to prevent corrosion and scratches. Keep in mind that aluminum pressure canners might scratch smooth ceramic or glass cooktop surfaces and don't work well on induction stovetops.
Stainless steel is tough, sturdy, and has excellent abrasion-resistant properties. However, it's quite heavy and doesn't conduct heat as well as aluminum. Therefore, stainless steel pressure canners take a while to heat up, but they retain heat very well. They work for a wide variety of stovetop ranges, including glass, ceramic, induction, and gas.
Next, to make sure that a pressure canner is easy and safe to use, take a look at its features! In this section, we'll guide you through some of the important features that a good pressure canner should have.
Pressure canners come with either a dial or weighted gauge to help you make adjustments to the pressure level based on your altitude. There are also models that come with both a dial and a weighted gauge for your convenience.
The dial gauge shows you the exact pressure inside the canner and allows you to increase the pressure in small increments of 0.5 or one pound per square inch (psi).
To increase or decrease the pressure, use the burner's knob to adjust the heat. However, some people find it hard to change the pressure this way. Make sure to check the dial gauge for accuracy regularly, too! If the gauge is not accurate, the pressure canner might not be able to reach the desired pressure level.
The weighted gauge, also known as the deadweight gauge, is placed over the vent on top of the lid. Once the desired pressure level is reached, the weighted gauge will jiggle and allow excess steam to release.
One disadvantage of a weighted gauge is that it only allows you to increase the pressure to a specified level such as five, 10, or 15 pounds per square inch. The big increments of five pounds per square inch might ruin the texture or flavor of your food.
Canned veggies like green beans, especially, can get mushy easily. Still, this type of gauge helps keep the pressure accurate and consistent.
Working with a hissing pressure canner seems to be a little bit intimidating, but pressure canners usually come with many safety features to make home canning safe and easy for you! Many products feature a secure lid-locking mechanism that prevents the lid from opening when it's under pressure.
Some lids have a rubber gasket to form an airtight seal, but this gasket will deteriorate over time and will need to be replaced eventually. There are also lids with wingnut clamps that can secure the lid tightly to the canner body without any sealing gasket.
Some pressure canners also have a safety valve that releases redundant pressure in case the canner is overpressured. Another useful feature that many pressure canners have is the spring system that averts the pressurization of the canner before it's closed completely.
To make it easy to move the pressure canner or to lift it off the stovetop, you might want to choose a handle that's covered with rubber. They stay cool to the touch and allow for a non-slip and comfortable grip.
If the handle is made of metal and not covered by an insulating material, it can get very hot during the cooking process. So make sure to use pot-holders to protect your hands from getting burned.
Pressure canners vary in size, from 10 and up to 23 quarts. If you usually make small batches of canned goods, we suggest choosing a model that has a capacity of about 10 to 16 quarts. For large batches, go for a pressure canner that is about 20 quarts in capacity.
Most manufacturers will indicate how many half-pint, pint, and quart jars their products can hold. So take a look at a pressure canner's mason jar capacity to make sure it works for you. Also, some products come with a canning rack to help you stack jars in the pressure canner!
If you're a beginner and the idea of using a pressure canner scares you, consider investing in an electric model. Electric pressure canners usually have pressure or canning settings to help you can your foods without any hassle.
Many models also have a touchscreen that makes programming a breeze. There's no need for you to check the pressure gauge frequently and to regulate the pressure level at all!
Electric pressure canners are pretty versatile and might offer other cooking options like sous vide, slow cook, steaming, roasting, and baking. So if you're looking for an all-in-one device, go for an electric one!
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23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
Made of Lightweight and Durable Aluminum
Canner Pressure Cooker
Secure Locking Lid With No Rubber Gasket
Carey Smart Pressure Canner & Cooker
Home Canning as Easy as It Gets
Multiple Safety Features for Your Peace of Mind
Large Capacity to Hold Multiple Jars at Once
An Easy-to-Use Canner for Beginners
Multi-Use Electric Pressure Cooker
A Versatile Device You'll Need in Your Kitchen
Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Great for Small Batches of Canned Goods
ZPot Pressure Canner
Suitable for a Variety of Stovetop Ranges
Barton Pressure Canner
Dial Pressure Gauge for Accurate Pressure Control
Presto's pressure canner is made of aluminum and works on both gas ranges and glass top ranges. Despite its large size, it weighs only around 10 pounds when empty. The cover lock makes sure that pressure builds up only when the lid is securely closed, and the dial gauge allows you to adjust the pressure for safe canning.
A few buyers complain that the handle screws become loose after a few uses, while some others warn that this pressure canner can't be used with outdoor heat sources like a turkey fryer or propane stoves.
Nonetheless, the majority love the lightweight and durable aluminum construction and add that it's easy to use. They also mention that this pressure canner comes with a canning rack to help you set up the jars.
This All American pressure canner can fit up to seven quart jars. Crafted from hand-cast aluminum with a satin finish, it's not only durable but also easy to clean. The weighted pressure regulator allows you to adjust the pressure from 5, 10, to 15 pounds per square inch, while the pressure gauge shows you precisely how much pressure is within the canner.
One complaint that some buyers have about this pressure canner is that it's too heavy and hard to handle. A few others mention that it takes a while to heat up.
Nevertheless, the vast majority agree that the pressure canner is durable. They add that it has a locking lid that gives an airtight seal and reduces the risk of spilling. Many also like that the lid has no rubber gasket, so they don't have to worry about maintaining it or finding a replacement.
This Nesco electric pressure canner has many pre-set programs that allow you to preserve your vegetables and fruits easily. And it has safety features such as a locking lid, a pressure-limiting valve, and an anti-block filter. They work to ensure that the lid seals completely and doesn't open when cooking.
Some buyers say that the non-stick coating degrades over time, while a few others are disappointed that the unit broke after only a couple of uses. However, many mention that the manufacturer is responsive to queries and offers a replacement for a broken unit.
On a positive note, many reviewers say that this electric device makes pressure canning super easy. They add that it has a brown setting that's great for cooking meat or sautéing garlic and onions. The non-stick inner pot is also easy to clean, according to reviewers.
This pressure canner by T-Fal has many safety features to make pressure canning a little less intimidating. It touts a locking lid with a gasket to prevent spills, a vent tube that enables steam to escape, and a spring safety device that keeps pressure from building unless the lid is securely closed.
It's also equipped with a gasket release window that helps release excess pressure when the pressure is too high. A few buyers complain that the canner doesn't reach the pressure of 15 pounds per square inch as advertised. They also note that there are no pounds per square inch numbers on the gauge.
Still, most reviewers share that this pressure canner works well and has a lightweight and durable construction. They also appreciate all the safety features that allow for easy and reliable use.
Mirro's pressure canner has a large capacity and can handle seven quart-sized jars or 16 pint-sized jars at once. The weighted pressure gauge offers three cooking pressure options: 5, 10, and 15 pounds per square inch. The lock-on cover features a rubber gasket to seal the steam inside the canner.
According to some buyers, the pressure canner has a concave bottom and cannot be used on flat-top cooking surfaces like glass or ceramic. The instruction booklet isn't that helpful, some add.
On another note, most reviewers confirm that this pressure canner is sturdy, lightweight, and simple to use. They also appreciate the large capacity that's ideal for preparing large quantities of food.
Granite Ware's pressure canner features heavy-duty anodized aluminum construction. It has a weighted pressure regulator that helps you regulate the pressure easily. The handles stay cool to the touch during the cooking process. This pressure canner also comes with a canning rack and a steamer trivet.
A couple of reviewers complain that some parts of the pressure canner, including the lid and steam valve, start to rust after a while. Still, many buyers are impressed with the durability and large size of this unit.
Many find the pressure canner easy to use, and they add that the instructions are clear and help them get started right away. Even beginners don't have any trouble using this pressure canner! It also heats up quickly and cleans up easily.
This multi-cooker is made with durable 304 stainless steel and is easy to clean. It holds pressure at 15 pounds per square inch and has a canning setting to help you can your foods with ease. This versatile device can also be used to make soup, rice, yogurt, and many other things!
Although most reviewers like how versatile this multi-cooker is, some say that the Sous Vide function takes too long to reach the desired temperature. Other than that, many buyers compliment that the canning setting works well.
Reviewers also like the cooker's small size, which they say is perfect for making small batches of canned goods. Another highlight for many buyers is the touch screen that's easy to use. And according to others, the vent option is a great safety feature that helps release redundant pressure.
If you like to can small batches, this eight-quart pressure canner by Presto is a great choice! It's made of sturdy stainless steel and has a tri-clad base that has two layers of stainless steel with an aluminum core. The pressure canner can heat up quickly and evenly, even on an induction stovetop.
The major drawback of this small pressure canner for some reviewers is that the lid is hard to open and close. Some others suggest applying a bit of oil to the sealing rim to make it easier to open and close the lid.
Still, most reviewers say that the pressure canner is durable and easy to clean. They appreciate the vent system that helps release pressure when it's too high. They also note that it maintains pressure at 15 pounds per square inch well, and the tri-clad base allows for even heat distribution. They like to use it to make soups and stews, too!
This 10-quart pressure canner by Zavor can handle up to four pint-size jars or three quart-sized jars. The stainless steel construction is heavy-duty, easy to clean, and suitable for all kinds of ranges, including induction, ceramic, and gas.
It maintains pressure at 15 pounds per square inch and has a pressure indicator that pops up as the correct pressure has been achieved. It also has a pressure regulator knob.
Some buyers wish that this pressure canner came with a canning rack, while some warn that it leaks easily. Nonetheless, the majority praises that this device is easy to clean and use.
This 22-quart pressure canner is made with aluminum and keeps the pressure at 13 pounds per square inch. It features a dial pressure gauge to make it easy for you to check the pressure within your canner. The lid is also locked tightly and doesn't open when the canner is working.
Some reviewers think the instruction booklet is poorly written. A few others are also disappointed with the canner's durability, saying it broke after a couple of months. Nevertheless, many buyers mention as this unit works well. They appreciate that it's large and can hold a lot of jars. They add that it heats up evenly.
If you're new to home canning, check out our articles to discover the essential tools you'll need to start canning!
No. 1: Presto | 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker | 01781
No. 2: All American | Canner Pressure Cooker | 921
No. 3: Nesco | Carey Smart Pressure Canner & Cooker | DPC-9SS
No. 4: T-Fal | Pressure Canner
No. 5: Mirro | Pressure Canner | 7114000221
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