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Darlene

Pressure Cookers vs. Pressure Canning for home canning foods

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I don't think we've covered this in here, so I figured we'd go ahead and get this out of the way...

 

Some people wonder whether or not they can use their pressure cookers in lieu of a pressure canner for home canning foods.

 

The answer to that is NO.

 

And the reason is...

 

While there may be some manufacturers that state their brand of pressure cooker is acceptable for use as a pressure canner, but most canning experts will tell you not to use a regular pressure cooker for pressure canning purposes. The pressure cooker can however, be used for batches of water bath canning.

 

Pressure cookers are NOT recommended for pressure canning because a fully loaded canner, that is specifically a pressure canner, takes a longer time for heating and cooling than a pressure cooker does. Pressure cookers have less metal, are smaller in diameter and use less water than traditional pressure canners. Bringing the pressure up, and depressurizing the canner in pressure cookers takes less time than in the pressure canners. The *up* and *down* pressure times are part of the TOTAL processing time that is scientifically established for margins of safety. These time tables are laid out for the dynamics of how the pressure canners are built, not for the pressure cookers. The smaller pressure cookers have smaller loads, and this causes them to heat and cool quicker than a pressure canner. This causes problems with accurate timing, which in turn (IMNSHO) produces an inferior and unsafe product.

 

Anyway, just a little more detail as to exactly why a cooker is not advisable vs. a canner.

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bumping this up becsause it took me forever to find, and i would liek to recommend this as a sticky. many people out there use pressure cookers as canners, and when i say that i have a hard time finding a canner in stores, people always say oh go here! then they link me to a pressure cooker. i know of 4 people in hope that use pressure cookers instead, and they give me home canned meats, i just toss them. i have no idea how it is processed, so i will not eat it. better safe than sorry.

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I was taught that you must be able to put the rack on the bottom, then 4 or more QUART jars in the pressure pan and then close it up, for it to be used as a canner. Most pressure cookers are not tall enough, that makes it easy to tell. And NEVER release the pressure quickly in a canner like you can do with the cooker. Also a pressure cooker has a long handle and a short one opposite. A pressure canner has 2 short handles.

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The Extension Service says NO to using pressure pans for canning period. If you are a novice and planning to can food, you really must take time to learn the proper equipment and procedures or you are risking your family's lives.

 

I've been around canning all my life, but when I married and planned my first garden I spent hours over the winter reading, studying, asking questions, etc. to learn how to properly can. Then you need to keep up-to-date. Any recipes and/or publications prior to 1989 are outdated and should not be used. I've been canning since 1961 without any problems because I've always followed the rules and kept up-to-date. Extension Service bulletins are available on-line in pdf format. Sometimes you have to visit several states sites to find all of them in pdf. Utah and Indiana have two of the more thorough sites.

 

Canners are often available used. I bought my two for $5 and $10 at auctions. I have the gauges checked each year by the Extension Service. While I'm at the Extension office I ask if there are any changes I should be aware of. Also, I've taken old recipes to the Extension office and asked if they were safe to use. Sometimes they are and sometimes they're not. If not, the Extension specialist often can suggest changes to the recipe to make it safe.

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I want to find them for $5 and $10 dollars! heck no one in my area cans! has no idea what canning is and I bet they don't even cook either!

 

I love my all american... now i need a smaller one.

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I got my Presto Canner free! My MIL snagged two for me at her church rummage sale. I kept the almost-new in box one, and get the other to a friend of DH's.

 

In fact I am going to take my first stab at canning tomorrow! Yes, I am going to do spaghetti sauce--meatless at first, and then if I get decent results, I will do some ones with burger, and process for the meat time.

 

Then....SALSA!!!

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Darlene gave me a 'primer' on canners, so I know 'weighted' is best, since it avoids having to have the gauge calibrated each year, among other issues. I've found some interesting items on eBay , All Americans. I called All American (Red Hill Grain) and the lady said all 'All Americans' have the weighted gauges. Did I ask her the right question and is she correct in the answer?

 

Help! cry

 

It's soooo much easier to open a package of Twinkies...

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Hi MtnMama

 

I believe that the new All Americans have both the 'weighted gauge' [also known here in MrsS as the 'jiggly thang' lol] and a dial gauge. Early on, they may have just had the weighted gauge.

 

However, at some point in their history, they have used just a dial gauge and a petcock safety valve. ----Somebody tell me if I'm using the right terms here!!! --- BUT all the parts screw in and out so that you can replace the petcock valve with a weighted gauge. Weighted gauge come in two pieces...the round heavy weight thing and the stem to set it on. You can also order an All American Instructions/Recipes book if you happen to get a used canner.

 

 

Vent Pipe Regulator:

 

http://www.goodmans.net/get_item_aa-69_all...r-regulator.htm

 

Weighted Gauge:

 

http://www.goodmans.net/get_item_aa-68_all...ator-weight.htm

 

 

This is where I ordered the replacement parts for "Sherman....the tank". (A very heavy pot!!!) Yes, I named my canner. laugh Mine now has both types of gauges and both are new. I'm stuck right now on getting it down to town to be tested and checked out. I don't drive and my df who planned to bring in her's and mine....she's been dealing with some serious health concerns so I can't push for this favor right now. I'll just feel better if someone knowledgable checks my refurbishing work. But I'm soooooooooo bounce anxious to use it!!

 

 

So realize that all this information is coming from someone who is very new to canning and hasn't had Sherman tested yet. smile

 

 

MtRider [i'm having SUCH a 'sugar fit' right now and she mentions Twinkies! laughkick ]

 

 

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Got that. Ok. Now if my largest burner is 7 1/2" and the diameter of the canner is upwards of 12", is that going to be ok? This is a regular coil, not a flat/glass surface.

 

Do I have to have a burner that is equal to the pot's diameter for even heat?

 

Never mind the Twinkies. This is like Algebra II. I need Snowballs.

 

eek

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Heehee....I haven't had a Snowball (with that stretchy coconut skin) since grade school. feedmelaughkick

 

 

As for 7 1/2" elect. burner and 12" pot........

 

 

Those are my dimensions too so I'll be watching for someone to answer you question. Since both are standard measurements for elect. stoves and canner bottoms... I *think* it should be fine. We are heating water, after all. It's the glass tops that have the warning about big canning pots.

 

 

So is pressure canning new to you too then, MtnMama?

 

 

eek

 

 

 

MtRider [who is definitely no good in Algebra or any other number-related topics!!]

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Our smilies are 'synched'. This is cool!

Mt Rider I am VERY new to all of this. Why did I opt for the french horn instead of home ec in junior high? busted

 

I find canners on eBay, but chicken out before bidding. The folks selling the canners don't seem to know much about them, so I think I'll save up for a new one. I notice Pleasant Hill Grain will be selling All Americans at some future point. I got my pressure cooker from them last summer and they were most helpful.

 

But I survived the pressure cooker, so maybe I can tackle this successfully.

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Your electric coil should do fine on the 12" bottomed AA.

 

MtnMama, if you have any questions about a canner on ebay, just let me know and I'll go take a look at it for you. There's no reason to pay full price if you can get a great deal on one there. Since I have 4 AA's, I think I'd have a pretty good idea of what would work good for you.

 

Like Mt Rider was saying, the gauges on the lid are all inner changeable and replaceable. If you find one that has a petcock, you can change that out for a weighted gauge, etc.

 

I know this is probably not making alot of sense to you...just remember that anything new initially feels overwhelming till you start to get it...and once you start to get it, then you'll be off and running. It's not really hard, it just takes a little time to learn the terminology. You're a smart girl so you'll catch on fast! (and in fact, you already are catching on fast!!!!)

 

Just let me know which ebay ones interest you, and I can let you know the details about them so that you will learn to be able to discern all those finer points by yourself.

 

It's so much fun when someone has an interest in learning home canning!

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Hi Darlene!

 

I have found about 3 on eBay. I queried the sellers about the gauges and most responded that they were dial rather than weighted, but the pictures looked like weighted ones. Here's one: current bid is $46

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/All-American-15-Qt-Q...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

Thanks (I hate to ask you because I know you want to settle in!)

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Originally Posted By: MtnMama
Thanks (I hate to ask you because I know you want to settle in!)


Oh, nononononononooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...don't feel bad about asking me! THIS is FUN for me!!!!! lol You saw my house and boxes...I'd rather be looking at canners ANYtime vs dealing with that! lolol

This is a nice little canner. It holds 7 quarts or 10 pints and normally retails somewhere around $175.00 new. Overall Height x Height Of Bottom Only x Inside Diameter: 12.25" x 7.75" x 12.63". It's their smallest 7 quart canner and would be the easiest to lift and move around.

There's a day and a half left to bid on it...the last 5 minutes of the auction is when the price will go up so maybe think about what the highest bid you're willing to put in on it is and then wait till towards the end to put your bid in.

Don't worry about the cleanup needed on the canner...a brillo pad will get that baby shining pretty. It has the weighted gauge which is good, and the dial gauge you can have checked out and if it's off, it's a piece of cake to replace.

You did good finding this one...I hope you can get it!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Originally Posted By: Darlene
Originally Posted By: MtnMama
Thanks (I hate to ask you because I know you want to settle in!)


Oh, nononononononooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...don't feel bad about asking me! THIS is FUN for me!!!!! lol You saw my house and boxes...I'd rather be looking at canners ANYtime vs dealing with that! lolol

This is a nice little canner. It holds 7 quarts or 10 pints and normally retails somewhere around $175.00 new. Overall Height x Height Of Bottom Only x Inside Diameter: 12.25" x 7.75" x 12.63". It's their smallest 7 quart canner and would be the easiest to lift and move around.

There's a day and a half left to bid on it...the last 5 minutes of the auction is when the price will go up so maybe think about what the highest bid you're willing to put in on it is and then wait till towards the end to put your bid in.

Don't worry about the cleanup needed on the canner...a brillo pad will get that baby shining pretty. It has the weighted gauge which is good, and the dial gauge you can have checked out and if it's off, it's a piece of cake to replace.

You did good finding this one...I hope you can get it!

Let me know if you have any other questions.


Ahhh, who needs to can? All canners look alike anyway...

Cookie DIVES out the window and runs for it before Darlene can find her gun! outtahere.gif

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Here is another one on ebay. It looks a little older and is that a petcock on the right?

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...37084&rd=1&rd=1

 

and this one says its new. Right now its at $65.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...57253&rd=1&rd=1

 

And this one has no bids yet:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...48020&rd=1&rd=1

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Originally Posted By: cookiejar

Ahhh, who needs to can? All canners look alike anyway...

Cookie DIVES out the window and runs for it before Darlene can find her gun! outtahere.gif


BANG.

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My all-american has a dial gauge and I love it, except for the part where I cannot find any extension office thingy place to have it tested! What would happen if I used it this year anyway without testing it?

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MtnMama:

 

This one looks good if you can get it at a good price. You can change out that petcock for $7 and get a weight for it for $14.00

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...37084&rd=1&rd=1

 

This is another good one...with it being new, I would expect the bidding to get higher on it than the used ones

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...57253&rd=1&rd=1

 

This would work out great too. You've done good locating the ones you'd like and as far as I'm concerned, any of them would work, so hopefully you can win one with a low bid

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...48020&rd=1&rd=1

 

 

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Wickie, the only problem that I see is that if your dial guage is off, when you're processing, you risk the chance of processing at an incorrect pressure, which to me, would include the risk of the foods contained inside to be dangerous for human consumption.

 

There has to be SOME place around you that can test the gauge for you. I wonder if anyone else has any ideas. This is one of the reasons I like the weigh, even though I have a dial on mine too. I never worry about the dial because the weighted gauge is good to go year after year after year without having anyone check it.

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I have a brand new All-American and was going to have the gauge checked right out of the box lol. When I first got it, I did not realize it had the weighted gauge and that you go by that. I just kept worrying, what if I went and had the dial gauge checked and then 3 days, 3 months, or whenever, it quit working correctly, and then I kept canning without knowing, and then did not have it checked again until next year. It just does not make sense, but after reading through the directions, the weighted gauge is what you go by. I am not sure why the dial is there except maybe for when using it to cook in and not as a canner???

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First I want to say "Hi Everyone!!" It's been awhile, I've missed it here!

 

OK- on to the question: I am having a hard time finding the "canning element" for my GE range. DH told me to check with all of you "in the know" people and see if they make an electric canner. Ya know one you can just plug in. Does anyone know if this exsists??

 

My plan B would be canning on one of my grills or getting a "turkey cooker". Anyone have any experience with that??

 

Thanks!!!

Kimba

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A canning element just lifts the canner higher off the cooktop. It reduces the chance of any damage to it. I remember them from the 1960s and 1970s but haven't seen one for quite some time.

 

Perhaps someone else knows more about them.

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