Electric Pressure Cookers - Canning Setting

alitnJanuary 18, 2011

Hi everyone. I am fairly new to canning. I canned peaches, applesauce, salsa, and jam last summer. I am considering canning green beans this summer.

I do not yet have a pressure canner. In a discussion with some friends on Facebook, my friend mentioned that her parents just purchased a new electric pressure cooker that had a setting specifically for canning. Does anyone know anything about these appliances? I am having a hard time finding any info on the internet about whether or not the electric pressure cookers can be used for canning. I do know that typical pressure cookers cannot be used for canning, but I did not know about these new appliances with the canning setting.

Thanks!

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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

It would need to be able to hold at least 4 quart sized jars in order to be a pressure canner. Then, I am not sure how you vent those out. Plus, I don't know how many pounds of pressure they operate at.
Then, the time it takes for a canner to get up to pressure and the time for it to get back to zero pounds is all part of the safe processing time. I have no idea how long one of the electric ones would take.
Too many unanswered questions for me to recommend one for canning.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:56PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Several companies have come out with electric pressure cookers lately (sampling linked below) and I have reviewed many of them from Cuisinart, Nesco, Deni, Fagor, and Wolfgang Puck.

But none of them except Fagor advertise themselves, at least in public, as canners and we know the problems with Fagor. None of them are big enough for canning as 8 qt. is the largest size and most claim only 3 pre-set pressure settings of 2.5, 5.7, and 15 lbs. pressure. Fagor mistakenly calls 15 PSI "the most popular setting" - maybe for cooking for some in the mountains of Spain where it is made, but not for canning unless you live at high altitude. I'd need a 10 PSI setting for canning and I need to be able to vent the canner and know when the pressure returns to zero in order to pressure can safely. You can't do either with these.

There are limited reviews available online from Cooks Illustrated magazine, Consumer Reports (if you are a member), amazon.com, etc. and the reviews are mixed with several comments about poor lid fitting, difficulty fitting lids, wiring problems. repairs, etc.

Personally I can't see an advantage to them even as a pressure cooker except perhaps for the built in timer. But as a canner, even if they qualified, I do see some serious drawbacks in the current designs. Now if someone would develop a 16-23 qt. size with proper canning settings I'd be more interested. Until then I'll stick with the tried and true and approved Big 3 (or 2 if all they say about Mirro is true) brands. ;)

JMO

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Some electric pressure cookers

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:08PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

As already mentioned, some electric pc's do not offer the 10psi setting needed for the majority of canning tasks. In addition, you are paying a premium for an electric feature which generally reduces the longevity of the appliance (i.e there are more things to go wrong).

The testing Dave mentioned has demonstrated the electrics are slower than the manual cookers, which kind of defeats the purpose of pressure cooking, not just canning.

Generally electric pc's are not recommended, even for regular pressure cooking, because they have nonstick interiors which don't hold up well to the rigors of pressure.

Personally, for both cooking and canning, I prefer to stick with a "plain" cooker, not an electric.

Carol

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:29PM
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alitn

I found the one my friend was talking about, and yes, it's quite small. I don't have the desire for a pressure cooker, so it's a mute point. This one does have a "canning" setting, but might hold 3 jars if you were lucky.

http://www.homevillage.us/ststprelprco.html

So, on that note, what is everyone's favorite pressure canner?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 7:00AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Unsafe claim by site: "This Elite Electric pressure cooker has an unique Feature: It can be used as a pressure canner / Instructions included. This pressure canner can hold up to 3 x 24oz. jars OR 4 x 16oz. jars at a time." This seems to be an added on claim by the site itself, not the manufacturer.

If it only holds 4 pints it cannot be used as a canner.

As to favorite canner, there are lots of discussions here on the preferred ones but I think it is safe to say that the Presto 23 quart model (with the optional 3 piece weight set) is the favorite because of value for the $$ with one of the various All American models like the 915 or 921 coming in second IF you can afford their much higher prices.

Dave

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:38AM
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alitn

I found the one my friend was talking about, and yes, it's quite small. I don't have the desire for a pressure cooker, so it's a mute point. This one does have a "canning" setting, but might hold 3 jars if you were lucky.

http://www.homevillage.us/ststprelprco.html

So, on that note, what is everyone's favorite pressure canner?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Already answered your earlier post of this question just above. :)

If you aren't seeing either the post or the answer you just need to refresh the page.

Dave

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 4:49PM
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sun8748_chartermi_net

Thanks for all the info on Electric Pressure Cookers. I was just about to purchase one but have changed my mind after reading your comments. I have used my water bath canner on a flat topped stove (only filled with pints) and have had no problems. Am I not supposed to can on a flat top? Appreciate your forun.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 3:24PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Am I not supposed to can on a flat top?

The answer to that is complex Joanne. There are many factors involved and you'll find a great deal of discussion about it here as well as on other canning forums on the web. Just search 'canning smooth flat glass top stove'.

Basically it comes down to your particular stove. With some brands, doing so will void the warranty. They stipulate NO canning. Some older models can't cope with the weight of a filled pot and shatter the glass top. Some models have burners that cycle off and on as the heat rises so they can't keep a pressure canner up to pressure. Some models require special cookware with special shape and made from certain materials. Etc.

So you will have to check with the manufacturer of your model stove.

Some are able to do it by using a small pressure canner (Presto 16 qt.) and stockpots for BWB but in general the recommendation is to find an alternative heat source for your canning. Many of us use propane burners, some use countertop coil electric elements, and some install a separate stove for canning in the basement or another part of the house.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 4:56PM
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airboss455_isp_com

We purchased a new Kenmore range with glass/smooth cooktop late last year. I knew my canning days in the kitchen were over. I love to can and my garden produces a bountiful, canable bunch of crops each year. Now, my gas grill has become the item of choice for my canning. The side burner works great. You just have to have a little more patients with minute adjustments to hold the pressure right. And, another important factor is the weight the side burner can handle. I made a prop for mine. It works and I really won't miss that hot kitchen when canning. Electric pressure canners....would never own one because they are to unpredictable in both operation and the finished product. Botulism and ecoli are the biggest problems. And if you over cook in a canner, you don't have food worth eating. Happy canning!!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 1:33PM
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