What Weighted Cannner Is 'Better'?
I have been in the process of saving up my pennies for a weighted canner and I was wondering what everyone would suggest. I would like to get a weighted canner because I live in a small town in a dessert at about 3,000 ft above sea-level. I don't want to have to worry about getting my pressure gauge regulated every year. Or would I have to? The weights seem simpler to use, to me, but do most canning books even offer info on how much weight to place on a weighted canner, anymore? And as far as canners go, does everyone like a Presto or All American, or is there another one that anyone would like to suggest?
I was also thinking a 16-23 quart size would be best for a family of four. I just don't want to spend a fortune on one just for it not to be used as much as it should be. But I don't want to invest in one that is too small and I am slaving away at my stove for hours because I bought one too "small". I have been looking on Craig's List, but no one seems to be selling theirs at all.
I am wanting to expand into vegetables, canning veggies soups, w/ and w/ out meat, spaghetti sauce w/ and w/ out meat & veggies with this type of canner. I am not a jelly making kind of canner. I have primarily stuck to canning fruits, sauerkraut and quartered tomatoes (w/ lemon juice), and I'd like to expand from that.
I have been a water-bath canner for the last 10 year so any tips or suggestions in this vein of discussion would be great :)